Monday, February 23, 2015
TOUGH AS THEY COME
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A story of redemption, bravery, heroism, and a bit of luck.
Billy’s mother gives him a hug, a pack of Juicy Fruit Gum, and a sealed envelope to give to the nice Chinese lady, who will take care of him, while Billy’s mother is away for two weeks. Seeing tears begin to form in her son’s eyes, his mother tells him tough guys don’t cry. She then climbs into an eighteen wheeler and starts the engine.
Billy is as tough as they come and waves at his mother’s image in the driver’s side rearview mirror until she drives out of sight.
The Chinese lady, waiting at the doorway of her small house, leads Billy inside, where she prepares a meal for him. Over the course of four weeks, Billy remains tough and doesn’t cry, but one night before bedtime, Billy asks the Chinese lady when his mother will return for him. The Chinese lady removes the note from the envelope and shows it to him. Billy, no longer able to be a tough guy, cries throughout the night.
Twenty years later, Billy, going under the name of Bart Bengo, is on trial for a murder he did not commit. The evidence is stacked against him, and his defense attorney offers little hope Bart will walk out of the courtroom a free man. When the judge calls for closing statements, Bart has no choice but to play his last card in what appears to be an unwinnable hand of injustice. The outcome of the trial is going to take a drastic turn, but the search for truth and justice as just begun.
A short story, approximately 8500 words.
Excerpts included after end of story.