16Sunsets – See no Evil


Major Jacob Globe toed a statue of three meerkats sitting on a log. They were in the classic speak no evil, see no evil, hear no evil pose. He stood in a designated smoking area, lined with fake clover. He looked straight up at the open roof and saw a flock of birds fly overhead. The orange sky was getting darker. Sixteen Sunsets, he thought. What did it mean? He took another drag and shivered. The smoking area only featured a single lamp and a heating tower. This late at night he didn’t bother to turn it on. He would’ve been done smoking before it put out enough heat.


Jacob looked up to see his assistant leaning through the doorframe and into the smoking area. She wrinkled he brow and brought her hand up to her nose before stepping back. He dropped his cigarette beside the meerkat statue and crushed it under his boot.

“Recent news on subject three-one-six.” She handed him a flash drive and hurried away.

* * *

“The unidentified man and his female companion left the restaurant before authorities arrived on site. We go now to eyewitness news reporter Amber Ambrosa on the scene.”

The scene changed from the news anchor to a woman in front of a fast food joint.

“Thanks, Stu. I’m live at the restaurant at the corner of Seventh and Riverside where an attempted robbery was foiled by a mystery man.” Amber held her microphone out to the cashier and the scene panned out. “Can you tell us what happened here?”

“I was working my shift here at the restaurant and this dude tried robbing the place. A guy totally kicked his bleep before he could rob the rest of the customers. The mystery man’s my hero.” The cashier blew a kiss toward the camera.

The camera followed Amber as she interviewed other restaurant patrons.

“The guy performed some mad judo and wrestled the gun from the robber. That was so totally righteous!”

“I’m glad someone has the guts to stand up to these thugs. If more people acted like the mystery man, we could take this town back from the gangs.”

“I was in line to order when it happened. I was so frightened; I didn’t know what would happen. Thank God that man was there to stop the robbery.”

The camera swung its focus on Amber again. “Just some words of thanks from grateful patrons. The situation could have been worse if not for the selfless actions of a mysterious hero. For eyewitness news, I’m Amber Ambrosa. Back to you, Stu.”

“Mysterious hero, indeed…”

Krystal tossed the remote on the coffee table and straddled Kristof on the couch. “My hero,” she purred. She tried kissing him, but he looked towards the coffee table.

“Hey, I was watchin’ that.”

“How ‘bout you watch this instead.” Krystal pulled her shirt up and over her head, tossing it on the coffee table, covering the remote.

Kristof smiled and kissed her on the mouth and moved down to her neck and then breasts. Krystal wrapped her arms around his head as Kristof fumbled with the clasp to her bra. After a few frustrating seconds, Kristof grabbed the band and pulled it apart. Krystal gasped as the metal hooks bent out of shape.

She leaned back, allowing the bra to slide down her arms. Kristof embraced her and stood. She wrapped her legs around his torso and he walked to the bedroom.

* * *

“Mysterious hero, indeed. Thank you, Amber.” Stewart turned to the camera in the studio. “Police have released this security video from the foiled robbery.”

Grainy black and white video showed Kristof walking up behind the robber, and talking to him before the robber jammed the gun into his chest. When Kristof grabbed the gun hand of the robber and removed the weapon, several patrons gasped. The scene shifted to another camera showed Kristof and Krystal leave the restaurant and yet another camera showed them get into a sedan and drive away.

“The security video couldn’t positively identify the man, his companion or the license plate of the car they left in. A spokesperson for the police department had this to say…”

The scene switched to a police sergeant being interviewed by Amber. “I don’t think the robber banked on the heroic actions of the customer who, without a thought for his own safety, disarmed the robber, and while we would never recommend anyone do what the unidentified man did, his actions are worthy of praise.”

Back in the studio, Stewart turned to his female co-anchor. “Quite the story, eh?”

She responded. “I bet there are a lot of people who would like to shake his hand.” She turned to the camera. “In other news a four alarm fire…”

“Turn that shit off.”

Joaquin looked at the remote in his hand and pressed the power button. “You think that dude’s a hero?”

Justin scoffed. “Heroes? Villains? That’s the stuff of comic books and movies with million dollar budgets. We’re all just surviving.” He sat in a chair beside Joaquin and pointed a gloved finger at him. “I tell you what. If that guy doesn’t have some kind of power, he’s a fuckin’ moron.”

“The people love him. They respect him.”

“Love and respect are worthless. I just want to be left alone to live my life.”

“Shit.” Joaquin drew out the expletive. “I could be a hero if I wanted to.”

“Yeah until some asshole poisons you.”

Joaquin scowled. “I could totally do it, y’know.”

Justin rolled his eyes and shook his head.

“Why ya gotta be up in my grill, man. I could be a fuckin’ hero.”

“You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”

Joaquin flipped him the bird.

“You had the talk with Anne, right?”

“Yeah. That’s some crazy shit she told me. Was it true?”

Justin paused before continuing. “It took her almost a hundred years to figure out the world was gonna roll her no matter what, but yeah, it’s all true. Every story about a vampire or Greek myth, they’re all about someone like us.”

Joaquin’s eyes sparkled. “They’ll write stories about me!”

“Whoa! Settle down man. The world doesn’t need a hero. ‘sides, you’d probably fuck it up anyway.”

Joaquin scoffed and thrust out his jaw in defiance.

Justin threw up his hands. “It’s your funeral man.” He got up and walked away.

Joaquin stared at the retreating Justin. He had made up his mind and it was time to take action.

* * *

Kristof opened his eyes. His arm tingled and he withdrew it from under the sleeping form of his wife. Krystal moaned and rolled away from him. The curtain was partially open and he watched the sun set. “Fourteen days to go…” he whispered.

16Sunsets – Joaquin

For the Sunday Photo Fiction prompt this week, I actually kept it under the 200-word limit at 169 words. I tweaked and edited a little. Before I knew what was going on, I wrote another three scenes and finished at 1133 words. The final scene is clunky and I might fix it or cut it later. I love the comments I get about 16Sunsets and have even incorporated some of your feedback. The first scene is for SPF and the rest is for Adan. Hi Adan!

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

8 responses to “16Sunsets – See no Evil

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