Jack Thompson watched as Barbara walked out of his office. Well, she limped out.
At the age of 16, Barbara had suffered a life-altering injury. Her horse, Buddy, spooked by the dry rattle of a rattlesnake, had thrown her. The sudden ejection from her mount slammed her upon a boulder along a trail in the woods of Northern Mississippi. Doctors tried to correct her injury but had never quite fixed it to where she walked without a limp.
“No wonder she’s a bitter old hag,” Thompson thought as he watched her leave. “She can’t walk in here and threaten me. By God, I’m as much a senator as she is.”
His door clicked shut and he stared down at the mound of grievances, letters of support, and more than one marriage proposal. Such was the life of a popular senator.
As with all things in Washington, or as it seems to common person whose only power lies in voting, nothing got accomplished in regard to the questions asked. Quietly, Barbara and her cohorts nominated Yevette Williams to the Supreme Court. Life went on.
One year later:
Abby Smalls, a sophomore journalist for an up-and-coming news network met Jack as he walked down the hall toward the exit.
“Senator Thompson, may I have a moment of your time?”
“I’m sorry. Do I know you?”
“I’m Abby Smalls. I work for WKNV better known as ‘The Hound.’ I’d like to ask you a few questions.”
“Ah. Y’all are new. What do your questions pertain to?”
“Yevette Williams. Specifically, why you had a problem with her being selected to the Supreme Court. It’s been a year. Do you still harbor a grudge against her?”
“Abby,” Jack always used people’s first names. It seemed to break the ice and gave folks a sense of familiarity, even when he had met them for the first time. “I don’t harbor a grudge against Ms. Williams. If I recall correctly, my questions had to do with articles she had written concerning the oil industry.”
“Yes senator, I’m aware of your questions. You came off as a bully, that’s only my opinion mind you, when you went after her. Do you regret hammering her? Has her performance been up to snuff for you?”
Jack smiled at the young woman.
“Look Ms. Smalls, I am on my way to dinner. It’s been a long day. You’re welcome to come along, but the hallway is no place to hold a meeting.”
“Sure senator. May I ride with you?”
“Of course. I am going to The Giggling Leprechaun.”
“Okay. I just need a moment to freshen up. I’ll be right back.”
A few moments later, Abby stepped out in the hall, and they made their way to the limo outside. While the driver proceeded to the route, Abby and Jack spoke in light tones about life on Capitol Hill and other unrelated topics. After a hearty meal Jack had the driver start for his house.
“So, you really have no regrets of how you handled Yevette Williams?”
“Abby, many of my constituents work in the oil industry. If the other side shuts down the entire industry many people will go without food and other necessities. I wasn’t trying to be rude, I wanted to know what the plan was for my folks back home.”
“You’re very passionate, senator. I like it.”
Jack smiled at Abby, and she didn’t back down from the challenge in his eyes. Her full lips pulled back into a relaxed smile. She met his eyes. By the time the driver made it to his door, Abby and Jack could not keep their hands off one another.
Somehow the passion-filled pair made it into the town house and up the stairs. Abby put her hand on Jack’s chest and pushed him back onto the bed.
“Not so fast, slugger. Wait here.”
Jack took off his tie and button down. He undid his belt when the first bullet struck him in the back. Jack grunted and collapsed to his knees. Abby walked around in front of him and winked at him.
“Bet you didn’t see that coming, did you Jack?”
She put a bare foot against his chest and pushed him over.
“You’re a passionate guy, Jack. Too passionate. There’s no place in Washington for someone like you. Nanny Pusan and Barbara send their regards. Oh, and Nanny said to tell you that no one challenges her and lives. Bye-bye Jack.”
Abby unloaded the rest of the magazine into the torso and head of Jack Thompson. The driver came in and helped wipe down the house.
“Danny, is the car wiped down?”
“Yes, ma’am. Cleaned to your specifications.”
“Thank you, Danny.”
Abby pulled out the silenced pistol and shot him in the head. Then she turned and walked out into the brisk night. She pulled out her phone and dialed a number and let it ring three times, then she pressed end. In the long shadows of the early morning, another shot was fired. The bullet tore through Abby’s breast. She collapsed to the sidewalk as darkness tugged at her eyelids.
It was as Barbara had said.
No one crossed Nanny Pusan and lived to talk about it.