This story is by Eric Gahagan and was part of our 2018 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
Agent Mickey Finch glared into his friend John Miller’s pleading eyes. Miller was badly beaten, and looked like he’d been through hell over the past twenty-four hours. Miller’s cover was blown,and Mickey’s was hanging by a string. Miller sat tied to an old rusty chair in the courtyard of a dilapidated trailer park with Weasel Drebon’s chrome .45 caliber pistol fixed firmly against his left temple. Fifteen of Drebon’s men lined the perimeter of the courtyard.
Mickey’s heart began beating out of his chest. He hid the fear in his eyes behind a pair of dark Ray ban sunglasses, his hand shaking as he took a nervous drag off his Marlboro. He realized that it was now up to him to save Miller’s life. Undercover FBI agents operate under some of the most stressful situations imaginable. Real life and death shit. The two agents had received extensive training over the years on what to do in scenarios just like this one. That training, kind of goes out the window when someone is about to blow your partners brains out.
Mickey’s undercover narcotics detail pulled the assignment to put a stop to Weasel Drebon’s criminal exploits about six months ago. The small town, wannabe gangsters turned out to be a whole hell of a lot more serious than anyone at the FBI ever expected. Weasel and his dealers had a batch of bad drugs going around three counties in Western New York. Dead kids overdosing on bad drugs had become all too normal. The Drebon’s ran gambling, drugs, and guns. Audio surveillance even suggested that they may have been responsible for a couple of murders.
Mickey’s detail started with the goal of taking down a small-time, local drug dealer, instead it exposed a nation-wide trafficking organization that enjoyed solving even small problems with extreme violence.
Mickey was the lead investigator and had sorely underestimated the Drebon’s. The operation was low on both staffing, and experience. Mistakes were made. Miller getting exposed with no back up, that was on Mickey. Now it was his responsibility to prevent things going from bad to worse.
The corners of Weasel’s mouth twisted up into a sinister grin as he dangled the microphone ripped from agent Miller’s torso, swinging it back and forth before dropping it the in the dirt, crushing it with the heel of his black combat boot. Weasel used his free hand to slick back his greasy long black hair from his eyes as he pulled the pistol back over his right shoulder, swinging it down hard, and crushing into Miller’s left eye socket with the butt of the weapon. “This is what piece of shit under-covers get when they’re caught wearin a wire.” Weasel said.
Dark red blood poured from the gash above Miller’s eye like syrup. Weasel now pushed the .45 tight under Miller’s chin. Miller looked up at Mickey again for any sign that his partner may have come up with a way out of all of this.
“What the hell are you looking at him for?” Weasel asked. “You really think anyone here is going to help you?”
Both Mickey and Miller knew that no help would be coming. Their last hope of any backup died when that mic was stomped into the ground. They were on their own.
“Weasel we can’t just pop an undercover agent back here.” Mickey said. “You can’t kill somebody in a trailer park courtyard and hope that no one will notice”
Almost on cue an elderly woman peeked out through the blinds covering the back window of her trailer nosing out into the courtyard trying to see what all the commotion was about.
“Get the hell back in yer house lady.” Weasel said. “This ain’t none of yer business.” The woman complied drawing her curtain back together tightly.
“What if we take him back to the bar Weasel?” Mickey asked. “Take him down to the basement, put one between his eyes, and nobody would be the wiser?”
Mickey knew that if he could buy he and Miller some time they might be able to find a way to call in the cavalry. Mickey and Miller had heard about Weasel’s little leadership meetings in the trailer park, but despite extensive efforts had never been able to pinpoint its location. Without it they couldn’t get any surveillance on the site. If Mickey could somehow talk Weasel into taking Miller’s public execution to the bar, that would be the agent’s saving grace. The FBI detail had audio and video running on Dirty Dave’s biker bar twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Weasel frowned at Mickey, taking the pistol out from under agent Miller’s chin. This was a good thing. He then started waving the business end of his hand cannon in Mickey’s face instead. This was a bad thing.
“So, the new guy is gonna start telling me what to do now? Do I have that right? Weasel asked. “Why do you give a rat’s ass what happens to him?”
“Sorry Weasel, all I’m sayin is, that if we got him back to the bar, maybe we’d save ourselves from having some old geezer out walking his dog, witnessing the murder of a god damned federal agent.” Mickey replied.
Just then, Mickey realized that he had just come across way too much like a cop. He could tell by Weasel’s body language that he knew something was up. Mickey’s mind raced, trying to calculate what to do next. Unless he could convince Weasel to take Miller someplace else his friend was going to die right there in front of him, and Mickey wouldn’t be too far behind.
“Fine gimme the damn gun then, I’ll fuckin kill him right here.” Mickey blurted out.
Weasel raised both his hands up beside his head, as though a sheriff in an old western movie had just yelled out stick em’ up. “Well look at this here. The new guy finally grew some balls. Bout time you stepped up boy.” Weasel said. He handed the gun to Mickey and turned back around getting right in agent Miller’s face. “What you think a that boy? Weasel asked. “This here bushwhacker’s ready to do my dirty work for me.”
“Get the fuck outta the way Weasel!” Mickey yelled. Mickey raised the gun and pointed it at agent Miller’s head. Miller’s expression went from fear to complete confusion in a split second.
“What the hell are you doing Mickey?” Miller asked.
Mickey looked over the top of the dark sunglasses as he kept his aim on Miller’s head. He looked back to see two towering men, the size of NFL linemen, now blocking the only way out of the courtyard. There would be no daring escape. The two agents were out of options.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t get us out of this one.” Mickey replied.
Sweat dripped off Mickey’s forehead as he tried to steady the gun from shaking. He and his partner were surrounded by a crew of deadly criminals. There would be no talking Weasel out of this. Either Miller was going to die alone, or the two agents would die together in a hail of bullets. Talk about being stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea.
FBI training taught that when faced with a no-win situation, it’s best not to procrastinate on choosing between two bad options. With something like this, it’s better to just make a choice as fast as possible. Kind of like ripping off a band-aid that’s been stuck to your arm hair for a week.
“Did that fed just call you by name?” Weasel asked. “You better squeeze that trigger and get this over with, before I have the time to start askin questions.” Weasel pointed his finger around in a circle signaling the rest of his crew to draw their weapons.
Mickey’s gaze burned a hole right into agent Miller’s fear ridden eyes. The two long- time friends came to one last agreement between themselves. Mickey had followed the training and decided on his course of action almost immediately, as if it were second nature.
He squeezed the trigger of the .45, firing a bullet just wide of agent Miller’s head, missing him purposefully, just grazing past the top of his ear rendering his friend alive, but stunned. Weasel and his crew recoiled back in surprise from the quick crack of the shot. Mickey then swung around wildly to his left, briefly catching the shocked look of fear on Weasel Drebon’s face, before firing a second time and burying a hollow point round into Weasel’s chest spraying blood all over the aluminum wall of the mobile home trailer positioned just behind him. In a split-second Mickey had made the hardest decision of he and his partner’s soon to be short lives. Fuck the deep blue sea, he was just going to kill the devil, and deal with the consequences later, no matter how hard or fast they came.