Shootings (Part Five)

Shootings (Part Five)

Shootings is a story about two men with completely different goals, and how their actions affect the same group of women. It will unfold here in serial format.

Parts: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

“You know that huge inflatable latte cup at the new Ground Control?” Raelynn said.

Greg wondered if she had wandered off topic. “Yeah.”

“It collapsed on them, and the doctors said Brenda had a concussion from hitting her head. It knocked both of them out, so they’re keeping an eye on Lawrence.”

“Why didn’t you tell me about it before now?”

“I just heard about it a while ago and didn’t figure I needed to worry you at work.”

“Damn. What made it collapse?”

“Nobody knows yet.”

Greg pulled the rum from the brown paper sack. “Glad I picked this up on the way home. Where’s Alex?”

“Outside playing. I just now gave him 10 minutes until he has to start his homework.”

Greg walked over to the back door and opened it slowly to peek through to the backyard. “So much homework in first grade. Seems to be working, though.” Alex’s bright blond hair blew in the wind as he leaped from the top of his swingset slide.

“Hey, kiddo!” Greg shouted. “Remember to bend your knees when you land, just like I showed you. Otherwise you’ll shake your big brain.”

“Daddy!” Alex shrieked as he bolted across the lawn toward the house.

They threw the football around while Alex’s last few minutes of play time ticked down. Then the boy stretched a few minutes’ worth of homework into 20 before eating supper. Greg drew his bath and splashed a few toys in the water with him while he got cleaned up.

“I’m Mr. Hippo and I like to squash people,” Greg voiced.

“No, that’s Mrs. Hippo, Daddy.”

Greg dialed his voice up an octave and added an effeminate lilt. “I’m Mrs. Hippo, and I like to squash people.”

“Except Hippos don’t squash people, Daddy. They’re friendly.”

“I think you’d be surprised,” Greg said.

For bedtime, Alex read aloud a library book called The History of Motocross. It wasn’t Shakespeare, but the words were challenging enough for first grade.

“Great reading, Son,” Greg said.

“Thanks, Dad.”

He tucked Alex in and kissed him on the cheek. “Goodnight, tiny man. I love you.”

“Goodnight. I love you, too, Daddy.”

——-

Greg knocked back a few drinks — heavy on the Captain, easy on the Coke. Lightheaded, he worked to clear the dinner table and put the dirty dishes in the sink. A plate slipped from his hand and clanged into the metal basin.

“Easy on the Captain, mister,” Raelynn said. “I’m tired from working on that bookshelf that you ran over. I’m going to go to bed and read.” She leaned in and kissed his cheek. “Goodnight.”

“Goodnight, babe.”

Greg put the last of the dishes in the dishwashwer and headed for the living room. Still tipsy from the drinks, he sat down harder than he had hoped on the recliner and opened the laptop on the end table. As the screen flickered back from being asleep, he yanked the chair’s lever. The springs crankily complied and the footrest flipped up under his heels.

“I just hope I beat Matt to it,” he mumbled.

He connected to the City’s network and quickly navigated to the video server’s data folder. “Good, it’s still there.”

The mouse arrow hovered over the video file Matt had shown him earlier that day. Greg clicked it and dragged it to his laptop’s hard drive. The file copy’s progress bar inched slowly to the right. “Gotta get a faster Internet plan,” he said.

While waiting he logged into YouTube and created two anonymous accounts using two of his many Web-based e-mail addresses. When the file finished downloading to his laptop, he opened it in his video editing software and cut out the extraneous footage. He saved it and uploaded it to YouTube, and titled it, “Hot mom caught doing confessed killer in county jail courtroom.”

Greg logged out, then logged back into YouTube as another user. One corner of his mouth pulled up into a half grin.

He added a comment to the video. “OMG! This is my friend’s mom! She’s even in a calendar with a bunch of other cougars,” and finished with a link to the calendar’s site.

Satisfied with his first abuse of power and technology, he closed his laptop. He composed himself and pushed his feet down on the footrest, noisily slamming the recliner back to attention, and then made the short trek to the master bedroom.

He skipped his usual bedtime preparations and quickly undressed before sliding under the covers. Drowsiness from the drinks overtook his mind quickly and he was out for the night.

(to be continued)

2 Replies to “Shootings (Part Five)”

  1. I can see things going wrong for Greg after so little thought went into the potential ramifications of uploading the video like that.

    And earlier in the evening, what was Greg doing clearing the dishes with his head??

    A plate slipped from his head and clanged into the metal basin.

    :)

  2. Simon – Oops. I fixed that right after I read your comment. I mean, um, I don’t know what you’re talking about. ;)