tagNon-EroticJack Was Having a Very Bad Day

Jack Was Having a Very Bad Day

byBOSTONFICTIONWRITER©

Actually, for the past 34 years, since President Nixon declared a wage freeze in 1973, Jack's life and the lives of most of the middle class baby boomers began a downward spiral of misery, misfortune, and poverty. In 2000, Jack turned 60-years-old, his wife died of cancer, and the city broke ground to develop low income and section 8 housing the next street over from his house and in his neighborhood.

The mayor, the Head of the Housing Inspectors, and the Police Commissioner were indicted for accepting bribes from developers looking to cash in on the huge amounts of federal monies given to the city developers to construct low income housing. Even though the government's case clearly could prove shoddy construction and cost cutting corners, all three men were suddenly acquitted and the case dismissed for lack of evidence after tapes of recorded telephone calls went missing from the police evidence vault. The three men were inseparable best friends having grown up in the neighborhood where Jack still lives.

Now, 7-years later, his neighborhood is peppered with drug dealers, car thieves, vandals, and prostitutes. The Mayor, the Police Commissioner, and Head of the Housing Inspectors moved and now live on the other side of town in newly constructed, lavish homes. The valuation on Jack's house, once comparable to similar houses in surrounding neighborhoods is far below what it should be if accessed at a fair market value elsewhere and, now, he is unable to sell it at a price that will afford him to buy a house anywhere. Besides, no one wants to buy his house at any price. It is not safe to live in his community, anymore. Most of his neighbors fled the neighborhood but, at the time, he was dealing with the loss of his wife and, well, here he is stuck in the middle of ghetto Hell.

Fortunately, his children are grown and live elsewhere but what is happening here is happening everywhere. All the big cities are under siege from gang violence that is directly responsible for the escalation of violent crimes. The current administration is quick to point the finger at drugs but the problem is deeper than that stemming from the erosion of the family unit, terminal unemployment, lack of education, and limited opportunities for minorities to earn a livable wage. While Bush spends hundreds of billions of dollars overseas on foreigners, Americans living at home are struggling to put food on the table, pay for prescription drugs, and pay off credit card debt.

It all started with the Reagan administration when, in the name of free trade, the President and the Republican Congress allowed our companies to establish manufacturing plants in Mexico and overseas and with that went all of our high paying manufacturing jobs. Now, most of what we buy is from China. Now, when we call Dell Computer for customer support we get someone in India who barely understands the language.

It all started with the Reagan administration when he removed the interest cap that banks could legally charge on their credit cards and signed laws that his congress past allowing banks to charge late fees and over limit fees. During his reign as President, there were more corporate takeovers forcing people from their jobs, than any other period in American history. Despite our laws against monopoly, his legacy set the groundwork for this nation to have one bank, one supermarket, and one gas station, one day.

Routinely, Jack called the police whenever the criminals were outside his house doing a drug deal or arranging to hire a prostitute. The police responded to his call 3 hours later telling him that there is nothing that they can do and that drugs, traffic stops, petty larceny, stolen cars, loitering, and prostitution are all low priority crimes. His happiness, once of paramount importance, when the mayor ran for reelection, is now a low priority.

It didn't use to be like that. Back then, he remembered if there was a suspicious character in the neighborhood, the police arrived within 5 minutes of his call. No more, now that there is more serious crimes to handle, rape, violent assaults, armed robberies, and murder, the police are pushed to the maximum just trying to avoid an all out riot. After the street criminals, who loiter outside his house selling crack out in the open, broke his windows for calling the police, he does not call the police anymore. He hides in his house like all of his other neighbors who missed their chance to get out while they still could flee the city.

The last straw was when his best friend, Marty, when walking home from the corner store was beaten to death for $2.00 and the gold Bulova watch that he received when he retired from GE. Even that seemed a low priority crime, as the police did little to solve it and the killer still walks the streets free.

Now, 67-years-old and with high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and liver damage from when he started drinking again after his Elaine died, the doctor told Jack that he is in poor health. He did not want to know how much time he had and he did not want the drugs that they offered to prescribe. He wanted a clear head. Besides, he could not afford them anyway. He lost his job ten years ago. They laid him off when he asked for a leave of absence to grieve the sudden loss of his wife. He has been unable to find another job since.

The unemployment rate in the city where he lives is over 20%, probably closer to 30%, but the news reports has it as less than 10%. The statisticians who compile the figures do not count the ones who are no longer eligible to collect unemployment. They do not count the homeless who roam the streets collecting bottles and cans. They do not count the ones who stand outside his house pimping women and selling dope to kids. They do not count the ones, like him, who have given up and who are fortunate enough to have had a little saved to get by until the social security kicked in to help. They do not count the ones who work two and three part-time jobs or who work not in their field and who work at a huge reduction in pay. After going through his life savings and the little bit of life insurance money his wife left him, now, he lives on social security but that is never enough and, by the end of the month, he is out of money to buy food.

Accustomed to having his back against the wall when outnumbered and in enemy territory, Jack called upon on his days and his experience when he survived three tours of duty in special operations and reconnaissance in the Marine Corp, another lifetime ago. Then, when in combat, he knew who the enemy was. Now, within his hometown, he needed to study the landscape a bit more to uncover the real scum responsible for the demise of his beloved neighborhood. Once he began reading between the lines of the newspaper reports and talking with those of informed opinion on the street, those who were responsible left their slimy trail behind, a trail easy to find by someone who knew where to look.

He decided to take action and his plan took shape when he confiscated a stolen firearm, by breaking the arm of a street thug when he tried to mug him, belonging to, none other, the infamous Judge Joel Ambrose. The judge's name was engraved in the bottom of the pearl handled butt of the gun. Informed rumor via the street grapevine has it that the judge lost the weapon when he was partying with a couple of prostitutes. It was also known that the honorable judge, addicted to sex, was a regular client and could be bought for a price but no one could proved it with hard evidence. Jack called together his friends, Joey, Billy, Eddie, and Don.

"Thanks fellas for coming on short notice." He ushered them in the living room greeting his friends resplendent in his Marine Corp uniform from his days in Viet Nam. "Want some coffee? I just made it fresh."

"Yeah," they all said in unison and eyeing him with curiousity, except for hard of hearing Don, the complainer and the oldest one in the group.

"What time is it?"

"4pm."

"What?"

"4pm, Don."

"No coffee for me," said Don. "It keeps me awake, besides it gives me the runs."

"Don, it is only four in the afternoon."

"What?"

"Never mind."

Jack returned with the coffee.

"What's with the uniform, Sarge?" said Eddie.

"It still fits," said Jack looking down at himself and pleased with what he saw.

"Jack," said Joey. "What are you losing your marbles wearing that thing? I gave mine away to Goodwill. I couldn't wait to get rid of it."

"So, what's the occasion, Jack?" asked Bill. "Is there a parade that we don't know about?"

"I wanted to wear it again to remind myself of the sacrifices that I made when I fought in Viet Nam." He looked around the room at his friends. "Now, I'm fighting for my life here, in my own neighborhood, which is why I'm doing an all out assault. I'm taking back my neighborhood."

"What d'ya mean taking back your neighborhood," said Eddie.

"The police don't want to do nothin' to clean it up. They say it is a low priority, so I'm going do it myself. I wanted to ask your boys if you want in on it, to help me return this place to how it was before the criminals took it over."

"Jack, we're too old," said Joey. "Besides, they have guns."

Jack pulled out a .45 caliber handgun.

"Jack," said Bill, "put that thing away before you shoot someone."

"I'm not going out like Marty," said Jack. "I am tired of being a victim on my own street."

"Jack, be realistic," said Bill. "How are you, one old man, going to clean up the neighborhood when the entire police force cannot clean it up?"

"Easy, I'm going to do something that the police cannot do. I'm going to shoot them dead."

"You can't go around shooting people, Jack," said Eddie.

"People? They aren't people. They are animals. Besides, I'm a dying, old man. What are they going to do to me, if they catch me? Put me in prison for a few months until I die? The trial will last longer than my life."

"So, what's your plan, Jack, besides shooting them?" asked Bill.

"Well, I've been buying drugs." He opened his hand to show them the crack cocaine in plastic wrap. "I wanted to see where this dealer, the biggest one in the neighborhood keeps his stash." He looked around the room at his friends. "When they see me, an old man, they don't frisk me. They allow me to go right in. They don't hide nothin'. Everything, the drugs and the money, is, pretty much, out in the open."

"They are a brazen bunch," said Bill.

"They probably have protection from the cops," said Eddie.

"Yeah, that wouldn't surprise me," said Joey, "them paying off the cops to turn a blind eye."

"Then, I went across the way to that pimp who drives that shiny black Lexus with the gold wheels. I told him that I was having a party and wanted to know how much he charged for some women. He escorted me in back where they do all the business and gave me different prices for each woman telling me what their specialty was and asking me what I wanted." Jack fingered his gun. "I only want him and he's there, he's always there taking care of business."

"Jack you are crazy getting involved with this stuff," said Joey.

"So, what d'ya say? Are you going to help me?" Jack looked at his friends. "C'mon, it will be like the good old days."

"Jack," said Eddie, "the good old days are in the past."

"I live on the other side of town," said Joey. These days, I'm in bed by 9pm. My recon days are over for me."

"Me too, Jack," said Eddie. "My Sally is not in the best of health. If anything was to happen to me, she'd be alone."

"Yeah, yeah, I understand." Jack suddenly realized his once strong and take-charge friends had become feeble, old men. "Just don't call the cops on me, now that I've spilled the beans to you guys, as to what I'm going to do."

"Jack, your business is secret with us," said Eddie.

"You do what you think you have to do, Jack," said Bill.

"Take care of yourself, Jack," said Joey.

They left Jack to sort things out alone. The first order of business was to take out the big dope dealer around the corner. That night, he waited until the streets were quiet.

"Hey, old man, you back for more?"

Always, there were two armed men out front keeping watch. He knew they were packin' by the way their pants hung low and their white t-shirt billowed out in front.

"Yeah, yeah, I need to buy something for my grandson, his birthday is tomorrow."

"I wish I had a granddaddy like you who would buy me something to make me happy."

He noticed that one of the men wore a gold Bulova.

They allowed him entrance and he climbed the narrow stairway to the top floor. Two Pit Bulls greeted him barking, growling, and lunging. He recognized one of the dogs as the dog that killed that little boy last year. The police were unable to find the dog. Now, here he is.

"What you want?" The man swayed back and forth on edge looking like he had better things to do than to sell this sorry, old man a couple of rocks.

"Give me two."

When the man leaned down to retrieve a plastic bag, Jack pulled out his silencer tipped gun, Judge Ambrose's gun, and emptied one in his head. He grabbed the cash and the cache of drugs and shot both dogs on his way out.

Score: three animals dead and Jack on his way out the door.

"Hey, you got what you needed, old man?"

"Yeah," Jack flashed his gold watch, "just in time to get home to watch the news."

"Hey, man, nice watch." Both men took an interest and an intimidating step forward. "What you got there? You wanna sell that gold watch? Or, maybe, I'll just take it from you." One man put his hand to his waist band.

They were both dead before they hit the ground and Jack took back Marty's Bulova for his widow.

Score: five animals dead and Jack on his way to pay another deadly visit.

Jack found the man out front waiting for the return of his girls.

"Hey, you're the Dude asking about the party, right?"

Jack nodded.

"Well, you caught me at a bad time. I'm expectin' my ladies home soon, though. There was a big party at the hotel downtown, a fund raiser for the Mayor."

"You got a place we can talk?"

"Step inside my office," said the man opening his driver's side door and unlocking the passenger side door with his remote.

Jack shot him dead before his ass felt the softness of the leather cushion and reached in his pocket taking his fat wad of money.

Score: six animals dead and Jack on his way to visit a fund raiser at the hotel downtown.

Hiding his face from the security cameras, Jack pulled his hood over his head and entered the hotel unnoticed. He took a seat in the men's room, locked the stall door, and positioned his coat so that he could peek out to watch who entered and blocking the view of anyone trying to see in his stall.

They were all in attendance, the Mayor, the Police Commissioner, and the Head of the Building Inspectors. As if attached at the hip, they were always together watching one another's back. They sat together, drank together, talked together, and as it turned out, peed together. He knew that the way that those three drank beer, he would not have long to wait. He could not believe his luck when the three entered the bathroom together laughing and talking.

The three men standing side by side at the urinal, oblivious to Jack emerging from the stall, died peeing. For good measure and to complete the crime, Jack took their wallets and watches, and took the commissioners gun.

Score: nine animals dead and Jack on his way to pay one last visit to the judge who routinely allowed criminals out on bail, called mistrials for minor technicalities, gave out ridiculously low sentences, and failed to lock up repeat offenders. Everyone suspected that the judge was on the take but no one could prove it.

He entered the judge's house by an unlocked upstairs window and bypassing the alarmed windows and doors downstairs. Then, he called the judge's home telephone from his cell phone and hung up when his Honor answered the phone. Jack waited in the bathroom for the judge to get up to pee and he did.

Jack already had the note written and he forced the judge to sign his own suicide note before he shot the judge and left him there with the gun in his hand. As further proof that the Judge committed the crime, he also left the wallets of the Mayor, Police Commissioner, and the Head of the Building Inspectors, and the gun of the Police Commissioner.

In the suicide note, the judge confessed to shooting the drug dealer and his two cohorts, the Pit Bulls, the Pimp, the Mayor, the Police Commissioner, and the Head of the Housing Inspectors before killing himself. The note read that he could no longer live a lie and was trying to amend his evil ways by taking out his partners in crime.

Final score: ten animals dead and Jack on his way home to live and die in a safer neighborhood than when it was this morning.

Ah, if only all stories had a happy ending like this one. Unfortunately, this is fiction.

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byBOSTONFICTIONWRITER© 10 comments/ 18702 views/ 1 favorites

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