Another sequel I'm afraid. This is from Huedogg's Second Chances. I imagined a different revenge. It was supposed to be a simple revenge tale. How stupid of me! The story goes where it takes me.
Let me take a moment to thank Huedogg and everyone else who is brave enough to allow someone else to play in their sandbox. My writing is easy enough to do. It's mere second guessing. The creative spark is to come up with the original story in the first place.
The beginning two paragraphs of the story were borrowed from Huedogg's work.
Thus begins a synopsis:
My name is Wallace Banks. I used to be married to a wonderful woman named Marion. We lived happily as man and wife for 24 years, or so I thought. It turns out that it was only 21 years. She decided one day to call the whole thing off. It seems that she found a playmate named James Paxon and they had been 'falling in love' for three years...with a hot side of sex, of course.
I'm an adult male. If the bitch didn't want to stay with me, then fuck her. It hurt. God it hurt. But shit happened.
The betrayal really started to bite into me when I found out that my three kids, Jason, Michael and Macy, all knew about the affair and their mother's plans to dump me. They didn't 'want to be in the middle of it' so they left me ignorant and blind. Effectively, they took their mother's side.
Bitter doesn't even begin to describe how I felt. But I bought a boat and went sailing. Occasionally I did some charter work but for the most part, I piddled around.
This went on for seven years. Then my daughter Macy called. Her mom needed a favor. She had a new little girl named Karen and wanted me to be tested to see if I could be a match for her kidneys.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand the implications of that, and my sons, having no faith in my mental abilities, came and outlined that, yes, my wife had been pregnant and I was the father when she left. I was ashamed to know them because they knew that too. What do you do when you have something like that dumped on you?
Me? I decided to take a trip to Bermuda...
I was preparing to leave when Marion showed up. I had pulled anchor and I was floating away from the pier when she ran and jumped aboard. The boat was about 7 feet from the pier when I turned off the engines. I was about to toss her ass over board when a little girl walked up to the pier. She was yelling for her mom.
I told Marion to get the fuck off my boat. Marion pulled out a pair of handcuffs and locked herself to a mooring point. "Wallace, I know you hate me right now but she needs your help. Karen will die without a kidney. Please do not hurt her because of what I did. I know you're mad but you're a bigger man than that."
I stared at her a moment and then I laughed at her. "NOW you have faith in me? A good man when you want something, just not good enough to stay with."
"Mommy!" the child screamed from the dock.
"It's okay honey!" Marion screamed back. "Mommy's fixing things."
I felt a dark laugh well up from deep within me and pushed the throttle of my boat forward again.
"Wallace! What are you doing?"
"I'm going to Bermuda. I planned to stop at St. Thomas first. Thanks for keeping me company. I see you packed light."
"But what about Karen?"
"Who exactly is that, Marion? I don't know a Karen. I never met a Karen. I never got to hold her bike or kiss her good night."
"She's your DAUGHTER!"
"Funny, I don't recognize her. Because I remember my kids since I was there to raise them...granted, not very well if how they turned out is any indication. I guess I'll put that on you."
"What do you want?"
At this point, we had gotten into the channel and were heading out to open sea. I saw that several figures had joined the little girl. While I was too far for details, I guessed they were my former family. I waved.
"Wallace, you need to turn back!"
I turned on my Android and spent a few minutes booting up the recorder ap. Obviously I hadn't bothered to read the manual to do such a useless function, so it took me a few minutes. While I was doing this, Marion was going on in the background.
"Wallace! Are you even listening to me?"
I think I had finally booted the darned thing up. "Not really. Could you repeat it?"
"Wallace, we need to talk about saving Karen's life. Couldn't you see her stagger to the end of the pier?"
"Marion, unlock yourself and get the fuck off my boat." Granted, we were almost two miles from the quay at this point, but I was saying it pro forma.
She just smiled at me. "We can't do that. Jason has the only key and he's back at the dock. So you have a choice of going back and helping my daughter or..."
"I like 'or'." I was now past the point and opened the throttle to wake speeds.
Honestly, I was in a quandary. On the one hand, I really wanted the bitch off my boat. But I really didn't see any need to get guilted and pressured by a bunch of faithless curs who had not only abandoned me, but essentially forced me out of their lives totally. If I chopped her hand off, I'd probably get in trouble and it might stain my deck. Or I could chop the mooring point free, which would damage the deck. I didn't like either option particularly much and I certainly didn't think she was worth the $1500 dollars for a life raft. She continued to talk to me, so I was still in the midst of reevaluating what my peace and quiet was worth lifeboat-wise when my reverie was cut short by the damned Coast Guard.
Being a basically law abiding sort, I heaved to. Do I need to mention that they had a chaingun on their bow?
They sent a zodiac raft over full of a bunch of humorless looking fellows in uniform. I put the Android in my little stowage bin in the deck house under a few charts. They piled onto my ship without asking.
"What's going on here?" The fellow in charge asked.
"Thank god you've arrived!" That bitch said. "He's kidnapping me!" She rattled her cuff at them.
"Sir, is this true?"
"Well, I'm pretty glad you're here too. If we can just figure out a way to get her off my boat, you can take her with you. And no, I didn't kidnap her."
"Sir, it would be much easier if you just gave us the keys and told us what was going on."
"I don't have the keys. This crazy bitch jumped on my boat and handcuffed her...self...to..." I looked at the expressions on their faces and ran my explanation through my own BS detector. Wordlessly, I turned around and offered my wrists. Do you know how much cuffs sting when they slap them on? Guys who join Boarding Teams live for this shit, just like SWAT guys. I think one of them came in his BDUs. I was lucky they didn't face plant me on the deck. As a kidnapper, I was a celebrity! I did, however, insist they search me for the keys to establish that point.
My humiliation wasn't complete for the day, however. That bastard of a Boatswain's Mate in charge had one of the men take a screwdriver and release the bitch by unscrewing the mooring point from the deck. Why didn't I think of that?
She sat there smirking at me. "Now you have to come back."
"You're going to regret this." I said. Not original, but I was feeling rather shitty at the time.
There were a lot of questions, but I lawyered up and was taken into custody. Arraignment was going to follow reasonably quickly when I got an expected visitor.
"Look, let's put this all behind us. Just donate your kidney and we can go about our lives. You'll have done a wonderful, huge and heroic thing. My daughter will be alive and we...well, maybe we can look at this as a bonding moment. I know I...we treated you rather shitty. Maybe..." Marion licked her lips and squeezed her husband's hand. "maybe we could invite you over for Christmas?" She glanced at him nervously. He nodded condescendingly.
It was good to see that one of my fucking organs suddenly made me something less than a persona non grata. Maybe if I gave them my testicles, they'd invite me to Thanksgiving as well.
"How about this? We wait till my trial. Know how long that is going to take? No judge on Earth is going to make me give up an organ while I'm incarcerated. Have a really nice night. That is if I don't just plead guilty for a lesser charge. I wonder if I'll get seven years?"
Both of them blanched and were hammering on the glass partition as I turned and walked away.
Oddly, I had a lawyer pretty darned quick.
"Hello Mr. Banks. I'm Mathew Hughes. I will be representing you."
"Oh...are you a public defender?"
"Noooo...Mr. and Mrs. Paxon are paying for my services."
"Yes, but are you my attorney or their attorney?"
"You raise a thorny issue."
"Not really. If you are my attorney, I'd like a notarized letter that you represent ME. I'm also not accepting your representation unless you are prepaid a very large retainer by those assholes. I am not taking you on and then having you quit because they suddenly don't want to finance this."
He considered this for a very short time. "That...works. It is a very awkward situation they put me in and that might clear up the ethics handily." Why did I think that the prospect of a large retainer had just as much weight as his ethics? Cynical of me, I know.
"You'll see the papers tomorrow."
The night before I was going to be released on bail (nope, I didn't pay a dime),I was in my cell, thinking very carefully about who I was and what kind of man I wanted to be. Was I the kind of person who could callously walk away while someone was drowning? I didn't like to think so. But when it came to my family...ex-family, the hate seemed to override my morality. Marion was correct in that regard.
But by the same token, obviously my family was the kind to abandon someone. I had been drowning and they all walked away. Well, not drowning. I was still breathing. I could find some happiness. Somehow, I'd just lacked the ability so far.
And I know that was a weak point in my character. They would hammer me and hammer me about doing the right thing and I had no defense. Was a rather innocuous medical procedure worth my daughter's life? I quickly backed up. No...not my daughter. I was, at best, a cup of sperm bought at a sperm bank as far as my connections to her were concerned.
Briefly, I toyed at somehow forcing an interaction. She WAS technically blood of my blood. I could insist on visitation rights...
I quickly dismissed that. If I could find a judge who would go with that, she's still be living in that poisonous environment and she'd resent me.
What about taking her from that nest of vipers? I could adopt her. Take her touring the world with me. It would certainly be in her best interests. I started to consider the logistics. There was that tiny cabin next to the master. I could clean out some of my memorabilia, and...I started thinking life jackets, cooking for two, not being able to walk around in my underwear. What if she fell overboard? She was a curious girl, I was betting. What if I was distracted? How about school? Was I going to teach her? Could I homeschool from a boat? That would take up a lot of my time; time I was currently enjoying by fishing and doing other things.
Then there was the prospects of friends. How could she make friends on a boat? No...the boat would have to go. Then I'd be...a fucking single dad with a girl torn from the bosom of her family. If someone did that to me, I'd certainly be resentful. I wasn't rich enough to be able to bribe her more effectively then that asshole Marion married. Living on a boat would pall quickly for a little girl.
I sighed. I would need to think more on this.
I was leaving with my lawyer when they ambushed me outside the Federal holding facility. "Wallace, we have to talk!" Mr. Hughes left my side and returned into the facility.
"Talk? I have to worry about a federal offense. I'm not supposed to be anywhere NEAR you, since I alledgedly 'kidnapped' you. The FBI's involved. You know that's on my record now."
She flushed. Jason and Macy were with her. "Dad..."
"I told you before, you gave up the right to call me 'Dad' a long time ago."
"Fine...D...Mr. Banks. Karen is doing worse. She's on dialysis. You have to help her NOW." Jason said.
"I HAVE to go to court. I have to pay taxes. I may even have to die...by the way, just so you know, I tore up my organ donor card and had an amendment added to my will that I am to be cremated intact without harvesting my organs...just in case." All three of them looked horrified but with a twinge of guilt when I said this. People were as moral as they could be...but desperate times made them do desperate things.
"How could you think we'd do something like that?" Macy asked.
"History? You've picked sides before and I know who you chose."
Marion decided to put on the serious adult cap. "Look...there is a lot of bad history between...between all of us. I treated you badly. Okay? I'm sorry! There. I will regret what I did to my dying day. But it's done. SHE didn't do anything to you. So we all need to act like adults about all this and do what's best for Karen."
"You know, when someone generally brings up the term 'let's all act like adults about this', what they really mean is 'please ignore all the shit I did to you.' " She opened her mouth, but I motioned her to stop. Mr. Hughes had come back out with a pair of officers.
"Madam. I'm afraid I have to put you under arrest," one of the officers said.
"What? Why?" She looked at me, lost "Wallace? What's going on?"
"I believe the formal charge is 'making a false statement to law enforcement. Maybe they'll give you visitation to see Karen occasionally..." Mr. Hughes had been instrumental in getting my evidence into the right hands. I needed to rattle her cage.
Jason started to shout at the officers and it looked like a fist fight might break out at any minute. Unfortunately, Macy was able to calm him down as Mr. Hughes took me to my motel.
It was just my luck that I met them in the hospital. An attractive nurse was fawning over me, which was rather nice considering the last seven years. That damned mermaid still hadn't shown up.
"Thank you ever so much for your generosity," she gushed.
Macy and Marion just gawked at me. Then smiles broke out on both of them and they started running at me. I started and quickly ducked behind the nurse.
"Mrs. Paxon. Ms. Banks! How ARE you?" the nursette gushed. "Mr. Banks..." she paused a moment. "Um...Mr. Banks here just put himself on the kidney registry." She looked questions at my daughter and me. "Are you related or is it just some coincidence?"
"Yes." Macy said at the same time I said "No." Macy's smile was officially gone. The nurse blinked.
"Well...I'll just finish the paperwork," she said awkwardly and hurried away.
"This is a magnanimous gesture you're making," Marion fawned , not detecting the subtext. She was a desperate mother; irrational. "I'll make sure that everyone knows exactly how big a man you are."
Macy whimpered. She'd caught my expression.
"Not really. It seems that because of moral blackmail, I'm going to lose a kidney no matter what. Not if I want to be able to look in a mirror. So I have to save SOMEONE'S life."
"And you can! You WILL!"
"What makes you think it's going to be Karen?" I said bluntly.
"What? But you'll be a match. I know you will!"
"Yes, but there might be others who are ALSO a match."
"But why would you help strange...?" She clamped her mouth shut and her eyes narrowed.
"Because strangers might actually be grateful. Strangers might actually fucking appreciate me rescuing some loved one's life! Not think it's their due because of time served. It would be poetic justice if some other little girl could use my kidney. Personally, I'd prefer a dad. A nice hardworking, blue collar dad with a family who appreciated having him around. I'd like to rescue a family like that." Macy covered her mouth and ran off.
"Why are you being like this? When did you turn into an asshole? I thought I knew you."
"You know what? You cheated on me for three years, ambushed me with a divorce, turned my kids against me...and I just walked away. Of course I was angry, but I WALKED AWAY! YOU dragged me back into your life. YOU keep making your problems my problems. YOU got me arrested. YOU gave me up. YOU took me away from my daughter. So now YOU don't get to say anything about who I am and what I've become. You want me to fix things? Fine! Have the Paxon clan show up day after tomorrow morning at 8 sharp. All of them. Anyone's missing, and I walk. Make sure that you get the releases signed so if we come to an arrangement, you don't need to wait for this to happen." I pulled an envelope from my pocket. "Macy has a doctor appointment today. She needs to be there. It's a personal letter."
"What games are you...?" she started.
"You'll see day after tomorrow." I turned and walked away.
I sat at the conference table, my stomach rumbling. Mr. Hughes was there sitting next to the notary. I thought about using a video camera, but reconsidered at the last moment and at the advice of my counsel.
We'd heard from the DA that the charges on Marion and me had both been dropped and we were warned that we shouldn't involve the criminal justice system in our domestic difficulties, which I found odd since I was the victim here. Marion had been put on notice.
The sorry lot of them came in: James Paxon, now getting over 40. Why he married my wife, I'll never know. Marion, that bitch. The two sat together and held hands across from me. Mike came in. I'm surprised he wasn't deployed somewhere. Maybe he was off on emergency family leave. His hair was cut high and tight as befitted a naval aviator. Jason was also there. Last and late, Macy slunk in, not looking at me.
"I want you to know right off the bat that the doctors have found not one, but two matches for my kidney. There is one very good match...and one which is also pretty good." I lied. I let that sink in for a moment. "They are really annoyed that I insist on controlling who gets my kidney. They feel that it should be strictly a medical decision. But better that it give someone else even a good chance."
"Why are you being such a hard ass, Wallace?" James Paxon said.
"First, you can call me Mr. Banks and I have nothing to say to you right now. All of you want me to take a piece of myself out of me and give it to a stranger. You're trying to blackmail me into making a sacrifice. Well, you started the ball rolling and SOMEONE is getting a kidney. But it doesn't have to be your little sister. So if you are going to tell me to do the right thing and rescue a life...I am. Since I am on board, willing to sacrifice for a stranger, now it's your turn."
"Is this about money?" Paxon asked.
"Money? Just shut up and let family...oops, FORMER family talk." I couldn't believe this guy.
"First off, I want a divorce." At their expositions of distress, I held up my hand. "I don't mean from the slut there. I mean from you three."
"What do you mean 'divorce'?" Mike said.
"Even though there is no legal rite for this, you all are incredible disappointments to me. You haven't called or written or done anything until, once again, you needed something. Okay. I could live with that before. But now you've run me down again and I want out. There is one last thing all three of you have that I want back."
"My name. She's a Paxon now." I said, pointing to my ex-wife. "I want all three of you to change your names to something else. " Hughes started to pass out the forms. "Honestly, I don't care what it is, though I suspect it will be Paxon. If I might make a suggestion, Jason, I think that 'Arnold' would make a dandy last name for you." Jason's middle name was Benedict.