Sixteen Sunsets – The Enemy Rule


“My name is Anne Henderson.” Anne extended her hand to Joaquin who ignored it. “Very well. You don’t have to say anything, just listen. I’m with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.” Anne smiled. “We call it the O-J-J-D-P.” Anne produced a business card and when Joaquin made no attempt to take it from her, she placed it on the table. “You were a lucky young man today. If that gun hadn’t misfired…” Her words trailed off and she raised her eyebrows.

Joaquin leaned forward. “It didn’t.”


“The gun. It didn’t misfire. That fuckin pig shot me.”

“That’s not what your booking papers say.”

“Like I give a shit what some damn papers say.”

Anne stared at Joaquin as if to urge him to continue.

Joaquin sighed. “You gotta keep my secrets, right?”

“I’m not sure I follow.”

“Like on those lawyer shows.”

“I’m not a lawyer Joaquin. I’m an advocate.”

“How about you advocate my ass outta here. Some strange shit is goin down.”

“What do you mean?” Anne placed a folder between them. Joaquin noticed the folder was absent of any logo, but it did have a simple stamp on it.

“Three-seventeen?” Joaquin asked, reading the stamp.

Anne pushed the folder across the table. When Joaquin opened it, he saw it contained all the details of his life, including information on his parents and deceased older brother. After flipping through a few pages, he came across photos of his failed carjacking. There were photos of the car, but what was most interesting to him was the photo of a spent 9mm copper slug. One end was crushed as it if had hit something and malformed. He recalled the intense pain when the officer shot him. Anne closed the folder and secreted it back into her satchel. She then produced a metal letter opener and placed it on the table.

“You’re gonna escape now.” She said.

“Why’re you doing this?”

“Do you know the famous quote from the Godfather?”

Joaquin sat up straight. “Yeah, the enemy rule.”

Anne smiled. “’Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.’ Some people misattribute it to Chinese general, Sun Tzu. General Tzu did say this: ‘All warfare is based on deception.’ I met General Tzu once. He was just like you.”

Joaquin stared at Anne and she motioned toward the letter opener. Next, she dumped her briefcase on the table and threw it at the door.

“Help me! He’s got a knife!” She ran to the door and banged on it. “Help me, please!”

Three uniformed police officers stormed in, weapons drawn.

“Get on the floor!”

“Lemmie see your hands!”

They shouted at once and over each other. In the cacophony, Joaquin grabbed the letter opener and the closest officer opened fire. A single shot felled Joaquin. When the officers gathered around him, he struck. He stabbed the letter opener into the foot closest to him, seized the dropped weapon, leaped up and dashed out of the room. He grabbed Anne by the waist and held the gun to her head.

“Back off, assholes!” He shouted. “I’ll fuckin kill this bitch.”

“I don’t want to die!” shrieked Anne. Tears flowed freely now.

“Calm down, man.” An officer yelled. “Everyone stand down.”

Joaquin waved the gun around. “That’s right assholes. Back the fuck down!”

Joaquin dragged Anne towards an empty office. The officer tried reasoning with him. “There’s no way out of here, man. Even if you get outside, there’s no where to run.”

“Yo, shut the fuck up!” Joaquin pressed the gun against Anne’s temple. “Unless you want a dead gov’ment bitch here, you gonna let me get outta here.”

“We can’t let you do that, man.”

Joaquin stepped through the door. “Don’t come in here or she’s dead!” and slammed the door shut.

* * *

“Shit, shit, shit!” Cried out Joaquin. “I’m in some deep shit.”

“Calm down.” Anne said while wiping the tears from her show. We’ll be out of here soon.”

“Calm down? This shit’s fuckin waist deep. There are like thirty cops out there.”

“We’re not going out there.”

Joaquin started to retort, but Anne interrupted him. “You might want to step away from that wall.”

Before Joaquin could respond, a section of cinderblock wall crumbled and a man walked through.

“What the fuck?” Joaquin shouted.

“Nice to meet you too.” Said the man. He turned to Anne. “He ready?”

“As ready as he can be. Please put your gloves on.”

The man rolled his eyes, but complied. He turned and walked through the wreckage that was the wall. Anne followed and when Joaquin didn’t follow suit, she declared, “I really don’t care what happens to you, but you just assaulted three officers and kidnapped me.” She stepped through the hole. “That’s much worse than a carjacking.”

Joaquin followed and asked, “How did this dude break the wall?”

From ahead a voice spoke up. “The name’s Justin. Besides, you appear to have impervious skin – does my or Anne’s powers surprise you?”

Joaquin scoffed. “Yeah.”

“Aw, man. What’re we gonna do with this guy?”

Anne caught up to Justin. “Take him with us in the chopper.”

As Justin and Anne stepped into a harness, Joaquin stammered. “I ain’t never been in a helicopter before.”

Justin slapped Joaquin with his gloved hand and said, “I bet you never broke out of a police station before either.”

Anne helped Joaquin into his harness and the three latched devices onto three ropes that fell from the sky. A large black machine hung silently in the air.

“That ain’t no helicopter.” Said Joaquin. “There’s no blades.”

Anne smiled and pushed a red flashing button on her device and she zipped up the rope.

“See you up stairs.” Said Justin before he to followed suit.

Keep your enemies closer… thought Joaquin. He pressed the flashing button and watched the alley recede into the distance.

16Sunsets – 5

For Chuck’s prompt I rolled an eight on my d10, so I get to do “The Enemy Rule.” Here is the continuation of 16Sunsets at 980 words. You can read what happened before this by clicking on the 16Sunsets tag.

About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degrees in Computer Systems and Applications and Applied Human Behavior. View all posts by Mark Gardner

4 responses to “Sixteen Sunsets – The Enemy Rule

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