A Deadly Game
Russian Roulette is a deadly game but when the stakes are high, Starr Brannigan is never shy about risking all. It is a strange pastime for an exceptionally beautiful woman—but Starr is that exception.
It Begins Like Any Other Day—
The sun shone brightly through the sheer curtains of Starr Brannigan’s bedroom. She gently turned to face the alarm clock and it read 11:00 am. Starr shoots up as if she is the projectile of a cannon.
“Damn!” she shouts completely annoyed. “I was supposed to meet with Raymond at 10:30 am. I bet he’s really pissed.”
While throwing back the covers of her queen-sized canopy bed she searches with keen eyes for her cellphone. Starr presses the number one which will speed dial Raymond’s number.
“Where the hell are you, Starr?” Lt. Raymond Borkowski—Ray for short replies. “I thought that the bullet had finally caught up with you.”
A deep throaty chuckle comes from the woman. “Not so Ray, it was just a long night that lasted well into today. The little boys were too afraid to play the game, so I got all the information I wanted.” Starr smiles at her cellphone with complete satisfaction.
“One day, Starr …” Ray replies not willing to finish the sentence.
“Maybe …” is all Starr has to say. She is extremely fortunate when it comes to the game of Russian Roulette. Starr reframes from using the terminology “luck” which can turn from good to bad at Fate’s whim. She is a wiz at math and her calculations are never wrong. It is like a six sense. One that has gotten her out of many unfortunate situations.
Being Crime Journalist isn’t usually a risky profession but then Starr Brannigan isn’t your usual woman. Tipping the scale at 115 pounds, her 5’2” frame packs a punch like a welter-weight prize fighter. Starr is skilled in the martial arts and deadly with an automatic revolver. However, her weapons of choice are Russian Roulette and a Colt-45.
Starr’s fascination with this gun dates back to her youth when her dad would take her to every matinee in town to see movies with John Wayne and other “cowboys” of that era. She possesses every DVD regarding westerns and would carefully observe poker games and other games of chance. It is, however, Russian Roulette that causes her the most fascination. Starr always follows this strategy: go first, one on one!
You Go First ...
Starr only uses her well maintained and well lubricated revolver. Being a mathematician, she knows that it is statically more likely that a bullet will fall to the bottom of the chamber after the initial spin due to gravitational pull. This means that the bullet will more likely be housed in the 4th chamber from the top (to which the barrel is initially aligned). The other chambers would be empty. Therefore, when alternating back and forth, you would NOT want to be the second person to go.
“Why do you engage in such a deadly game just to get the story?” Ray knows that he has asked Starr that question many times and the answer is the same.
“Ray, my dad was a good detective. However, because of bad cops he is restricted to a wheel chair from a bullet that could have severed his spine. I promised him that I wouldn’t join the force and majored in Journalism instead. That doesn’t keep me from investigating the slime on the streets of Jeffersonville to root out all the weeds that threaten to take over.” Starr replies with vengeance.
“Jeffersonville has changed a lot from the olden days. There was a time when you could sleep with your door open and not even a gnat would try to get in. Do that now and you may never awaken.” Ray shakes his head sadly.
“I love this town, Ray. Every since that crowd from the Northeast moved down here—well it goes without saying.” Starr states without going further.
“I know, Starr but there is just not enough evidence out there to bring in a conviction and people are just too afraid to talk. That is until you start to play your little game. Tell me now, just what would you do if one of the players insisted on using their gun?” Ray questions looking at Starr as if for the first time.
“I just wouldn’t play.” Starr tosses back at Ray nonchalantly.
“And … what if they insisted?” Ray challenges.
“Well, Ray—then they would just have to shoot me. I’ll be damned if I am going to shoot myself.” Starr gives Ray such a look that he dares not explore the possibilities any further.
“I’ve got to get back to work, Starr. You take care—you are playing a dangerous game. There are men out there that wouldn’t think twice about putting a bullet into that pretty little skull of yours.” Ray states.
“The feeling is mutual.” Starr counters and hangs up.
Starr looks at the receiver and then at the picture of her father. Jacob Brannigan is a very handsome 54-year-old ex-detective with sparking blue eyes and a cleft in his chin. He would have been better casted as a Hollywood idol, but he chose a career in law enforcement. Starr loves him dearly and wishes she had been a boy so that she could have been named after him. However, when Jacob first saw his beautiful daughter he replied, “Now that’s a real star!”
I Got A Little Job For You ...
The phone rings again, this time the voice is not so easy going.
“Look—you’ve been sticking that pretty little nose where it don’t belong for a long time now. What say we have a little talk.” The gruff voiced man says.
“Who the hell are you?” Starr barks.
“Glenn Wilkinson, that’s who the hell I am.” The voice barks back.
“The Tenderfoot?” Starr asks in astonishment.
“The same—I’ve been watching how you operate. Although I don’t care much for your reporting—you’re methods are through the roof.” The Tenderfoot says in admiration.
“Thanks, what’s your point?” Starr asks, not one to mince words.
“Right to the point, I like that in an associate.” The Tenderfoot replies.
“An Associate?” Starr is more puzzled than ever.
“Look Starr, I don’t like the Northeast Syndicate moving down here any more than you do. I will admit that my interests are well ... different from yours, but I’d love to send that scum packing.” The Tenderfoot says.
“I’m listening.” Starr coaxes him on.
“Okay, here’s the deal. Let’s call a temporary truce. We work together to get The Crow back to his own nest and you get yourself a story on those boys.” The Tenderfoot entices.
“I get off your back for a minute and you get the Crow out of your hair, right?” A wide smile slowly spreads across Starr’s face.
“My sources weren’t lying when they said you were the best!” Again, the Tenderfoot drops a load of approbation. It makes Starr smile even more.
“Okay, Tenderfoot, what’s your plan?” Starr asks.
“Does this mean you’re in” The Tenderfoot inquires, starting to smile himself.
“Does a goose have feathers?” Starr throws at him.
“Damn straight—now here’s my plan.
To Be Continued …
A Deadly Game Conclusion
- A Deadly Game Conclusion
Oh, the Crow decided to use his own gun in this game of Life and Death! Will Starr still be able to win? This time it is truly a turn of the chamber!
Questions & Answers
© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS