Always Consequences – The Beginning



“Ah, but you do not seem to understand what I am saying, sir,” the general mocked, the irritation unmistakable. Anger always increased the South African’s accent.

“I think I understand you well, Mr. Coetzee. You need to understand the position you place me in. If you could come to my office and meet with me, we could sort out the details—”

“I am tired of this,” Coetzee interrupted. “We have discussed this long enough. You listen to no one. We will speak of details soon. Goodbye, Mr. President.”

“Well now, hold on a second—” Even as he spoke, the President heard the click, followed by complete silence.



Cassidy dropped back on her bed, exhausted.

Who knew planning a birthday party could be so demanding? Turned out, everyone she invited, had accepted. Cassie, you got carried away again.

Months before, when she’d started planning the party, Cassie had decided she wanted an open invitation celebration. She didn’t know why, but her instincts told her it would be unforgettable. After years of birthdays coming and going, she needed excitement. Not just excitement, she thought, but a true life-changing event.

Cassidy posted flyers in her neighborhood, inviting any and all who wanted to come. She gave her brother some to hand out to all of his friends as well.

At last count, the total had reached five hundred people. Fortunately, that’s what Cassie wanted—what she’d planned for. She had even found a place to host the birthday party that could hold at least a thousand people.

It was a place in a remote area of the forest, where a warehouse was being built. Her brother John’s best friend had known about it. For now it was only an empty shell with a dirt road leading in, and soon an office building. But the best part: it was vacant.

For months before the party, the responses had come pouring in with a resounding “Yes!” and Cassidy and John, along with a few of their friends, went over to the site once a week to get things ready. They asked everyone coming to carpool if they could, so they didn’t have to deal with many cars.

As much as possible, Cassie wanted to make sure she had everything planned, down to the smallest detail. In some minds it could’ve been considered overkill, but she’d decided it was better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.

She bubbled over in excitement as the time drew nearer. Her intuition told her the party would be the start of something memorable.



“You are sure about this?” the general asked the man standing in front of him. He enjoyed watching the informant tremble. He always loved the way people reacted to him. His own men regarded him with fear, but they had learned to swallow it. The man hadn’t expected to have to face him in person. Amusing.

“Y-yes, sir. I-I am. I heard it with my own ears.” The informant’s gaze darted around the room, he tried to keep Coetzee’s gaze, but couldn’t hold it more than a second at a time.

The general smiled and appeared human for a moment. That wasn’t a good sign. “This will make things much easier. You are sure about this exclusivity?”

The man nodded, taking deep breaths to try and calm down. “Some rich idiot wants his office building in the middle of nowhere. Seems he plans on making it into his own private center. Stupid rich men and their crap.” He said more to himself than the intimidating man standing in front of him. Realizing what he did, he straightened to face the annoyance within Coetzee’s dark eyes.

“I don’t need your input. Are we agreed?” Coetzee asked.

“Yes. Sorry, sir.” Afraid to meet the menacing look facing his way, he fixed his gaze upon his shoes. He clenched his hands at his sides to keep them from shaking. It wasn’t working.

The informant turned around, risking a glance at the soldiers in the room. They stood at attention, disregarding his plight. His attention spun back, at the sound of Coetzee’s voice. “So we have our place of meeting. Make the arrangements. I need moving trucks to transport to the trailers,” he ordered. “I need enough men to handle it. Let’s have ourselves some fun, shall we?” None of them cheered, since the voice was anything but light-hearted. The men broke formation and moved into action.

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