Page 8Mature

The wee hours of morning rolled around and it was time yet again for the canary to flutter into the darkness.  But this time, something was different; this time, the woman kissed both of the boys on the forehead before her departure.  The wind whispered sharply as the door creaked open then closed.

Henry knew something was off about her behavior.  On a hunch, he decided to check under the bed, where he had earlier discovered the revolver to be hidden, but it was no longer there.

“Jet, you stay put now,” Henry said.  “I’m going after her.  Everything’s alright, I just need to check on her.”  Jet didn’t answer; he still looked sound asleep.  Henry left him reluctantly, and slipping on his boots and jacket, headed out into the frozen world.

The snow crunched under his feet and he decided it was best to give the canary a proper head start.  He could see her exact path anyway, thanks to the fresh powder, and he knew she would never let him go with her if he were discovered.  He rounded each corner cautiously lest she were walking at a slower pace than he estimated.  He followed the tracks a bit longer and was not surprised to see that they led straight to the munitions factory.  The door was still unlocked, and he opened it slowly so as to prevent its making noise and announcing his presence.

The factory looked even more large and impressive within than it had without.  There were large cartridges for what seemed like a mile laid out on the floor.  Where would he find the canary?  He caught movement through a door on an otherwise walled-off area of the factory and decided to follow it.  There he found himself in a sea of TNT sticks on myriad tables laid out before him.  He crouched quickly as he spied a group of people, including his munitionette, standing nearby.  They spoke quietly, but Henry could still make out the majority of what was being said.

“Glad you could make it, birdy,” an Irishman’s voice echoed softly.  “Give us the payment now, dear.  Same as always and it’ll be over real soon.”

He opened a suitcase atop a cleared area on the table before him.  It already held more money than the canary could ever imagine owning at once.

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“I never knew precisely what sort of trouble she’d gotten into, but I take it she had been in debt with this man for a long time.  Something to do with her past, something she was running from.  This man was some sort of organized crime leader, I suppose, and maybe the munitionette had been involved with things like that before, but I knew full well she wanted out of it all now.  She’d been well on her way, surely, until that winter hit us.”

The End

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