Hot Head

Excerpt from the short story titled Dissolved, part of the Collection of Stories: Crimes Need Punishment 

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Sitting in his favorite rattan chair for hours, in one hand an almost empty bottle of whisky, in the other a lethal weapon of his trade, Kevin could not understand why his professional life turned sour because of a wrong judgment call by a superior. True, he was not the easiest to get along with but for some reason that trait saved his hide during crises.

His re-assignment to another institution was a slap on his face. Insubordination, they reasoned out, should be dealt with early on to correct one’s high regard of oneself, especially if that someone was a maverick of sort.

Early that morning, Kevin reported to his new boss, his papers sent ahead of his arrival.

“You’re my guest,” Major Frank M jested, eyeing him while he stood at attention. “You’re not the first. I am sure you’ll not be the last.”

“Permission to ask a question, sir.” Kevin wanted to clarify his status. What he was told: his services were valuable, he was highly regarded for his experience, he was asked for to complete a task.

“Why not?” the short-cropped-haired head of the national penitentiary snapped his fingers, a mannerism Kevin would soon discover as a signal to shut one’s mouth. “Shoot!”

“Were you told why I am here? The real reason, sir.”

Major Frank M (his surname was not completely spelled out for security reasons) managed a hearty laugh. He was warned of Kevin’s strange ability to enrage a superior, even without trying.

“I have a problem. You are the solution.”

Kevin suspected that the elaborate charade was hatched days earlier to soften his resistance from leaving his post. He submitted his written explanation to refute his former superior’s allegation of grave misconduct during live operation.

“I am not sure I follow sir,” he calmly said. “I don’t mean to be rude but I have of no use here.”

Major Frank M clicked his tongue, another mannerism that meant he disagreed with what has been said.

“Do as you are told and we’ll be just fine. Dismiss.”

Kevin dropped the bottle on the cemented floor, its remaining contents flowed freely which created a pool of liquid that would surely stain later.

His tired eyes, playing tricks on him because of too much alcohol, kept staring at his collection of commendations and certificates of appreciation from various agencies. They were of no importance now if he was to be detailed to a position too far away from the real action.

“I might as well end this with a bang,” he slurred the words, studying the grenade on his hand.

He pulled out the pin while carelessly holding the lever. One false twitch of his fingers, he would be history.

His loud laughter reverberated inside the room, his neighbors would surely comment later on that he sounded deranged.

Slumping back to the chair, his knees buckled under his weight. Involuntarily, his hand released the grenade from his grip: it clanged on the floor.

The last thing Kevin remembered was the satisfied smile on his face.

(to be concluded)



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