If I had been lost at sea, my wife, Bubbles, could have already had me declared dead, but as a guest of the gov’ner for seven years in the big house, the best she could do was divorce me and shack up with my lawyer. That’s okay, birds of a feather deserve each other, or somethin’ like that. Anyhow, I was framed and everyone knew it, but my lawyer didn’t exactly do a great job. I guess you can figure out why. Hell, everyone has a price, why should I be surprised? It’s not that I was totally innocent, after all, I was in on the plan. Unfortunately, I had stopped off at Louie’s for a few cold ones and by the time I woke up, Scooter and Riley had already liberated the cash from the bank. Heh, too bad they hid the cash before taking those bullets.
Revenge takes time, and I’ve had seven years. If everything goes to plan, Chumly, my chauffeur should be here momentarily. Ah yes, there he is now. I had given him the keys and the title to my old caddy just before I went to the joint. I knew my marriage wouldn’t last and why give her a Cadillac when she didn’t deserve to ride in one, except maybe in the trunk?
“Where to, sir?”
“Let’s go to the halfway house. Judge’s orders you understand.”
“Very good. Are you still expecting to take a drive this evening?”
“I think I may need you sooner than that. Park down the street and wait. If you see her black limo show up, go ahead and pull up, but not too close.”
“Very good. I’ll take care of everything.”
No more than an hour after checking in, the slime wagon arrived. How quaint, both of them in the back seat, privacy window up, probably to keep their driver in the dark in more ways than one. As an officer of the court, he knows he can check me out of the halfway house for official business, so I’ll try not to snort coffee out my nose when he gives his reason, whatever that might be. Clock’s tickin’ man, get on with it.
“Yeah, I’ll go with you. What have I got to lose? I don’t suppose we could stop by a Starbucks could we? It’s been a while since I had a vente anything. No? Next time then.”
We get in the car and lawyer man knocks on the window. The limo takes off, pulling out into traffic. I laugh when I see that the driver is smarter than everyone has given credit. True that, the privacy window is up, meaning he can’t see anything going on the back, but he has turned on the intercom. The man behind the wheel can hear everything that is being said. Very clever this guy.
“So we know you didn’t actually pull off the heist, but we think we can make you a deal to make things right. You game?”
“A deal? Like what, you two jump off a cliff? How ‘bout them apples?”
“Now calm down. We also know that you were in on the plan so you know where the money is hidden. You could go get it yourself, but how about splitting the money with us and then I go to the judge and tell him that I uncovered evidence that you were innocent. You get a new trial and your conviction gets reversed. You end up half the money, but also a clean record. You can’t beat that anywhere.”
“You drive a hard bargain but I don’t think so. How about this instead: I get all the cash and you two fall off a cliff.”
“Let’s be reasonable now, after all, I can just take you back if you want. Then I’ll call the cops and have you taken in for violating your parole. When I show them this dime bag, who are they going to believe?”
“Oh good, a lawyer planting evidence. That’s something I didn’t expect. Okay, fine, although for the record I still like my plan. Just drive up to Alpine. The cash is hidden in an abandoned brewery up there.”
“Now, isn’t it better now that we are all in agreement?” I smile as the lawyer man flips the intercom off and then tells the driver to head to Alpine. He inadvertently turns the intercom back on when he finishes. What an idiot.
The twenty minute ride is quiet. I look at my ex-wife, she refuses to make eye contact. Feeling guilty I guess. Oh well, that’s what money, or the want of it, does to people. As for me, the money isn’t that important. Revenge, on the other hand…
We arrive at the old brewery. Abandoned and dilapidated would be a nice description, half of it has collapsed down into the ravine. A deer comes walking out of the office. As I had suspected, no one has been here in years.
“Okay, how do you want to do this? If you want to come with, fine, but we have to be careful since the cash is in that office next to the cliff. So who wants to go with me?”
“You know, I think we can trust you. Why don’t you just go ahead and get the cash and come back.”
“Aren’t you afraid I’ll run for it?”
“Where the hell are you gonna go? We have the only car and civilization is miles away. You’d be eaten by a bear before you got one mile in these mountains. No, you go ahead and hope that you don’t end up in that ravine. Your office there looks to be the next thing to go.”
“Alright. I offered.”
When I reached the office, I turned around and waved. Stupid people, they thought I was waving to them. The driver opened his door, put the car in gear and stepped out as the limo careened over the cliff. Judging by the number of times that baby rolled, lawyer-boy was deader than dead. The fire engulfing the vehicle sealed the deal for me. We waited until the smoke cleared; no one had left the car.
Another car drove up the dirt road, stopping.
“Yo, Chumly! Am I late?”
“No my brother, you are just in time. Where to, sir?”
“Back to the Cadillac, of course. We’ll need to pay off that driver again and I have to check back into the halfway house soon.”
Once we get back, I’ll let Chumly know about the cash hidden in the trunk. He can have it all. I already have my reward.
“Anyone want some Starbucks? I’ll buy?”
How about them apples…
written by D.J. Lutz, copyright February 2011