The Driver and Jack

September 16, 2012
The icy snow showers down under the dark night sky,
the streets and sidewalks are splayed with slush.
Kids brush their teeth for bed as their snow-suits dry,
off they go to sleep with warm covers and pillows like plush.

The wind picks up speed, the snow carries on.
Three miles back a car sputters to life and speeds away,
by the time the police arrive the crooks are already gone.
The family murdered seemed to die without traces of a fray.

In that car, still a mere three miles back, were the crooks:
the driver with his messy hair, stubbly beard, and dark eyes;
the passenger, still young, always with his nose buried in the books.
Of the two [ the driver and his mate ], the younger is admirably wise.

"Jack," the driver says, "are you with me . . . friend?"
No! Jack wishes to scream, but only does so in his head.
"Yes," Jack manages to answer, "until today's end."
Of course, Jack frowns, because otherwise he'd be dead.

The moon steals the night, the driver keeps on rolling.
Jack, in this hopeless situation, catches some [ much needed ] Zs.
The driver only continues, his last murder is greatly consoling.
He rivets his attention ahead, nothing but a stretch of road and trees.

Seconds fall in to minutes, minutes plunge in to hours,
from the green of farmlands to the bleak of city.
As the snow piles high the car barely overpowers.
The driver gazes at Jack, still dozing, and feels pity.

The driver parks out front of a house;
a large home, two car garage and a big yard.
He whispers to Jack quieter than a mouse,
"Jackie-boy," he says, "I need you to stand guard."

Jack shudders as the hot breath presses against his ear.
"Sure. Okay." Jack speaks, awake and well-rested.
As the driver exits [ car door left ] on Jack's cheek he sees a tear.
He pulls down his black mask and walks away, uninterested.

"Alone at last," Jack mutters into the empty space.
The driver reaches the porch and busts it's light,
the black winter mask still hides his scarred face.
He goes to work at the lock, preparing for a fight.

With the screwdriver in the key-way, he inserts a bobby pin.
The driver taps the key pins until they click at the shear point.
After four [ barely audible ] clicks the doorknob rotates and lets him in.
In childish satisfaction the driver says, "It's time to trash this joint."

Although he's silent, Jack can't help but "hear" screams.
They're not real, Jack tells himself, it doesn't help;
he can "see" the dead family, all hanging from the support beams.
From the top, right side window Jack hears a scared child's yelp!

Jack covers his mouth to muffle his sobbing.
His entire life, with this murderer, he has been on the run!
With anger and loss, Jack's temples begin throbbing.
That's when he remembers . . . under his seat is a gun.





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