For my blog post this week I thought I'd give you all a present - a short story!
“Have you ever considered murder?”
“As a hobby or a part-time job?”
Stacey stared at me for a long moment, frowning. “What?”
I sighed. “Never mind.”
The frown eased. “It’s not something you should joke about.”
“No, you’re right. There’s nothing funny about murder.”
Now it was her turn to sigh, and she added rolling her eyes for dramatic effect. “You know what I meant.”
I didn’t, actually, but I wasn’t about to admit it. “Sure.”
“He’s got life insurance, right?”
Now it was my turn to stare. “Life insurance?”
“Yeah, life insurance. Find a hit man and split the insurance money with them.”
I stepped back, distancing myself from her suggestion. This conversation had rapidly descended into madness. “Don’t be stupid. This isn’t a movie!”
“I know that!” Stacey’s face softened and she moved closer. “Think about it. The guy’s a waste of space, you said so yourself. You said you’d do better without him.”
My cheeks burned hot. It was true I’d said that. But murder?
“It’s not as though you’d do it yourself,” Stacey continued. “You could arrange to be somewhere else and there would be no risk of you being found out.”
“And your share of any insurance money would clear you of all the problems you told me about.”
“Except the conspiracy to murder charge.”
The frown returned. “No one would know.”
“Except the hit man.” I blinked and shook my head. “I can’t believe I just said hit man. I’m losing the plot, too.”
“I haven’t lost the plot!” Stacey insisted. “And I know where to hire one.”
“I do.” She tossed her blond hair back, looking down her nose at me with a smile. “I know lots of people.”
I believed her. For a moment. “Really?”
She nodded, beaming with pride. “I can get you in touch with a guy who could get the job done in a week.”
“But it would take time to get the money from the insurance company.”
“If the people you owe knew it was coming…”
I looked down at the weeds covering the ground of the abandoned plot where we’d met up. “If I could wipe out all the debts…” I looked up at Stacey. “Do you think it would work?”
“Of course. You just have to plan it right.”
It was a crazy idea. She was right though, there wouldn’t be many tears shed over this guy. Maybe it was time to take a chance. “How would I arrange it?”
Stacey pulled out her mobile phone and waved it. “I have a number right here.”
“And you’d just give it to me? Just like that?”
She smirked. “Yep.”
Stacey shrugged. “If he’s not interested he’ll just deny all knowledge of what you’re talking about. Easy.”
“Won’t he want payment up front?”
“Now you’re the one watching too many movies. This guy doesn’t operate on that level. An agreement on a payment date, and…er…consequences if you don’t cough up.”
I stared at the phone that held the answer. Thoughts tangled in my head leaving me breathless and my heart pounding. “Okay.”
Stacey’s lips twitched and she found the information with a few swipes of her finger. She read out a number and I tapped it into my phone.
“It’s up to you now, and don’t go giving that number to anyone else. Okay?”
I nodded, my eyes glued to the ten digits displayed on my phone’s screen.
“I’ll be going,” Stacey said.
I lifted my eyes and caught her wink. She turned and walked away.
I watched her leave and waited until she was out of sight. “She’s gone,” I said.
“Copy," said a voice in my ear. "Meet at the rendezvous.”
I walked in the opposite direction to Stacey and around a street corner to an old community hall. The door at the rear was unlocked and I entered. One of my colleagues waited in the hall, his hand resting on the holster at his waist.
“Good job,” he said as I walked past.
The room I entered seemed overfull. Men and women dressed in dark blue, with gold badges and pistols strapped to their hips, were studying a map on the table. An older man with greying hair stood up and held out his hand to me. My senior partner on the job, and my inspiration for the story I gave Stacey. I placed my mobile phone in his hand and waited for him to say something. He turned away and showed the phone to the man beside him, dismissing my presence as unimportant as he’d done so many times before.
“She wasn’t wrong – you are a waste of space,” I breathed to myself as I walked away. “Asshole. If only I could…”
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