The Game We Play- A Short Story

It’s the year 2018

The court room has no more than twelve participants out in the stands. Small chatters run rampant as the jury mulls over their decision. Meanwhile, located to the left of the room sits the defendant with his lawyer. A middle aged man, skinny in stature with pale skin and short spiky hair. Sporting formal attire, the defendant sits with his right leg crossed over to his left.  Every so often, he turns around and gazes at another young man sitting in the crowd. His expression towards the young man is nothing short of disappointment. To the right sits the plaintiff with enough physical bruises that would cause the faintest of hearts to skip a few beats. A swollen upper lip and lower lip, a black eye accompanied by small patches of unhealed bruises all over.

“Shall the defendant and plaintiff please rise.” announces the bailiff. 

Both parties did as instructed.

“Members of the Jury, have you reached a verdict?” asks the District Judge. The Jury spokesman stands up and replies: “Yes, your honor. We have. Your honor, the members of this jury find the defendant GUILTY!”. Upon hearing that statement, lips were sealed and salivas were swallowed all around the room. 

The judge in turn takes very little time and announces: “Mr. Kettleman. You were found guilty on a charge of 3rd degree aggravated assault. You will be sentenced to one year with possibility of early parole if said parole conditions are met.” After hammering down his final verdict, the judge proceeds to adjourn the court. 

Without a fuss, Mr. Kettleman accepts his faith and allows himself to be escorted out of the courtroom. Halfway through the aisle, he once again stares at the young man sitting in the crowd. “You’re gonna be alright.” the young man sympathetically expresses to Mr. Kettleman. Deep down however; that sympathy might have been masked to hide something veritably dark. 

Mr. Kettleman does not speak and makes his exit while mentally preparing for his one year sentence. 

Later that night, somewhere deep inside an underground facility 

The District Judge sits at a round table in the company of others in his domain and many others with pay grades higher than the mind dares to count. Their weekly meeting carries on as usual until its abruptly interrupted by a messenger. “ Sir, someone’s here to see you.” the messenger relays to the District Judge. A bit flustered by the interruption, the District Judge politely excuses himself off the table. “Gentlemen, will you excuse me.” announces the Judge. He makes his way out of the securely guarded double doors. He heads down the hallway and takes the elevator up to the garage. There, a man awaits him. The Judge greets him and says: “What do you have for me?”

The man in turn replies as he hands the Judge a yellow sealed rectangular envelope: “From Mr. Kettleman. $250,000 in advance for said conditions. An additional $250,000 will be delivered to you upon Mr. Kettleman’s release.” 

“Inform your client that from now on, the advances have doubled.” says the District Judge as he returns to the elevator.

Half a year later

Zan, a tall and light skinned young adult walks out of his vehicle. Lacking confidence due to a deformity in his eyes, his unsteady hand wobbles a bit as he uses the key to lock the doors to his vehicle. Out in an abandoned parking lot, Zan stands near his car as he awaits for his long anticipated meeting with one of the biggest names in his town. A meeting with The Pin! Following a few minutes, a luxurious white Bentley with tinted windows slowly drives into the lot. Zan immediately fixes his posture upright and takes in a deep breath. The white Bentley comes to a full stop, parked parallel to Zan’s outdated and worn out red Buick. The driver’s door to the Bentley springs open and a man steps out. Obesed and quite short, the man propels himself out of the vehicle onto his two feet.

“Mr. Pin. How are you?” greets Zan as he analyzes the lack of breathing room left by Mr. Pin’s tight blue suit. 

“Zan! My son. Good to see you!” excitingly replies Mr. Pin as he walks towards Zan with open arms. Mr. Pin then pauses and takes a quick look at Zan. Ensuing a quick warm manly hug, Mr. Pin says: “Come, come meet my family. My daughter is so excited to see you.” 

Mr. Pin walks to the passenger seat and opens the front door. A woman walks out of the passenger seat. A bit older she is with wrinkles to show but not enough to come to the conclusion that she was beyond fifty. The shining jewels around her neck and ears definitely complemented her light blue outfit. “This is my wife.” points out Mr. Pin. With nothing else to say, not even a few words of compliment or encouragement, he resumes his tour and proceeds to open the back passenger door.  Out came an invigorating and stunning young woman. The white dress and pearls around her neck has Zan jaw drop in utter suspense. Noticing his reaction, Mr. Pin carries on and gently grabs her by the elbow. Unexpectedly, he greets his daughter with a light and quick passionate kiss to the lip. Zan does not find any kind of joy in seeing such an interaction between Mr. Pin and his daughter. Feeling belittled, he suddenly becomes tense. 

Mr. Pin walks the young woman over and says: “Zan. Meet my daughter, Angel! She’s my precious jewel. I trust that you will treat her like the rare diamond that she is. This merger is progress. Not just for you both, but for both of our families. And if you ever need anything, I mean anything, you know where to find me.” 

“Of course.” replies Zan. 

“By the way, how’s your father?” asks Mr. Pin.

“Never been better.” replies Zan.

“Tell him we’ll be seeing each other soon. We’ve got lots to discuss. Great things are on the horizon. Great things! I send him my regards.” adds Mr. Pin as he returns to his white Bentley and dries off leaving his daughter in the company of Zan. 

One month later

Blood spills all over. It continuously drips as it finds its way between the cracks of the ceramic floor.  

Mr. Kettleman stands firmly over his victim with a bat at hand. He’s breath seems heavy and his heart beats at an abnormal rate. He swings once more with enough force to break any firm bones. Realizing he might have pushed the limits with his punishment, he takes a step back and swings the bat to the farthest corner of the room. “I will no longer take the blame or serve anymore jail sentences for your reckless behavior. From now on, you will own responsibility for all of your hideous messes. Now get up!” Mr. Kettleman demands.

The victim does not respond. Mr. Kettleman demands once more: “ Dammit! Get up! Get up Zan!”

Not a sound. 

“Zan! This isn’t the time for your foolishness.” adds Mr. Kettleman. He leans over to grab his son and realizes he had just created his worst nightmare. He immediately breaks down mentally. Tears swim out of his tear ducts faster than he can control them. He wipes his eyes and in the process stains his face with the blood of his son. “ZAN! ZAN! WAKE UP!” yells Mr. Kettleman. He cries and cries. “ZAN! I WAS JUST TRYING TO TEACH YOU A LESSON! GET UP!” 

Nothing Mr Kettleman had to say would bring his son back.

Two Weeks Later

Sporting formal attire, the defendant sits with his head down.  Every so often, he turns around and gazes at an empty seat in the crowd. His expression is nothing short of regret and sadness.

“Members of the Jury, have you reached a verdict?” asks the District Judge. The Jury spokesman stands up and says: “Yes, your honor. We have. Your honor, the members of this jury find the defendant GUILTY!”

The judge in turn takes very little time and announces: “Mr. Kettleman. You were found guilty on one charge of 3rd degree aggravated assault and first degree murder. You will be sentenced to life in prison without parole.” After hammering down his final verdict, the judge proceeds to adjourn the court.

Somewhere out in the 50th floor of a penthouse

“Was it all worth it?” asks the woman as she watches the news unfold detailing Mr. Kettleman’s trial.

“Yes it was. I don’t blame you for being blind to the bigger picture. You’re so small minded.” answers Mr. Pin as he sits as his large glass desk overlooking the city behind him. 

“The boy beat our daughter pin! Angel is now paralyzed from the waist down. How could you say it was worth it? How could you say such a thing!” the woman adds before breaking into tears.

Mr. Pin stands up from his leather chair, walks over to the glass window, places both hands in his pockets and expresses: “ With one trojan horse, I was able to take his entire kingdom.” Mr. Pin pauses, takes a deep breath, smiles and ends with: “Now I own 75% of downtown. It’s the game we play. The game we play.”



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s