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And Nothing But The Truth (standard:drama, 1629 words)
Author: Bobby ZamanAdded: May 08 2002Views/Reads: 2183/1200Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Behind the scenes of politics and cover-ups.
 



AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH by Bobby Zaman 

I'd just sat down and raised the chopsticks to dig into my Pad Thai when
a series of unwelcome knocks on the door took me away from my 
much-needed meal. 

I wasn't expecting anyone, none that I remembered, but calls like this
had become increasingly rampant since the article on the mayoral 
candidate and his relations with an underage high school girl.  I 
looked through the peephole.  It was Shane Flaherty, the man in charge 
of my life since the death threats had taken the place of bills in the 
mailbox. 

"We just got two more letters.  Anonymous," said Shane sauntering inside
and taking a seat on the couch, ravenously eyeing my dinner.  "One of 
'em said you should be strung up like Mussolini and left to rot."  He 
chuckled as he ended the sentence.  Then he said, "You gonna eat the 
rest of that?" 

After what I'd just heard, eating suddenly fell a few notches on my
Richter, and I motioned for him to help himself.  He snatched up the 
chopsticks as if they were running away.  Snorting, gobbling, and 
chewing he continued with a disconcerting enthusiasm on what the future 
could hold. 

"You see, Ali," he said swallowing a mouthful, "I've seen hundreds of
these, right around election time.  Never stops.  Almost like, if they 
stopped then something'd be missing from election season.  You know?" 

"Can I see the letters?" 

He reached into an inside pocket and pulled out two documents.  One was
a piece of notebook paper with jagged edges along the side it was torn, 
with hand-written text.  The other, extremely formal, cream-colored 
resume paper with a typewritten message. 

"Punk thinks he's smart," said Shane handing me the letters, "They're
both from the same guy."  He scraped the last bits of noodles form the 
bottom and sides of the container and leaned back contentedly. 

Every single word was misspelled in the handwritten letter, while its
counterpart was the quintessence of language and grammar, and the paper 
was scented, woman's fragrance, Chanel perhaps.  Things were 
irritatingly starting to feel like a bad ransom flick.  It was in the 
neatly scripted note that the Mussolini execution method was suggested, 
only in my case the writer recommended Michigan Avenue. 

"How long is this going to go on?" I asked. 

Shane started laughing like I'd just puked milk through my nose.  I
crumpled up the letters and flung them at him. 

"Hey, these're evidence!" he said and began straightening the creased
documents. 

"Evidence of what? I'm gonna write ten more articles tomorrow and dig up
every piece of dirt on that sonofabitch!" 

"Ah, you young people're all the same."  Shane was about ten years older
than me, and dabbling somewhere in his late thirties.  "You think 
you're the first reporter City Hall's been after? It's a dime a dozen.  
Listen, I like you, Ali.  You got a head on your shoulders and you 
write about stuff that guys your age don't even think about.  But this 
ain't something you just butt heads with just 'cause you think you know 
what's going on."  He wasn't a bad guy, although I couldn't quite 
figure out the colloquial nuances in his language, especially since he 
grew up on the south side of Chicago, Archer and Pulaski neighborhood.  
His high-and-mighty, older brother attitude was not so bad if you knew 
him, otherwise you'd want to punch his lights out right after shaking 
his hand.  He worked with a private security agency, and the newspaper 
I wrote for was a top client.  This was the third time in one year that 
his services had to come to save my life. 

I put on the hat and shades that had become my staple incognito gear,
and draped a windbreaker over my shoulders and we stepped out into a 


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