August’s Short Story
I asked her if she was joking. Her frown told me she wasn’t. “Every last penny, gone,” she said. “And that’s not the worst of it,” she continued, leaning across the table. “They completely destroyed our security system.”
“Why would they do that?” I asked.
“No idea,” she said.
“Well, I would say we should fix it, but without the gold…” I let the thought trail off. We were screwed. Maybe there was something we could do. “What about the show room?”
“They left it alone,” she commented.
“Well, that’s something at least…” I was starting to form a plan.
She scoffed. “Not really. In order for that to be useful, we’ll have to convince the boss to part with one of his collection.”
I wasn’t going to hold my breath. We both knew that wasn’t going to happen, at least not easily.
The show room was so packed, you could barely move through it. It smelled of gasoline and wax. The cars on display never actually left the floor. It was a front – an obvious one – for the actual business we ran for the boss. He used the area to store his precious vintage automobile collection. Personally, I hated each and every single one of those cars. They caused no end of headaches for me and my associates.
We were in the business of high-interest short term loans. Loans that sometimes cost more in flesh than they earned us in coin.
“Are you going to tell him?” she asked.
As I looked at her, my face went pale. “He doesn’t know yet?” I asked. I never imagined having to tell him. It was not a conversation that would end well, especially if I mentioned selling off one of his precious autos. The boss was a believer in shoot the messenger. Things were just not going my way lately.
I was right; it didn’t go well. Go figure. The only good thing was at least I’d walked away with all ten fingers and ten toes and all of my limbs.
Back in the showroom, a decision had to be made…
“He said we could sell one to fix the security,” I said.
“No kidding,” she said with actual shock on her face.
“He also wants the video footage that survived sent to him right away.”
“You told him there wasn’t anyway to tell who it was, right?” she asked.
I shrugged. “I told him. He said he wants to see it anyway.”
As I stood there staring at row after row of cars, I made a decision. We were going to sell more than one. How often did the boss come down here anyway? In fact, before the security system was fixed, I planned to arrange for several of the god forsaken hunks of metal to be relocated at a discount price to people with sticky fingers.
Of course, I didn’t tell her any of this. She would disapprove. She liked her job, and she still had respect for the boss. I was past that. It’d been too many years.
The robbery may have lost us a lot of money, but it was providing an opportunity for some much-needed revenge.