Mia’s uncle Chin had delivered the table saws, chipper shredder and a dump truck of dusty dirt and more equipment. Leaf blowers. Tractors. Justin, a friend of Lee Bai came out of Hal’s garage skipping along and said “Blow it in five, Tom!” It was 5, 4, 3, 2… (everyone was down) ONE!

         And a loud “Bam-bam!! bam-bam-bam-bam!!”.

         Hal’s 4000 square foot house came down sideways. Immediately huge sections of house were dragged away. More explosives blew apart foundation and these were hauled away as well. Every item in the house was gone in an hour… and in no more that two, dust was laid and there was not a trace the house existed, or was dragged away. The dust blended it all in. So the crew was gone.

     “Damn!!”, yelled Hal. Hal and Mia were all alone, 10 miles down the rural road sitting above where his house was. “What is it Hal?”, asked Mia. “They left THAT over there!”. One piece of gas powered equipment was left. “Don’t worry,” said Mia. Hal was sweating. “Yeah- don’t worry.”

                Ten minutes later, Syndicate cars, Maroon-colored Lincolns, were drawing up dust.
Mia grabbed Hal’s arm and whispered, “Are you a MAN… or are you a moussse? My mouse?”
She smiled and with her long silky hair she looked so underdressed. They were dressed like hippies.
The syndicate cars stopped. Gerome jumped out.

     “Hal!”, shouted Gerome. “So what is THIS?”. Syndicate boss Drago slowly got out of the car. Drago lit a cigar and puffed. He wore a maroon suit and has messy blond hair and a black goatee. “What is the meaning of this?”,
said Drago to Hal, sitting by a tent with Mia. “I KNOW you are Hal Winchester. YOU know you owe me… a LOT of damn MONEYYYYY Hahahah!”

        “Well?”, said Drago. “What’s this?”. Hal said, “Sir… Gerome cheated me. Then he threatened to torture me in my own home.” Drago’s seemingly soulless eyes glimmered and he laughed, “Okayyy?” Hal said, well I don’t HAVE a house… and we only played crazy 8s. He made up a bunch of numbers that I owed. He’s insane!!

      “Noooo!!!!”, yelled Gerome. “Hey… cool it…”, said Drago. “Nooo!!!”, yelled Drago. “Yeah. We played Crazy 8’s.” Drago laughed, “That’s a game my mother used to play with me. Gerome… really? You gambled on Crazy 8s???”. Gerome was furious. “There was a HOUSE here! I swear! A whole house and pool and…”

         Drago said to Hal, “Is that a chipper shredder over there?”. Hal gulped. “Yeah.” Drago tapped his cigar and said, “Tie him up.” The other 3 henchmen said, “Boss?”, taking Hal’s arm. “No, no, no…”, laughed Drago, picking up the bag of money. “Tie up Gerome.”

       “Uh OH! OH NO! NONONONO!!!”, Gerome pleaded.
Gerome went to pull his gun. A henchman tackled him. As Hal and Mia ran away, they heard the chipper being started. Then faintly brief screaming and grinding sounds that varied in pitch as the shredder shedded at spat out something that was very splattery and chunky. Then the chipper jammed. “Shut it off!”, yelled one of them. “Oh this is sooo gross!”. “That’s why we wear maroon boys”.

       “Will the chase us?”, asked Mia. “No,” said Hal. “Drago told me to run. He said, “Wisdom is better than diamonds”, and said he would tell Matahashi the shreds were me. And Drago’s men are sword to secrecy. It worked. I must go away. There is no more debt. But keep what I gave you,” Hal said. “Just HOW MUCH did you owe them????”, asked Mia. “Mia,” said Hal, “I owed the syndicate A LOT of money!” Mia said, “HOW much?”. Hal said, “So much that… that…”. And just laughed. “So much that I gotta get the hell out of here! And Hal laughed and ran into the twilight and Mia stopped & watched him disappear.

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