Chapter 5

Written by: Ray Stone

Annie stood trembling, her back to the door. With one hand over her mouth and eyes closed, she waited for the rapping knuckles to stop and leave her alone. But they didn’t. She was frightened. Whoever was outside her door was impatient and probably violent. 

Unable to contain her fear any longer, Annie turned and shouted. “Go away…go away. I’m an olden. Leave me alone. Bugger off ya swine.”

The rapping stopped, and Annie’s sigh of relief was cut short and turned into a piercing scream as the door splintered with a loud crash.

A hand grabbed Annie around her throat, forcing her into silence. Pushed back into the room, she looked into steely blue eyes and a mass of black hair. The gruff voice sent shivers through her.

“Where is it? What have you done with it?”

Annie choked, her frightened eyes looking at the threatening face inches from hers.

“I dunno what yer talkin’ ‘bout. Leave me alone,” she said, defiantly.

The stranger’s voice changed and took on a more conciliatory tone. “Look, lovey, you look as though you could do with some green.” He waved a hand across the room. “How about a grand…cash. I’ve got it here.”

The stranger pulled a roll of notes from his pocket. With a weak smile, he waved the roll in front of Annie.

“I told ya, I dunno what ya talkin’ about.” 

She winced and gasped as the stranger slapped her. A second sent her falling to the ground. She lay in a daze as the intruder stepped over her.


Lionel King disliked hurting the lady, but he had to get the painting. Thom was different. He had to be silenced. The two met while sharing a cell at Folsom, and Lionel soon regretted the work promise he made. After being hired to buy the painting and deliver it, Thom decided to keep it after hearing Lionel's conversation with the buyer. 

“It’s Colin McCahon’s work and worth a million. Trouble is there are copies, so we need them all. The original has initials hidden in the waterfall.” 

Lionel was following Thom when the lad took the painting into the apartment instead of sticking to the plan. 

“Now where the hell is it?” he muttered. He found it a minute later under the bed.


    Chief Inspector Karen Simonivic flicked the recording back and then froze the picture. A man she knew well entered the small art shop. “Lionel King, you're not there to enjoy the art,” she muttered. “But you bought a painting. I wonder if it was called ‘Waterfall.”

Her cellphone buzzed. “Simonivic.”

Her partner, Lieutenant Rizzo, sounded tense.

“We got a real problem. The kid was in Folsom. Guess who his cellmate was?”

“You’re kidding.”

“Nope. Another thing. While I was getting a statement from his Uncle, the old girl you spoke to…she lives next door, had someone break in and slap her around.”

“Find out about that painting. I’m on my way.”




You captured the characters in their dialogue. It was great - short and snappy. My eye glided down the page and I was in the room. Really good read with plenty for the next writer to pick up on.