The General and the Lieutenant

 Glancing over at the mantelpiece, at the photograph in a gold frame, the General said:

“Lieutenant, did I ever tell you her story?”

“No Comrade General.”

“She was my first-born, back then we …”

“I know Comrade General.”

“No, not that, you can see she had a daughter of her own…

…She went out in the early morning of June 4, 1989. It was a heady few days. You could tell ‘freedom’ was in the air. Did you know that regimental troops marched with the people earlier in the week, Lieutenant?”

“No Comrade General.”

“Her husband and I were in the operations center. We had cameras all over the square. Wen saw her first and watched her for the rest of the night until….”

“Until, Sir?”

“I gave the order. All lights went off long enough to disorient the remaining crowds of people. Then the methodical pounding started. To frighten them, you know. They were warned to clear the square. They were warned… we had until 6 am to clear the square. Wen lost sight of his wife and child – my daughter and granddaughter – heading west when the lights went out….”

“What happened, Sir?”

The General stared the Lieutenant down.

“Lieutenant, did I ever tell you my daughter’s story?”

“No Comrade General.”

“Very well, that is all Lieutenant. Dismissed”

In the past, he would have sent the hapless Lieutenant to his death on some ‘important mission’ for such a lapse as he had just made in the Lieutenant’s presence. He thought better of his actions and did not do so, this time.

Mr. Sandusky and Big Al

 “So, lemme get this straight, you want that I should plug the leak?”

“What part of ‘plug the leak’ don’t you get?”

“Well, it’s gonna cost, big time.”

“Since when? You’ve been doing this for me since I moved into the neighborhood. What’s the problem?”

“No problem, Mister Sandusky, it’s just this time is more complicated. If you know what I mean.”

“I know what you mean.”

“So, you payin’ more?”

“I want to see the results first. Bring me the parts that are leftover.”

“You got it. And thanks for the automotive business.”

Mr. Sandusky grinned, turned and swaggered out of the shop knowing that the job he just contracted would be done right.

Joe and Grace

 “So, you think you’re right?”

“Of course I am. I observed his behavior, surveyed the area, decided what to do about it and acted before he could. What else is there?”

“The morals and ethics of the situation.”

“Oh that, you harping on that again?”

“Harping, harping, what do you mean by harping? Don’t you think we should be held to a higher standard?”

“Always can count on you to be my ‘Jiminy Cricket’”

“I resent that and I will not be your conscience. If you don’t toe the line, I’m not covering for you. Not again.”

“You always do”

“Well that’s going to change right now.”

“Where are you going?”

“To get some tea. You want something before bed?”

“Naw, thanks sweetie.”