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Debt Collector, by
Forsyth, MO US
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Jeff's gazing out of the large picture window in his office, trying to think of a new ad campaign for one of the top clients. He's worked for the agency since he graduated from college, 8 years ago. He loves the company, and hopes someday He'll be able to make it to the top.
Staring out the window, he realizes, the bright sunny morning has quickly transformed into a dark and dreary afternoon. The way the rains pounding rapidly on the windowsill, he figures this isn't going to change anytime soon. Especially not in time for the baseball game he had planned tonight. He starts watching the steam rise off the hot pavement, when he hears a knock at the door. Thinking it's his boss. He hurriedly begins straightening his shirt and tie.
"Hey Jeff baby, how are you?" The voice asks. Turning around, he sees a big beefy man standing in his doorway. He first notices his visitors long brown curly hair and dark closely set eyes. He then sees his expensive brown suit and how it seems to fit him a little snug. Glancing down, he notices the strangers pants were a little short, showing off his white socks against his black dress shoes. He's not the sharpest dresser he concludes, surveying the rest of his appearance.
"Do I know you?"
"Try and remember the college days?" The face looks familiar, but couldn't place him.
"Let me give you a hint, school loan." He still cant figure it out. Then it dawned on him. He'd borrowed money from a loan shark by the name of Bruno Bambini right before graduation. He needed it for a down payment for a house.
"I paid off that debt!" He exclaims.
"Not according to Mr. Bambinis records you haven't." Jumping up Jeff runs across the room and closes the office door. He sure didn't want the rest of the office to hear his personal business, especially not when it pertains to a shady businessman like Bambini. Running over to the bar, he begins pouring himself a glass of scotch. He normally only drank on special occasions, but after seeing a ghost from his past, he figures he's going to need something to calm his nerves. Quickly guzzles the stout liquor, he starts to pour another, the goon grabs his arm.
"Do you want one?" He asks, shakily holding the glass out towards him. The guy smacks the crystal glass out of his hands, sending scotch flying across the room.
"I'm not here on a social visit, I'm here to talk business! According to the records you now owe over $90,000."
"$90,000, no I only borrowed $30,000." He nervously replies.
"The rest is interest."
"$60,000, youre out of your mind."
"That's what Mr. Bambini said you owed."
"I don't have $90,000, not with a wife and two kids to support." He stutters.
"I saw your beautiful girls playing out in the yard Saturday. Luckily the girls look like her and not you."
"You leave my family out of this!" He yells. Suddenly feeling unsteady on his feet, He quickly plops on the couch.
"Pay up and we will. Oh, by the way, mom sends her love. She sent you a box of oatmeal cookies, but I got hungry on the way home." He says smacking his lips, remembering how good they tasted.
"You didn't do anything to my parents, did you?" He questions jumping off the leather couch.
"Of course not. We just visited. Talked about you and where youre staying these days. Since I somehow lost my old college pals address." Jeff starts pacing back and forth trying to find a solution. I can go to the police, explain everything, but I need proof? Grabbing a hold of him, Luigi turns him so they're facing each other.
"So see it would be in everyone's best interest if you paid the debt."
"I don't have it and I cant get a hold that enormous sum either.
"Boss said you might be financially strapped for cash and told me to offer you a deal. He said if you do a few jobs for him, he'll call the debt good."
"If I refuse?" He questions weakly.
"You can say so long to everyone." Horrible thoughts started running thought his head as he paced back and forth. Thoughts about his beautiful wife and daughters being taken to the woods and killed, his poor parents slaughtered in their beds while they sleep, and his aunts and uncles being shot on the farm. Will he kill my twin brother and sister too? Oh, what should do? He knew he didn't like the idea of helping Mr. Bambini and his shady business, collecting inflated debts from hard working folks, but he doesn't want everyone to die either. Oh, how he wished he had someone to talk to, help him find a solution. Julie would probably tell him not to do it, but how can he not, knowing everyones life's in danger. Well run off somewhere, but to where? How long would it be until they find us again? If we did run we'd have to say goodbye to all of their friends. That wouldn't be fair to the girls, making them give everything up for his stupid mistake. No, I can't make them suffer for something I've done. He thinks dismissing the thought. Ill record the conversation, then go to the police and play the tape. Will my plan work? Will the police think Im telling a lie? If I get caught Bambini will kill my family. I can try to come up with the money, but how? I could refinance everything. Even that won't be near enough. I could ask my friends for a small loan, but how will I pay it all back? Suddenly a thought occurred to him. Stopping in the middle off the office, he turns towards Luigi.
"Ill pay $1000 a week until it's paid in full." He says not sure how he's going to come up with the extra amount.
"Sorry, he won't go for it. You either pay it all, or work for him." Seeing he's exhausted all possibilities he solemnly asks.
"Whats my first job?
Jeff's a devoted family man who's life suddenly changes when he's blackmailed into criminal activity in order to keep his family safe. How far will he go to protect the one's he loves?
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