Revenge Or Is It? By: Ryan Hone
Gus Miller, age 47, a man who has it all. He was the first in his class. He was made junior partner at a prestigious law firm. He married his high school sweetheart. He is the father of 3 children. What drives a man to revenge? How does it end? Gus Miller found out the hard way that revenge is a dish best served cold...or is it?
You are now entering the...well you'll know if you saw the show.....
Gus was getting ready to end a long day at the law firm when his cell phone rings.
"Hello.", Gus answered.
"If you want your family to live you will listen to what I have to say." a man says on the other line.
"What are you talking about? Who is this?" Gus responds.
"It doesn't matter who I am Gus. What matters is what you are going to do for me..." says the man.
"What are you talking about? I'm not going to do anything for you." Gus says.
"Oh Gus, you don't even remember my voice do you? That's ok though. I bet you know your wife's voice." the man says.
This is followed by a woman's voice that says pleadingly, "Gus baby." It sounds like Gus' wife. Then Gus" hears a high pitched scream.
"Sound familiar Gus? I can see you breathing heavy so you must believe me now." the man says.
Gus responds, "Please whoever you are, I'll do whatever you want."
"What I want is to not have spent years behind bars for a crime I never committed but we are way beyond that now, " the man says.
"Way beyond what? What do you mean?" Gus says
"What I want is revenge. And tell you what, Gus, inside of your top desk drawer under the file folder is a knife. Grab it." says the man.
As Gus searches through his desk drawer he says, "A knife, but I don't keep a knife in my desk." Gus' hands move the folder aside and sitting there is a Gerber tactical knife.
"How in the hell? I never put this here." Gus says.
"You're right Gus. You didn't. I put it there when I was in your office. Here's what you are going to do. In the next thirty seconds if you haven't cut off your pinky finger on your right hand, I will cut the same finger off your wife's hand. Remember I am watching and time starts now." the man says.
Gus yells, "Wait. How do I know that it's really my wife that you have? Let me speak to her!"
Gus hears some movement and a woman's voice says "Gus, Help me." To Gus it sounds like his
The man comes back on the line, "Alright Gus this is how it's going to go. Don't look around for me because I can see you, but you can't see me. You have 30 seconds starting from when I hang up this phone to cut off your finger. I suggest that you do it."
The phone line goes dead.
Gus quickly weighs his options. He opens the Gerber knife. Breathing heavily, his heart racing, Gus places his hand upon the table. He lays the blade against his pinky finger. He closes his eyes and takes three deep breaths. On the third breath he pushes down with all the force that he can muster. Surprisingly there is little pain...until he opens his eyes and looks at his hand and the blood flowing from his severed finger. A deep throbbing ache begins, and Gus gives a moan.
Gus, shaking uncontrollably, grabs a scarf that is hanging from a hat rack and wraps his hand tight with it. Right when he is finished his phone rings again.
Before Gus has a chance to say anything the man says, "Good job Gus, I see that you used something to wrap your hand up. Careful those wounds can be nasty. Don't think that this is the end though. Now the stakes are going to be raised. I'm going to send you a picture just to show you that I'm serious. After you get this picture we will talk, " the man says.
Gus receives a picture on his phone, and it's of one of his sons with a blindfold around his eyes.
"Alright, I know that you have received the picture. I hope you realize how serious I am. Now as soon as I hang up you will have 30 seconds to cut another finger off either hand. I'll let you choose. After you do this I will let one of your children go. Let's just say the one you just received a picture of.. I am a man of my word unlike you," scoffs the man just before the line goes dead.
Gus can literally feel his right hand throbbing where he cut off his finger. He takes off the scarf from his right hand and almost immediately the blood starts to flow from his severed finger. He places the bloodied Gerber knife against the ring finger on his right hand. Once again he closes his eyes and pushes down with all his might. This time Gus yells out from the pain. In doing so he almost passes out. The room gets darker and little points of light swirl in front of his eyes. Any more of this, he thinks, and he'll never be able to save his family.
Gus curses out loud and grabs the scarf with a shaking left hand to wrap his hand with both of the severed fingers. The scarf is soaked a dark red. As the phone rings Gus grabs the phone with his left hand and yells out, "Let my son go. I did what you told me to."
The man answers, "Yes you did and I'm surprised that you didn't fall over from shock. I said I'm a man of my word. I'm sending you a picture to show you that . Wait one minute and don't do anything stupid. We wouldn't want the fun to end now, would we?" Gus can almost hear the smile in the man's voice as the line goes dead once again.
A minute passes by as Gus tries to hold the scarf tighter to his hand to slow the blood flowing from his hand. The phone begins to buzz. Gus looks down at it and sees that a picture was received. When Gus opens the picture it shows his son with the blindfold now around his neck right in front of a police station. Tears of relief spring to his eyes.That feeling is quickly replaced by dread as the phone rings again.
When he answers the man says, "Don't worry. Your son is now inside of that police station, and I'm sure he is telling them what he knows. This will be long over before that is a concern for me, so I really don't care. I don't want to harm your family, but I will if you don't comply."
"Now it's time for the grand finale. Alright, Gus, here's what you are going to do. I want you to leave your office and go up to the roof. I'm sure that you can make it. I've already made sure that you can get up there. So leave right now," the man says before the line goes dead once again.
Gus says tiredly, "I'm going right now." He walks out the door to his office and makes the short trip to the stairwell already out of breath. He goes up two flights, and in front of him is the door with red letters stamped across that say Roof Access. Gus notices that the lock that has been keeping the door closed has been cut and hangs loose. Gus undoes the cut lock and pushes the door open. Almost immediately a gust of wind pushes the door back in. Gus the door open and steps out onto the gravel layered roof.
As soon as Gus is completely out the door he looks up at the night sky. A sense of clarity comes to his mind through the fog of pain, and he wonders how things could have gone so terribly wrong. Who was this man?
His thoughts are interrupted by the ringing of his phone. "Gus, you shouldn't look at the sky when there are more important things on the ground," the man says coyly.
"What do you want from me? I've done everything you have asked. Please let my wife and kids go. I'll do whatever you want," Gus practically sobs out.
"Yes, Gus, you will. Walk to the edge of the roof" Gus walks to the edge of the roof holding his scarf wrapped hand close to his chest.
"Good. Now, Gus, I want you to stand up on the ledge." Gus stands up on the ledge as the wind gusts against him.
"I told you I'm a man of my word, but here's what going to happen I will send you a picture to show you what I mean." Not soon after he says this Gus receives a picture on his phone. It's of his wife and two children with blindfolds around their eyes and men standing behind them with pistols against their heads.
"Please don't do this." Gus pleads with the man.
"I won't do this if you jump off that ledge. Yes, you will die, but I swear that your family will live. My quarrel is with you. It was never with them. I will have my revenge." the man says.
"At least tell me who you are? What did I do that was so wrong to you?" Gus says.
"It doesn't matter anymore. What matters is right now, I'm watching you, so if you want your family to live, you will jump. I want you to say you will. Are you going to do it?" the man says.
"I'll do it. Damn, you. I'll do it." Gus says with conviction.
"Then this is goodbye, Gus. You will have 30 seconds after I hang up, and I don't have to tell you what the consequences will be if you don't jump." the man says as the line goes dead for the last time.
Gus looks up at the sky. Then he looks at the ground. He sees cars going in both directions and the sights and sounds of the city. Gus closes his eyes and knows that he must do this for his family. As a tear comes out from under his eye, he takes a deep breath and jumps. He thinks of his family, and as much as he doesn't want to open his eyes he does anyway. An involuntary scream comes from Gus' lungs as he falls to the busy street below.
Right when Gus is about to hit the asphalt, his vision blacks out, but he is still screaming. Gus can hear a mechanical whirring and computer-like sounds. He feels goose bumps all over his body.
Gus says almost hysterically, "What is this? I'm dead. Am I dead?"
Gus feels a suction cup sensation against his face as the mechanical whirring quickens. A light enters his vision, and he feels whatever it is being removed from his face. The light blinds him momentarily causing him to blink rapidly. As his vision comes back into to focus, he is able to see where he is.
Surrounding him is an auditorium style seating in a half ring around him. In these seats are what look like humans, but they are clearly not. Their motions are too jerky, and you see blinking lights under there skin. To Gus they look like machines. Eerily Gus can tell that he is being observed by all of them.
"What is this? Who are you? What am I doing here?" Gus says as he tries to move but is unsuccessful. Gus looks down at himself and realizes that he is strapped to the chair and that he is plugged into numerous monitoring devices.
"What is this? Someone please tell me what is going on." Gus pleads out loud.
Gus hears a human-like voice say, "Human subject ready for next phase of testing. Next emotion to be tested is Fear. Testing will commence in one minute."
When Gus hears this he tries to move, but can't do anything; he is too secure to the chair.
"Please don't do this." Gus pleads.
One of the human-like machines approaches Gus and begins to extend its right hand. The right index finger on the machine opens up and a syringe extends out filled with a blue liquid.
"What are you doing? What is that?" Gus pleads with the machine.
The machine doesn't slow down and the syringe jabs into his arm. As Gus begins to get light headed, he hears the whirring he heard before but he can't even speak...or scream. As something begins to block his vision and the lights start to fade he hears, "Fear test in 3, 2, 1...."
Then the light fades completely.
Guest post for Sunday Confessions today. I hope you enjoyed and as always check out the rest of the submissions over at More Than Cheese and Beer