Benjamin Survives the Coffee Shop

Benjamin had no time to consider his next move as he sat in a Starbucks on 88th in New York City. Benjamin had been in this situation enough times to know he could handle it, but he would have to be quick.

“He’s got a gun!” One of Benjamin’s fellow Starbucks patrons exclaimed, a full 4 or 5 seconds after Benjamin saw the familiar outfit, whom Benjamin immediately recognized: a white button up long sleeve shirt, tucked into black dress pants upon black shoes, pulled together with a blank tie. When Benjamin first saw the illuminati, he thought they looked more ready for a job interview than elite assassins.

Before the assassin could detonate his deadly payload, Benjamin had unveiled a .45 model 1911 from underneath his suit-jacket, a skill which had proved vital for Benjamin in situations exactly like these.

Benjamin fired 2 shots into the assassins ankles, hoping to reduce the threat while keeping the man alive for questioning.

As the assassin fell to the ground, Benjamin could see the assassin was reaching for his detonation device.

In a split-second Benjamin knew he would have to take this man’s life, and fired 2 rapid shots. As the assassin slumped on the ground lifelessly, the entire Starbucks was quiet except for slow, soulful solo guitar-singer.

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Benjamin and Jennifer Date Night (Part I)

Benjamin drove his father’s 1987 Honda Accord speedily through the stop-lights and stop-signs of Murphysborough, Georgia. Benjamin was leaving for Marine Corps boot camp in less than 2 days, and this would be the last time he would see Jennifer, because she had a volleyball tournament in Atlanta, Georgia the next day.

Benjamin hastily came to a stop in front of Jennifer’s house, triple-checked his appearance in the rearview mirror, collected himself, and opened his car door to head up to Jennifer’s door, where he knew her dad would be waiting for him.

“I want her home by 10:45 and not one minute later.”

“Yes sir. Of course. When have I ever brought her late?” Benjamin replied in the most professional demeanor he could muster.

After a few more minutes exchange between Benjamin and Jennifer’s father, a prominent business attorney in Atlanta, Georgia, Jennifer appeared flowingly from the second floor of her 5-bedroom, 6 bathroom mansion. Benjamin’s attention suddenly focused drastically and intensively on Jennifer as she walked down the 14 steps to appear on the same level as Benjamin and her father.

Jennifer was wearing a flowingly white silken dress which emphasized her small waist leading to large, developed and muscular hips, legs and thighs.

Benjamin only became aware that he was standing next to his fiance’s dad when Benjamin was bumped on the arm and brought back to reality.

“Now Jennifer, you be good. Big Volleyball tournament tomorrow.”

“Yes, Daddy.” Jennifer dutifully responded.

As the door closed behind Jennifer and Benjamin as they headed to the car, Benjamin breathed a sigh of relief.

Jennifer looked at him and smiled, and without a word the beautiful young couple walked hand and hand until Benjamin opened the side door of the car for Jennifer, and after she was in the car, Benjamin closed the door, entered the driver’s side and sped off towards the direction of the mountains.

Envious

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Green-Eyed Monster.”

Benjamin was always a rebellious boy, Jennifer noticed. By this time in 3rd grade, Benjamin and Jennifer had been classmates for over 6 years, and although he thought she didn’t notice him all these years, Jennifer had been quietly watching Benjamin ever since Jennifer’s mom warned her about him.

But Jennifer was slightly envious of him. While Jennifer lived in a comfortable but strict household, Benjamin had survived only by bouncing between family members when his parents could no longer handle his rambunctious energy. Jennifer envied the way Benjamin was care-free and undisciplined. Free to do what he wanted, when he wanted, a caged spirit inside of Jennifer ached for this freedom.

Every day to school Jennifer’s parents ensured she represented her family history in both dress and attitude.

“We come from a great, long line of Glass. Why, my great grandfather fought for the Confederacy during the War of Northern Agression.”

So Jennifer was required to wear a pearl-white lace dress to school every day, with white leggings and white buckled-shoes, and to return spotless home from school.

Jennifer envied Benjamin’s wardrobe. Benjamin had never matched clothing one day in his life, and often looked as though he was wearing someone else’s dirty clothing. Oftentimes too large, Benjamin would inevitably head home covered on mud from head to toe from playing football with the other boys at recess.

Jennifer would watch Benjamin make tackles and get tackled, both cheering and then fearing for his safety. Jennifer often fantasized about running into the mud-pit the boys were playing in with her pearly white shoes and dress, knowing exactly the punishment she faced if she were to return home in that condition.

Benjamin’s Journey

Benjamin sat across from the federally-appointed psychiatrist, noticing his slow and then fast writing speed.

“Tell me more.” The psychiatrist stated, more of a demand than a request.

“I was a senior in high-school, and I was looking forward to turning 18 and graduating so I could sign up with the United States Marine Corps. I wanted to see the world.”

“What was your first experience of the Marine Corps?” The psychiatrist put his pen down and watched Benjamin’s response intently.

“Getting off the bus at Camp Pendleton, North Carolina. As soon as we arrived on the base, a drill sergeant ferociously climbed on board, with all the recruits climbing over each other to get off the bus. That was my first dog-fight, and my ‘welcome’ to the Marine Corps. I was 3 or 4 men away from the exit when I caught an elbow, slammed right into my nose. Blood spurted over the seats, my clothes, my bag and other recruits. But military matters were more pressing, so we all lined up on the yellow foot-pads, me in formation while my nose continues to pour blood.”

“Tell me about your first Commanding Officer.”

“Staff Sargent Gregory Monticello, originally from Cleveland Ohio, the first of his family to enter the military due to the lack of available job opportunities. Why would you want to know about him?” Benjamin showed the first glimpse of a smile in over 3 weeks of meeting with his psychiatrist.

“I’m asking the questions here.”

Benjamin took a deep breath and stretched his arms. He knew this was going to be a long night.

Inspired By: “Journey.”

Fireside Chat

“I’ve never told anyone this story…” Benjamin spoke to Jennifer, both of whom were watching the fire flickering in a fireplace, logs neatly formed into a stacked formation. Benjamin and Jennifer enjoyed Christmas break at a hidden away cabin in one of the small mountain towns near Denver, Colorado. Jennifer had just finished her winter term finals of her senior year. Benjamin had been home from the military for only a few months.

“Those 3 years I was in Afghanistan and unable to communicate by phone or by mail.”

“I know, I know. You were being held hostage. Your country is proud of your sacrifice.” Jennifer reaching out to hold Benjamin’s hand.

“I wasn’t ‘hostage’. I was court marshaled while I was out there and had to spend 3 years in custody.” Benjamin confessed. Jennifer took her hand back, startled by her new understanding of this man.

‘Wh-What happened?” She asked, running a million different scenarios through her head.

“One of the first nights we were there, it was my turn to watch the entire American outpost, at our base ‘Camp American Eagle’ on the outskirts of American occupation.” Benjamin paused, reflecting on the fact that this revelation would forever change his relationship with Jennifer. “We had just finished a 15 mile journey to build an alliance with the local tribesmen. I was cooking my dinner a few hours after the rest of the platoon had gone to sleep. I was cooking army-issue sausages, when the grease from the pan caught fire and spilled over onto the wooden platform of the tower I was in.”

Jennifer’s eyes searched over Benjamin’s facial features, eyes, mouth, nose, as if she was viewing each of them for the first time.

Benjamin continued: “The fire spread, I barely escaped with my life as the flames engulfed the watch tower. I pulled the fire-alarm for the barracks, so no one was injured, but approximately 1/3 of the base was burned that night and I was court marshaled the next morning. I was required to serve 36 months hard labor as punishment. I’m sorry I lied.”

Jennifer noticed the reflection of the flicker of the flame on Benjamin’s face, warping his figure and distorting the shadows cast on and by his face. Jennifer searched inside herself for some type of response or reflection. Nothing. Jennifer slowly turned away from Benjamin, and when her face was shielded from his view, began to weep silently.

Benjamin and Jennifer’s Dirty Dishes

When Jennifer got angry, there were no need for words: her face said it all.

This was one of those occasions. Jennifer opened the door to her and Benjamin’s apartment carrying over $150 worth of groceries from the store including all of the necessary ingredients for Chicken Tettrazini, Ben’s mother Anita’s favorite dish.

As Jennifer struggled to keep the groceries from spilling and walking into her house while simultaneously closing the door behind her, her face grew increasingly red as she discovered the chores that Benjamin did not do.

“Ben! I told you if you wanted your mother to come over tonight, you had to clean up the kitchen and do the dishes!”

Ben, was busy in another room adjusting his newest invention, the “StarLapper 6800”, shaped like a motorcycle, but the bike hovered on air rather than tires.

“BEN!!” Jennifer called as she dropped half of her groceries onto their kitchen floor.

Ben bolted to the kitchen from his workshop, hoping Jennifer would not notice his absence, and immediately began cleaning the kitchen as if he had been doing it the whole time she was gone, desperately hoping the redness in her face would subside.

“Ben, why is it always such a struggle with you? I understand you are working on your projects but I need your help to keep this place clean!”

Ben looked at Jennifer. She was no longer red and much of the anger had faded, he figured it was safe.

“I’m sorry, I just finished my greatest invention yet, I had no time for the dishes.”

“Oh great, what now?” Jennifer asked, recalling approximately 37 other ‘inventions’ Benjamin had created while avoiding some type of housework.

Hoping to change the subject, Benjamin quickly asked “How was your day dear?”

Jennifer shot him a sharp glance and silently began removing the ingredients from her shopping bags and collecting them on the counter.

Benjamin rolled up his sleeves, filled one of the two sink tubs with hot water and dish detergent until the suds covered the water, and began washing a plate, followed by a bowl, and finally the silverware until there was nothing to be called ‘dirty dishes’, all cleaned and drying lined up on a drying rack, slowly collecting the drops of water and drying, ready to be used for Benjamin and Jennifer’s upcoming dinner party.

Inspired by:

Those Dishes Won’t Do Themselves

Hindsight is 20-20

As Benjamin looked over New York City from his 38th floor, glass walled apartment, he began to reflect, speaking directly but facing away from a man dressed in a grey suit with black shoes.

“I can rewrite history? What’s the catch.”

“No ‘catch’, but there is a price.” The man from Decathlon Technologies responded. David Houston, the senior vice-president of sales and marketing for Decathlon Technologies, had just informed Benjamin about Decathlon’s Technologies newest ability, to rewrite history.

“Benjamin, what is it in your history would you like to rewrite?”

Suddenly a flood washed over Benjamin as he thought of 3 or 4 very distinct events, that if he was able to change, would, Benjamin believed, drastically alter the course of Benjamin’s life. Benjamin was now lost in his own head, thinking about how he would fix his past mistakes, and where he would be in his life if he never made those mistakes.

Before Benjamin could answer, David calmly stated the price:

“$10,000 per event.”

The price was no longer a consideration for Benjamin at this point in his life. From the age of 5 until 13, Benjamin lived on a one-room, thirty-four (34) acre farm just south of Atlanta, in Murphysborough, Georgia where his father was a farmer, who, if he worked hard enough, could scrape together enough food for Benjamin and his family to eat for that day.

“So how does it work?”

Revealing what, appeared to Benjamin to be similar to an Apple iPad, David opened his HyperView 2035 and, after a few hand gestures, a hologram of the Hindsight 2020 filled the entire apartment, displaying the technical details of a new machine designed to travel back in time for 15-20 minutes at a time.

“What you are now seeing is the Hindsight 2020 by Decathlon Technologies. After approximately 3 decades of research, this unit is now available to a select, few, high-worth individuals such as yourself.”

David paused while Benjamin considered the technology.