Ketchup or you’re brown bread!

Allen was feeling drained from his brainstorming session. His anxiety determined that he role-play every conceivable scenario for his visitation to the Calvinos. His mind had come up with more scenarios than a Game of Thrones plot-line. Thankfully the whiskey glass by his side promised to recover some of the vital energy he needed. Next to the glass sat a small Ruger model handgun. Such a small object and yet it was capable of utter destruction if used for wrongful intentions. What did he have use of this instrument of death for anyhow, he’d never needed to utilise anything like this before, relying on his natural charm and the occasional threat. He’d been shocked by how many gun-loading and general handling lessons he had found on YouTube.

He’d bundled Kat and Ani to a nearby Hotel. Their safety had been the first scenario he envisioned. As he reached the bottom of the driveway to the big house, he prescribed himself a last minute pep talk.

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Many thanks to 65Brenda who placed this beautiful house, Serenade on the Sims Gallery.

When the door was finally answered it was by an old lady of small stature. Allen wondered if he had got the wrong address. Her gravel voice and stern face advised Allen that this was a lady who had not been instructed to wait in the compassion queue. Barking at him she affirmed; “You’re late. Foods cold.”
The dining room was exquisitely designed, luxurious art deco sophistication. Allen noted the various animal heads lining the upper sections of the walls. The head of the family was sat at the table with other members of the family, gesturing Allen to take a seat and quickly.
Taking a big bite of his steak, small pieces of debris were launched from his mouth like escape shuttle-pods from the mothership; “Let’s get down to business. We know your history and we’d like to extend our protection to you. In exchange we will make use of your specialised skill-set. I understand you may be confused about this proposal, you may not be familiar with who we are. I shall give you some time to think about our proposal – two minutes!” His voice had a friendly demeanor with heavy undertones of a menacing threat. As Allen took a closer look in the direction he was being pointed, he observed that it wasn’t just animal heads adorning the walls, the eyes being all-too human.

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Many thanks to VincentG-1999 for the Mafia Italienne family that I have used in these screenshots.

Still being unaccustomed to the receivership end of threats Allen took the opportunity to make his opinions heard; “Interesting choice of decor,” he scuffed. “I’m out of the game though. I’m golden and I’m not interested in upsetting the daisies to plant a few tulips,” giving his trade sarcastic smile he took a sip of the wine.
“Well now, young man I have to tell you that is no way to treat the keen hospitality we’ve shown to you, ain’t that right, Antonio-,” Mr Calvino announced. He reached under the table and a large scraping sound of a heavy object was heard before Allen spotted the shotgun. Cocked and loaded it was pointed toward him; “In fact that’s out rightly rude. I’d like to invite you to reconsider, Zepeda lest you end up in my prize collection.” He nodded toward the collection. He was pointing the shotgun directly at Allen’s forehead. It fired. Allen had expected the next thing he saw to be St. Peter and the pearly gates but instead all he saw was the old man laughing his head off, rocking backwards in his chair.
“Indulge me, why would I need your protection. The only danger I appear to be in is your sick sense of humour,” Allen retorted. He felt brave enough to try and take control of the situation.

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“We are not at liberty to discuss the finer points of our operation with you just yet, Allen. Rest assured that what we can discuss with you is that there gun you’re holstering. Our little gift.” Mr Calvino gestured toward one of the bodyguards who nodded and went downstairs.

After some loud clanging of chains, the bodyguard reappeared with a restrained person. Mr Calvino gave a wry smile that did nothing to settle the atmosphere; “Found this guy sniffing around your lake house. See. Trying to set up a nail bomb, Antonio informs me. Your previous employer supposedly doesn’t consider your previous dealings with him a closed matter, Zepeda.” He gestured lazily, lighting his cigar with a nod indicating that he was acquainted with the details of Allen’s employment history. Continuing his assurance he affirmed; “There is little that happens in my town without my knowledge, or say-so, Allen. Antonio will take care of your little mess for you.”

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Allen was still reviewing his decision making process, having agreed to Calvino’s proposal – perhaps there had been something in the wine.

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As he neared his Audi (a fine specimen from their 8-series range) he failed to notice the van heading straight for it. The driver was holding something out of the window and before Allen had time to dodge, it had fired, twice.
A small red patch was seen in near-enough center of the man’s forehead before the vehicle crashed. Antonio was lurching out of the window with a rifle, impatiently shouting; “That’s two you owe, Zepeda. Remember that.”
Touching his head, Allen was greeted with a significant amount of claret in his hand. Rushing quickly to his car, his dizzying body making it an ambitious directive, he inspected the damage in his wing mirror. He’d seen enough episodes of ER to know the bullet hadn’t lodged there, it was just a graze gunshot wound, had it of been even an inch closer he may have been pushing up the daisies!

After the third glass of whiskey his nerves were familiarising themselves with normality. Kat was her usual supportive self; “I warn you, Allen they is pig dogs. Not know how respect any things. Should take them to laundry shop and take all the monies.” Allen wasn’t able to argue with her on this point. He’d known the family were corrupt but he never seriously entertained the thought that his life could ever be in any danger. Now he potentially had bigger problems as he considered the kind of work that his new employers were going to ask of him.

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Author’s reflections…
Allen has unique gifts and abilities, as we all have, and with that comes our freewill. We can choose to use the gifts and abilities that we have to help others and show love, or we can use them to cause destruction, iniquity or hurt others.
I was recently given some money that I intended to use to buy the laptop I now write on. I have a choice in how I can use, I can either use it to indulge my own selfish passions consistently, troll others on the internet or consume inappropriate media or I could use it to broadcast love through my writing and glorify God. On the desktop I have the verse; “Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord [always doing your best and doing more than is needed], being continually aware that your labor [even to the point of exhaustion] in the Lord is not futile nor wasted [it is never without purpose].” (1 Corinthians 15:58 – Amplified Bible)
I believe one of the key reasons for why we so often choose to hurt and not love others is we fail to recognise how precious each one of us is to God. We don’t understand the worth that He places on each of us, and so because we don’t see that, we don’t see others or ourselves as valuable. Therefore, we treat both ourselves and others badly, or for wrong purposes. God has revealed in His Word how precious we are; “You are precious in my eyes,” God says, “and I love you” (Isaiah 43:4a). We can imagine the most valuable thing on earth: Diamonds, gold, an extensive collection of anime and it is of no comparison to the worth we have to God. It says He will use things like gold and diamonds for paths in Heaven, but as to us, we are precious enough for Jesus Christ to die for us – each single one of us! That is something that astounds and baffles me every time I reflect on it. My question to you, lovely reader is, do you know who Jesus is? Do you wish for him to come into your life?

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