*And the fourth wall suddenly disintegrates, blown apart by a lethal intellectual grenade* (Oh wait . . . does that mean my thoughts are as scattered as shrapnel? Probably, lol.)

Anyways, hi guys! Thanks for reading the random and somewhat intense stuff I’ve been posting. I appreciate the comments and feedback: it’s great to hear from y’all.

I have been thinking about expanding the story, developing the plot and characters and publishing a paperback version, probably around 200 pages, on Amazon. Is that something you’d be interested in buying?

Back to the story . . .


Written by Carter Pierce


Henry Foster’s 1969 Pontiac Firebird roared into Carthage, Missouri at ten forty-six PM. The vehicle wasn’t in prime cosmetic condition, but everything under the dented hood worked just fine. The trip normally took fifty minutes, and they’d made it in half an hour.

Henry shifted down into second gear as he pulled into the parking lot at the hospital, and the rumble subsided. “Here’s our stop, boys,” he said. “Do you want me to go inside and ask someone to bring a stretcher?”

Ivan grunted something that sounded amused. “I’ll carry him, Mr. Foster. It’s no problem.”

Henry shook his head in bewilderment. “Well, good for you, Ivan. You’re very spry for an older gentleman. But I wouldn’t push it if I were you.”

“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” was the reply. “You never know whose face you’re looking at.” Ivan opened his door and gently lifted Jack out of the car.

The three of them crossed the parking lot. The electronic doors opened for them. Henry approached the receptionist and explained the situation in a low voice, and she made a call.

“A nurse will be here presently,” she told them. “Please feel free to take a seat in the lobby.” She motioned toward the side room. Nobody else was there at this time of night: there were plenty of extra seats. Hopefully that meant the wait would be short.

“I prefer to stand,” Ivan said. “The less I move him the better. I think he’s asleep right now.”

“Just because my eyes are closed doesn’t mean I’m asleep,” Jack grumbled.

The nurse made her appearance, pushing a gurney. “I’ll take him from here,” she told Ivan. “Please set him down as gently as you can.”

Ivan did as he was told, painstakingly maneuvering Jack onto the transport and trying not to aggravate his broken ribs.

Jack groaned, his face contorting. “Just get it over with, Molchalin. This is like being run over by a gigantic snail.”

“You’re pretty talkative for a guy with a shattered ribcage,” Ivan commented. “You really just want me to dump you on the stretcher all at once?”

“Whatever it takes. Just be quick.”

The nurse wrung her hands, biting her lip in sympathy for Jack. “You really shouldn’t have been the one carrying him. You have no experience with wounded people.”

“You’d be surprised,” he smirked. Then, turning to Jack he said, “Alright. This might be somewhat . . . ” He swiftly lowered Jack to the gurney.

Jack shouted something unintelligible that ended in a long groan.

“. . . painful,” Ivan finished. “Good job, buddy. You handled that very well.”

“Thank you for ending it,” Jack wheezed.

“Hire somebody else, next time,” the nurse said frostily.

Henry and Ivan shared a look as she wheeled him away. “What now?” Ivan said.

“I think I’ll head back to my house,” Henry said. “I don’t know if there’s anything else I can do here.”

“Thank you for everything.”

Henry offered a tired smile. “Hope he mends quickly.” They shook hands.


The next morning, Guy Harmon stumbled into Rocky Comfort, Missouri. The wounds in his chest had scabbed over, but the shrapnel was still embedded in his flesh. One of his arms wasn’t responding properly, and he guessed he also had something in his shoulder. That was the main one he was worried about.

He entered a gas station building and asked for a recommendation on a doctor. The name Garret Thatcher was suggested, and an address given. It was only a few blocks away, so he decided to walk.

He’d learned from many other wounds that if he didn’t keep mobile, it would be far harder to get moving again after sitting down.

As he entered the small office, he briefly wondered how long it would take for him to get back on his feet.

He had business to attend to, and the longer he waited, the longer it would take him to track Ivan Molchalin down and exterminate him.


Copyright by Carter Pierce 2022 All Rights Reserved


2 replies on “Retribution”

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