Money. That was what it was all about. Money kept the rich happy and the poor hoping. It stopped (and started) wars and kept the world spinning. At least, that was how it was in
the eyes of Tyler Pirch.
Oh, how it felt to hold a hundred dollar bill in your hand. How it felt to know that pay day was just around the corner. Of course, for Tyler, pay day hadn't come for a long time, and neither had he held so much as a twenty dollar bill in weeks.
College had been a joke, even his parents had known that. The broad shouldered brute of a son they had raised had barely even managed high school. But, they paid for it regardless, and Tyler had gotten a degree in business, though if you'd asked him what for he would have given you a blank expression. He wasn't stupid, but he wasn't all that bright either.
Jobs were like passing fish in a river for Ty. He lived wherever he could, even in a cardboard box once. His parents weren't much help, seeing as his dad was now dead and his mom was in rehab. Just another poor sob on the streets. However, this poor sob did love money; it was one of his odd quirks. It wasn't so much what he did with it, but the pure knowledge that he now had just enough power to buy something and make it his own.
This was the main reason he had agreed when asked to assist in a job that involved a different kind of work. Kidnapping, and ransom. The men setting it up apparently needed Tyler to act as a sort of bodyguard in case something went wrong. He'd accepted almost immediately after they'd told him what his pay was. Sixteen thousand. Sixteen thousand dollars. It was enough to make him forgot the fact he had met these men in an alley, and that he was going to be capturing a kid.
A kid named Jeffery Thornton to be exact. His parents were owners of a well-known kitchen appliance industry, and had quite a lot of money on hand. The boy was seven, though bright for his age as some of his teachers claimed. Ty had felt a little guilty when he learned how old the kid was, but by then it was already too late.
The operation was simple. Convince the kid to get close enough to the van, grab him, take him back to the Big Boss, and get paid. The Boss would take care of the rest. No need for any screw ups.
"We're not going to hurt him, are we?" Tyler had asked while they waited for Jeffery's elementary school to let out. He had been answered by a chorus of cruel laughter. Ty had swallowed, scratching his chin as the breeze ruffled his black hair a little. The money. He tried to comfort himself. It's all about the money.
It was a cool, fall day. Despite the ever approaching winter, the air was pleasant and didn't hold the bitter frost that was waiting just around the corner. The sky was a clear, crisp blue above the auburn leafed trees. The grass still held some amount of green, though most of it was hiding under the fallen leaves. Ty could smell the freshly carved pumpkins that sat in the front of the school just from where he was, and he wondered briefly how far away Halloween was.
The dark van he was waiting in was parked near enough to the school for them to see, but far away enough for it to not seem suspicious. The inside of the van, Tyler observed with a wrinkled nose, was covered in trash and old, rotting food. He longed to step outside, but it was far to dangerous. So, he had contented himself with rolling down the window instead.
"What the fuck are they waiting for?" The voice made Ty jump a little. It was Sean, the thin but aggressive man who had been picked alongside Ty.
"Be patient. It's almost time." The calm, serene voice in the front seat was Dale, a quiet man who could have been considered the brains of the group, if it weren't for Curtis, who was in the passenger seat.
Curtis scared Tyler. If you had looked from one to the other, you might have found this odd, seeing as Ty looked like he had at least one gorilla relative, while Curtis was a small and fragile red head. Curt was also, however, a genius. A mad genius. Sometimes Ty could hear him speaking to himself, and though he didn't always understand what he was saying, the tone of Curt's voice was enough to terrify him.
"It's the waiting that's the fun part." That was Curtis. He looked back over the seat and smiled, his blue eyes seeming to glow a little. Sean frowned and said nothing. The big man next to him shuddered and looked out the open window again.
A sharp ringing sliced through the air, and Curtis got out of the van just as kids began to flood out of the school, laughing and screaming like wild monkeys. As soon as Curtis was out, Dale started the van and drove a little further down the street until they were almost completely out of view of anyone who might be looking.
Curtis disappeared into the crowd of parents and children. To Ty, he resembled a lion stalking it's prey through the tall grass. The ginger had had past experiences with jobs like this one, Dale relayed to Sean and Tyler later, and he was like a trained professional when it came to vanishing from sight. Only a few moments later, Ty spotted him again. There was no mistaking that crooked smile as he spoke to a small boy with short brown hair and a red backpack.
Whatever Curt said, it must have been convincing, because the boy began to follow him, even struggling to keep up with the man's quick pace. No one stopped to look, no one seemed interested. If anyone happened to glance upon them, they probably assumed they were father and son, despite the lack of resemblance.
They reached the van within minutes. However, just as they were a few paces away, the boy paused. The look in his eyes changed. What was that about stranger danger? But Curt grabbed him before he could give it another thought. Sean threw the sliding side door of the van open, while Dale pulled out a needle of some kind. The kid let out a single scream before he was injected with it, and knocked out cold.
Curtis passed the limp body of the kid to Tyler and Sean before climbing in himself. "Let's move it, shall we?" He grinned.
Dale put his foot on the gas and they sped away. The only witness was an old woman who blinked and turned away. Tyler's head thumped on the side of the van as they went over bumps and potholes. At that speed, they reached the high way within minutes, and Dale eased up on the vehicle, not wanting to draw attention, especially not the kind from police.
"Knocked that fucker right out." Sean looked down at the kid on the dirty floor. "What was that stuff?"
"None of your business." Dale grunted.
"Turn right, there's a place I know we can stop at." Curt had crawled inbetween the two front seats back to his place next to Dale.
"Nah, there's a perfectly good barn just a little ways up the road." Sean yawned. Tyler watched in silence, feeling that if he tried to suggest something they would only laugh at him again.
"I don't feel like sleeping in a moldy barn."
"It's not moldy! There's hay and the roof keeps the rain out. Besides, didn't you say you wanted to lay low?"
"I didn't mean that low."
This bickering went on for a few minutes, so Ty busied himself with making sure the kid's head didn't collide with anything.
"Look, we've already past your place, we might as well go to the barn. Plus, at least my idea involves food." Tyler looked up as Sean said "food", his large stomach grumbling.
Curtis narrowed his eyes. For a moment, Ty wondered whether he was simply going to kill Sean right there, until Dale spoke up.
"Both of you, shut up. I'm driving, I make the decisions. We're going to the barn." The red head whirled around, focusing his glare on the man sitting next to him now. Dale put up one of his hands in defense. "Only because it's closer and there's food. Or so Sean says."
"Oh, there's food all right." Sean grinned. Tyler looked at him, understanding now what his mother had been talking about when she'd told him to be bold, but not so bold that it got him in trouble. Curt had settled down, but the very air around him seemed to crackle with anger.
Of course, Sean would regret bringing up the barn later, and Dale would regret his choosing it, because by midnight that night, Curtis' idea would prove to be the better option. Or at least, the less fatal option.
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