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The Thomas Jefferson Society

by George Grubich

Franco Nardini pushed the button to open the garage door of his Georgetown, brownstone duplex, the one-piece door sliding up noiselessly. Just having a garage in this area put him in a class that even his well to do neighbors envied, but he liked his silver Jaguar XKR warm and dry when he got in, particularly on these cold, damp Washington fall mornings. And if he’d had to pretty much gut the entire duplex and then rebuild it to make the garage work, and the extra cream he skimmed from the millions he funneled to the politicians he owned paid for these little creature comforts.

He started the car, enjoying the soft, throaty purr of the big engine, then as usual, checked the rear view mirror before sliding the gear shift in and backing the low slung, gleaming beauty down the slightly inclined driveway to the street, where the lesser people had to curb park their cars along the row of hideously expensive brownstones. There was never anything behind him, but it was a habit born other days, when he had kids… and a wife.

Just as he was about to engage the shift he saw the older man in the mirror, standing at the edge of the garage. It startled him. The man was dressed in an expensive top coat with a tie peeking out of the top, obviously not a bum or a street person. Franco thought he almost looked… familiar. His professionally cut and styled thick gray might have been more careful had it been someone younger, or more disreputable, but….

Even when the man walked into his garage he wasn’t too concerned. Maybe the guy was just lost, probably looking for one of his neighbors. Nardini thumbed the button to roll down the window, but saw the small, black gun come out of the man’s coat pocket much too late to reverse the action. There was a soft pffftt and a dart lodged itself in Franco’s neck. He almost had the door open before he fell back inside the car.

He awoke to a stifling warmth, and found the stranger gone, the garage door closed, and the motor running. He also found that he couldn’t even scream. Soon he was asleep once more, permanently.