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  • Witness protection is an oxymoron according to Jack Pierce. Although Jack Pierce isn't his real name; just one of three identifications he'd had to choose from. That was seven years ago, so maybe it really WAS his name. Common law marriages become legal after seven years, so why not assumed names?

    Back then his whole family was being relocated under the witness protection program after his father gave damning testimony in a major drug lord's trial. The federal marshals were packing them up while he took a last walk through his neighborhood.

    At eighteen, he was already contemplating leaving home and making his own way in the world. Saying goodbye to his girl friend, Maggie, was one of the hardest things he had ever done and his mind was still elsewhere as he opened the rear screen door to his kitchen.

    He started to call out to his mom when he spotted the foot laying sideways in the hall. By the time his mind started to process the information, his body had already finished and he found himself shaking all over as he tried to make himself disappear into the shadows. He listened for sounds and all he could hear was the blood pounding in his ears. After a minute of silence he inched his way to the corner of the hall.

    All dead. His sister; his mom; the two marshals; but worst of all was his dad. His throat was slit and his tongue had been pulled through the slit. Known as a Columbian necktie, it was the way those who talked to the authorities were dealt with by the drug cartels. And laying across his chest was the photograph taken two years ago of his family. Each member had an X across their face, except his had a big red circle around it with a question mark.

    He didn't touch or move anything in the room. Upstairs he grabbed his backpack and quickly put some clothes in it. Back downstairs he emptied the money he found in his dad's briefcase into his backpack and scooped up all the I.D's the marshals brought for his family. Without turning on the lights he eased out the same rear door.

    It was almost full dark when he pushed his bicycle between the backyards and into the next street. Five miles later he was at the train yards outside the Ford plant. In the morning he was safely hidden in one of the empty box cars as the train pulled out. Jack Pierce was born.

    Like he said, that was seven years ago and he had made his way in the world alone. Now he was older, tougher, and well established as a troubleshooter for the world renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. He had some vacation time coming and he figured it was time to return to the east coast and take care of family business.

    Revenge is a dish best served cold...

    The picture is on display at ZUZAK Wonder Store & Gallery of ART in Boonville Missouri. It is a place I love to visit. If you are interested, you can find them on line.
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