"You definitely have talent. Keep it up!"
-Charlie Dominici, lead vocalist of the Progressive Metal band Dominici
This was my second short story, written a while later. I wrote it for a competition, actually. For a long while, nobody noticed it. And then all of the sudden, soon after the contest ended, people started commenting on it and giving it their usual praise and constructive criticism. Yes, really soon after the contest ended.
When I first wrote it, I liked it a lot more than I liked One Weird Gas Station, but that has since changed, as I love my first story more than any other of my writing works. This story was partly inspired by Thunder of Heaven by Ted Dekker, which is one of my favorite books ever. When I look back, I see a lot of ways Unfinished Plans could've been a lot better, but what's done is done, and what's written is written.
By Reuben Horst
Captain Jared Taylor stood with his left hand in his pocket, and his right hand handing a pistol at the man before him. Never mind the fact that his left foot was stuck in the mud, and his right foot was on the unconscious body of Karen Amir, the American wife of Muhammad Amir, the man before him and a well known terrorist.
His nerves were shaking and his heart beat like a thousand marching bands all hitting their drums at once.
Muhammad Amir stood confident, looking Jared in the eyes.
It had come down to this.
“Go on, shoot your little toy at me,” Amir spat, “I deserve to die. You’ve said so yourself.”
Jared continued to tremble. If this kept up, he would break down before he shot, and then Amir would escape.
But is it worth all this?
Jared Taylor caught his breath, and looked at the dead bodies around him. This was Amir’s doing, not his. It had to be.
Amir continued to mock him. “So you break into my secret base, lure everyone out, kill almost everyone, and then accuse me of killing innocents?”
Jared growled. “There were no innocents here, Muhammad.”
Amir raised an eyebrow. “So you’re saying that you’re not innocent?” he asked, a smirk on his face.
Jared felt his anger build up, and welcomed it. “I never said I was innocent.”
Karen stirred under his foot and started squirming. He stomped on her to make her stop.
Amir flinched when Jared stomped. Jared wondered how in the world an American woman as pretty as Karen would have met, let alone married, this beast of a human being. This demon from Hell itself.
But maybe he doesn’t deserve to die.
Jared mentally screamed at himself. This is Muhammad Amir! The world-known terrorist! The man who had killed your wife and children, along with a million other people!
He had sworn to kill this man six years earlier when it happened. It would never happen again.
This ends here!
Then something struck him. It wasn’t something physical, but . . . different. He remembered God.
What did this have to do with God? God had abandoned him long ago. He was starting to believe that the nuclear explosion that killed a million people also killed God. It was said that God was everywhere, and that included in the nuclear blast.
God has died and risen before, you fool! He could’ve again!
“So have you made up your mind yet, loser?” Muhammad Amir chuckled.
Alright, this was it. He was going mad. Suddenly, another voice spoke in his head. One not his.
I’ve always been here, Jared. I never left. I haven’t died since the time almost two thousand years ago.
He stopped short. “God?” he asked aloud.
Amir laughed. “And now the kid’s god is talking. As if he would care for you.”
Jared screamed, “Shut up!” and shot his pistol less than an inch above Karen’s head. Both she and Amir flinched, and Karen started to squirm again. Then sob.
Amir looked at his wife with pity in his eyes. In that moment Jared knew he couldn’t kill them. He just couldn’t.
He had done enough killing over the years to get to this moment, but he couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger. He slowly lowered the gun.
Karen immediately tried to struggle free, throwing Jared off balance, sending him crashing into the muddy ground.
Amir crouched, and then sprinted, headfirst, in the other direction.
Jared got onto his knees and, dodging an attacking Karen, fired his pistol.
Time seemed to slow as that bullet flew across the sky. It was going to hit Amir in the back, causing a fatal wound.
Wait, Jared had just decided that he wouldn’t kill Amir. He had just shot a bullet that couldn’t miss!
There was nothing he could do to stop that flying bullet. He registered Karen screaming beside him. Boy, what had possessed her to love that beast so much? Maybe the CIA or FBI could get her to tell, when this was all—
The bullet had hit! Jared looked up.
Muhammad Amir lay facedown in the mud twenty yards off.
Jared jumped up and ran towards Amir, barely aware that Karen was running after him.
He pulled up. Blood was leaking from a bullet wound in Amir’s leg.
Wait, hadn’t that bullet gone straight for Amir’s heart?
Jared looked down at the leg, not believing his eyes.
I have unfinished plans for this one, Jared.
God again. God always showed up at the weirdest of times.
Jared picked up his cell phone, and called headquarters. They would want a report.
Don’t forget, Jared, I’m still here. I always will be.
Jared smiled. Maybe now that he had captured the infamous Amir couple, husband and wife, he could find a real life. Maybe even find another woman of his own. One that loved God, as his last wife had.
He was still smiling when the CIA helicopter arrived. God was one his side again.
I always was, Jared. I always was.
Master of Shadow Matoran, an online friend of mine who is an Atheist, pointed out that even though this was written well, it makes it sound like we are being controlled. Like God is controlling our every move. This was not the intention, but I can see what he meant. But as I said earlier, "What's done is done, and what's written is written."