Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)
- TITLE: The Choice
By dub W
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“Good thing you weren’t the one they are investigating; we’d still be there.”
“I was beginning to wonder.”
“I’ll give you a ride,” Mattie said. “Cabs are tough down here this time of night.”
Streetlights sparkled in the mist and fog. Nan and Mattie inched their way along the sidewalk, seemingly walking in the opposite direction of a crowd of tourists. Eventually, they reached the parking garage where Mattie had parked her car.
“Plans for the weekend?” Mattie pressed the automatic key lock on her key chain. The dome light popped on and the doors clicked open.
“Church with Rosa. Then probably work at the Bagatelle; we're moving back to town from the plant.”
They drove in silence out of the parking lot. Once they were clear of pedestrian traffic Mattie turned down the radio. “You know you have to surrender the disc to the police. I am going to check the books, but I don’t think the intellectual property contained on that disc is protected by the first amendment, and there certainly is no reporter privilege.”
“They said they would get a warrant anyway, if I didn’t bring the disc in.” Nan opened her purse for a tissue.
“I think it would look better for the paper if you simply delivered the disc.”
“And then William dies.” Nan wiped her eyes. “Will the police protect my sister, my parents, and William’s parents?”
“I don’t know.” Mattie stared down the street. “If you fail to deliver the disc or turn it over, you will be in violation of the warrant – that is to say you will be guilty of hiding evidence. Plus, since the disc is on company property, the newspaper stands some criminal liability too, and probably seven or eight more civil charges.” Mattie turned the car onto Ramparts Street. “Give the police the disc now and save us a world of trouble. Nobody has to know.”
“But, if the guys holding William know I have involved the police, they will kill him for sure. And, I would be putting a lot of other people in danger.”
Finally, Mattie and Nan pulled in front of the Bagatelle building. Mattie looked at the nearly empty parking lot. “No guard.”
“I thought Lee’s security force was going to start tonight.”
“You want me to wait for you?”
“Naw, I’m going to run over to the employee entrance: twenty five steps and a cloud of dust.”
“Okay, but Nan.” Mattie leaned over and touched Nan’s arm. “Consider what we talked about.”
“I’ll pray on it.”
Nan hopped out of the car and walked briskly up to the employee entrance, opened the door and waved at Mattie.
Mattie honked the car horn, then pulled down the street.
Nan turned to enter the building when the door suddenly slammed shut and a long gloved hand passed over her mouth.
She started to struggle but a large arm encircled her waist. And then, someone grabbed her hands and she felt herself dragged around the corner of the building.
“Where’re the discs?” The voice was gravelly and sounded to Nan like a heavy smoker’s.
She tried to speak - muffled, “I don’t have them.”
“You been talk’n to police. Which one of your relatives do you want to die?”
“Nan’s heart sank. “I’ll get the discs and bring them to you tonight.”
“Don’t try anything. We are watching all the time. “ The man holding onto her laughed. “Like, your sister is having dinner right now at a diner on 42nd Street, in New York. If you are interested in her having breakfast, then bring the discs to us. We’ll call you. No police, no other copies. We are watching.”
A garbage bag was suddenly pulled down over her head and arms and the ties pulled tightly. Nan felt helpless, then a big hand pushed her down to her knees.
Oh Jesus, here I am on my knees. If this is my last breath I ask forgiveness for those who have done this to me, as well as my own…her prayer was cut short with the roar of two motorcycles.
Nan struggled to get out of the bag. “I’ve gotta get to the plant and get the discs.”
She tossed the bag aside and ran to her car. “Lord forgive me.”
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