Wednesday 8 August 2012

Creative Writers Corner Challenge #83 - Things are not always as they seem

creative writers challenge #83

That’s me second from the right. Those were the days Just love that photo of me and my gang.

“Jack, looking at your portrait gallery again” called his wife Rita from the kitchen. She was busy organizing the food for the birthday party. 

Yes, Jack was studying all the photos. The one of him with the mayor, then there was the one where he was shaking hands with the local pastor, and of course next to it the photo where he was presenting the champion with the cup at the finals of the heavyweight boxing match. All rigged, but everyone believed he was one of the nice guys.

He stopped a few minutes longer at that photo of the gang, remembering Jimmy.

“There he is the little one on the end. He looked small then in 1972, but when he started training, he got tough and strong. 
Without my support he would never have made it” thought Jack “but friends stick together, through thick and thin, I told him, shame he had to spoil it all. If only he had done what I said and just lay down in the boxing ring, let the other one win. I had so much money going on that fight, and so did a lot of dad’s friends. All he had to do was throw the match.”

Jack’s dad, Nick the rat, was one of the big shots in the area and he had trained his boy to follow in his footsteps. Not such a problem. Jack was actually corrupt from the beginning and his dad just had to point him in the right direction. Now Jimmy was in a wheelchair. If he had done what Jack told him it would not have happened. On his way home after the boxing match he was caught in an alley and four of those disappointed punters just went to work on him. It was touch and go, but he pulled through, although he could forget boxing. You cannot box if your legs do not work anymore.

Then Jack looked again at the photo and there was Joan at the end on the right-hand side. Joan was always at the end. The girl no-one really wanted, just plain, but she had brains and Jack realized that. He decided if no-one wanted Joan he could use her and after a few words with Nick his father, Joan was sent to college. She was just an expert at figures, and it was always an advantage to have an accountant on your side. You knew where the money went and she would not cheat on anyone. Jack even introduced her to one of those serial stars that were on the television. She was of course thrilled, that someone took interest in her, even if Jack was paying him to take the interest. That way he could keep her happy. She never did marry and Jack found it better that way. 

And then there was Marilyn, dear sweet Marilyn. She was a goldmine for Jack. Coming from a poor family, she was just happy to have a boyfriend that kept her in furs and diamonds, although that was another of Jack’s schemes. One day the furs and diamonds just did not arrive anymore and Marilyn had no money, so Jack organized a financial income for her and himself. Some people might have called him a pimp, but he did not look at it that way. He was helping a damsel in distress, at least that was how Jack looked at it. Marilyn was worth every penny he invested in her, and she climbed the ladder of success in her profession. She did what Jack said, she had to otherwise Jack could get really rough. 

So that was the gang – just a bunch of kids from one of the poorer areas of town that wanted to make it big. 

Tonight was Jack’s birthday and he had invited all of them; even Jimmy in the wheelchair. Joan said not to worry; she would take care of him.

The birthday party was a success, the mob and their wives enjoyed it. The food was good and there was plenty to drink. Jack could manage drink, but even he was feeling just a little bit light headed. Eventually everyone went home, Jack sent his wife to bed and he was left with Marilyn, Jimmy and Joan.

“How you keeping Jimmy?” asked Jack

“Not too bad, although things don’t get easier as you get older and confined to a wheelchair. By the way Jack, I have to take a leak, can you go with me. Just one of those things you can’t do on your own any more.”

Jack did not feel happy about that job, but as there was no-one else to go with him he accepted. Whilst Jack and Jimmy were away the girls started talking.

“Everything arranged Joan” asked Marilyn

“No problem” was the answer, “just another five minutes.”

Jack entered the room again pushing Jimmy and was now completely sober, but still convinced that if Jimmy had done what was expected it would never had happened. Everyone would have been happy and satisfied. All he had to do was lose a boxing match. Stupid honest Jimmy.

There was suddenly a knock at the door. 

“Who the hell that that be after midnight” thought Jack, but before he could say or do anything Joan opened the door and four men walked in.

“What the hell……” but Jack did not finish the sentence. His hands were feeling the cold metal of cufflinks and one of the men started to read his rights.

“Time to go” said one of the men and they marched out of the room with Jack in between. 

“Joan call my lawyer” were the last words they heard from him.

“Well done Joan” said Marilyn, “you were just too clever for that slimy worm eventually.”

Of course she was. Over the last few years Joan had been supplying the law with copies of Jack’s accounts, where the money was going and what it was buying and there were three good witnesses only to glad to testify against Jack. That was enough to put Jack behind bars for the rest of his life. 

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