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 Brad Tuttle was remembered as Jefferson High’s best ever quarterback or the high school bully, depending who was remembering him. He had gone steady with the head cheerleader Tiffany Ziggler and they were voted prom king and queen. He had also been voted most likely to succeed in his high school yearbook but his life had been one disaster after another. Tiffany met her first husband during her first semester of college and Brad never played football again. 

Twenty years after his last glorious day of high school had ended, he walked into a bar where Mike Anderson was waiting for Dwight Buchanan. 


“Mike Anderson, right?” Mike looked up as Brad Tuttle stared back at him with the same cold eyes he used to. 

“Didn't you go to Jefferson High?”

“Yes. I'm Mike Anderson, I’m sorry I don’t remember you.”

 He lied and hoped Brad would go away, he needed Brad to go away. Mike had suffered at the hands of Brad, star quarterback he may have been but he was also a ruthless bully. Brad had been the subject of too many therapy sessions and too many regretful situations where Mike wished he’d acted differently.

“I know high school was twenty years ago but you must remember me. I’m Brad Tuttle, I was the high school quarterback, I used to date Tiffany Ziggler, we were prom king and queen.” 

He stared at Mike, expecting him to remember. “Can I buy you a drink?” Brad asked, sporting the same shit eating grin Mike remembered from high school. 

Mike had never been an angry person, it wasn’t his style. He’d always been the person who had walked away from confrontation. Through therapy, he had developed tools to avoid it, but something inside him stirred.

“Do you think buying me a drink will make up for what you did?” He shouted. “You treated me like crap for four years. Get the hell away from me.”

“Hey, I’m just trying to be friendly,” replied Brad.

Mike stood up and Brad backed away, he seemed small and pathetic, not like the Brad from high school. 

“Get the hell away from me.” Mike said through gritted teeth.

Brad threw his hands up in the air and walked away. As Mike walked into the bathroom, Dwight walked into the bar and saw Brad.


Mike was zipping his pants closed when he heard raised voices. As he walked back into the bar he saw Brad standing over Dwight with a snarl on his face and his fists clenched, the bartender reaching across the bar, trying to calm him. When Brad saw Mike, he ran for the exit. 

“Are you okay?” asked Mike.

“I'm fine,” said Dwight as Mike grabbed his hand and pulled him upright.

“What happened?”

“He shoved me, I guess Brad Tuttle is still a jerk.” replied Dwight.

“I wonder why he was here, I haven’t seen him since high school.”

“Forget him. Do you want a drink?”

“After seeing Brad, I need a drink.” replied Mike.


Later, as the two friends walked home, they saw Brad walking towards them.

“Well look, it's Mike Anderson and Dwight Buchanan, the big losers.” Brad clenched his fists and motioned to them, shouting aggressively “Come on bitches, let’s see what you got!”

The two friends didn’t hesitate, remembering everything Brad had put them through. Mike held Brad’s arms as Dwight whaled on him. When Mike released Brad, his body hit the ground with a sickening thump. As they stared down at him, Mike said “Shit, is he ok?”

Dwight checked Brad’s breathing, put his ear to his chest and tried to find a pulse. 

“He’s dead,” said Dwight.


“He’s dead.” Dwight said again.

Shit, what are we gonna do?”

“Calm down, it was an accident,” said Dwight.

“An accident, look at him.”

Brad’s face was covered in blood. How could they explain this? Two men standing over a dead guy that had just been beaten to death.



Dwight had been regularly driving around the area where they’d dumped Brad’s body looking for any kind of activity, police or otherwise. They’d filled his pockets with rocks and had thrown him into the local river.

Mike hadn’t been into work since it happened, he couldn’t handle the guilt, Dwight was worried he was going to crack and confess everything to the police. A few days later Dwight checked on Mike. 

“Everything will be okay, just stay calm. You have to carry on like nothing has happened. When are you going back to work?”

“I don't know.” Replied Mike. 

“Well you should, before people start wondering what's up with you.”

Mike didn't respond, he seemed to be miles away. Dwight stayed calm, he knew raising his voice would cause Mike to withdraw further. He noticed how much this had affected him, he wasn’t eating and he was drinking too much.

“I can’t get it out of my head,” said Mike. “I'm having nightmares about him.”

“Everything will be okay, we're in the clear.”

“You don't know that! What if they find his body?”

“What if they don’t? It’s been a month now and no cops are knocking on our doors. No one is saying have you heard about Brad Tuttle? No one is saying anything!”


Two months later Dwight and Mike were talking about Brad. They both knew they would never forget him and what happened that night but life had returned to normal. The police hadn’t knocked on their doors and nothing had been reported in the news.

The two friends were at Dwight’s apartment and around midnight there was a knock at the door. They both thought it was the pizza they’d ordered, but it wasn’t, it was Brad Tuttle.


Brad was threatening to go to the police unless they paid him $100,000. He'd awoke, drifting along the river, the rocks they put in his pockets not heavy enough to keep him below the surface. He’d laid low until he felt strong enough to confront the two men who had left him for dead. 

“I think the only way for us to get the money together is for you to refinance your home,” said Dwight. “I know that puts everything on you but I have no savings, I’m in debt and I have terrible credit.”

“I know, I’ve been thinking the same thing and I almost paid off my damn mortgage.”

“I’m sorry Mike, I just can’t think of another way.” replied Dwight.

“Are you sure you can stop Brad going to the police?”

 “Yes, I think I can. I’m talking to him later. Once he knows the situation, I’m sure I will be able to convince him to be patient. Once he’s paid, we can put this ordeal behind us.”

“As long as he doesn’t want more money. What if he does?” asked Mike.

“I’m not even thinking about that right now,” said Dwight.


A few weeks later Dwight and Brad met on a quiet mountain road.

“How’d it go?” asked Brad.

“It worked, like I said it would.” replied Dwight.

“So I know we had a deal, but I want to renegotiate.”

“We have a deal and we’re sticking to it.”
“That doesn’t work for me, I did all the work. It was me that took your punches, it was me that was thrown into the river, all you did was pay for the hotel I was hiding at until it was time for me to knock on your door. What if I tell your buddy what's been going on? More money will keep my mouth closed.”

Dwight had thought Brad may try something like this, he hadn’t wanted to work with him. He’d been planning this since he’d lost his last dead end job and he knew Brad was the only sleaze in town who would agree to the plan he had in mind. Dwight wanted to move away from the town he’d wasted his whole life in and he wasn’t going to let Brad Tuttle ruin his plans. 

“Okay, let’s talk and figure this out. I acknowledge what you did but Mike would never have refinanced his house if I hadn’t suggested it. I also paid for your hotel room and all your food, drink and drugs, you were having a good old time on me.”

“So what do we do now?” asked Brad.

“An even split,” said Dwight.

When Brad agreed, he didn’t know Dwight had a taser concealed in his coat’s inner pocket. As he turned his back on Dwight, he felt the taser in his back and fell to the ground, his body convulsing painfully and uncontrollably. Dwight dragged Brad to the cliff's edge, tasing him several times as a memory came to him. 

At high school he was begging Brad not to hurt him, he was so scared he’d wet his pants and Brad made sure everyone knew. Dwight was humiliated, Brad and his friends called him Pissy Pants.

 As Dwight stood over Brad, staring down into his fear filled eyes, he rolled him over the cliff’s edge and watched his body bouncing off the rocks. 


  • Jason Smith writes out of the Pacific Northwest. He is married and the father of a special needs boy. He has previously been published in, The Yard Crime Blog and Mystery Tribune.

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