THE BLACKMAIL

I hope your day went well and your week is doing the same.  If you had goals to reach this week, I hope you accomplished some of them.  I know how things can get in the way.  It’s called life.  But we try to make the best of it.

I have a few short stories I’m writing.  I hope to have them on Amazon in two weeks.  I’ll let you know when I’m closer to putting them out.

But for now, I have a short story for you.  This one sort of snuck up on me.  I was reading a financial book when this story came to me.  Sometimes whacky things just come together.  Anyway, enjoy this story about a man who decides to do what is right in his mind.  But he forgets to think it over.

THE BLACKMAIL       

Jared Venel went into the alley.  He stopped near the entrance.  The alley was long and dark.  It came out on the other side to Dresden Street. 

Dresden Street may as well have been in another town.  The stores and shops that lined Dresden were luxury retailers.  Brands like Gucci, Tiffany, Louis Vuitton, Burberry dominated that spotless street.  Land Rover and Mercedes had dealerships on that street too.

Pine Street was a few feet behind Jared.  It was the complete opposite of Dresden.  Many of the store spaces were empty.  Most of the stores closed down a year ago.  The owners of the property had the storefronts locked and boarded up.  They wanted to keep vagrants from setting up homes and drug dealers from starting businesses inside them.

Jared was there to meet a woman.  She called herself Daisy.  He never knew her real name.  He doubted he ever would and did not want to.  He checked his watch.  She was late.  It was part of her game.  Make him sweat.  He moved about.  Nervous that she could be setting him up.

Heels clicked from way down the alley.  He assumed it was Daisy.  She was coming to him from Dresden Street.  Better clientele, he thought.  He wished she would hurry.  All she was doing was taking her time to prove she was in control was.

He took a few steps toward her direction and squinted.  She was coming into view.  Long white-blonde hair.  Around five four.  Much taller with those skyscraper heels.  Light fur coat.  And that strong, confident walk that she used to suck men in.

“Hurry up,” he said, trying to keep his voice low.  “I don’t have all night.”  He looked to the front and back.  No one was going to sneak up on him.  “Damn it.  Can you walk faster?  Let’s get this over with.”

“Keep your pants on,” she said.  “You want me.  I don’t need you.  And don’t you forget it.”

“Whatever,” he said.  He rushed halfway down the alley to her.  Even though he did not want to go that far down the alley, he needed this transaction to be over.  “This is it.”  He pushed the envelope to her.

She looked at it.  But she did not take it.

“Don’t play games with me,” he said.

“How do I know it’s all there?” she asked. 

What a change, he thought.  She was just greedy.  He could not even look at her made-up face and fake red mole.  They were the very things that got him into this mess.  She was no longer cute.  Not once, he got to know her.

“Because I want you out of my damn life,” he said.  “It’s what you asked for.  Ten thousand.  Take it.”

She yanked the envelope from his hand.

“I better never see you again,” he said.  “You almost ruined my life.  You’re a bitch.”  He walked away.  Then he turned around.  “Never.  I mean it.  You whore.”

“For that, you owe me another ten,” she said.  “Or I will tell on you.  I’ll tell everyone you know.  And your silly world will come crashing down.”

He stood still, breathing hard.  He did not turn around.  He told himself he should have stopped talking.  But she was going to ask for more anyway.  There was no way to move on from her.  At fifty-nine years old, he and his wife had a good life.  But she could ruin everything with one call.   

“Next week,” she said.  “Same time, same place, and have my money.  You’re now my whore.”  She giggled. 

She turned and walked back toward Dresden Street.  She jerked around when she heard footsteps coming fast toward her.  She started running.  One of her heels went sideways and broke.  She hobbled as she ran.  She ran out of the other heel.  She wanted to scream for help.  But she was using all of her energy to get to the street.  She would be safe there.

A few more feet, she thought.  A few feet….

Her feet came off the ground.  She kicked and wiggled and tried to scream.  The forearm was too tight against her throat.  Her esophagus was getting crushed. 

She was not strong enough to pry his grip loose.  All she needed was a stranger to come down the alley.  She fought and kicked until she ran out of strength.  Then her feet went limp and dragged on the ground. 

Jared squeezed her a minute more and dropped her body.  It fell at his feet.  He looked at her before he ran back to the Pine Street entrance.

He walked casually out of the alley and across the street to his Jaguar SUV.  He got in and started the engine and drove toward home.  He was talking inside his head as he drove.

Daisy left him with no choice.  Two times he made a mistake with her.  They both had good times together.  He paid her for it.  There was no reason for her to blackmail him. 

He was almost oblivious to what roads and streets he had taken.  His mind was on autopilot.  He was surprised when he saw his house come into view.

He pulled into his driveway and breathed for a minute before getting out.  His wrist and forearm burned.  He rubbed them. They stung.  There were scratches on them.  She was strong.  He needed to go to the bathroom and cover them up.  He told himself he would be okay.  No one saw him.

He got out of the Jaguar and stood by it.  He felt dizzy.

“Hey, you,” a woman’s voice said.

He jumped and turned around to her.

“Where’s my money?” she asked.

He panted and grabbed his chest.  It was tight and heavy.  He grabbed his door and held on.  He tried to speak.  Nothing came out.  It was not possible.  It was Daisy.  It was Daisy.  A flash came to him.  Daisy was taller in the alley.  She was too tall…..

Everything went black.     

Have a fantastic rest of the week.

I’m glad you stopped by.

If you like this story, please pass it on to a friend or coworker or someone you like.  Then follow me on my blog for updates.

Take care.

Stephen Wallace    


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