Chapter 9

Written by: Ray Stone

Jack snapped his fingers at the bartend and wiped beads of sweat from his brow. He unbuttoned his coat and threw it across a chair. After ordering a Scotch, he flipped his cell open and called the Lotto Company. With one finger blocking one ear from booming heavy rock, he introduced himself as an NYPD detective hunting an escaped criminal. He gave the woman details of Robert’s name and that of his daughter together with the shop address the ticket came from. She would call him when someone claimed the prize along with an address.  He tossed his head back and gulped the Scotch in one go, then tapped the counter with his knuckles and ordered another shot. The mob had to keep their distance now an APB was out on Robert. Jack grinned as the bartend raised the bottle and filled his glass. Robert had to share now that only he, Jack, could get him out of trouble.

***

Robert shivered. He stepped down from the bus. His eyes watered in the cold breeze that swept the street. He hugged his jacket around him and walked quickly. His feet were still wet from the swim in the river and felt like blocks of ice. 

Jed had not been listed as one of Lucy’s friends, one of the details required by the Witness Protection authorities.

After walking two blocks, Robert staggered into a rundown tenement block. He entered the trash strewn entrance and climbed the six flights of concrete steps to the third floor. The stench was appalling. He stopped, breathing heavily, the back of his throat burning. From behind the worn green door of number 547, came the low steady beat of hip hop music.

Robert wrapped hard on the door and was surprised it opened quickly. Lucy jumped excitedly into his arms and kissed him on the cheek. Jed stood behind, nodded slowly and lipped ‘hi.’

“They said on the news you were an escaped prisoner. Some woman at the Lotto leaked the news to the press.”

Robert explained briefly what happened and showed the ticket. “The problem is,” he said, “If I claim the money, Jack will know and come looking for me.”

Lucy grabbed Jed’s arm and pulled him forward. “I don’t know if you’ll trust Jed or not but we kind of made it up and now that Jed is off drugs I was hoping you might listen to an idea he has.”

Robert shrugged. “I’ll listen.”

“Well, you can bet this cop will know if you or Lucy claims the money,” said Jed, “but what if I claim the money on your behalf with a note signed by you authorizing me as your agent? Before I do that we have a lawyer witness the note as well. Then you and Lucy take off for Canada while I contact your WPP man and sort out a bank account in Canada.”

Robert smiled. The plan was perfect…perhaps.

Ray Stone MA

 

 

 

 

Comments

Well, I thought it wasn't too bad.
This could be a new story. Very interesting as you pick up the action. "almost." I like your hook.