The Exchange

The Exchange

He slammed the bag down on the table. “I don’t want this,” I exclaimed angrily to the clerk in front of me.

“It’s what you bought, what you ordered; I’m sorry but our policy is no returns,” he replied coolly in the monotone voice all sales representatives seemed to have mastered.

“You can’t do this!” I yelled. Customers turned their gaze toward the commotion.

“Sir, please keep your voice down.”

I slammed my fist on the countertop. “No!”

“Sir, I’m going to have to call security if you don’t calm down.”

But my anger did not dissipate. “Don’t tell me to be calm! You’re the one that sold me this damn thing. Take it back!”

One Year Earlier

“Take it back!” I pleaded. I fell to my knees at the feet of Martin Veracruz, the leader of The Black Fist, the most powerful illegal mercenary force on the planet. “I don’t want anything to do with this organization!”

But my attempts were futile. Veracruz simply stared at me with cold, dark eyes. Merciless. “Please!” I begged again, growing more and more hopeless every second.

“When your family was in financial ruin, you chose to come to me. You chose to join this group. There is no going back.”

“You don’t understand, you have to let me go! Take back your damn money; I don’t need it anymore.” I was sobbing now. “I just need my family.”

“You disgust me,” Veracruz spat back, unrelenting. He began to walk away, but I wasn’t finished.

“No!” I yelled after him.

He stopped. Turned around.

“You can’t do this!” But my attempt was in vain. He didn’t answer, but simply walked away. “No, please,” I sobbed, crying on my knees. I was dragged out by a pair of guards, my cries still resounding throughout the dark chamber.

The Next Day

“Come on,” I told my wife anxiously. “We have to go.” I had suitcases in my hand. We ran out the door, grabbing our two children on our way out. We piled into our car, and I threw the suitcases in the back before quickly starting the engine and driving away.

I drove for hours, just on and on, not allowing myself to stop; my only wish to get as far away as possible.

But they found me. They came for me. Forcing me to live their ways. I am forever a changed man. Never again will I be the once noble, honorable man I was. I was a killer, a thief. A member of The Black Fist.

Present Day

“I said take it back.” I pointed a gun at his head. His calm, monotone demeanor was gone. But he acted too slowly.

No patience left, I pulled the trigger, watching the body fall lifeless to the ground.


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