Topic #252

The assignment:

Write a story by finishing this sentence. The story can be as long or short as you wish.

I told him where I was going, and he hurried me out, pointing to the door with the gun, but what he didn’t know was…

Here goes:

I told him where I was going, and he hurried me out, pointing to the door with the gun, but what he didn’t know was that I wasn’t afraid of his gun, or the man I was about to see. I had a death wish, but couldn’t bring myself to end it myself. So here I was again, involved in another heist, wondering if this time would really be the end. If so, my favorite charity would be happy; I had made several million dollars in the past year, all of it by questionable means.

I slowly descended the stairs, mindful of my surroundings. This could be the last time I made the trek down the stairs of the charming three story walk-up in the heart of the Lower East Side. I had to admit, of all the temporary digs I’d occupied, this had to be my favorite. Small, for sure, but as they say in the real estate biz, quite “cozy.” Besides, I rather enjoyed sharing it with Richard, despite his fondness for kimchi. Damn stuff stunk the place up.

Pushing open the building’s door, I looked both ways and hailed a cab. Dusk had begun to settle, perfect for my rendezvous in East River Park. A few minutes later I stood a few feet away from the designated bench. It was unoccupied. A rollerblader zipped past me.

My contact had insisted that it was better to hide in plain sight. My gut told me something was amiss, but I approached the bench anyway. I sat, pulled out my kindle, and began to read Lucretius. We were, after all, only a bunch of particles. Did it matter if I lived or not?

A middle aged man in a trench coat approached me. I stifled a laugh. It was 75 degrees and clear. No doubt he enjoyed the cloak and dagger routine. He sat next to me, holding a painting wrapped in brown paper with the Blackston gallery logo printed on it. Nice touch.

“Got the money?”

I nodded, clutching my laptop case.

“Here’s the goods.” He placed the painting between us.

“Unwrap it.”

“Are you bat shit crazy? You want me to unwrap a Warhol in the middle of the park?”

“You chose the location,” I reminded him.

“Just give me the fucking money.”

I looked him in the eyes and shook my head. I knew for certain this was no Warhol. I would bet anything on it.

The man reached into his pocket and pulled out his pistol and pointed it at me.

“Don’t make me use this.”

I shrugged and stared at him. He had little beads of sweat lining his upper lip.

“No deal,” I said at last and stood. As I turned my back and started to walk away, I heard a shot. My whole body tightened, but I felt nothing. No sharp pain. No inner regret.

“Amy! I told you I had your back.” Rickard was saying, the painting in his arms as he ushered me to the street and hailed a cab.

I sat there a moment as we drove away, shocked and oddly relieved. I watched Richard tear off one side of the paper protecting the painting. I gasped.

It was indeed a Warhol.

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