The doors parted to release a river of first and second graders out onto the playground for recess. As the kids separated into groups for different games, one boy, bigger than the rest, strode alone.
Jimmy Wallace could have joined any game he wanted - or even changed the game. No kid was going to cross the boy who was already a little big for his age. His parents had delayed starting him at school for year, which gave him an extra year's worth of growth anyway and that gave him even more of a size and strength advantage.
Actually, it had been his father's decision to hold him back a year - his mother meekly obliged with whatever his father wanted. Jimmy's teachers had first thought the boy, who was showing signs of being a troublemaker, would be slow academically. But Jimmy was quite intelligent as well as having a cunning nature and in both qualities he would exceed the father he so admired.
The elder Wallace was in the mob, running unions, gambling, extortion, and other forms of racketeering. He stayed away from drugs, letting other associates take on the more lucrative trade that also invited more investigations from law enforcement. The police and FBI knew that Mr. Wallace was dirty, but narcotics were more high profile. Besides, Wallace had enough politicians and judges in his pocket to make prosecution an exercise in futility.
Seeing the potential in his son, Wallace often had Jimmy sitting in the corner of his den as he conducted business. The boy would be apparently engrossed in a hand-held video game while the adults were meeting and the visitors didn't paid much attention to a little boy, anyway. But Jimmy's ears caught everything and he would look up from his game to watch and learn the art of manipulation from his father.
Jimmy loved the concept of controlling people and begun to see how brute physical force was not always needed. In private talks with his son after the meetings, Wallace conveyed his philosophy on the arts of control and like a sponge, the boy absorbed it all.
These lessons extended to sex. Jimmy's mother likely knew of her husband's affairs (Wallace never bothered to ask her and she would never bring the subject up) and more than once, Wallace had brought his son to a girlfriend's apartment. The boy wasn't in the bedroom to watch, although he could hear much of it from the living room where he would watch TV, but the point was to see how his father treated the women before and after, manipulating them as well.
One of Wallace's favorite control tactics was to make get his girlfriends knocked up. And he always made his intentions clear, making sure they knew that had to submit if they wanted to continue the lifestyle he was paying for. He never let them have abortions, preferring a sort of servitude instead as they carried the babies to term. Some women kept them and others put them up for adoption. Wallace didn't care either way and Jimmy was impressed by the number of half-siblings he had.
"You put a piece of yourself inside of them and that way they'll always be yours," he had told his son. "Even after you break it off and they get hitched, you'll always own them."
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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Changes last made on: Thursday, January 28, 2016