Everybody, sooner or later, sits down to a banquet of consequences ~ Robert Louis Stevenson (11/13/1850 to 12/3/1894) a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer. His most famous works are Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
As I dashed though the front door of The Quarry, I fumbled for my keys, wanting to unlock my car and get on the road as quickly as possible. I had just left a dinner meeting with a colleague who was convinced he could broker a peace between me and a bitter enemy, a guy Joe Truth (the colleague) insisted was a closet liberal.
Joe told me he wanted to apologize for calling me frigging nuts, but it was just a ruse to get me to meet with William Hartenbaum, a d-bag I wanted to avoid at all costs. Which is why I ran out of there as soon as Truth revealed his deception but before Hartenbaum showed his ugly mug.
Making it to the parking lot, I saw my vehicle and extended my arm, pointing the controller at it to unlock the doors. I had almost made it to my car, which was quite a distance due to the Quarry being packed, when someone popped up from behind my Ford Focus. What the hell is going on, I thought? Suddenly a muscular arm wrapped around my neck, and before I knew it I was in a secure chokehold.
"Recognize my voice, a**hole?" the man standing behind my car shouted. It was Dennis Marks, a dirtbag I had filed a restraining order against due to him calling my home hundreds of times a day to swear at me and threaten my life - because he harbored a grudge after I left some disagreeable comments on his blog (comments he lied about on the blog of his buddy William, insisting I was the one who swore).
"Hold still or I'll snap your neck", the person who had me in the chokehold barked. I recognized his voice as belonging to Tony Hawkins, an individual I'd had a previous bad encounter with.
I heard a car door open nearby and a few seconds later William Hartenbaum and I were face to face. "Glad you decided to meet with Joe Truth", Hartenbaum sneered. "Yes, I convinced that dumbass to trick you into showing up so we could ambush you". After addressing me, William turned to Dennis Marks and asked, "Why is he struggling so much, didn't you inject his steak with the syringe I gave you? He should be unconscious by now".
"Yes, I injected it, AFTER giving it a good rubdown with my dick", Dennis replied. "I hope you enjoyed my special sauce", Marks laughed, his comment directed at me. "And I was careful so none of the other chefs or boss Leeds saw", Marks added, his comment now directed at Hartenbaum. "By the way, I still don't understand why your buddy Slade isn't a party to our little practical joke".
"I explained that to you already", William shot back. "No way I was involving the The Quarry's owner in our hijinks. He'd have nixed assaulting a customer, even if that customer is a worthless little bastard like Dervish. Besides, Slade isn't nearly as moderate as we are. I suspect he may be kicked out of the Higher-Ordered Person's Society any day".
Despite Marks' and Hartenbaum's conversation about drugging me, I didn't feel drowsy at all. However, deciding some subterfuge might work in my favor given the circumstances, I went limp and pretended to fall asleep. "I think the sedatives just kicked in", Tony Hawkins observed. "OK. let's get him into his trunk", William directed. "Where are his keys?"
It was then that Hawkins released me from the choke hold, although he still had one arm wrapped around my waist. Sensing my opportunity had arrived, I removed the taser from the inside breast pocket of my suit jacket, jammed the contact points down on Hawkins' arm, and pressed the button. Hawkins immediately fell to the ground, his body twitching as 4.5 million volts coursed though his body. I retrieved my keys from where I had dropped them whilst attempting to free myself from Hawkins' grasp, pushed the button to relock my car, then turned and sprinted back to the restaurant.
"Get him!" a surprised Hartenbaum yelled. I'd like to have stuck around and tased the rest of my assaulters but decided not to take any chances. It had been months since the post-traumatic vertigo I suffered from as a result of a pistol-whipping administered by Tony Hawkins had disappeared, but I did not want to risk another beatdown. Two-on-one were not favorable odds. Plus I didn't know if Hartenbaum or Marks had any weapons on them.
Back inside the Quarry, I returned to the table where I had just dined with Joe Truth. Sitting down I noticed Joe was resting his head on top of his folded arms, fast asleep. Did our waiter mix up the plates and give Joe the steak intended for me? I shook him violently, but still he slumbered. Fantastic, I thought, the urge to barf that had come over me as soon as Marks described what he had done to my steak passed. Seeing as it was Truth who was unconscious, it must mean he (and not I) ate the meat Marks had given such special attention to. I guess there are consequences for bad ambassadoring.
Using my cell phone I called my assistant Janeane Garner and asked if she could pick me up. I didn't want to return to the parking lot if my adversaries were there waiting for me. Also, I didn't bother calling the police, as our city didn't have any - not since the Emergency Financial Manager replaced them with a private security firm (a firm Tony Hawkins worked for).
After hearing of my predicament, Janeane agreed to come get me right away. She drove up to the back entrance and opened her car door. Seeing Janeane, I exited with a crowd of people leaving and returning to their cars in the rear parking lot. Sliding in the backseat I found another passenger there. It was Rusty Farber, the head of security at the Progressive Ideology Foundation.
"Don't worry, Mr. Dervish. I'm here to protect you", Rusty assured me. "Let's drive around to the front and check on your car". Janeane, who was driving, followed Rusty's directions and circled the establishment. I was relieved to see my car undamaged. I had worried Hartenbaum and Marks may have vandalized it. They probably did not due to their buddy Slade Leeds owning The Quarry (and not wanting his establishment to be named in an insurance claim).
Rusty drew his (stun) gun and covered me as I returned to my vehicle, then escorted me home. We didn't see Hartenbaum or Marks again that night, but I knew this wasn't the end of our feud. They were, most likely, plotting revenge. I'm sure Joe Truth, who I had left asleep at a table inside the Quarry, was fine. I did not intend on letting him know what had happened, or that Hartenbaum thought he was a dumbass though. I very much doubted he would believe me, given the fact he still thought Hartenbaum was a Lefty, even with a mountain of evidence to the contrary.