Held Captive

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told.  Some will be fun, some will not.  Some will be great, some will be less so.  Some stories are true, some are merely possible.  This is one of them.

Held Captive

Charles Bullit knew that this line of work was supposed to be exciting, but as the gun pressed against his temple he started to think that there were better ways to spend the day.  With his capturer holding him in a tight headlock, his range of motion was quite limited.  He tried to keep his breathing somewhat steady while his eyes darted between the three players that were all attempting to control the scene the way they wanted.

First off there was the man with the gun to his head.  Bullit didn’t know what his motivation was or who he thought he was, but he knew that this fellow was a quite capable of being rough.  There had been no introductions made, the man had run up, grabbed him, and forced the gun on Bullit while the crowd stood by and watched.  Not knowing his name, and feeling that such pleasantries had long since gone out the window, Bullit had decided to refer to him as “Jerk”.

Standing on the other end of the mall’s courtyard was the man with a megaphone.  Most of his physical traits were obscured by the megaphone he seemed to keep in front of him at all times.  Bullit could tell that he was probably in his late 40’s.  He even had the spare-tire around his belly to compliment what was probably a bald patch underneath the black cap.  To finalize his attire, the megaphone-carrier wore a pair of sunglasses even though it was a fall day and the clouds were not letting up.  Mostly due to the megaphone that the man seemed to treat as an appendage, but also because of his rather unhelpful manner, Bullit figured he should be called “Loudmouth”.

ImageThen there was the only person that seemed to be trying to help.  The man standing about twenty feet away from Bullit and Jerk radiated confidence.  He had pulled a gun the moment that he had seen Bullit being taken and hadn’t taken his eyes off of Jerk the entire time.  He kept a safe distance, but his badge and the orders he barked out showed he knew exactly what he was doing.  Bullit could only assume this was the man that he was supposed to be meeting.  All things considered, Bullit could have written up much smoother ways for this meet-up to play out.  Regardless, Bullit kept his gaze mostly on his best shot of getting out of this, the man he decided was “Hero”.

Feeling that he wasn’t getting enough of Bullit’s attention, Jerk grabbed him tighter around the neck and half walked, half dragged his hostage backwards.  Hero followed very slowly, while Loudmouth called out, “This isn’t how this is supposed to go!  You know what we’re after, so just do it!”  Bullit could hear Jerk grunt and saw the man sneer out of the corner of his eye.  Without warning, he slid over to the left.  Bullit tried to turn to see where they were going, but that only caused Jerk to press his gun deeper into his temple.  Bullit quickly decided his curiosity wasn’t worth the migraine and gave Jerk the attention he seemed to want so badly.  Hero was side stepping, each foot quietly and confidently placed on the mall’s linoleum floor as he followed Jerk’s every move.

Bullit had felt like he could talk the situation out.  He waved his free arm and tried to get Loudmouth’s attention.  When he opened his mouth to speak, Loudmouth quickly interrupted him.

“You!  Do not say a word!  You’ve been warned!  We know what we’re doing, we’ve got this.  Just keep quiet or it’s all over!”

Bullit didn’t find those words terribly comforting.  Jerk grunted again and grumbled into Bullit’s ear.  “He’s right.  Keep your mouth shut and it’ll all be over soon.  Do what I tell you and you’ll be fine.  You mess this up for me and it’ll all go badly for you.  A few more minutes; that’s how long this’ll last.”

Bullit tried to nod along but found himself too worked up.  He looked to Hero with pleading eyes.  Hero looked at him and then cast a glance to Loudmouth.  Seeing the Mr. Megaphone wasn’t focused on him right now, Hero nodded confidently and for the briefest of seconds took one hand off the gun.  He raised it to his mouth, his index finger in front of his lips, and then returned his hand to his sidearm.  Bullit had gotten the message.  All three players in this game wanted him to keep his trap shut.

Screams echoed from behind Jerk and Bullit.  A few seconds later Bullit could see the baristas deserting the espresso stand that he and Jerk were approaching.  He had to give his captor some credit.  He no longer had his back exposed and could focus on the one-hundred and eighty degrees around them.  Bullit took in his environment, trying to find something that would help him out.  He knew that he wasn’t supposed to make any sudden moves, but he was growing tired of being treated like a bag of floor that was lugged and tossed around.

Loudmouth apparently figured out what Bullit was up to and protested in the only language he knew; shouting.  “Don’t even think about it!  Your job is to shut up and not throw any curve balls!  Be a good little hostage.”  Bullit wished very hard that he had a curve ball that he could throw.  At this point he’d aim it right for Loudmouth’s annoying face.

Suddenly, Hero leapt into action.  In one fluid movement he had sheathed his gun and ran full charge towards Jerk.  Jerk had been distracted by the outburst between Loudmouth and Bullit and Hero had taken advantage of it.  Bullit could feel Jerk’s eyes growing wide as Hero was only a few yards away.

“Stay back!  I will take this little punk out!  Stay back!”

Hero, almost within arms’ reach, took the situation under consideration.  Bullit knew that if he lunged just right, he could take out Jerk.  But Jerk was not in the mood to call it quits.  He pressed the gun even harder into Bullit’s face and moved so that his captive was directly between him and Hero.  He moved the gun to the base of Bullit’s skull and pointed it upwards.  With his other hand Jerk pulled at the hair on top of Bullit’s hard and pulled back sharply.  With that, Bullit had had enough.

“Okay.  Stop.”

Loudmouth threw his megaphone on the ground but Jerk refused to let go.  Bullit was done.  He stomped on Jerk’s foot, felt the grip on him loosen, and punched Jerk right in the jaw.

“What’re you doing?”  Hero was shocked and came running up.  He pushed Bullit roughly aside and knelt before Jerk.  “Hank, are you okay?”

“Larry, what’s happening?”  Jerk, or rather, Hank, was dazed.

“The freakin’ extra ruined the shot, that’s what happened”, Loudmouth answered as he walked up to the three of them.  “Kid, what do you think you’re doing?  We can’t use any of that.”

“Jerk here was getting a little too rough.  I know I’m just a walk on player, but what the sam hill, man?”

Hero, know known to Bullit as Larry, grabbed onto Bullit’s arm and pulled him aside.  Loudmouth went to check in on Hank and started muttering, “Never in my twenty-one years of directing…”

“Look kid”, Larry started.  “Do you know why you weren’t allowed to talk?”

“Because union rules say that if I say any lines then you have to pay me different.”

“Right.  So what makes you think if we don’t want to hear a word you say that we’re going to love you for changing the script?”

“I’m sorry”, Bullit said.  “But Jerk over there…”

“That ‘Jerk’ is Hank Stuffin.  He’s the second biggest name on this picture.  He made enough money last year to buy your house.  Ten times.  So you treat him with respect.  Now, you know who the biggest name on this picture is?”

Bullit didn’t, so he stayed quiet.

“Me.  This is my picture.  I’m tired of making romantic comedies.  This is my big action break.  Do you know how many chocolate shakes I’ve had to give up getting in shape for this role?  How many hours I’ve spent in the gym while some muscle-bound trainer yells at me?  And you’re going to come here and mess that all up for me?”

“I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to upset you, but the guy was getting rough.”

“What did you expect?”  Loudmouth came up, taking the sunglasses off for the first time so Bullit could see his eyes glaring a hole through him.

“I dunno, I thought I might get to drive a car or something.  Maybe ride on a bus that you guys were using.”

“Kid, what kind of spy movie takes place on a bus?”  Ludmouth yanked his hat off and threw it on the ground in disgust.  “Now get off my location.”

Bullit shrugged.  He could hear Loudmouth talk about having to reset and reshoot but he didn’t feel bad for what he had done.  They could have been nicer, he thought.  Charles Bullit walked off the set only too happy to leave the movie world behind him.

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About anecdotaltales
He's a simple enough fellow. He likes movies, comics, radio shows from the 40's, and books. He likes to write and wishes his cat wouldn't shed on his laptop.

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