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Wily Wiley - A Short Story

Updated on August 28, 2016

Wily Wiley

It looked like an easy bust. The target was seated in a lawn chair under the awning of the motor home, listening to Limbaugh on the radio and sipping a can of Pepsi. Last week, one of the Sheriff’s office detectives had finally discovered his cell phone number, and had secured a warrant. Armed with the warrant, they had learned his phone’s GPS coordinates from the cell phone company and now Pima County Sheriff’s Deputy Tom Pierce was standing at the rear corner of his motor home, armed with a shotgun.

Dave Wiley was a con man, and his latest scam had netted a cool five million from a law firm. He had represented himself as a real estate broker, and had ‘sold’ the firm a villa in the Bahamas, which actually belonged to a Greek shipping magnate. When the embarrassed firm discovered they had been duped, they had angrily pulled some political strings, and the hunt for Dave Wiley went into high gear.

Wiley had worn many hats in his brief career. Just twenty-eight, he had bought and sold mothballed airliners that actually belonged to holding companies. One of his ‘clients’ was a Hollywood movie star, who was at first furious, but later became interested in writing a script on Dave Wiley’s amazing ability to scam people who ought to know better. He had also bilked another scam artist by pretending to be a top ranked defense lawyer. That time, he had pocketed a large retainer and disappeared. He was well read, self educated, and said to be a genius.

Deputy Pierce certainly knew better than to go in without backup. He was fifty two years old and retiring in two months. But his backup was a good hour and a half away, just leaving another call. The motor home was parked at least fifteen miles away from the closest paved road, and although Pierce was familiar with the area's back roads, his backup was not, so it could be two hours or even more, and Pierce’s one big failing was impatience.

“Put your drink on the table and let me see two empty hands.”

Deputy Pierce was surprised that Dave Wiley didn't seem at all startled. He calmly did as he was told, raising his arms above his head.

“Though I heard someone. Nothing I could do anyway. I’m not armed and I have no weapons. Don’t believe in violence. Never have.”

“Get down on the ground, face down and spread-eagled.”

Wiley complied, and Tom Pierce cautiously approached, shotgun at the ready. He was less than five feet away when the world suddenly started to spin and the ground came up to meet him. Then everything went black and silent.

...

“Feeling better?” He was on the ground, but he was lying on something soft. His head was still whirling, and his vision was somewhat blurred. Dave Wiley was standing at his feet, holding his shotgun and watching him.

“I put you on my sleeping bag. What happened to you?”

Deputy Pierce tried to tell him that he didn’t know what had happened, but all that came out was gibberish. Wiley cocked his head and studied him for a moment.

“Let me see you raise your arms.”

Pierce tried, but to his surprise, only his right arm came up. He suddenly realized that his left leg also seem to be paralyzed. He tried to explain that, but again, all that came out was gibberish. He looked first at the shotgun, and then at Wiley, who smiled.

“Don’t worry Deputy. I just picked it up from where you fell. Like I said, I’m not violent. Your service weapon is still there, if you have a mind to, but I wouldn’t advise it. I think you’ve had a stroke, and you’ll need me for a few more minutes.”

He bent down and placed the shotgun beside Pierce. Then he took his cell phone out of his pocket and punched nine-one-one.

“I want to report a Deputy Sheriff down in the Sonoran Desert, about fifty-five miles west of Tucson. I think he’s had a stroke. He’s awake and alert, but he can’t talk and he’s paralyzed on his left side. He’ll need a life flight helicopter and fast. Can you locate us using this cell phone’s coordinates? Good.”

Wiley bent down and placed the phone on Pierce’s chest.

“Nothing more I can do for you Deputy. They’ll send a chopper for you.“

Deputy Pierce heard the sound of the awning retracting, and then the motor home fired up. Suddenly, Wiley was at his right side again, this time with a bottle of water. He placed in his right hand and removed the bottle cap. Then he patted him on the shoulder and was gone, the motor home lurching past in a cloud of dust. A half hour later, he heard the welcome sound of a helicopter, and he passed out again.

...

Two deputies and Tom Pierce’s wife watched as the doctor examined him. He asked Tom how he was feeling, but his answer was more gibberish. The doctor nodded and asked him to smile. He tried but only the right side responded in a crooked grin. The doctor nodded once more, then he advised the visiting deputies that Tom needed rest.

The doctor turned to Tom‘s wife. “I think he’ll recover well. He’s a lucky man.“

She thanked the doctor and he left.

A few minutes, later, the deputies left. Tom Pierce tried to talk to them and then to his wife, but the words meant nothing. Finally she sat beside him and began to talk.

“ It looks like that Dave Wiley character saved your life.” She glanced at him for confirmation, and he nodded his head. “Apparently, he got away. They set up roadblocks and looked for his motor home from the air but it looks like he just vanished. They said that if he had not acted as quickly and precisely as he did, you might not have survived the stroke. The emergency room doctors told me that with good rehab, you’ll probably recover most of your motor skills. You’ll even be able to talk again, and drive me crazy, since you are now definitely retired!”

She smiled and bent to kiss his forehead. When she sat back up, her eyes glistened with tears.

“Dave Wiley didn’t have to do that, Tom. He took quite a risk to save you. There’s a three hour stroke window, and thanks to him, you were treated in about two hours. If they ever do catch him, I’ll want to thank him.”

Tom smiled his new, crooked grin and raised his right arm, making writing motions with his hand. His wife placed a pencil in his hand and held the notepad as he wrote.

For a minute she stared as his scrawl and then glanced at him for confirmation, her mouth agape. He nodded at her, his lopsided grin still in place.

Tom had written, “You already thanked him. He was the phony doctor who just 'examined' me!”

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    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, RealHousewife!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Will...I so thought the end was going to be just that Wiley had saved his life...I loved the story even then - but you really delivered a sucker punch that gave me a crooked grin with the doc:) up and everything!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Eiddwen!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Another great read from you, as always Will.

      A definite one for voting up.

      Take care

      Eiddwen.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

      Good to be here, reckon God's got it in for me? Now I gotta put up with anoth bunch of lieing politicians LOL

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hey Dusty! Good to see you!

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

      Excellent Will, start to finish you had me and your like playing with coiled up rattlers, I wait for the strike, the twist, I'm awed here thanks, dust

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      You may indeed, sir! :-)

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      ..can I say .. one word - Mr. Starr ......... 'sweet' !!!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Epi,

      The lucky one in the picture is me, and the pretty lady is my lovely, Latina wife.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      ..who is the lucky gal in the picture Will?

      And if you're not the best short story writer of the Western genre then 1. John Wayne wore a girdle and 2. Pete Best was a better drummer for the Beatles than your son, Ringo!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Storytellersrus, and I'm happy to please!

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Surprised me, Will! I love being surprised! Thanks for another fun read.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thanks Doug. You're an excellent writer, so your words are high praise.

    • profile image

      Doug Turner Jr. 6 years ago

      He's slicker than everyone imagined. That was fun. I was hooked the moment Deputy Pierce went down. I guess that's why they sometimes call it the "hook".

      You understand the perfect length and pacing needed to hold people's attention on this site, in my opinion. Too long, and people drift away. Too short, and your fine twist doesn't come off right. This was perfect.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      It's very difficult to lose an animal. I had a goat many years ago in South Carolina and was very sad when we moved back to Iowa and had to leave it behind with another family.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

      I am sorry about your dog passing and the one that will have to next week.

      I have a thing for animals, can't seem to not cry when one dies. I kinda want to cry now.

      We lost three goats last year and my fiance went crazy trying to figure out why I cried for them. I don't understand it myself.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Cardisa,

      Yes they're my labs. The yellow female passed on last fall and the black male is now very ill and will have to be put down next week.

      The picture was taken near Seligman, Arizona.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Will, are those your dogs and did you take that awesome picture? Where is it?

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Wow! I actually had 'The Great imposter' in mind on this one!

      He left the motor home in an RV park full of snowbirds. ;-)

    • profile image

      Ghost32 6 years ago

      Excellent, Will. Like most, I didn't figure this one out in advance--though the doctor imposter at the end (Wiley) reminded me of a true-story movie, black and white. Maybe that was...yeah, The Great Imposter, starring Tony Curtis. Haven't seen that in almost 50 years!

      It's bugging me, though, trying to figure out where he stashed the motor home.

      Up and Awesome.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, marcoujor.

      My precious little yellow lab female passed on last fall, and now her black lab son is very sick and will probably have to be put down too. That picture was happier days camped out.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Will,

      I'm not sure what I'm grinning more at... this twist of an ending or your adorable "dog babies" avatar! I love them both!

      Voted UP & AWESOME!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thanks Dexter! Looking forward to your next 'morning conversation'.

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 6 years ago from United States

      Will, you are something else! Great story with a great surprise at the end! Outstanding!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, QudsiaP1, and thank you!

    • QudsiaP1 profile image

      QudsiaP1 6 years ago

      Seriously! Never saw that coming at all, I actually had to re-read to confirm. :P

      Brilliant.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you Fossillady!

    • Fossillady profile image

      Kathi 6 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Oh my gosh, super surprise ending, never saw it coming! I really enjoyed it Will! Great writing and vote up

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, chspublish, and thanks for the kind words!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Susan! If you're pleased, I'm pleased!

    • chspublish profile image

      chspublish 6 years ago from Ireland

      A stroke of genius Will - by the pen, of course!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Brilliant! I so loved the ending. LOL Excellent!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, TimBryce!

      Glad you liked it!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, megwinkler, and thanks for dropping by! If you like the twist, there are several more you might like.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Alaster Packer,

      Dave Wiley is a con man with a conscience, so if anything will get him caught, it's his own, rather skewed, sense of right and wrong.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, caltex, and thank you so much for the compliments!

    • profile image

      TimBryce 6 years ago

      HeHeHe - I love it.

    • megwinkler profile image

      megwinkler 6 years ago from Texas

      Ha! What a shocker. Nice story! I love how you brought it back around and how the con man is really a decent person deep down somewhere in his criminal heart. Keep up the great writing. :)

    • profile image

      Alaster Packer 6 years ago

      The supremo con man with a conscious. What a dichotomy. Excellent story, easy to read and engaging with a twist ending. Bravo Will.

    • caltex profile image

      caltex 6 years ago

      Will, I enjoyed this one just like the others you've written. I can never guess how they turn out, which is what I love about them. It is great writers like you that make me come here on HP again and again.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, SilentReed,

      Mr. Wiley is not a bleeding heart. He's also not really evil. He just likes living on the edge.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Gus!

      When I want a fun read, I get on over to Gus-land!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, drbj.

      Mr. Wiley seems to be a popular rogue. I suspect he may show up again. :-)

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, b. Malin, and thank you!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, acaetnna!

      Have you read 'The scent of Evil'?

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Wayne Brown, and I'm happy to please your need to be deceived!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, amillar, and thank you!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Diane and Doug,

      My most loyal fans!

    • SilentReed profile image

      SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines

      This was a delightful read. I just like to comment on this part...."The target was seated in a lawn chair under the awning of the motor home, listening to Limbaugh on the radio and sipping a can of Pepsi." A con artist with conservative political leanings and a bleeding heart ? :)

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 6 years ago from USA

      Hi Will - It was as much fun reading with this story as with all of the rest of them. Thanks.

      Gus :-)))

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      Great story, Will, and great twist at the end But you already know that. Please do bring the Wiley-man back; he's a humdinger.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 6 years ago

      Hey that was a good one WillStarr...loved the ending, and NO I never saw that coming!

    • acaetnna profile image

      acaetnna 6 years ago from Guildford

      What an awesome writer you are. I was captivated throughout and what a great ending too. Voting up and pressing your buttons Will. I am so thrilled I stopped by!

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      Well, you twisted me one more time too quick...I was waiting for old Dave to show up as a "specialist" but you brought him on board by distracting me with the actions of the Deputy's wife...That's that dang WillStarr again! Good one, a good one! WB

    • amillar profile image

      amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK

      The wily Will Starr must have plotted that story.

    • profile image

      Diane 6 years ago

      Always a good read and the twists keeping coming.

      Never stop writing.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Hyphenbird.

      Wiley has a vested interest in his 'patient' and great confidence in his ability to pull off a scam, so why not pay his deputy a little hospital visit?

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Ooooh, that wily Wiley. For sure he deserves the moniker. So he examines the sheriff then calmly walks away. hehehehehe. I gotta admire him. Great sneak attack here WillStarr!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, thougtforce, and thank you for the kind comments!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, marellen! Glad you enjoyed it!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Lily and thank you!

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      I was glad to see a new short story from you, and this story was as always a masterpiece! The end was so unexpected! Fantastic story:)

      Tina

    • profile image

      marellen 6 years ago

      Will...you got me....I sure didn't see that coming but I had to belly laugh at this one. Awesome hub....keep them coming.....

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      lilyfly 6 years ago

      Brilliant, Will! lil

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Cardisa.

      How's my romantic and exotic sweetie today? :-)

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, CMerritt!

      Your first try was great, so I'm waiting for your next one!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Austinstar!

      Always delighted to lead you astray! :-)

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Movie Master, and thanks for the visit!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thanks for the read, Dusty!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Pop, and no, our Mr. Wiley is beyond rehab! :-)

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, kirutaye, and thank you for reading me!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Ginn Navarre.

      Not too far from where you live! Maybe you know our deputy. :-)

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Cogerson!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Wayne Anthony, and thank you for reading!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Mrs. J. B., and glad you liked it!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, thebluestar.

      Stokes are often survivable if treated within a three hour window. Our Deputy is a survivor.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, diogenes, and thanks for the critique.

      Our Mr. Wiley is audacious indeed (that's his character), and the deputy kept his silence out of gratitude and sheer amazement.

      How he was able to escape in a motor home is left up to the reader. :-)

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, attemptedhumour!

      Yeah, I do like a little twist, now and then.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, mckbirdbks, and thank you!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, suziecat7, and we'll be thinking about more Mr. Wiley!

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      Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

      You always amaze me WillStar, this one made my day!

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Will, you are without a doubt, my favorite author...I have never read one of your short stories and not been amused and entertained. You are the master at surprise endings.

      Awesome!

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Not bad! I didn't spot the ending either and I usually do. Yes, do write more and put them in a collection.

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      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Will, great story love the twist at the end, waiting for the next one....

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

      Will, my last read for a while got things to do, It was superb loved the twist and foll circle at such a short word count, impressive, I'm gone dust

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      breakfastpop 6 years ago

      Love the ending. I wonder, does Wiley do rehab too? Funny and awesome.

    • kirutaye profile image

      kirutaye 6 years ago from London, UK

      Wow. Awesome!!! I never saw that coming. LOL

      Great writing. I really enjoyed every bit of this. Well done.

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 6 years ago

      My friend---"Imagination is the highest kite one can fly,"and you are soaring way above all others. Loved it!

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

      Another awesome story Will, your endings which are always good....were even better this time...voted up

    • Wayne Anthony profile image

      Anthony 6 years ago from NW England

      I enjoyed that to, great story and a nice twist at the end.

    • Mrs. J. B. profile image

      Mrs. J. B. 6 years ago from Southern California

      I loved this story. I read and reread just to make sure I did not miss a thing and I never expected an ending like that. BRAVO!!!!

    • thebluestar profile image

      Annette Donaldson 6 years ago from Northern Ireland

      I didn't expect that ending Bill, nicely done and what a twist at the end. I would love to know if the deputy survives or succumbs to his fate? As usual Bill a great read. x

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      diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      I enjoyed as usual, Will, but I don't think you tied the phoney doctor bit up as well as you usually end stories. Where was the motor home? Wasn't a medi-vac there with a doc.? The deputy could have grabbed him with his good arm. A great yarn that just needs a bit of finishing. Bob

    • attemptedhumour profile image

      attemptedhumour 6 years ago from Australia

      Hi Will, i always enjoy your stories. I just know there's going to be a clever angle usually in the last line and you didn't let me down. Thanks mate, loved it.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Great story Will. Your imagination is flying high.

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 6 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Agree with Dahoglund - more Wiley!!!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, CJ Andrews, and thank you!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Nan, and thank you dear lady!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, dahoglund.

      Hm.

      More adventures for Dave Wiley? Who knows? :-)