Mayor Tillman sat behind his desk. He ran his pudgy hands through his thinning hair and across his chin. He stared at the blank wall across from him.
“How can I do it?” he thought, “How could I not do it?”
He closed his eyes and rested his face in his hands. His mind was searching for answers. The door swung open and in walked a man.
“Haven’t you ever heard of knocki…” the mayor’s voice trailed off, “Oh, it’s you. What do you want?”
It was the man who Kiri had found so annoying in the bar. He stood tall and even though he wore civilian clothes, he gave the appearance of being a military man.
“I think you know why I am here. I am here for your answer, your decision.” he said.
“I know I know I was expecting this.” the mayor said.
“I hear that you were spending the day running about, trying to get help where you could. No doubt you were trying to find a way out of our, ahem, agreement.” he said.
“You’ve been watching me then have you Voler?” Mayor Tillman asked.
“I have better things to do than to watch you all day. But I do have subjects who report back to me about comings and goings of people I may have an interest in at the moment. And let’s say that these subjects who report to me are all about so, when you think you are alone, you are never really alone.” Voler said.
Mayor Tillman glanced nervously around the room.
“So what is your decision? Will you accept our generous offer, or do you choose to go it alone?”
“What offer?” the mayor questioned as he stood up and walked towards Voler, “It’s more like a threat. You’ve given me the choice to be your puppet, your figurehead, doing your bidding as you wish. Or I can say no and you will destroy my career, my name, my family and my life. What kind of choice do I have?”
The mayor paced about the room, searching for an answer, some relief. As he glanced out the window, his answer came! He saw a small wagon pulled by a single horse.
“That’s it! That’s it. I’ll just leave. I’ll take my family and leave I won’t care what you do to me in this town or to my name. You can have the position and do with it what you want. We’ll go far away from here and start over. You may destroy me here but I can begin a new life somewhere else, where you can’t force me to be your puppet.”
The mayor strode proudly towards the door. Voler backed towards the fireplace, one finger gently pushed a crystal vase onto the hearth, landing with a crash.
Mayor Tillman turned in shock, “Stop! What are you doing?”
“My dear Mayor, I see the flaw in the choices I gave you. Please go, but I would be concerned I would be concerned what would happen before you were even outside the limits of your own town. You see, I would hate to see what 30 of my men would do to your sweet little daughter while you were strung to a tree and if she didn’t survive, there’s always your wife.”
The mayor’s face filled with hate, “You! I will kill you and every one of your men that touch my family.”
“Now, now mayor, there is no need for violence. As I see it, even though you gave us another option, and my men would be quite grateful, we are still left with our original choices. You can keep your position as long as you give allegiance to me and follow my orders or you can have the news released of how you abused your power, stole money from the town and have been having an affair with the blacksmith’s daughter; who happens to be underage and a friend of your daughter’s.”
“LIES! That’s all lies and you know it. I can prove it, nobody will believe you.” the mayor screamed.
“Are you willing to stake your life on it? Remember I have many people who are, let’s say willing to do or say what I tell them.” Voler explained.
“I won’t let you do this! The people of this town know me and know that I am a man of my word. I can and will fight you on this.”
Voler whistled, the door opened and a young boy entered the room. Voler reached in his jacket pulled out a couple of scrolls and handed them to the boy. “Take these where you have been instructed, make the necessary arrangements and then make the required announcements.”
The boy took the scrolls nodded, turned and walked towards the door.
“Wait, stop! Don’t do this.” the mayor called after the boy, “Can’t we discuss this?”
“We have discussed it and you have made your decision. Although it may prove to be a poor one.” Voler said.
Mayor Tillman’s face went white and he stopped breathing, “ok”.
Voler didn’t move.
Panic began to overtake Mayor Tillman, “I said OK! I’ll do what you want; I’ll agree to follow your orders. just STOP HIM!”
Voler whistled again, just as quietly. The boy entered the room and handed the scrolls to Voler. The mayor realized that he had been duped but, he also understood that Voler now had complete control over him. The mayor hung his head.
“Your first order is that no one is to know of our arrangement. I don’t care what you must tell people, if this comes out, the town will know the information on these scrolls. You will find a way to explain the presence of myself and my men in your town. I will be in touch when I have need of your services.” Voler started towards the door, “Remember, I have subjects who report back to me about comings and goings of people I have an interest in.”
The door closed behind Voler. Mayor Tillman collapsed into his chair and buried his face in his hands and cried.