Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Traitor Among Friends #Satire #Short Stories
by James G. Bruen, Jr.
"Gentlemen," began Tony Underwood, "I believe one of us is a traitor."
The dimly lit room in the row house basement became eerily still. No one spoke. No one lifted a beer mug. No one cut a piece of cheese or pulled a chunk of bread off a loaf.
"Our potholes have been filled in three times during the last two weeks," Underwood continued eventually. "We dig them out again only to have them refilled the very next night. I believe one of us is trying to frustrate our plan to slow speeding cars. One of us wants to drive more than he values our neighborhood, so he's smoothing Oak Street. I've asked Joe Daniels and Ed Lacovic to stand sentinel tonight. They'll catch him."
"If we're all here except Daniels and Lacovic," asked Pete Ander, "how are they going to catch him?"
"And if one of us is a traitor," inquired Sean O'Reilly, "why did you tell us your plan to catch him? Now he knows your plan."
Stunned, Underwood slumped to the floor, mumbling, "I hadn't thought of that."
The first floor door to the basement flew open and slammed against a kitchen table. Shouts, muffled voices, and thumps on walls resonated from the stairway leading to the basement where the men turned as one towards the landing at the bottom of the stairway, straining to see who was causing the clamor.
A black-hooded figure stumbled from the landing, pushed into the gathering by two escorts who had hustled him down the stairs. He sprawled face down on the floor next to a bug-eyed Underwood. The other men sprung on the hooded figure; he struggled mightily but they pinned him quickly.
"Traitor!" exclaimed Underwood.