Gerry turned in his seat towards the man he’d seen out of the corner of his eye. He had noticed the man tentatively approaching his booth as he sat in the Dunkin’ Donuts, reading the paper over coffee and a bagel.
Gerry was not Mr. Zimmer–he had no idea why he had said “yes”. He guessed he was just curious to see what would happen.
The man remained standing next to Gerry. “I have a message for you from Mr. Foley.” He drew a gun from his black leather jacket and pointed it at the middle of Gerry’s forehead.
“No. Wait, I’m–”
That was as far as Gerry got when the man pulled the trigger.
Gerry felt a thunk right between his eyes. It stung a little bit but it didn’t hurt as much as he thought taking a bullet to the head would.
And then he realized he was watching the man who had just shot him put his gun away, help himself to the uneaten bottom half of the bagel, and calmly exit the donut shop.
Was he still alive? Gerry reached up to feel his wound. He touched his middle finger to the blood trickling from his forehead, then brought his hand back down in front of his face.
His finger was stained fluorescent green. It took him a few seconds, but then he realized: He’d been “murdered” execution style with a paintball.
He wiped his forehead clean and headed home. A few hours of online research later, Gerry realized he’d unwittingly wandered into an elaborate city-wide Mafia-themed role-playing game.
He immediately signed up to be part of the game for real, and then went paintball gun shopping.
It wasn’t the kind of thing Gerry normally would’ve enjoyed. But his brush with death had given him a new zest for life.