Chapter 10

Written by: Lrennes

“Mandy?!”

Brad couldn’t conceal the shock which enveloped him and permeated his every mannerism. It was his usually meek and mild wife whose head had extended itself out from behind a cautious and wary Servany as he entered the antique store with hands held aloft. Presumably she had some kind of weapon firmly wedged into his back.

“Mandy? That’s what you called yourself?” Servany scorned. He winced as she dug in even harder with whatever it was that pressed into his back

“It’s better than Nadine,” she whispered derisively into his ear.

 “Hi, Brad,” she smiled tentatively from behind her hostage.

“Hi…” he hesitated, not sure how to approach the bizarre conversation that apparently beckoned. “So, not Mandy, then?” he ventured.

“No,” she lamented. “My name is as much Mandy as yours is Brad.”

“Ah,” Brad said, as it dawned on him that he hadn’t been alone in his dual-past duplicity.

“We can talk about this later, but my name’s Mandy, that’s the name I want.  And if ‘Brad’ still means more to you than ‘Tony’, then I propose that we should take care of the problem in front of us all first.”

Brad nodded. He then turned to his companions, the owners of the antique store in which they now stood. They were art thieves, too. It seemed they all were.

“What do you say?” Brad asked them.

The elderly man and woman returned an agreeable, simultaneous smile. It was a smile that seemed both warm towards Brad and satisfied at the prospect of the lion that had been shepherded into their den.

Brad moved towards Servany, who at this point knew he was in trouble.

“Not looking good for you, is it Judge?” he quipped. Servany returned an angry frown. “You see, these people took me in when I had nothing. They taught me an art form; the art of thievery. They also taught me loyalty. What did you teach? Selfishness and manipulation. You’re a sociopath. And a fool for thinking that I would betray them.”

He reached into his pocket, producing two small jewelled birds.

“Here are your cranes.” He threw them at Mandy’s captive. They bounced off his chest and fell on the floor.

“Don’t bother,” Servany retorted, “I know they’re fake.”

“Do you?” Brad responded as he flashed an intrigued look towards Mandy. “Well, never mind. The fake ones are worth just as much as the real ones where you’re going.”

Servany’s eyes opened in shock as he realized what Brad was saying. But before he could react, Mandy raised the butt of her weapon and slammed it into the back of his head, sending him tumbling, unconscious, to the floor. 

“He’s all yours,” Brad said to his mute benefactors, who again retuned a simultaneous warm smile and a nod of approval.

“It seems my wife and I have a lot to talk about,” he smiled as he approached Mandy.

“Yeah, we do,” she agreed, returning his smile as they walked out of the building.

Comments

Love the play on 'art form'. Great way to wind up the serial!