Safety Off | Teen Ink

Safety Off

June 30, 2021
By cuppanoodo BRONZE, Cerritos, California
cuppanoodo BRONZE, Cerritos, California
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Clyde ruffled through his papers and tried to look productive as the guards stationed around his lone cubicle watched him closely. He stole a glance at his watch. Three hours. Plenty of time, he reassured himself, taking a deep breath. They’ve got plenty of time.


Clyde turned around to find the head of security standing in the entrance to his office. “Yes?” he said, putting on an air of mild annoyance.

“Boss needs to see you.”

Clyde’s heart sank into his stomach. He knows. He tried his best to stall the inevitable. “Tell him he can wait. I still have to finish Sarah’s evaluation—”

“Boss wants you up in his office now,” the guard said roughly. 

Clyde let out a sigh. “Very well then.” He rose from his desk and slowly exited the room. The guard followed him closely as he made his way up the stairs, stopping every ten steps to tie his shoelaces. After several minutes, they finally reached the end of the spiral staircase, which opened up into a small waiting room outside a pair of imposing wooden doors. As Clyde stepped toward them he felt the guard grab his arm in a vice-like grip. “I wouldn’t try anything if I were you.”

Clyde snorted. “Weren’t you the one who was supposed to keep an eye on the girl?”

The guard’s jaw clenched. “Watch it,” he growled, and he pushed the doors open.

Ceiling-high bookshelves and a dangling diamond chandelier loomed over Clyde as he stepped onto a bearskin rug. Wilson Dawes sat at his desk with a stone cold expression as he clicked the safety switch on his pistol on and off. 

Clyde slipped his sweaty hands into his pockets. “You wanted me, boss?”

Wilson click’d once more, leaving the safety off. He looked at Clyde menacingly. “Where’s the girl?” 

This is it, Clyde thought. He cleared his throat. “She killed herself.”

Click, click. “What do you mean she killed herself?”

“Well, to put it bluntly,” he pursed his lips, “she put a gun to her head and blew her brains out.”

“And why would she do that?”

“It could be anything. Maybe living in complete isolation for so long had driven her completely mad. Or perhaps,” he coughed, “she could no longer handle being used to spy on business competitors.”

“I didn’t hire you to snoop around my company, Doc.”

“I’m well aware of that, Mr. Dawes.”

“So?” Wilson pushed. “You’re the psychologist here. Any other reasons?”

“I don’t believe so, no. Not that I can think of, at least,” he added.

For several tense moments, Wilson seemed to study him silently, scrutinizing his every move. Clyde maintained his gaze. He had to sell it however possible, or there was a very good chance he was dead.

Finally, Wilson spoke. “I’ve considered your suggestions,” he said slowly. “And I think you’re full of bull.” He grabbed his pistol and aimed it at Clyde’s chest, finger ready to pull the trigger. 

“WAIT!” Clyde yelled in desperation as he raised his arms in front of him.

“Finally decided to tell the truth, have we?” his boss said, keeping the pistol trained on him. “Here’s what’s gonna happen, Doc. You’re gonna tell me where the girl really is, or...” He smiled maliciously. “I think you get the picture.”

Clyde gulped. “She’s... escaped.”

“No kidding,” Wilson snarled. “I need you to tell me where she is now.”

“I-I don’t know.”


“I don’t know!” Clyde repeated, more firmly this time. “I swear on my life I don’t know.”

Wilson stared at the doctor for a couple moments before slowly placing his gun back on his desk. He walked over to Clyde, towering over him. “Swear on your life, eh?” he said softly. “That’s a pity.”

His arm shot out and he clenched his fist around Clyde’s neck, raising him until they were eye to eye. 

“Just how stupid do you think I am?” Wilson sneered. “I know you let the girl go. I could smell your flimsy lies from a mile away.”

Clyde gagged and clawed at Wilson’s fingers, but to no avail.

“I hired you to do one simple job,” he continued,” and you couldn’t even do it right. And then you have the guts to lie to my face.”

“Sorry, but torturing an innocent twelve year old for information wasn’t part of the job description,” Clyde managed.

Wilson scowled. “I’m gonna give you one last chance. Tell me where she is, and maybe I won’t snap your neck.”

“Doesn’t sound like a good deal to me.”

Wilson tightened his grip. “This is your last shot, Doc. If you don’t take it, you end up dead and I find the girl anyway. She can’t have gone far.”

“That’s where you’re wrong,” Clyde grinned, his face growing pale from lack of oxygen. “I’ve got friends in the right places. There are good people out there who will do whatever it takes to stop scum like you.” He stared defiantly into Wilson’s eyes, a look of burning resolve on his face. “You will never, ever get your bloody hands on Sarah again, you filthy son of a—”


Clyde’s limp body crumpled to the floor. Wilson stood unmoving for several seconds, anger burning in his eyes. Then, without speaking, he moved toward his desk and picked up his gun.

“Sir,” the guard said. “What—”

Wilson turned around and pulled the trigger. The guard staggered backward as crimson red slowly spread across his uniform. 

“I’ve had enough of your incompetence,” Wilson said coldly. “I’m taking things into my own hands.” He fired again, and this time, the bullet pierced the guard’s skull.

Wilson was out the door before the body even hit the ground.

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