FARNELL'S SOLILQUY

By AIEU

"Mark, is that you? Could you help me out here? The door seems to be stuck?"

"Ow! Thanks but there is no need to be so rough. I'm not going to resist. You've got me dead to rights. I'm ready to go back and face the music."

"I must say that was some excellent driving. I thought I was good at evasive maneuvers but you got me to drive right off of the road and into a flip."

"No, I'm not saying you caused me to flip that was my own doing; trying to run like that. I do have to say that I'm grateful you pulled me out of that car. I'm sure I smelled gas leaking. You probably saved my life. Here let me give you something."

"Ow! I told you there's no reason to be rough. I'm not armed. Here, you can get it. It's that envelope in my jacket pocket."

"What is it? It's five hundred dollar bills. Just a small gift of gratitude for pulling me out of there."

"Oh, you don't want it. Well, you can put it back in my pocket. I don't blame you. It is a small gift for saving my life. It could be more. If you wouldn't mind making a stop or two, I'm sure I could find an adequate amount of money. I think a person should be rewarded when they help someone out."

"You don't want it? Are you sure? You know I don't think I got a chance to tell you how much you impressed me with your skills. "

"You have a natural gift. The way you hotwired that car in the classroom showed me how fast you could work. But the way you stole that Bentley from the showroom, under the noise of the guards, and in front of those two by-passers was pure magic. I only saw a portion of the tape but I was impressed."

"Oh, didn't anyone mention that. The showroom made a tape of everything. Didn't Hardcastle tell you that? Well maybe, he thinks he needs to have something he can hold over your head. Or does he have enough?"

"Now, now, I understand why that's a sore point with you. It was never my intention that you would end up on Harlow's hit list. I figured you'd be arrested long before you even thought about getting out of that showroom."

"Don't look at me like that. It wasn't anything personal against you. It was because of the company you keep. Hardcase has been a thorn in my side for a long time; always waiting for me to make a slip. You don't know what it's like having him breathing down your neck."

"Well maybe, you do. He can be such a donkey with his good citizen and law and order crap. If you think about it, he's to blame for Harlow wanting to kill you. Hardcastle knew I'd do something once I figured you were a plant but he sent you in anyway. Now he's got a tape of you stealing a car from a showroom. That's more than enough to pull your parole the first time you tell him no. That's no way for a man to live and for that I am truly sorry."

"A smart talented lad like you shouldn't have to live like that. I remember the first time I saw you. You were pretending to be a valet a drove off with my car. That was good. But handing me a card telling me that you had just stole my car and wanted to meet was genius. Hardcase wouldn't come up with an idea like that. He doesn't have the imagination. I knew then that I wanted someone like that on my team. I still do."

"Did I surprise you? The world could be your oyster, my boy. I have a private plane at the airport. We could pop over there and be gone before anyone knew differently. And then we could be out of the country and free to start new lives, not under anyone's thumb. The turn right here will take us straight to the airport."

"Ahh, you missed it. Oh well, there'll be others. When we first talked you asked me if I wasn't looking for someone to mentor and share all of my knowledge with, a legacy. I wasn't then. I never found anyone that I thought was worthy. But I am now and I have no doubts that the student will surpass the master."

"Don't look at me like that. I mean every word that I say. With you skills, nerves and imagination; even you loyalty, misguided though it is, tell me you could be the man. I'd start you out as my associate; you'd pull in maybe six figures a year easy."

"Does that figure impress you? Well, it is only for your internship. It will rise significantly in a year when I make you a full partner."

"I'll bet Hardcase never offered you that kind of money. What does he give you; minimum, less than minimum? I'll bet he never tells you how well you do things, how talented you are, how proud he is of you. He's never given you a chance to live up to your full potential. I can offer you that but not behind bars. We can take this turn to the airport."

"Turn right here. Damn, missed it."

"Tell me do you miss racing? I'll bet you do. What was that name of your friend, Flip Baker, Flip Jones?"

"That's right, Flip Johnson."

"How did I know? I studied you. You fascinate me. It's a shame. Johnson had such dreams for this car making a splash in the racing world. And what is it now? An over rated police car. It looks like it's taken some damage lately; nicks, scratches, bullet holes. Bet I can say the same thing about you."

"All you dreams for a racing career. You were so close. It's not too late. A racer like you in a car like this is an excellent investment; definitely worth my backing. I don't want to brag but with my connections and influence, I could have you racing in Europe and South America in no time. You could fulfill your dreams; Johnson's dreams. Just make the turn here."

"Damn."

"Mark, we're coming up to the cemetery. Hard castle is there. He's expecting you to bring me in because he thinks he owns you; that he can use his power to make you dance to his tune. But it doesn't have to be like that. You can be in charge of your own destiny. You can be free; free of him. Imagine the look on his face when you drive by and he knows he can't boss you around anymore."

Okay, Mark. We don't have to get this close. They're walking toward the car. Now is the time to pull out."

"Mark! Don't turn off the car! Don't get out!"

"You know you're wasting a considerable gift, my boy, on this one."

"Okay, Hardcase, what flaw does he have that separates him from me."

"Integrity. I hate that word."

THE END