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Curiosity isn’t always the best path to take.  There are some things that are better left unseen.  Ask George.  He’ll tell you.  Then again, he may not.

What would you do if you found yourself in George’s situation?  Enjoy PART 3 of The Drop House.  I’m dying to hear your answer.  Oops.




Podeka, Kansas


George stood still inside Bernice and Pete’s kitchen.  His hand was inches from the phone that was on the kitchen counter.  He had decided to call the police, and he was about to pick up the phone when it rang.  It rang seven or eight times and stopped.  That was two minutes ago.  It scared him.  Now he was staring at it and had not taken his eyes off it since.


He wondered if it was more bad guys checking in with the two dead ones on the floor?  If it was, he did not want to be there when they came looking for their friends.


He glanced at the duffel bags near the back door and bit his lower lip.  His heart pounded against his chest.  His thoughts shifted from wanting to run out the door, call the police, or look inside those duffel bags.


What he thought he saw sticking out of the one bag made him more than curious.  He even tried to doubt what he thought he saw.  But that did not stop the thoughts that raced through his head.


He was silly, he told himself.  He was confused.  What he was thinking was stupid.  It was downright crazy.  This was real life.  What he thought he saw in that bag happened in movies.  This was no damn movie.  He needed to get out of that house before someone showed up—someone who was capable of causing all that carnage.


He checked his watch.  How long had he been inside Bernice and Pete’s house?  Ten or fifteen minutes?  He bit on his tongue and looked at the bags and thought, maybe just a quick peek.


Stop it, he told himself.  Either leave or pick up the phone and call the police.  Look at this place.  Death and more death was everywhere.  Bernice and Pete were dead.  They were still in their pajamas.  What took place happened at night or early that morning.  Whoever did this had not been gone that long.  Hell.  The size and the number of holes in their heads said they were executed.  This was serious.  Something very bad and very wrong happened here.


What if he was right about the bags? He thought.


Get your ass out of here, another voice in his head demanded.


He took a step toward the door and looked over his shoulder at the bags.


Don’t be foolish. 


That’s right, George thought.  He needed to listen to that little voice.


Curiosity can get you killed.  You have no idea what went on here.  Bernice and Pete may be involved.  Look at their log cabin.  Four thousand square feet of a cabin as grand as a multimillion-dollar home.  Where did their money come from?  You may not have known them as well as you thought you did.  Just like you don’t know what unfolded here.  You know nothing about the events that led up to this.  Nor do you want to know.  You’re just speculating.  But if you mess around in this house any longer, you may find out firsthand what happened.  You could be part of the story.  The police could find you lying face down in a pool of blood with holes in your head.  Patti will be a widow.  Or, maybe whoever kills you will kill Patti, thinking she knows something when she doesn’t.  Get the hell out of here.  Now!


George grabbed the phone from the counter and dialed nine and stopped.  He wanted to push the number one.  But he could not.  He could not make himself do it.  He stared at the duffel bag.  Their shapes were odd.


Questions were coming to him.  Questions he could not ignore but should have.


Who were these guys?  Who brings guns with silencers to commit a robbery?  Why would they bring duffel bags?  And, where were their vehicles?  The only car in the driveway belonged to Bernice and Pete.  How did these guys get here?  Did they kidnap Bernice and Pete and force them to drive them to their house?  Were they going to rape Bernice?  Did Pete fight them off?  Is that why they killed them?


Nothing made sense.  Bernice and Pete were in pajamas.  They had to be already home.  And who killed the bad guys?


George squeezed the phone.  “Damn it,” he whispered.  “One quick peek.  I’ll be fast.”


The shape of those duffel bags lured him to them.  Whatever was inside them did not resemble house appliances or jewelry?  What was in them?


George put the phone on the floor beside the bag that was partially opened.  He squinted and knelt on the floor.  “It is,” he said in disbelief.


He put his hand under his tee-shirt and used it to cover his fingers and grabbed the bag’s zipper.  He slowly unzipped the bag.  As he did his heart raced faster.  He gasped.  He forgot to breathe.  He thought his heart was going to explode.


“Oh my…Oh, boy.”  He clamped his hand over his mouth and breathed out hard.  Air escaped from the sides of his hand.  “Oh, my.”  He was shocked.  He could not believe it.


This three to four feet duffel bag that was about two feet wide was filled with stacks of money.  A one hundred dollar bill was on the top of each stack.  He forced himself to swallow.  His throat was dry.  He looked at the other four bags and quickly unzipped them.  Each one gave him the same surprise as the first.


He stood and picked up the phone off the floor.  The open bags of money stared up at him.  He needed to call the police.  Did he touch anything?  He thought back.  “The phone.”


He looked at the phone in his hand.  He wiped it down with his shirt.  He had watched enough detective shows to know some of what to do.  This was a crime scene—a major crime scene.  Besides murder what else was there here?  Drugs? Gambling?  What?


He set the phone back on the counter and went toward the front door.  He stayed out of the doorway and out of view and listened for traffic.  He glanced over his shoulder at the open bags.  Should he close them back up?


No.  He needed to go.


He did not hear any traffic.


He dashed out the door praying as he ran from the house.  He did not want to be seen.  If the friends of those guys came looking for them and saw him, it was over for him.


“Run.  Run.  Run.”  He repeated.  His house was not that far.  His driveway was in sight.  He kept glancing over his shoulder until he reached his driveway.  But he did not stop running until he was at his front door.


George barged through the door, panting.  Patti watched him and wondered what was going on.  George shut the door and locked it.


“What is it, George?” Patti asked.  A look of concern was on her face.  She wore a flannel nightshirt.  She had just gotten out of bed to get a drink of water and to take her blood pressure pill.


George held up his hand, leaning against the door to catch his breath.


“What?” Patti asked.  “What is it?  Did you see something?  Are you hurt?  What happened?”


George panted.  Between pants he said, “They’re dead.”


Patti’s head recoiled.  She squinted.  She could barely hear what he was saying.  He was speaking gibberish.  Just like George, she thought.  He had probably made a mountain out of a molehill.  She knew they should have hired a professional to dig those fence posts.  What the hell had he done?  Now they would have to hire someone to fix what he did.  She put her hands on her hips and sighed.


“Did you hear me?” George asked.  He was still catching his breath.


A smirk was on Patti’s face.  He did drink too much wine last night, she thought.  She told him not to drink too much.  But he would not listen.  Now he was mumbling about something.  He had a hangover.  And now he was blaming it on something fictitious.


George wondered why she was looking at him like that.  Was she not listening?  “Did you not hear me?” he asked, angry.  “They’re dead.  They’re all dead.”


“What are you saying?” Patti asked.  “You’re not making any sense.  I told you not to have four glasses of wine.  You’re a lightweight.  You won’t admit it.  Now look at you.”  His mouth was moving.  “I don’t know what you’re saying.”  She had no time for his hysterics.  “I’m going back to bed.”


“They’re dead!” he yelled.  “Do you get it now?  What part did you miss?  They’re all dead.  Damn it.  They’re dead.  Bernice and Pete are dead.  Open your damn ears!  They’re dead!”  George slid down the door onto the floor.


Patti’s mouth hung open.


Thank you for sharing a little of your day with me.  I’ll see you next Monday.  Enjoy the rest of your week!  



Stephen Wallace