2022 Writing Contest

"I'll take my chances, now please hurry up" Austin motions toward Shawn who helps usher me out the back door, leaving alongside me. I ask, "What did you get me involved with?" Shawn shrugs and puts the box into my hands before beginning to walk away; I follow after him. As we walk, we chat. Shawn asks, "How are things at home?" I respond, "Same old same old" "Yeah, I can tell" "What about you?" "Life's still been boring" "I can tell, after all your still the same old you. Getting into situations where death is your best friend" "What can I say? I still like living on the edge" "You need to settle down some day, get your life back on track" "Zeke, I know you mean well but I can't go back. Too deep in it, I got to keep riding this out till I die" "I could find you a job, maybe a net help group?" "Man, drop it" "Dude, you still can get out. You can still live safely" Shawn shrugs me off, and we continue to the JackleShakle's main base of operations in silence. It's a tattoo parlor, and a bar. Not the strangest combination but I don't plan to participate in both together, ever. Shawn and I enter the tattoo parlor, getting odd looks as we do so. Shawn leaves me alone, to go do something on his own. Such a great man, so kind. So a JackleShakle walks up to me and begins to look me over. His mohawk is a bright purple, and his upper head is clearly machine. Purple Mohawk asks, "How’s your day going man?" I respond, "Its fine, tiring" "Yeah, I get you. What's in the box?" "A gift for the boss, I'm just the delivery man" "I can tell, but you got no uniform" "I don't like uniforms" "Same man, that's why I'm here" "Yeah, I hear you" At this I walk away to Shawn and ask, "Can we get on with the delivery?" Shawn glances at me before shrugging and answering, "Sure, let's get to it then" The worker Shawn was talking to leads us up to the second floor, and through a door. JackleShakle's are sitting in chairs, chatting, and discussing things. The one at the head of it all, has no mohawk but his eyes are completely robotic. The leader of the JackleShakle's; Jackson 'Jackle' Joseph. Triple J. I walk forward with the box as Shawn states, "this is a gift for you, Triple J. A sign of respect from our group to your own"