Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Story A Day - 15

Prompt from Thinking Ten: Take it Away Tuesday: "The letter lay unopened on the table..."

The letter lay unopened on the table. Crane knew what was in it so he let it sit and dialed up the Ministry of Safety and Security. The radiophone squawked in his ear as Minister Mayes came on the line.

"Crane. I understand you've had some containment issues. You don't need me to tell you..."

"No, Mayes, I don't," Crane said and then continued before the other g-man could pick up where he was cut off. "The rogue elements are my problem and I've got the solution. You don't need to send any more of your gunships to shoot up my building. Or kill my officers. That was the Underminister you took out, you know."

"Sorry to hear that, Crane. Just doing our job, and don't bother crying me another river about all the extra work I'm making for you." When Crane paused, his counterpart took the opening to get a few shots in. "Yeah, that's right. I already heard from someone else in your organization that you've been talking up a storm about how hard it is to keep the news clean when, how did it go again? 'Minister Mayes and his triggermen keep shooting up the joint.'

"Triggermen, huh? You make it sound like you think we're a bunch of mobsters. Look, Crane, I know why you called. I'm going to make it easy on you. You get Brand under wraps and keep him there, or the Ministry for Public Information will be subsumed under the leadership of my office. And you and I both know what that means."

Mayes cut the line then. Crane let the radiophone buzz until it started chirping at him, reminding him to cradle the device to close the line. He didn't. Reaching into his coat pocket, Minister Crane pulled out his flask and threw back two swallows of pure grade firewater. Even though Capone's Outfit had left town, their distilling operations were still running in and around the city. Sometimes it paid to be a member of the government team that ran Chicago. And sometimes it didn't.

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