An Offer

This time. This time was sure to get their attention. For the last ten years, I’d fought and struggled and climbed my way up the corporate ladder of the criminal underworld and I was finally ready to go big time. But no. The big shots weren’t looking for a new member, not right now. There needed to be an opening. Well, I’d make an opening! The plan started simple enough, just get a job in their main headquarters. It didn’t have to be anything special. So, here I am, helping out the officer manager. It’s the perfect gig, really. I came in early this morning and swapped out the coffee makers for the ones I’d spent the last month building. They were absolutely perfect. Now, to just make sure I got all of the upper alphabet soup outside.
“Excuse me, Sirs, but there’s a situation outside that requires your…personal touch.”
I could see the looks of glee. They were assuming it was one of those useless heroes. Oh no, far from, my soon to be friends. The head honcho gave me a smile and gestured peremptorily for me to lead them out. Once we were all outside and the correct distance, which I had calculated painstakingly. I lifted the top off the table I had set and poured them each a cup of tea. The looks of glee on super villain faces turned to ones of confusion, but only for as long as it took for me to push the detonator button in my pocket. And as their corporate headquarters imploded dramatically, I smiled at them over my tea.
“Gentlemen, I have an offer you simply can’t refuse.”

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The Grave

They didn’t give her the luxury of a headstone. There was nothing to mark the grave that held the woman who had enslaved the people of that valley for generations and the people liked it that way. They built monument after monument to commemorate the heroes, but nothing of the woman they had slain. So when the flowers began to appear in that precise spot in the forest, people began to talk. At first, they wondered if it was a coincidence. Quietly, some of the town guards removed the flowers and said nothing about the incident. A month later, though, there were flowers there once again. That was when people truly began to worry. What if this was a sign? What if her reign wasn’t truly over?
Every time the flowers were taken away, new ones returned. Finally, one day the town agreed to post guards, certain they would find who had the audacity to leave flowers for the villain that still stalked the nightmares of many. It was that first night that after that the guards find the culprits. A small child and a man they all knew well had walked out into the forest with a bouquet in their hands. Staring in horror, the two guards knelt before the paladin, the hero of old who had slain the wicked woman. With a sigh, he looked them over and then set the flowers on the grave before lifting his son onto his hip.
“I don’t suppose these ones could last more than a day? I’d rather my son not have to come out here to honor his mother more often than necessary for him to keep her memory alive.”