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by David Jaggers

Alex opened his eyes and looked around. It was worse than he expected. He had been in a lot of tight scrapes over the years, but this was serious. They had him in a chair, two large bastards holding each arm. The other three guys, in dark suits, stood in front of him, hands folded and stony looks on their shadowy faces. The tall guy in the middle had a needle in his hand and he kept saying something, but Alex couldn’t understand a word.

It was like Poland 1996 all over again. Only this time he didn’t have a partner on the rooftop with a sniper rifle ready to help him escape. Alex was on his own. He tried to struggle against the hands that held him, but he felt too weak to move. Something wasn’t right, he had always been able to fall back on his training, his physical stamina to overpower his captors. But now, all he could do was sit there and watch as the man with the needle moved closer saying something in a strange language.

The tall man stepped forward and motioned to the guy holding Alex’s left arm. The goon twisted him around exposing his shoulder. The tall man moved in, needle up and his thumb on the plunger. The adrenaline Alex was looking for finally hit his blood stream and he exploded into a thrashing fury. He kicked the tall man in the balls sending him reeling, and sunk his teeth into the forearm of the goon on the left until he let go.

In a blur, Alex was out of the chair and throwing kicks and punches. He put a thumb in somebody’s eye, and grabbed a handful of hair, but there were too many of them and soon his strength began to ebb and they pinned him to the floor. The tall man got down on his knees and spoke more gibberish in Alex’s ear. Alex tensed his body as he felt the hot pinch of the needle sinking into his thigh.

A flood of heat rushed up Alex’s leg and his heart raced as the poison spread. This was his last moment, he thought. All the years spent on covert missions, all of the sacrifices. He had no family or friends, and this was how it was finally going to end, alone on a cold tile floor. As the chemicals kicked in, Alex felt himself go limp. The goons picked him up and put him back in the chair.

The dimly lit room slowly brightened, and Alex’s world snapped into focus. Through dilated pupils he noticed the men standing around him were now in blue hospital scrubs, and the tall man wore a white lab coat. The tall man put his hand on Alex’s shoulder, and spoke.

“Mr. Carter, can you hear me? This is doctor Hauswirth. Your wife admitted you to the hospital last night. You have had a psychotic break, but we have it under control now.”

David Jaggers lives in flyover country, where he spends his days in the white collar world and his nights feeding the thugs, pimps, and enforcers he keeps caged in his basement. He is currently digging up a half rotted anthology of contract killer short fiction, and getting his stories published in various crime magazines. www.straightrazorfiction.com