We were asked to write a scene with specific details that would apply later on. Chekov’s gun: If you have a gun on the stage, it has to go off at some point. And the character must want something and have a weakness preventing them from acquiring it.
“Rich Sameuls, what’s a multi-millionaire doing in a warehouse with wanted felons?”
My eyes opened. Grimy floors and a ratty armchair made me want to get up. My hands tied with abrasive hemp rope kept me where I was. The smell of gasoline hit my nose and gave me a headache. My clothes were soaked through.
“Hey, Richie boy.”
I looked up, feeling weak. They must’ve heard about my recent influx of cash.
A man stood there in front of a limousine, the cigar in his mouth smelling sour and a suit too big for him — a little man trying to play it big. I needed a laugh, but a cigarette more.
“We put some bacteria under your skin. Hey, get the Doc.”
A reedy man in a lab coat was brought over at gunpoint. What a pitiful man. “You have 24 hours to live without treatment, maybe less. I beg you, give them what they want.”
“Account number, Rich.”
The money wasn’t mine to begin with. It was a dead friend’s, money owed to the Russian mafioso. Getting on their bad side meant death. “I’d settle for a cigarette. Don’t need your pesky antidote.”
“Fine, a cigarette and we leave you to the virus. Or your account number and treatment for your little problem. I have an ambulance waiting outside.”
“Can’t I have both?” I couldn’t give them the account number if I wanted to live. Nor go on living without that antidote. So many problems to deal with.
“Get your mind onto something, Rich.” They walked into an office behind the limousine, leaving me tied to the chair — amateurs.
I pulled at the sandpapery ropes tying my hands. There was wiggle room, just enough to squeeze my hands through. A guy needed to relax before a cigarette could do any good. Anger killed the mood. If I was going to go, I’d be happy. I broke the wooden handle off the chair and broke a window on the limo with it. Working quick, I opened the trunk.
Mr. Cigar and Mr. Gun came running out.
I pulled the guns from the trunk and peppered the air with lead. Bullets flew back and forth, making a hell of a racket.
Mr. Cigar swung open a door leading outside and pulled Mr. Gun through behind him — cowards.
I ran out there with the biggest guns I could find.
My kidnappers were holed up in the ambulance. There was nothing else around for miles in the blown sand.
My leg was on fire from the bacteria eating into me.
“Last chance Rich, the antidote to your ills or death.”
“Know what I want?”
“I want a cigarette!”
I put the grenade launcher to my shoulder and fired.
An explosion filled the darkening sky.
Brushing the gasoline from my hands and face with sand, I pulled a cigarette from my pocket and lit up. With my leg killing me, I got in their limousine with the Doc riding shotgun. The driving wasn’t hard until I was crying out in pain. Turns out, I didn’t have a day.