by E.C. McMullen Jr.
After an action-packed, brutal chase across the county, ending in a car crash, Jesse ran limping into the cold rain and dark woods. He was wounded, exhausted, used up, and along came Daniel from behind, casually holding his lantern; as if enjoying a walk in the stormy night.
It only took a moment of that bright light falling on Jesse’s face for his pupils to shrink and the woods to go dark. Frightened, Jesse turned to run, only to slam painfully into a tree.
That’s how Daniel found Jesse, cowering on the ground, nose bleeding, unarmed and face to face with the husband of his lover.
Considering the night and everything that led up to this moment, Daniel, having the drop on Jesse at gunpoint, looked upon his foe with an expression of odd curiosity.
It was that lantern-lit curious expression, as if Daniel was looking at a strange bug, that infuriated the beaten Jesse. Accepting his defeat, he began confessing,
“Okay! Okay! I did it! But Tina and me are in love, man! Your wife loves me! Me! And why do you even care? When was the last time you loved her? Do you even remember? Do you?”
Daniel said nothing but thumbed back the hammer on his revolver. Jesse flinched, throwing his hands over his face.
“Fine! Fine!” Jesse shouted in tears. He was a dead man anyway, what did he have to lose? “We fucked! Okay? Is that what you want to hear you maniac?”
Only the clattering, splattering noise of the rain, and silence from Daniel. Jesse despised that smug confidence.
In a flash, Jesse thought of the slimmest opportunity. Make Daniel lose his shit. Make him angry. Make him sloppy.
“I fucked her and she loved it!” Jesse shouted. “We did everything! We did it all! She was going to leave you for me! For me, you needle-dicked shit!”
Jesse’s words weren’t having the expected result. Daniel wasn’t reacting: No rage, no jealousy, nothing to make him lose control and possibly give Jesse an edge. Daniel only raised his brows. “I must admit, I’m amazed.”
Jesse lowered his hands, confused. There was just no figuring Daniel out.
“Your confession,” Daniel said. “I’m surprised you didn’t at least try and talk your way out of it; convince me I had the wrong guy.”
Jesse blinked in surprise, as clearly this was an unconsidered option.
“Would that have worked?”
“I would have given it a shot.”
Story by E.C. McMullen Jr.
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