Osama Retires

by William Trent Pancoast


Osama couldn't see any reason he shouldn't retire. No way he could top BP Oil in the Gulf or Pacific Gas & Electric in San Bruno. He could only have imagined such successes.

It was those types of operations—demolitions of communities, destroying entire Ecosystems--that he had hoped to be pulling off on a regular basis by now.  Many Americans had been killed and much property destroyed by BP Oil and Pacific Gas. America's corporations were destroying America, and the world. Why should Osama waste his time?

The Wall Street criminals had trashed the world's economy with their super derivative scams. What a beauty that was—crippling civilization through fraud. There was no way he could do more harm to the economy than the big money boys were doing.

Osama kicked the dried goat dung across the rock courtyard and cursed under his breath. He had about fucking had it. His men were scattered, spread all around the world. The ones in the tribal areas in Pakistan and Afghanistan were hiding-- Osama didn't see them as cowards but realists; they were doing the same thing he was—holing up in a pile of rocks. He was burned out on this shit. Communications were fucked up. They were down to running messages on donkeys. Training programs had disappeared, and he was just plain tired.

Osama was pretty sure that the Americans knew where he was. He knew from his CIA training that they would rather watch him, as he was sure they were doing, than come and get him. He was valuable as a pointer to flush out the rest of the Qaeda gang.

If he needed to end up somewhere, it would be hard to beat this place. The water was good, and his doctor was helping him through his eternal dialysis. And who was he trying to kid—he didn't have a lot of years left. He had a great chef, the village had the best wine maker on this side of the border, and the place had begun to feel like home. He could probably live out the rest of his life here and no one would ever fuck with him.

He wasn't sure what he would do all day if he wasn't scheming and plotting to fuck up Americans…but there was a motorbike for sale in the village—a BMW 650 GS. When he was a teen, his daddy had bought him a Honda 750, and that was an asskicking bike—no one had ever beaten him. He could get excited about a motorcycle again. Riding was the coolest thing he had ever experienced, all the senses plugged in and on full alert. Flying a jet couldn't compare. Even piloting a helicopter at low altitude wasn't as good.


Osama could hear the bikes in the distance as he and his bodyguard navigated the trail along the rock wall to the valley.  He picked out the whine of an old two stroker and then listened for the BMW's lower pitch. The bikers were expecting him at 10:00 am and he didn't disappoint.

At the bottom of the trail Osama watched as the trio of young men zeroed in on him and his companion and raced flat out till they were twenty yards in front, and then locked up the brakes and slid the bikes at him. The BMW rider hopped off his bike, and he and Osama got right down to business. Osama sat on the bike grinning and put it in gear, ready to take it for a test ride. The young man stood in front of him, shaking his head. No test ride without payment up front.

Osama frowned and stood up, straddling the bike. He reached into his purse, fished out a one ounce American Eagle, and held it out. The bike owner still shook his head. “American dollars.”

Osama was getting pissed. Who did this Afghan punk think he was dealing with? Osama finally got him to take the gold coin as collateral for a test ride and roared off through the narrow valley with the other riders.

When they had passed through the village and gone another mile, the riders all of a sudden started flipping the bird to the sky, holding their middle fingers out of their fists and thrusting them skyward. Osama looked up. He nearly wrecked the bike and downshifted to third gear before glancing up again. A fucking drone!

They rounded a curve—the bike track was carved around the perimeter of the little valley—and gave full attention to the trail, dodging fist-size rocks and sliding in the pebbles. Then they hit a straight shot and the riders were flipping off the drone again. Osama joined them this time, unfolding the long middle finger out of his bony, oversized hand, and thrusting it repeatedly at the drone.

“Fuck America!” he shouted over and over with the young Afghanis. “May Allah eat your lunch!”

And then he put both hands on the handlebars and ran through the gears. He was nearing 80 kilometers an hour when they reached the next curve. Osama grinned and downshifted. As he accelerated out of the corner Osama knew this would be a good enough place, this friendly spot in the rocks.