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Sometimes a gift is a gift.  Sometimes a gift is a favor.  Please enjoy Chapter 5.  Chapter 6 will be in a few days.    

Chapter 5

CRYSTAL OPENED THE DOOR with the gun pointed at Bryan.  Bryan quickly moved back.

“Be careful with that thing,” he said.  Keith, standing at the bottom of the steps, asked Bryan if he was okay.  “I’m fine,” Bryan said over his shoulder.  “You need to put that down,” he said to Crystal.  “No one is here to threaten you.  You’re doing the threatening.”

“I’m a defenseless old woman,” she yelled out, leaning her head to the side to make sure Keith heard her.  Keith mumbled she was an old bag.  “You know what?  I’m going back inside.  I don’t need this harassment.”  She began to close the door.

“Wait, Miss Vanner,” Bryan said.  Keith mumbled something else.  “Keith!  Shut up!”  Bryan yelled over his shoulder and put his hand on the door to stop it from closing.  Crystal pointed the gun at his head.

“Whoa,” Bryan said and stepped back, taking his hand off the door.  “Miss Vanner.  What are you doing?”  He held one hand in the air.  The other held onto the brown bag.  “That’s not necessary.  You’re going to accidentally shoot me.”  She told him it would not be an accident.  “It’s not necessary.  I know you.  I went to school with your granddaughter.”  Her eyes narrowed.  “I know you.  You taught me History.”

“Now it makes sense,” she said, nodding her head.  “Bryan Tagnelli.  That’s where I’ve heard that name from.  That’s not the name you went by.  You were Michael Tagnelli.  Michael Bryan Tagnelli.”  She slowly nodded her head.  “How could I’ve not put it together?”  She was thinking about how she accidentally ran into Mary Tagnelli in the grocery store earlier that day.  How Mary struck up a conversation about the old neighborhood.  How Mary pretended that they were longtime friends.  It made sense.  She was Bryan’s great aunt.

“I remember you,” Crystal said.  “You were the smart kid with the funny haircut.  You could read and write.  I thought you’d make something of yourself.”  He told her he had.  “That’s debatable.  Looks like you’re running errands for people.”

Bryan took note of Crystal Vanner’s appearance.  Even at her age she still had her looks.  Her hair was no longer black.  It was gray.  Her breasts still looked big under that oversized dress she was wearing.  Her face had retained a lot of its beauty.  A few wrinkles had appeared.  Overall her skin looked smooth for her age.  She never drank or smoke.  That would explain that.  She stood up straight.  She looked healthy, only older.

Most of the guys he knew when he was growing up wanted to put it to her.  But most of the guys would have been too afraid if she ever asked them to.  She was mean.  Rumor was she was the one in her marriage to tell her husband when to put it to her.  She wore the pants.  Her students thought it was more than a rumor.  They had seen and experienced her anger up close.

She was a tough teacher.  No bullshit.  No nonsense.  She was a stickler for rules and hated her students.  Thought most boys were no good scumbags.  Thought most girls were sperm deposit banks.

One class she got extremely upset with them for not paying attention.  She yelled at them to go to the auditorium and have a giant orgy to get it over with.  The girls would then be pregnant.  The boys would then be horrible fathers.  Everyone would end up on welfare and live happily ever after.

Rumors were the school board had been after her to resign ever since.  But she was such a great teacher that they would not dare get rid of her.

You are as mean as ever, Bryan thought.  “I’m not running an errand,” Bryan said, holding back many sarcastic remarks.  “My aunt asked me to do her this favor for you.”  He handed the grocery bag to her.  She looked at the bag.  But she did not reach for it.  “She wanted me to give you this.”

“You’re not giving me this in exchange for me to let you speak to my granddaughter, are you?” she asked.  He told her no.  “Because I’m not going to let you speak to my granddaughter.  She’s been traumatized enough.”

“No,” he said.  “This is no exchange.  I don’t want to talk to your granddaughter.”  She asked him then what he wanted.  “I want you to take this gift from my aunt and not insult her by not taking it.”

She looked around and lifted her hand and motioned with her fingers for him to come inside.  She stepped back inside and held the door open for him.  “Where do you want me to put this?” he asked.

“I want you to put it on the floor,” she said, sarcastically.  He sat the bag on the floor.  “Now I want you to show me why I would want this gift that your aunt has so graciously had you bring to me at such a decent hour.”

Smart old bitch, he thought.  No wonder her husband left her or went missing or whatever.  He would have left, too, if he had been married to her.  Or, better yet, he would have killed her or himself.

Knock!  Knock!  Knock!  Knock!  Knock!

Crystal jumped and pointed the gun at the door and then back at Bryan.

Bryan threw up his hands.  “Stop that,” he said.  “You’re going to shoot me in the face.”

“Bryan!” Keith yelled from outside the door.  “Are you okay in there?”

“You little liar,” Crystal said.  “You were up to something.  You thought you’d talk your way in here and your friend would rush in later.  I’ll shoot you if he does.”

Knock!  Knock!  Knock!  Knock!  Knock!  “Bryan!” Keith yelled.  “What’s going in there?  I’m coming in.”

“I’ll shoot you,” she said.  “He may get in.  But you won’t know it.”

“Keith!” Bryan yelled.  “Keith!  Get away from the door!  You’re going to make her shoot me!  Get back down the steps!”

“I’m not going anywhere,” Keith said.  “I’m—”

“Keith!” Bryan yelled.  “Get back down the steps!  I mean it!  Now!”

“Then you can call if—”

“Keith!” Bryan yelled.  “Damn it.  Go!  Don’t talk!  Just go!”


If you like Chapter 5 of this story, send it to a friend and follow me on my blog.  Take care of yourself.  Have a great weekend.  Grab a good book and relax.