The Most Valuable Gift

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
A man in a desperate situation receives a peculiar gift.

Submitted: July 27, 2011

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Submitted: July 27, 2011

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The man with grey hair lit his cigarette with a silver lighter. He wore a black leather jacket and sunglasses even though it was the middle of the night. He was sitting in an armchair in front of a rectangular glass table in a large living room. On his left and right were two men standing with their arms crossed, also wearing leather jackets. Directly across the table from the man with grey hair was a bald man sitting in another arm chair, he was wearing pajamas and was breathing heavily with beads of sweat on his forehead. The man with grey hair exhaled a puff of smoke, went into his jacket pocket and pulled out a gun that he placed on the table. He then looked at the bald man.

"You know what this is?"

The bald man stared at the gun for a moment and then looked at the man with grey hair with bewildered eyes.

"It's…it's a gun."

The man with grey hair smirked and took a long drag on his cigarette then exhaled the smoke from his nostrils.

"See you're doing something that most people do : you're taking things at face value. Don't think of this as just an object, think about what it represents, what it means to you."

The bald man remained silent. The man with grey hair flicked his cigarette and let the ashes fall on the white carpet floor.

"So? Any ideas?"

The bald man shook his head.

"You don't know what it really is? You need to open your mind, you lack imagination man. Maybe it's cause you're an accountant and you work with numbers all day. Anyway I'll tell you what it is. This right here is not just a gun, it's a gift. That's right, a gift. A token of my generosity."

The man with grey hair inhaled from his cigarette.

"I know this must sound crazy to you but I'm gonna explain why it's the most valuable gift for you right now. This gun is loaded you know, I removed the clip but there's still a bullet in the chamber. Here, let me show you."

The man with grey hair picked up the gun, pulled back the slide to reveal the bullet in the chamber then locked the slide back into place and put the gun down.

"See? Now I'm sure you've realized that you're in a bad situation and it's only gonna get worse, I'm not gonna lie to you. I mean, you know my boss, you know how he deals with that kind of situations. It's not gonna be pretty, we're gonna have to torture your wife and kids man."

The bald man gasped and closed his eyes.

"And the worst thing is he wants me to make you watch."

The bald man brought his hands to his face and began shaking.

The man with grey hair imperturbably took another puff on his cigarette.

The bald man started sobbing.

"Please, I swear I'll have the money in one month, just give me one more month!"

The man with grey hair quickly raised a hand up in the air.

"Nah you don't get it man, it's not about the money anymore, it's useless to try to negotiate now. I'm just telling you what's gonna happen and there's nothing you can do to change it…unless you use my gift."

The bald man choked back his tears and looked at the gun.

"What do you mean?"

"Well it's simple. You just pick it up, put it to your temple and bang!"

The man with grey hair made a gun trigger gesture to his head.

The bald man stared at him blankly.

"Of course I could kill you myself but I wanna give you the option of going out on your own terms because I would like to have that option if I were in your shoes. Trust me, you don't wanna know what we're gonna do to your wife and kids. We can't kill them quickly, the boss wants them to die slowly, no gunshot wounds on the bodies. He wants to send a message, you know how it is. I don't like to do that shit, I've been in this business for years and I still don't have the stomach for it, that's the kind of shit that keeps me up at night you know what I mean? But I have to do what I have to do to make a living."

The bald man gazed down at the gun again.

"You take your own life, I'll tell my boss I made you watch while we butchered your family and everybody wins. But don't forget, there's only one bullet in the gun so it would be really stupid for you to try to shoot one of us. You wouldn't accomplish anything except making us mad so I wouldn't advise it. No, the best thing for you to do is to off yourself quickly and that's the end of all your problems."

The man with grey hair pulled up his sleeve and looked at his watch.

"I'll give you five minutes to decide."

The bald man's gaze now shifted back and forth between the man with grey hair and the gun. It then fixed on the gun for a long moment and he started sobbing again.

"Let me see my family one last time. Please let me say goodbye to my family."

The man with grey hair slowly shook his head.

"Can't let you do that. It would make things more complicated."

"Please, they're just in the next room. Please let me talk to them, I'm begging you!"

The man with grey hair slightly raised his voice.

"I told you I can't let you do that. If you see them one last time it's gonna make you hesitate. What do you wanna tell them anyway? 'Goodbye, daddy's gonna kill himself'? Come on, it would make everything worse. Right now they don't know what's gonna happen to them, they still got hope that everything's gonna be alright. Don't take that away from them."

The bald man broke down in tears.

"I'm tellin' you, it's better for everybody if you just do it right here and right now"

The man with grey hair looked at his watch again.

"You got three minutes left."

The bald man was now shaking and crying uncontrollably. He put his hands over his face and rested his head on his knees. After a moment, he went still and raised his head before wiping his tears.

"Ok I…I'll do it."

The man with grey hair inhaled from his cigarette again and slowly exhaled the smoke from one side of his mouth while nodding.

"Good decision. That's the best option for you right now."

The bald man picked up the gun slowly, put it to his temple and started breathing heavily. He then closed his eyes with a painful expression on his face and tilted his head slightly to the side as if bracing himself for a blow. His hand couldn't stop trembling until he finally pulled the trigger. A small clicking noise was heard and nothing happened. The bald man opened his eyes and the man with grey hair, along with his henchmen burst out in laughter. The man with grey hair looked at the man standing on his right.

"Did you see that shit Bobby? That was the best fucking part of my day! Look at him!"

The bald man looked at them in bewilderment.

"He has no idea what's going on right now. Oh man it cracks me up every fucking time!"

"What…what's going on?"

The men laughed even harder.

"Man you're hilarious! I'm really gonna miss you."

The man with grey hair went into his jacket pocket and pulled out a small cylinder-shaped object.

"You know what this is? It's called a firing pin. Without it, a gun doesn't work. See the whole time you thought you were in control of your life and death but it was all bullshit. I love to do that. You know why? Because I love to see people's faces when they pull the trigger and they realize they don't have any control, they can't decide when and how they will die. There's no way out, the nightmare has just begun and you're gonna stay with us til the end. Oh boy I love that shit. I mean I love physical torture don't get me wrong, of course I was lying about 'not having the stomach for it' I love it to death, that's why I volunteer for this kind of jobs but psychological torture is the best, nothing else comes close. Physical torture is just the icing on the cake for me."

The bald man was now staring with empty eyes. He was neiter blinking nor moving.

"Now I'm gonna finish this cigarette then we're gonna bring you to the next room to reunite you with your family and we're all gonna have some fun!"

The man with grey hair puffed on his cigarette some more and continued laughing with his crew.


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