Authors: Tim Miller
Road to Darkness
© 2014, Tim Miller
San Antonio, TX
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.
Cover design by Tim Miller from Stock Image
Tony looked around the pile of bodies. He had never seen so much death and carnage in his life. There were men with their heads blown off, limbs missing and some completely ripped in half. He looked at his rifle and figured he didn’t stand a chance against the man who did this, but he had no choice. That man was coming and Tony needed to run.
As he ran his legs burned and screamed as pain shot up his back. Blood covered him from head to toe, caking in his hair and beard. He turned to look back, but gunfire sounded behind him. Dirt kicked up around him from rounds bouncing all around him. He dropped to the ground and kept running along the dirt road.
His mind raced as his life played out before his eyes. It wasn’t long ago, he was your average nobody. Now he didn’t know what he was. Nice guy wasn’t something that came into mind. He’d done horrible things. Things he could go to prison for a long time over. He’d been beaten and tortured himself. Despite the things he’d done, it had all been for good reasons. At least that’s what he told himself at the time.
Now, running for his life through a maze of dead bodies didn’t seem like he’d made the best life choices. There was nothing he could do to change his choices. His biggest concern now was survival. At least survive long enough to finish his work. After that he didn’t care what happened. More gun shots rang out from behind him as he trudged along.
As if he wasn’t tired enough, he started up a hill. He’d gained some ground on the man pursuing him. Hopefully he could lose him on the other side of the hill. The other man was weighed down with a lot of gear which slowed him up. Though he still moved rather quickly, Tony was still gaining ground. He just had to stay out of his range so as not to end up shredded like the men on the ground. As he reached the top of the hill, he could see the man a least a hundred yards away. Tony knelt down to catch his breath. His legs were so stiff and achy, it hurt to even move. He had to keep going or die. After a minute, he got back up and started down the hill.
The run down
hill was almost worse than going up. He tried to slow himself, but kept picking up speed. His head started to lean further out than his feet. He worried he’d start toppling head first down the hill and would break something for sure. Thankfully he reached the bottom at a dead run, without incident.
The road twisted around as he kept running. He looked behind but saw no sign of his pursuer.
That didn’t mean he was gone, he’d be coming. Tony had considered lying on his stomach and taking a shot with the rifle. But he knew if he did that and missed, that would be it.
He followed the road around some turns and through some bushes. There was another hill, but this one had a large, metal door built into the side. It was some kind of cave or bunker. Tony reached the door and grabbed the locking wheel. Once again he took a few seconds to catch his
breath. He wasn’t sure if this was what he’d been looking for, but he was out of options. This was it.
Two Months Earlier
“Tony! Wake up! Tony!” The woman yelled as Tony snapped out of his trance.
“Oh hey, Teresa, sorry.” Tony said looking up.
“You were asleep at your desk again, you missed three calls!”
, uh... Sorry. I haven’t been feeling well.”
“If you don’t feel well, then take a sick day. You don’t sleep at work. This is your last warning
,” she said before huffing off to her desk. Tony gritted his teeth as he watched the old bag walk away. He hated her. He hated this job, and this place. He was tired because the new anti-depressants he’d been prescribed made him sleepy as hell. Trouble was, he needed them due to his shitty job.
Having graduated with a Master’s in Business from the University of Texas years before, he had once been an executive for an advertising firm.
He was a creative person, and his past job allowed him to use his talents. Due to the economic downturn, he had been doomed to spend the last five years in call center hell at an insurance company. Now his days were filled with listening to old people bitch about making sure their overpriced crap had enough coverage.
He hated it, he hated them and he hated his co-workers who all seemed to drink
the corporate Kool-Aid. This was another reason he didn’t fit in here. His old job was with a company, but a small one. There were maybe a dozen employees and he worked autonomously. At United Property and Casualty, there were thousands of employees. The company had them all convinced they were some gifted part of society just for working there. They even had a stupid cheer they did at team meetings every Tuesday. Tony never did the cheer, which usually got him yelled at. He didn’t care. It was stupid. While he couldn’t afford to lose this job, deep down, he wished they would fire him.
His thoughts were interrupted by the buzzing of the phone ringing again.
“United Property and Casualty, this is Tony speaking, how can I help you?” He said into the headset.
“Yes, I had a question on my auto insurance bill.”
“Yes sir. I can assist you with that. What was your question?”
“Well, I just got my six month renewal, and I noticed it went up by a dollar
. I’d like to know why.”
“A dollar per month
, sir?” Tony asked.
“No, a dollar for the whole six months.”
“So you’re concerned about a one dollar increase, over six months? Sir, that’s not even 20 cents a month.”
“I don’t care how little you think it is! I want to know why my rate went up! I have no accidents, tickets or anything
. This is ridiculous.”
Tony muted the phone and rolled his eyes. This was the kind of shit he got dozens of times a day. He could barely pay his car insurance at all, could barely make ends meet. Yet, these rich douchebags would call and bitch about a one dollar increase. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath as he listened to the customer ramble on about irrelevant nonsense for several minutes before finishing the call.
Thankfully that was his last call of the day. Once the call finished, which seemed to take forever, he took off his headset, logged out and bolted for the door. He worked his way through the mob of employees headed to the parking lot like sheep being herded into a barn. At forty-five years old, he couldn’t believe this is what his life had become. Just ten years before, he’d been looking at retiring by fifty. He wished he knew where it all went wrong.
The drive home took fifteen minutes through downtown San Antonio as long as there wasn’t much traffic. When he arrived home
, his wife, Kim was cleaning up the kitchen. He was mostly happy to see her.
“Hey hun,” she said as she walked over and kissed him on the cheek. “I left the mower out for you, the grass in back is getting tall. Trash needs to go out too.”
“Hi, I had a good day, thanks.” Tony said. “I’ll go take care of the yard.”
“Ok. Oh, my dad came by earlier. He loaned us some money to pay the car payment.”
“Ok, cool I guess.” Tony said.
“Yeah, he wasn’t happy though. Said you need to get a second job, or find a real job.”
“Jesus fucking Christ. I make fifteen an hour at that shithole. I can’t help it most of it goes to child support and health insurance.”
“I know. He just thinks you should be able to take care of your family like he always did.”
“Well, does he realize shit isn’t like it was thirty years ago? Companies don’t just hire you, pay you an assload of money and keep you forever.”
“I know babe. He just doesn’t get it. He thinks you’re not trying.”
“So he comes over here, offers to loan us money and then bitches about it?”
“Not quite like that,” Kim said.
“Close enough. Whatever. I’ll start on the lawn.”
He changed clothes and headed outside while trying not to think about his father-in-law. It drove him nuts that he was working his ass off to take care of his family and the man thought he’s a loser. Whatever.
The mower started on the third or fourth pull. It was a pain to push, since the self-propel function was broken. He muscled it around the back yard as grass blades blew into his face. The mower got hung up on a patch of tall grass and kicked off. He stopped and lifted the mower to pull the tall grass out. As he stood back up, he saw someone looking at him.
It was a man in another yard, a few houses over. He was wearing a black fedora and trench coat. The coat struck Tony as odd since it was over a hundred degrees outside. He couldn’t quite make out the man’s face, but it was clear to him the man was staring at him.
“Hello?” Tony called out. “You need something?”
The man just stood there not moving. Tony looked around to see if anyone else was around to see the man. When he looked back over, the man was gone.
The man standing before Slade was a pathetic little shit. Slade didn’t even know his real name. The punk just went by Spider. Today was not Spider’s day. Spider had an extremely simple task. His task was to stop at the warehouse and pick up the truck full of merchandise and drive it into Mexico. Once there, he’d leave the truck and pick up an empty truck to bring back. Real easy, except to Spider.
Instead of going along with his simple task, Spider decided to park the box truck outside of a crack house in Eagle Pass. Since he passed out for several hours, the truck, which was parked on a yellow curb, was towed, upon which time authorities found the merchandise-he merchandise being a dozen girls ranging in ages from twelve to seventeen. As one could imagine, the authorities were less than pleased with this find and had since enlisted the FBI to investigate.
Slade had someone deliver Spider to him right away.
“Sir, look. I was only supposed to be there for a few minutes. They must have laced my shit with something. Honest!”
“What part of don’t stop for anything were you not understanding?”
“I know man, I’m sorry. It was just supposed to be a quick stop and back on the road. I just needed something to help keep me wired for the road is all. You know how it is,” Spider pleaded.
“I never got a truck seized. And the problem with your little siesta, is it now has the Feds crawling up our ass.” Slade said.
Slade had been with the organization for seven years. He started out low level just like Spider, except he didn’t fuck up. By doing his job, as well as taking out anyone he perceived as a threat, he found himself in his current position. He only answered to one man now, and he was just biding his time until he was at the top of the food chain. Incidents like this didn’t help his cause, though. While he would deal with Spider, it didn’t change the fact they were out a lot of money. Money he would have to answer for, regardless of what street level idiots did.
“I thought the truck was clean. They’ll never trace it to us.”
“That’s not the point. The point is you didn’t do your fucking job. Not to mention, even if the Feds never come around here, you still cost us millions of dollars by losing a shipment,” Slade said.
“Look, I’ll make it up to you. Whatever you need man. It won’t happen again. Honest!”
“I know it won’t Spider. I know,” Slade said as he stood. At the same time two more men came into the room and grabbed Spider by each arm.
“Hey! What is this? What’s going on?” Spider screamed as the men pushed him into a chair.
Slade reached into his desk and pulled out a drill.
“Slade! What the fuck man? What are you doin
“I’m making sure you never screw up again.”
Spider tried to wiggle away but the men’s grips were too tight. Slade pressed the drill into the top of his head and squeezed the trigger. Spider screamed as the large metal bit burned through his skull. The smell of burning flesh and hair filled the air. Slade felt it go through Spider’s skull and into his brain. Spider’s body twitched as Slade removed the drill.
“Oh shit! My furging head!” Spider screamed, his voice slurred.
Slade then pressed the drill against his temple and began drilling. Slade twitched and shook as the drill entered his skull and passed into his brain once again. The left side of Spider’s face began to droop as he kept screaming.
“No hurp me Srade. Prease? No more hurp me? I be good!” Spider said.
“I’m sorry Spider, but I need to finish up here,” Slade said.
Slade continued to drill a few more holes in different parts of
Spider’s head. When he was done, the men let Spider go. He stood, but was wobbly on his feet. The left side of his face completely drooped as blood poured from the holes in his head. He tried to speak but it just came out as gibberish. Slade looked at the two men and nodded.
“Go dump him under the freeway somewhere. They’ll just think he’s another drunk homeless bum
,” Slade said.
The men grabbed Spider’s arms and dragged him out of the room. Slade sat back behind his desk and picked up his phone. Now he needed to find a way to make up for that loss before his boss came to collect.