A Fool's Errand - Part 1

Arriving with a convoluted strategy in mindJimmy's orders were clear, even if the logic behind them was not. As he waited at the airport's baggage carousel he knew it was a fool's errand, but the order had come from his wife and so was not negotiable. That it seemed misguided—or even hopeless—wasn't his primary concern. He was Katrina's lieutenant, and he knew from past experience the price of disobeying her orders. Jimmy felt his sphincter contract as the memories flooded his mind, but then his luggage came into view. Plucking his suitcase from the revolving mix, he set his jaw and turned toward the exit, determined to make the mission a success. How exactly this would be accomplished wasn't clear, but as always, the thought process behind the plan belonged to someone else. His job was not to question or otherwise dissect the convoluted strategy his wife had devised; his job was simply to execute the task, then return to Baltimore as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, he wouldn't miss the humiliation. The maid's outfit he was required to wear when he vacuumed, the barked orders in public, and Katrina's refusal to allow him access to his own bank account at the supermarket—even though he was expected to pay for the groceries—were only a few of the harsh realities he wouldn't have to face for a while. It would be a vacation of sorts, or at least it seemed so from the temporarily optimistic viewpoint that so often characterizes impossible missions before they're actually under way. As Jimmy slipped into the back seat of the cab, a smile played briefly on his face as he considered a new possibility, but then the smile was gone. Too risky, he thought, as the taxi pulled away from the curb. Too much to lose. Too much to lose.

He awoke with a start. The cab driver was shouting at him, wanting to know if Jimmy was planning to ride along for the rest of the day. It would be cheaper, he suggested, to get a hotel room. Rubbing an eye with the back of his hand, Jimmy thanked the driver and told him to keep the change. The taxi's tires sprayed gravel as the driver held the accelerator to the floor, dismissing Jimmy's tip with the middle finger of his free hand. Jimmy stood for a moment, blinking in the afternoon sun. His stepdaughter appeared in the open doorway of her house and asked if he'd had a good flight. Jimmy shrugged. Then, without a word, he followed Angelique into the house and closed the door.

 

2 comments:

  1. The reverse-order of these story chapters was a lot of fun!

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  2. I had fun doing it, but I learned a thing or two about keeping track of which part goes where, especially in the middle.

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