Here is the newest installment of my story. For the complete tale go to http://fragmentsoffictionanovel.blogspot.com. Or for the lazy among of you please click on this.
Tom knew that Buck wasnâ€™t stupid, knew that those things that people said about him were not true. He couldnâ€™t say how he knew this, it wasnâ€™t instinct or an innate ability to read people. It could have been just a lucky guess or the application of the fortune from last nightâ€™s cookie from the Mandarin Dish.
Did it matter? Was there anything to be gained from this. Probably not. Tom was smart enough to recognize that brains didnâ€™t mean that you had any common sense. More often than not the smart people got themselves into trouble because their egos made them think that they knew more than everyone else.
What it was, what it was that intrigued Tom was knowing that there was more to the companyâ€™s resident boogieman. He had always enjoyed mysteries and Buck was one hell of a mystery. If this was a movie he would find out that he had become friendly with the townâ€™s axe murderer or the kind but misunderstood giant.
He took a deep breath because he could feel his mind racing. When he got excited like this it always moved like one of the spaceships in the science-fiction movies he liked to watch, it just jumped about at hyperspeed.
What confused him about Buck were the contradictions. Back in his high school football days his coach had encouraged his players to â€œbring the hammer downâ€ on the opposing team. He realized that until tonight he hadnâ€™t really understood what that meant. Buck hadnâ€™t brought the hammer down, he had taken the whole toolset out and worked those two guys in the bar with it.
The thing that intrigued him, that scared him and frankly titillated his senses was that Buck hadnâ€™t broken a sweat. He had acted like this was a commonplace occurrence, as if maiming two men was not a big deal. And then he hadnâ€™t even made a move to leave the bar. If Tom hadnâ€™t hustled him out of there he might still be there or be wearing cufflinks, the kind that the police stick on your wrists.
Someone who acted that way had to be a little crazy or maybe they no longer cared what happened to them. Tom knew that at some point Buck had been married, maybe even a father. Every now and then he had dropped hints of this past life into their conversations, but he never gave much in the way of details and Tom was afraid to ask.
A couple of months ago he had Buck over to his place for a summer barbecue. In truth one of the reasons for the invitation was in the hope that he might reciprocate. Tom was dying to see what Buckâ€™s home looked like.
Some of the guys at the plant said that they figured it would be a meat locker in which there hung multiple slabs of raw flesh. It almost was believable, especially given the way in which Buck had acted. But again Tom reminded himself that this could not be the case. It didnâ€™t fit his gut intuition. Tom smiled at the thought and rubbed his belly, the gut had rarely been wrong. It was a finely tuned instrument.
The thing to do was to just ask, to just come out and ask Buck a few questions about his past. He had earned the right to do so, hadnâ€™t he. Hadnâ€™t he helped get him out of the fix that he would most certainly have been in. Maybe yes, and maybe no. He made a mental note to be sure to be out of armâ€™s reach when he did ask him. Just in case. Buck wouldnâ€™t hurt him for asking a question or two, would he.
In the interim he would walk back to the plant with him and pretend that he was going home to something more exciting, to someone special. Maybe that girl from the new television show could help put him to sleep tonight. Maybe she had a thing for a man who wasnâ€™t afraid to get his hands dirty, someone who could fix a broken sink or build a fence. Yes, that sounded like a fine idea.