Matthew’s wife and two children sat huddled together at the far end of the couch. He was seated at the near end, leaning forward, trying to understand all the information Special Agent Gibbons was throwing at him. Witness protection meant that everything about their current lives’ would have to be left behind. Friends, family, possessions, it would all have to be discarded.
They would have the opportunity to say some brief farewells, but after that there would be no contact. There could simply be no opportunity for the mob to find out what happened to the family, and if they maintained contact then the mob would have a way to use that against Matthew and the FBI.
He slowly nodded his head in understanding and acceptance. Quiet sobs broke out behind him as his wife Clarise, and James and Robert began to comprehend themselves. Gibbons gave the family a few moments to come to terms with their new reality. Entering witness protection was never easy, but it was especially difficult when young children were involved. Through no fault of their own, their lives would be turned upside down. Gibbons felt bad for them, but he hoped that they were young enough that they would be able to adapt. After a few moments, everyone seemed to regain some composure.
“You’ll be staying here until we finalize your new identities.” Gibbons stated. “Then, once that is done, we will help get you set up in your new hometown. Unfortunately, you will have to give up your profession. The mob will be watching for you to reappear in your familiar settings. We will help with some new training, but mostly it will be up to you. It will be best to choose jobs that are not high profile.”
James found some courage to speak to the scary looking federal agent. “Are we going to get new names?”
Gibbons nodded. “Yes you are.”
“Can we choose what we want?” James’ courage found more of a foothold.
Gibbons had been asked that question on almost every occasion of changing identity. Normally the Bureau did not allow its witnesses to choose because invariably the new names had some meaning and link to the old identity. But he didn’t want to crush the little boy’s hopes.
“What names do you have in mind?” Gibbons asked with his best, conciliatory voice that he spent years perfecting.
James came fully out of his shell. “I could be Jason, Robert could be Billy, Daddy could be Zack, and Mommy could be Kimberly.”
Those weren’t bad names, Gibbons thought. But he could see by the slight smiles that were tugging at the corners of Matthew and Clarise’s lips that he was missing something. Robert pipping up to give his opinion confirmed his suspicion.
“I want to be Tommy,” the youngest child complained.
The two boys started tussling even though their mother was between them. Matthew grabbed Robert and pulled the boy onto his lap and Clarise got hold of James’ hands and held them in her own.
“Sorry about that,” Clarise apologized.
“That’s perfectly alright,” Gibbons replied. “Forgive my ignorance, but what is the meaning behind those names? They seem completely normal.”
Clarise grabbed a DVD case off the coffee table and handed it to Gibbons. “Those names are from the Power Rangers. The boys are completely enthralled with them right now.”
Gibbons looked at the cover on the case. Well, if this family had these super powers, they certainly wouldn’t need his help. He put the case down. He appreciated the little boy’s attempt at trying to take control of an out of control situation.
“I’ll see what I can do,” he told the brothers. This time the warmth in his voice was genuine.
– – – – – –
This bit of serious silliness brought to you by Inspiration Monday. Once again, it seems I blew through the word limit. Sorry Stephanie.
There are none. Read the prompts, get inspired, write something. No word count minimum or maximum. You don’t have to include the exact prompt in your piece, and you can interpret the prompt(s) any way you like.
No really; I need rules!
Okay; write 200-500 words on the prompt of your choice. You may either use the prompt as the title of your piece or work it into the body of your piece. You must complete it before 6 pm CST on the Monday following this post.
LEARNING TO FAIL
SHORT ARM OF THE LAW
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