Actually, Mr. Benedict

Originally distributed in the email list Digital Assaults

“So why run?”

It was the first thing in the morning, and here was this reporter, right on his doorstep, and she was asking him that. Of all things, she asks that.

“So, it’s out, huh. I thought I got away clean. Damn. I guess everything’s over. Why run? So I wouldn’t get caught, that’s why. Do you know what this means? What it does to me?

“I’m finished. You’re here now, but I’m sure the police will be right behind you. I can’t explain it, can’t talk my way out of it. I ran. They were all shouting, identifying themselves, ordering me to stop. Have you ever been in that situation? It’s terrifying. I panicked. I admit it, I panicked.

“I don’t even know what I was doing there in the first place. I mean, it’s not like it was a habit or anything. I never set foot in the place until last night. Bob talked me into it. We had been drinking, neither of us had ever done anything like that before, it seemed like a lark

“God knows, we never expected the place to be raided. Place has been running for years, right out in the open like that, first time it gets raided is the one and only night I’m there. How’s that for luck?

“And we certainly didn’t know the girl was underage. I mean yeah, she looked a little young, but I figured, she must be eighteen. They wouldn’t let her work there unless she was eighteen. Then she tells us she’s fifteen. Can you imagine? Right in the middle of, well, you get the idea.

“And before I can react, before I can even comprehend what she just said, blam, here they are, yelling and screaming, waving guns. So I grabbed my pants and hauled ass. What would you have done? Stayed and let yourself be ruined? Of course not. You’d have taken off, too.

“I bet it was Bob, wasn’t it? He must have got caught and spilled the beans. Told everyone I was there so he’d get off the hook. That son of a bitch. It was Bob, wasn’t it?”

The reporter smiled, a grin bigger than any he’d ever seen before. I grin like the proverbial cat who swallowed the canary. And she said the most remarkable thing.

She said, “Actually, Mr. Benedict, I was asking why you had chosen to run for Congress.”




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