I know this is way, way, way to late. I just got an idea from that first sentence. In fact this is the first time I have ever let anyone see something I wrote. If I have broken some rules, please forgive me. If you find this terrible please be gentle. Thanks -- Rob (Beware Content and some strong language) ==== A Day In The Life ==== “I never believed in Hell” was what he said. Rick tossed his head back and laughed. It was rare that you heard anything original from a collection. The bathroom was nearly as large as Rick’s entire hotel room. He picked up the bottle of specialty soap. It was some aroma therapy soap from Bed, Bath and Beyond. Eucalyptus scent to reduce stress and relax. Rick would bet that Larry could use some of that about now. Rick turned on the hot water and began to wash the blood from his hands. He spent more time cleaning the straight razor. Blood could ruin a good blade faster than you would ever believe. Rick came back into the living room. Larry Niven was nude and duct taped to a straight back kitchen chair. His hands were taped in front of him in a parody of a man praying. Rick saw the effect was lost because the two stumps that had been Larry’s little fingers were still oozing blood. Larry’s right foot was bleeding pretty good too. Well what could you expect since every toe from the Piggy that wanted roast beef to the one that ran all the way home were now on permanent vacation down Larry’s toilet. The good news was that the glue mixture Rick had come up with had kept Ole Larry from bleeding out so much he passed out. It had been a real stroke of luck coming up with the glue idea. Rick had been watching the Discovery Health channel when a program came on showing some surgery or some such, but they had used a type of glue to close the wounds instead of sutures. Bang!! Larry had come up with a better way to keep the collections conscious without trying to find a big enough heat source to cauterize an area. Larry was just a little over middle aged with graying hair which looked like it had been styled in a salon where young girls shake their hooters in the men’s faces to get an extra $5 on the tip. He was what some women might have called distinguished. However, now his face was swollen and his right eye had completely closed up while his broken nose still bled freely. Rick walked over to where Larry was sitting and crouched down to look him in the eye. Larry made a low whining moan and looked at the straight razor dangling from Rick’s right hand. “We are going to continue our conversation Larry”. “F Fuck you”, Larry managed through swollen lips. A big grin came over Rick’s face. Rick said “looks like that left nut dropped while I was freshening up”. Rick stood and walked over to the nearby coffee table and picked up a picture of Larry and an attractive woman in her mid thirties. Her black hair hung over her shoulders and the two looked completely happy. “It would be a shame for her to come home before we are through with our business Larry”. “It might be fun after all two is company, but three is a party”. Larry stammered again, “N N No Pu Please”. “You just keep those happy thoughts Larry and I am sure we can settle our business on our own”. Rick put down the picture and walked back to crouch in front of Larry. Once again Rick beamed a great big smile which on anyone else would have been endearing, but the smile never touched his eyes. There was something wrong with those eyes. There was something missing. The combination of those eyes with that smile made everyone who saw it think the same thing: run. “Lets talk shop”, Rick said. Rick began in a soft almost apologetic voice that had just a hint of a southern drawl. “Did you think the boss would just forget your debt “? “I J-Just could not do i-it”, Larry stammered. Rick gave him a look that on anyone else’s face would have been one of understanding. “I get that Larry. I really do”. Rick held up his right hand so Larry could see the back of his hand where a small tattoo that looked like one of those oriental symbols could be seen. Rick then took Larry’s bound hands and turned them to Larry’s face so he could see a very similar mark on his own hand. Once when they were first dating Karen, Larry’s wife, had asked about the mark. Larry had told her it was part of a fraternity ritual in college. It had been part of a ritual, but one much older than any fraternity and he had been alone except for the one this man called “The Boss” that is. He had spent most of his adult life trying to forget that night, and had been fairly successful until recently when one phone call had changed his life forever. Larry worked as a biological chemist for Humana Pharmaceuticals. It had a much more secret name known only to a few people in the government and the military. In those circles, it was known as Bio-guard Base One. Two weeks ago, Larry had gotten a phone call on his cell phone. The man had been simple and direct. “Larry it is time to deliver on your commitment to the organization”. He was to bring a working sample of the modified small pox virus his team had just perfected to another member of the organization. He was to meet her at Centennial Park next to the Washington statue. The virus was more deadly than anyone had expected. Someone had started calling it big pox and the name had stuck. Current small pox vaccines had no effect on big pox and the mortality rate was estimated to be as high as 90 percent. Larry could not do it. He had not made some courageous defiant statement to the organization. He had simply not shown up for the meeting. He had tried hard to forget the phone call which was working fine until this man had shown up at his door just after his wife had left to go shopping. Now Larry’s life was fear, pain and the straight razor in Rick’s right hand. “Do you know what that mark on your hand means Larry”? Larry tried to answer that he never meant for innocent people to suffer because of his choice, but all that came out was “N-N-No”. Rick began again, “It is a symbol of oaths taken, promises’ made”. “I don’t know what you asked for Larry, or what the organization asked from you”. Rick looked down at Larry’s groin area and said “I can see you did not ask for a bigger willy”. Rick stood and continued, “What did you think Larry that this was just some sort of crazy birth mark”? Rick began to walk back and forth as he continued speaking to Larry. “Larry the boss is big on loyalty”. “He does not ask you to love him, but he does ask you to obey him”. Rick continued, “Would you fulfill your promise if I cut you lose”? Larry looked directly into Rick’s face for the first time and said “N-No I c-c-couldn’t”. Rick stopped and looked directly at Larry with the big grin back on his face. “Larry, if you had answered any other way we would have had a problem”. “Now you can at least get through this without finding out what your own prick taste like”. Rick crouched before Larry again and said "The Boss got Eve to eat the apple so he sure isn’t going to let good old Larry Niven give him the bird because you had second thoughts”. Rick walked over to where his jean jacket was lying on the floor. He took a roll of duct tape from underneath. He pulled off about a foot of the tape and walked back to Larry. Larry began screaming and whipping his head from side to side and up and down. “Now take it easy Larry, this is going to happen so let’s just get through it as quickly as possible”. It took almost a full minute before Rick finally had Larry’s mouth tapped. Rick reached out and grabbed Larry by the hair with his left hand while bringing up the razor. In one swift move Rick eliminated Larry’s one useful eye. Larry screamed but Rick thought it sounded like a dying moose through the duct tape. Larry had the sensation of the warm fluid of what was his left eye flowing down his face. Rick walked back to his coat and uncovered the can of gas he had been shielding from Larry. Rick walked back to Larry and grabbed him by his hair and began pulling him toward the bathroom. Larry continued to whip his head around which only managed to pull out a large clump of his hair. Larry crashed to the floor as his hair gave way. Rick sat down the gas can and said “Dammit, you are starting to be a problem”. Rick picked up Larry, chair and all, and dropped him into the bathtub. Rick started pouring the gasoline on Larry. The smell of gasoline gave Larry a pretty good idea of what was coming. It was then that the duct tape over Larry’s mouth gave way. “Please God No! I don’t want to burn”, Larry wailed. Rick took the matches from his pocket as he said, “We are all going to burn Larry, don’t you know that by now”. Rick lit the match and then lit the rest of the match book. He dropped the flame into the tub and Larry burst into flame. Larry made one last long cry while his body whipped so hard it broke the chair he was attached to. Rick watched for a moment to see if the house was going to go up in flames. He walked back into the living room and picked up his jacket. It was pretty warm for February but he did not feel like carrying it. He slipped on the jacket as he locked the front door and walked out into a fabulous day. Rick was whistling “Just Another Day” by the Beatles as he walked out to the sidewalk and headed toward town. Rick decided he was feeling hungry. There was a Thai restaurant near the hotel and something spicy would really hit the spot.