Title: when the bastard came to town
Featuring: Justin Voss
Date: May 1st, 2020
Location: the manor

He sat behind his Australian redwood timber desk, cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth as he swirled whiskey in a crystal tumbler.  The only sounds in the room were the ice clinking in the glass and his breathing.  He watched the ice cubes chase each other around in the amber liquid just to distract himself a moment. 

Pulling the smoke from his mouth, he ashed it in an oversized crystal ashtray before taking another long draw.  He washed the smoke down with the whiskey and put it on the table, looking at his iPhone in front of him.  He wrapped his knuckles on the timber desk impatiently. 

His attention was stolen by an entrance into his office, almost startled being drawn from his thoughts.  A maid stood in the entry and awaited for him to approve her to speak.  An “enter” gesture from him and she took a couple of steps across the threshold.  

“Lunch will be served in fifteen minutes, sir,” she explained if her intrusion. 

He nodded, drew back the rest of his smoke and began to stub it out.  He nodded his head impatiently, not at the intrusion but for the phone call he was expecting to receive. 

“Very good,” he muttered.  “Is that all?”

“Yes, sir.”  And bowed slightly and left the room, the door closing in perfect synchronisation with the iPhone on his desk breaking into “Mantra” by Bring Me the Horizon.  He looked at the screen, “Morton Murphy”.

He swiped and fingered the screen to go to speaker. 

“Mort.  Has he arrived?” he demanded, almost cold in his delivery. 

“Just got off the plane, JV.  I’m trying to get an interview for EWTorch,” explained the journalist and long-time friend. 

“Good.  Keep my name out your mouth and go about your business.”  And he stabbed at the red button killing the conversation. 

Grabbing the crystal decanter off the desk, he topped his glass up.  Took a big mouthful and topped it up again.  He took another cigarette from the packet and the Zippo which weighed it down.  Lighting his smoke, swirling his glass, he sat back in the big leather chair and stared off into the horizon. 

He was here.  First time he had set foot on American soil.  And he already knew where he was headed.  A place Justin Voss knew well. 

A place he still had connections with. 

Turning the chair, he looked through the window out onto the manicured yards below, taking a slow, purposeful sip of the whiskey.  It didn’t seem to warm him much.  He wasn’t sure he felt anything at all.  It was his fifth drink and he welcomed the idea of lunch.  Figured, he better eat something soon before the alcohol consumed him and could cause him to fall into that well of dark thoughts and regrets. 

He’d kept an eye on the boy for the longest of times.  But never made contact.  Never sent a birthday card or a gift.  Well, that was a lie.  He’d sent him a packet of cigarettes on his sixteenth birthday.  A hidden agenda of suggestion.  That we all have to live with our decisions.  But the boy would never know why those decisions ever got made.  The boy would never know the why’s and how’s and what’s.  

Maybe things could change.  Maybe this was the event which caused the butterfly effect to ripple through their time space continuum. 

Maybe everything would change when the bastard came to town. 

Justin knew this might be his only shot to get the boy to peer through the looking glass.  But he also knew, so much water had passed under the bridge that he mightn’t be able to navigate the rapids.  Didn’t mean he wouldn’t try. 

He made a promise to his dead self that he wouldn’t be turning in his grave over not trying to make amends.  Or at least give his truth.  Whether or not the boy wanted to stomach he didn’t know but this was the first moment in twenty-one years he was granted an opportunity. 

Downing the remains of his glass, he took a final, long drag of his smoke and stood.  He smashed it out in the ashtray and exhaled with a sigh.  

Maybe everything would change when the bastard came to town.  Maybe. 

Maybe these dark thoughts in his head would shut up after a feed.



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