Chuck asked us to write about a world without guns... this took me a little while to do because, well, it had me stumped!
I had been searching high and low for a piece just like this – even though the news said all of our weaponry had been collected and destroyed.
And what a sweet piece it was!
I ran my hands over its contours – its beautiful shape and feel, and how it felt in my hands was perfect!
No, it was ... meant to be.
It was mine!
I looked up at the dealer, “How much for it?”
“Hey dude, there’s other on offer here, take your time.” He swept his hand over the table in front of him in the dim light of his basement, “I’m not gonna be here tomorrow.”
“Can I pick more than one?”
“If you have the dosh you can have as many pieces as you want.” He chuckled.
Holding the one I loved so much closer to me, I perused the make-shift table of others on offer. I didn’t want to let this one out of my sight, just in case it would vanish if I put it down, “Well, we haven’t discussed prices yet.”
“The nice piece you have in your hot little hands there, sonny-boy, is a neat round sum of $50. But there’s bigger ones which have multiple uses – unlike that one you have in your hands.” He turned and picked up a massive one which was leaning against the wall with a strap attached to it, “You have this whopper to take some bastard out with; and you can bet your bottom dollar nobody will be messing with you if you bring out this bad boy!”
I hesitated, “Well, I don’t want to be caught with something like that on me... not by the police or the government. I want to have something small enough to get away with; yet big enough to scare the shit out of the assholes out there.”
The dude shrugged, “Well, okay... the piece you have there is good for everyday use. But may I interest you in having something for around the house?”
“Okay... what have you got?”
He opened an old, wooden cigar box and showed me a pair of nicely-cared for pieces, “These are perfect for home protection... I haven’t had these very long and am prepared to sell them to you – with that one there – for $1000. This box comes with its own lock and ammo.”
I didn’t hesitate this time around. Pulling out my wallet, I took out one of the money clips I had there with my dosh in $1000 sections. The first one came out, I unclipped it and handed the money over as he handed to box over with a key which he slotted into the lock, turned it and the box unlocked. On top of the box he put gave me another two boxes of ammo and wished me a good day.
Before leaving, I slotted my single piece into my empty shoulder holster, where my service pistol used to be; and felt so much better about having it there. Then, I pocketed the ammo and locked the box up before slotting it into a large pocket inside my trench coat and closing the flap over.
I was now ready to leave the building.
Two days later, I was home looking over the pieces I had bought with my hard-earned money; and I was pleased with my purchase. Such a pity one was so heavy that I had to be careful how I wore my jackets; and the others were to be stored away in a safe in my bedroom.
“Honey!” my wife’s voice called from downstairs, “Are you home?”
Holstering the piece, I had purchased and I locked away the large cigar box and looked out of the bedroom door, “Yes, I’m here!”
She slowly climbed the steps towards me, “So, how did it go?”
“We got a real bargain.”
“The kids aren’t home for a few hours, can you show me them?”
An hour late, she sat on the bed tentatively touching them, “Okay, now I know how to use them, what happens if the kids get a hold of them?”
I smiled, “They won’t. There’s two keys for the box and that’s it... and we have a floor safe.”
“What worries me the most is if The Main Departments will find out.” Her eyes locked with mine; knowing we’d both be screwed if they did.
“Sir. Wake up.” I was shaken awake three days later in the middle of the night, “Are you Captain Sean Allan Richards?”
I was blinded by a bright torchlight, “Who in the hell wants to know? I’m the Captain of Police of District 12, Area 35 of the Logan Quarter. So, get that torch out of my face. Who in the hell are you!” I demanded reaching over and turning on my bedside lamp, to find the bedroom filled with The Main Departments people. My three children were standing in front of our wardrobe, bleary-eyed without a clue of what was going on and the Department of Child Services were ready to take them away, “Put my children back in their beds... why are they here?”
The man in the mandatory bullet-proof vest groaned, “We have reason to believe you recently purchased a few new – and illegal – pieces for your protection. You know it’s illegal to own fire arms, Captain; even for the police to have them in their homes.”
“Sean, just give them the pieces.” My wife whispered, “So we can have our children back.”
I sighed, “Okay. You can have them.” I reached under my pillow and showed my first one, “It’s not loaded... it’s one to use as a threat; it’s why I liked it.” Getting out of bed, I knelt on the floor, pulled out the key from my pyjama pants pocket (Jeanie had made this pocket in all my pyjamas pants especially for this reason) and pulled back the rug covering the lose boards. I took up two and placed my hand over the locking mechanism where it clicked open, and I retrieved the cigar box, “There’s a pair in there – and here’s the box of ammo that goes with them.” I put both boxes on the Glory Box at the end of the bed, where they were retrieved by the man in charge.
“Is there anything else in there you shouldn’t have?” he peered over my shoulder.”
“Just our last Wills and Testaments and my wife’s mother’s engagement ring.” I said.
“Okay, then.” He nodded as he took the keys to the cigar box and opened it. His eyes widened in admiration, “Woah, these are really nice.”
“Thanks. I am the police and the guy took a big risk selling to me.” I closed the safe back up, relocked it and replaced the boards again, pushing the rug back over.
He pulled out one, opened the box of ammo and smiled, “Yeah, but you didn’t know he was an undercover dude did you?”
“No. Why wasn’t I informed about him?”
Putting the piece down, he shrugged, “We knew that you collected pieces; and just couldn’t live without them.”
“Neither can you.” I snapped, “Look at you! You’ve all got pieces with you. The main thing is that you don’t have anything that’s as nice as mine; and...”
He picked up the piece from the box and pointed it at me, “Shut up and get on your knees.”
“Daddy!” my eldest girl screamed, tears in her voice.
“What you’re gonna shoot me in front of my family? Pretty cowardly seeing I’m unarmed.” I smirked.
A whisper came from behind me, “Captain...” and a piece was shoved into my hands at my right hip.
I picked up on the impromptu assistance and stood in the way of my children immediately as I raised my piece, ready to use it, “Ally, get your brother and sister out of here.”
“I’ll pick ‘em off one by one.” He moved his aim to my kids, and I moved with it, “Move!”
“No... you have the ammo and I only have what’s here in this piece... this is an unlevel playing field.”
For a moment, there was silence.
For a very long moment of our lives – the longest moment of not knowing what to do – silence engulfed the bedroom.
This was until Jeanie suddenly moved from her side of the bed, throwing a box of ammo at me! Without moving, my hand moved out and caught it from the air, cracked the box open and I tilted the box sideways where a stick slid out ready.
Slowly, I slid that piece into my mouth, bit down and the let the fresh minty taste fill my senses as I knew what to do, “Ally, honey, get inside our wardrobes... it’s gonna get messy.”
“Yes, Dad.” She nodded taking her brother and sister with her inside our wardrobes and pulling the door closed, “Can I have some ammo?”
I chewed on it slowly: “No, it’s only for adults.”
“Aaw, now you’ve got yourself all ready, let’s go then.” He stuck his nose in the air, took off out of my room, down the stairs! I followed him immediately out into the early morning light with my piece drawn and ready to use, “Come on, Captain! Catch me if you can with your useless piece! Pew! Pew! I’ll get ya!”
I dodged and snuck behind a tree, “Missed me, you yella belly!” I took aim and: “Pew! Pew! Pew! Hey gotcha! Right in the arm!”