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George and Patti meet Teresa.  But, they do not know it until it’s too late.  They quickly find out Teresa is not there for a neighborly visit.  Instead, she wants what they stole.  Crying won’t save them either.  Or, will it?  You tell me.  Enjoy Parts 13 & 14 of The Drop House. Thanks.

  

PART 13

 

PODEKA, KANSAS

 

TERESA STOOD OUTSIDE THE front door of the log cabin and waited.  She glanced over her shoulder at the black SUV parked in the driveway.  No one was inside.  She knocked on the door of the cabin again and waited.  She sighed, frustrated.  This was a waste of her time.

 

Sounds of movement came from inside the cabin.  They were close to the door.  She could hear them plainly.  It was possibly the sound of footsteps and shuffling.  Or, it could have been a dog scratching himself.  She doubted it.  She was sure the sounds were from a human.  Someone was home.  That was all that mattered.  She knocked again and crossed her arms.

 

Look pleasant, she reminded herself.  Drop your arms.  You are lost and looking for the nearest expressway.  Do not look serious.  She looked around the yard.  The grass was not as green as it should have been.  Flowers were on either side of the house.  Someone was a gardener with a green thumb.

 

The door opened.  A man and woman in their late sixties or early seventies stood in the doorway.  Teresa smiled and quickly looked them over.  They looked at her as if they were unsure of what to say.

 

“Yes,” the woman said to Teresa.  “Can we help you?”

 

“I hope so,” Teresa said.  “I’m lost and trying to get to the nearest interstate.  I don’t have a clue where I am. Can you help me?  Unfortunately, my car didn’t have a navigation system when I leased it.  You would think that all cars would have a navigation system.  This is probably the only one that doesn’t.”

 

The man and woman smiled at Teresa.  She talked fast without taking breaks, the couple thought.

 

“I would’ve called Bibbin Leasing Company,” Teresa said.  “It’s in the town behind us where I flew in.  Oh..”  She stopped herself.  “Why am I telling you where it is?  You probably know where it is.  Excuse my overly explaining.

 

Bottom line is, I think they have my cell phone.  I must have left it on the counter.  I hope no one walked off with it.  People seem to be honest in this state.  Maybe someone turned it in.”  She exhaled.  “Sorry, I’m babbling.”

 

The woman thought it was a blessing that Teresa heard herself going on and on.

 

“Can you do me a favor and call the leasing company for me?” Teresa asked.  “With all the scams around today, I don’t expect you to let me use your phone.  But, it would be great if you’ll call them for me and ask if my phone is there?  And then, if you don’t mind, can you tell me where the nearest interstate is?  I probably have the number to the leasing company on the papers inside the SUV.  I can get it and wait out here until you call.”

 

The man looked at the woman and back at Teresa.  She looked harmless to him.  Teresa wore black jeans, a black shirt, a tan lightweight jacket, and black low heeled boots.  A colorful scarf was around her neck.  She looked like a conservative young mother.

 

“You don’t need to wait out there,” the man said.  The woman shot him a look and looked back at Teresa.  “Let me get the phone.”  He found Teresa attractive.  There were attractive women in the area.  Not, however, like Teresa.  Most of the women he knew were retired and married, like him.  Not young and an eye-catcher like her.

 

“Are you sure?” Teresa asked.  “I don’t want to be a bother.”

 

“Absolutely no bother,” the man said.  He motioned for Teresa to go inside.  “Come on in.”

 

Teresa asked if they were sure.  She looked back and forth to the man and woman.  “There are lots of crazies in this world,” Teresa said.  “I’m not one.”  She smiled and held up her hands.  “You aren’t either.  Are you?”

 

All three laughed.

 

The man told her no and opened the door wider.  Teresa walked in and stopped just inside the doorway.  “What a beautiful place,” Teresa said.  The woman smiled and thanked her.  “I saw cabins on my drive, once I turned off the main road.  But, they didn’t look anything like the cabins on this road, meaning yours of course and the others.  Wow.”

 

“We enjoy our log cabins in our community,” the man said.  “It’s very neighborly up here.  We like it.  And, those cabins you first saw aren’t like ours.  They’re older and built differently.  Our road has more updated log cabins.  We are permanent residents.  We don’t lease these.  So they’re a bit bigger.”

 

“To say a bit bigger is an understatement,” Teresa said.

 

“Now the other cabins are for rent,” the man said.  “Like, if you ever wanted to go fishing or hunting or just plain old exploring, you could rent those cabins.”

 

“That’s good to know,” Teresa said.

 

There was quiet.

 

“Oh,” the woman said.  “You need a phone.  We get to talking and forget about the time.  You know.”  The woman went to the table and got the cell phone.  “All you have to do is dial the number of the rental place.  What was the name, again?  I’ll Google it.  Then you won’t have to go out to your car and get it.”

 

“Thank you,” Teresa said.  “That’s kind of you.  Could you also be kind and give us our money back?”

 

The woman looked up from the cell phone, shocked.  She was unprepared for that.  The man seemed puzzled.

 

PART 14

 

PODEKA, KANSAS

 

TERESA QUIETLY STARED AT the older couple.

 

The couple seemed frozen, stunned into silence.

 

“George and Patti, right?” Teresa asked.  She had looked up their information from a database their company used to research individuals and businesses.

 

Patti and George squinted and looked confused.  “I’m sorry,” Patti said, sounding as sincere as she could.

 

“Sorry for being George and Patti?” Teresa asked.  “Or, sorry for stealing our money?  Or, sorry for both? Or, sorry for killing our employees?  Or, sorry that you got caught?  Which option best fits you two?”

 

“I think you’re at the wrong place, young lady?” George said, hoping to sound like Teresa’s older respected elder.  “We’re going to have to ask you to leave.”  George glanced over toward the kitchen counter.  On the other side of it and out of sight was the Colt pistol laying on the counter below it.

 

Teresa watched George’s eyes.  Patti was fidgeting.  George was moving toward his left.  Teresa suspected that he would run behind the counter that he kept cutting his eyes toward.  Then she would have no choice but to shoot him before she got the money from them.  She reached inside her coat and pulled a nine-millimeter from her waistband behind her back.

 

“Both of you sit down,” Teresa said.  “You suck at this game.  You’re not good liars.”  George and Patti moved slowly toward the dining room chairs.  “Uh.  Uh.  Sit down on the sofa where I can watch you.  It may prevent one or both of you from having your brains splattered against these beautiful oakwood logs.  “You really do have a beautiful place.”  She took her phone from her pocket.

 

“You lied to us,” George said.  “You have a phone.”

 

“Yes,” Teresa said.  “I do.  And, you have our money.  So that makes us even.”  Teresa held the phone up to her mouth.  “Come in guys.”

 

“Is there anyone else in this house?” Teresa asked as the front doorknob turned.  Patti and George told her no.

 

The front door opened.  The same two employees that were in Bernice and Pete’s house stepped inside the house.  Each carried a gun with a silencer on it.

 

“Go through the house and if anyone else is in here, kill them,” Teresa said to the two men.

 

Teresa watched George and Patti as the men went through the house.  The search was fast and thorough.  They met back in the front of the house and shook their heads at Teresa.

 

“It’s good to know you didn’t lie this time,” Teresa said.  “Guys, meet George and Patti.  They’ve been watching over our money.”

 

“We don’t know what…” George was saying before Teresa cut him off.

 

“But, now they don’t want to give it back,” Teresa said with the gun up next to her face.  “What’s a girl to do?”  She gave Patti a menacing stare.

 

“I have an idea,” Teresa said.  “Bring her over here.”  Teresa said to one of the men.  “Keep your gun on him.”  She told the other man.  “If she doesn’t comply, shoot him in the head.”  Patti jumped and gasped.  “Bring her.”

 

One of the men grabbed Patti by the arm and pulled her off the sofa.  George yelled for the man to leave Patti alone.  He went to stand.  The man next to him pointed his gun at George’s head.  He then pushed the barrel against George’s head and told him to stay down.  George told Teresa to leave Patti alone.  The man pulled Patti to the dining room table where Teresa was standing.

 

“Sit down,” Teresa said to Patti.  Patti looked back at George.  “Sit down.”  Patti hesitated.  George yelled at Teresa to leave her alone.  Teresa nodded to the man.  He grabbed Patti by the shoulders and forced her into a chair.  “Put one hand on your head.  Don’t take it down for anything.  Put the other hand on the table.  Fingers spread.  You choose the hand.”  Patti swallowed.  Her body shook.  “I’m not going to tell you again.”  The man behind Patti had his hands on her shoulders.  “Shoot him in the head.”  Teresa looked at George.

 

“No!” Patti screamed and jerked her head back toward George.  The man’s gun was against George’s head.  “I’ll do it.  I’ll do it.”  Patti put a shaky hand on her head.  She then put her other shaky hand flat on the table with her fingers spread.

 

Teresa leaned over and looked into Patti’s eyes.  She cupped Patti’s chin and lifted her head up.  “If I have to repeat myself again to you,” Teresa paused, “he dies.  Just that simple.   Do you understand?”  Patti cried and nodded.  George begged Teresa to leave Patti alone.  That they had the wrong people. Teresa did not look at George.  She acted as if he was not there.  Her focus was on Patti.  “Tell me you understand.  Because when it happens, I want you to know it’ll be on your head.  Then you’ll be broke without our money and a widow.  Tell me, in words, that you understand.  I won’t ask you to answer that question again either without a consequence.”

 

“I understand,” Patti said in a low tone, crying harder.

 

Teresa turned and walked into the kitchen.  She rummaged through the drawers and stopped.  She put something on the counter.  Her back was to everyone.  She turned around with a large butcher knife that she had taken from the knife block.

 

“Please, don’t hurt her,” George begged.  “Please.  Take me.”

 

“Okay,” Teresa said, walking up to Patti.  “Let’s get this over with.  Remember what I said.  You disobey one thing and George gets shot in the head.  So, I guess the money question is what’s more important, George’s life or…”

 

Teresa slammed her hand down on Patti’s hand that was on the table.  Patti screeched in pain.  Within a second Teresa had Patti’s middle finger pulled back.  She also held Patti’s palm flat on the table under the heel of her hand.  Patti whined and cried.

 

“Shhh,” Teresa said to Patti.  “Don’t take that hand off your head,” Teresa teased her.  Patti cried loudly.  Teresa pulled back on her finger.  George begged, please.  “One of you is going to tell us where that money is.  Right now.  No games.  Or?” Teresa put the knife’s tip on the table under Patti’s pulled up middle finger.  The blade of the knife was over Patti’s last two fingers.  “When I bring this blade down.  You’ll be minus two fingers.”  Patti cried.  “From there, I’ll continue to take two fingers until we reach your toes.  Then I’ll take two of those.  Once we’re finished with fingers and toes, I’ll take your heart.  Then I’ll kill George.  How’s that, George?”

 

The two men glanced at one another.  They were hoping that George would say where the money was.  They were ex-military.  They did not want to torture seventy-year-old people.  But, Teresa was their boss.  It was a substantial amount of money missing.  They knew Teresa knew where the money was by the locator.  But Teresa wanted more than the money.  She wanted to send a message to Patti and George.  Even if no one could prove she was behind their deaths, the word would get out.  Knowing she made them pay for their sins was good enough for her.

 

“Well alright then,” Teresa said and brought the knife down.

 

Patti screamed.

 

George yelled.  “Wait!  Wait!  Wait!  Noooo!”

 

How far will some people go to keep what’s not theirs?  How far would you go?  Maybe the length of George and Patti.  Stay tuned.  I’ll see you on Monday.  Same time.  Same place.  And remember to be careful with what you may find and take home.  It could belong to someone bad.

Have a great weekend!

Thanks,

Stephen Wallace