Authors: Dani Amore
Rocky is holding the wire and tape recorder. He throws it into the darkness. It clatters against a metal warehouse wall.
He and Tom are now out of the car and squared off against each other.
“I should’ve known you’d try to weasel your way out of this.”
“You’re the weasel! You’re a fucking criminal for God’s sake!”
Rocky holds his hands out wide. “I’m a criminal, you’re a pussy. So shoot me.”
“I can’t let you get away with this.”
“No, I’m afraid I can’t let you get away with this.”
Tom is about to protest when Rocky nails him with a right cross. Tom gets knocked on his ass.
“Come on, Tommy boy. Let’s see what you’re made of.”
Tom gets to his feet. Rocky dances around, clearly he’s fought before and is good with his hands.
Rocky sidesteps him easily, trips him and when Tom tries to get up, Rocky nails him with a punch that sends him back down.
Tom sits up, bleeding.
“See what I mean?” Rocky says. “You haven’t got it in you. You haven’t got the fight in you, Tom. You’re a goddamn failure.”
Tom charges, throwing a handful of gravel he’d picked up.
Rocky is momentarily caught by surprise and Tom knocks him down, then throws a wild punch that connects.
Rocky is pushed back and then comes in a fury. He throws a wicked combination that rocks Tom’s world. Tom staggers. Rocky throws a couple body shots and Tom sinks to his knees.
Rocky kicks him.
Tom is down and out.
“Loser Tom. Tom the loser.”
Rocky pulls out a gun.
He steps toward Tom who has now brought himself up to his knees, but his head is still on the pavement.
It’s the perfect pose for an execution.
“So close, Tom. Yet so far.”
He racks the slide on his automatic but before the action is completed, Tom is moving. He lashes out at Rocky and knocks the gun from his hand while throwing a giant haymaker that snaps Rocky’s head back. Tom hears the crunch of bone.
Tom grabs a nasty-looking two-by-four from a pile of scrap.
Rocky tries to get up and Tom wallops him across the back with the board.
“You ruined my life,” Tom snarls.
He wallops Rocky again.
“You ruined other people’s lives.”
Tom hits him again.
“You’ve got to be stopped!”
By now, Tom has knocked Rocky back to the edge of the river. It’s a high bank with about a ten-foot drop into the rushing waters.
The current is very strong.
Rocky gets to his feet. Blood is pouring from his face and head. He’s all busted up inside.
He sways before Tom, glances back into the water.
“Come on, you quitter,” Rocky taunts. “You can’t finish me. You’re a quitter. A loser!”
Tom swings the bat, twisting his body and putting everything into it. He clocks Rocky across the head and Rocky goes flying back into the water. He stays on the surface for a moment, and then gets swept under.
Tom stares at the water, his breath coming in ragged gasps.
He throws down the two-by-four.
The mini-recorder is scraped and dented, but it still works. Tom places it on the kitchen table, then hits the play button.
Michelle watches the recorder and hears Rocky’s voice.
“Of course I did it. You couldn’t. You weren’t going to be a success.”
Tom snaps off the recording.
“Am I supposed to believe that? How do I know that was really him?”
“You have to trust me,” Tom says.
Michelle gets up from the table.
“Look. I’m not capable of doing what he did. You know that. Do you really think I could have snatched Morgan and framed Dylan - made that call to Kelly about her book? Kidnapped the fucking dog for Chrissakes?”
Michelle walks back to Tom and puts her arms around him.
“I believe you. Do you think the cops will?”
Tom is having coffee when the cop slides into the booth. Tom pushes the tape across to him.
“It’s all there,” Tom says. “His confession.”
“And he’s in the river?” the cop asks.
The cop slides the tape into the pocket of his jacket.
“Worked out well for you. Charges will be dropped. You’re scot free.”
Tom gives the cop a tired smile. “Literally. No job. But at least I’m a free man.”
The waitress puts coffee in front of the cop.
“And maybe...a better man?”
Tom thinks about it and nods.
“For the first time, I believe in myself. I don’t know what’s going to happen next, but I know I’m not afraid of it.”
The cop nods and leaves.
Tom takes out a copy of Advertising Age.
The front page story is devoted to the announcement of the prestigious Advertising Campaign of the Year award.
It has been given to a new campaign for American Oil.
The cop walks into the office that we now see is the office where Tom originally met Rocky Sutton. The same office furniture is back.
The cop goes through a door into the main office and there is Rocky looking as good as new.
The cop sits down across from Rocky.
“Well, we pulled off another one.”
Rocky smiles. “And no one really got hurt. Molly got her dog back. Kelly and Dylan all got their jobs back. Once Morgan is done with his therapy, he might be okay.”
The cop nods. “And Tom’s career is back on track, just not at Straun & Partners.”
They both smile.
“And, we’ve got one very happy customer,” Rocky says.
The door opens and in walks Michelle Goddard. She sits down across from Rocky and the cop.
“I can’t say I would have hired you had I known your methods...but I can’t argue with the results.”
“It may seem like a lot of smoke and mirrors, but the fact is, people wouldn’t believe the truth. They need to think it’s harder than it really is.”
The cop nods and Michelle agrees.
Just then, some workers come in and hang the sign that had been in the office originally:
Together, We Can Make Your Dreams Come True!
Kill the Rat
The Circuit Rider
The Circuit Rider: Killer’s Draw
The Killing League
Death by Sarcasm
Gross Sarcastic Homicide
To Find a Mountain
The Garbage Collector #1
Bullet River (The Garbage Collector #2)
Murder With Sarcastic Intent
Scale of Justice
Dani Amore is a crime novelist living in Los Angeles, California. You can learn more about her at
Visit her Amazon author page:
Follow her on Twitter:
Friend her on Facebook: