By Jason Smith
As she opened her front door Trena didn’t immediately recognize Glenn, he’d changed so much. The last time she saw him his hair and beard were long, he was wearing a Baja Hoodie, black jeans, scuffed boots and a trench coat. Now he was clean shaven and his hair was short and neat. He was wearing a navy peacoat, crisp dress shirt, khakis and loafers so polished you could see your reflection in them. He looked completely different.
“What can I do for you?” Trena asked, even though she didn’t want to do anything for him. After twenty years she still hated him.
“Can I come in?” asked Glenn.
“I’d rather talk in private,” he said.
Her immediate instinct was to not let Glenn into her house, but against her better judgment she did.
“What do you want?”
“I owe some people a lot of money and they’ve given me until 5 p.m. to find it.” Glenn blurted out nervously.
“And you’re telling me why?”
“You don’t have to be a genius to see you’ve got money Trena.” Glenn said while looking around.
“I’m not giving you any money.”
“When I told the people I owe money to about you, they took out an insurance policy. Something that would guarantee you’d give me the money I owe them.”
“I don’t understand.”
“They kidnapped your husband. He’s okay; they won’t hurt him, as long as you give me the money.”
“Do you really think I’m going to believe that?”
“Call his phone, someone will confirm what I just told you.”
She dialed her husband Don’s phone and was shocked when a man’s voice she didn’t recognize answered. The man confirmed everything Glenn had just told her. When she asked to talk to Don, the man hung up on her.
Her mind was racing, she couldn’t think straight. Was this real? Was Don really being held against his will? She felt her heartbeat quickening and the hair on her body stood on end.
“I’m calling the police,” said Trena.
“If you call the police, you’ll never see your husband again.”
“I don’t believe this. After twenty years you turn up on my doorstep, tell me my husband has been kidnapped and I have to give you money to get him back.”
“Can you get the money?” Glenn asked impatiently.
“How much do you need?”
“Twenty thousand dollars?”
“What? You’ve got to be kidding me?”
Glenn stared at her, his face impassive as Trena became annoyed. Glenn had only been back in her life for five minutes and he was already turning it into crap.
“I want it back.”
“I will pay you back in two months.”
Trena stared at him, trying to gauge if he meant what he was saying, she didn’t trust him one inch.
She gathered her belongings, making sure she had everything the bank would need for her to withdraw a large amount of money, she wanted to get this over with.
She couldn’t stop thinking about Don. What if the bank won’t let her withdraw the money, what if they want her to wait for hours or days, they close at 5pm, what happens to Don then?
As they drove to the bank Glenn tried to talk about their relationship, Trena ignored him, she didn’t want a conversation with him, especially about their awful relationship.
When she left him all those years ago he cried so much, she felt sorry for him and took him back. It wasn’t long before she caught him in bed with another woman. A year later she met Don.
She couldn’t believe she was doing this. She was going to give Glenn a lot of the money she and Don had worked hard to save; was Don okay? She couldn’t imagine life without him.
The traffic was terrible. There had been an accident on a nearby freeway and the streets were all moving slowly. It took forever to get to the bank, it was 3pm as she parked her car.
As she walked toward the bank, her nerves were shot. She glanced back, Glenn stood near her car smoking a cigarette, he was watching her.
As she walked through the bank doors she took a deep breath. She didn’t want to give Glenn any money but she felt she had no choice. She had to do whatever was needed to make sure Don came back to her safe and unharmed. She needed him, she couldn’t live without him.
It took some time for the bank to get the money together but thankfully there weren’t any problems.
As she walked outside Glenn was standing in the same spot waiting, there were several cigarette butts on the floor around his feet.
“Here’s the money. When will Don be released?”
“Within an hour. Go home, everything will be okay.”
Trena climbed into her car and watched Glenn walking away. The clock in her car said 3.37 p.m.
She drove home as quickly as possible, the traffic was still terrible. When she arrived home the clock in her car said 4.30 p.m.
She sat staring out of her living room window, anxiously waiting. An hour had come and gone with no sign of Don. She wanted to call the police but after what Glenn had told her she didn’t dare.
“What if he never comes back, what will I do? I’d be without Don, I’d be alone.”
She paced around the house, barely daring to move too far away from the window. She knew if Don came home she would see him walk through their gate at the bottom of their path.
Two more hours of frantic worry passed before Don calmly walked into their house.
“Are you ok, did they hurt you?” she asked.
“What, who’s they?” Asked Don with a confused look on his face.
“My what? What are you talking about?” replied Don.
“I called your phone…”
“Didn’t you get my email?” said Don.
“No, I haven’t checked my email since this morning.”
She opened Don’s email.
Hi Trena. I lost my phone on the way to work this morning. I can’t call you because I don’t know your number. Unfortunately I forgot to update my emergency contact number when you bought a phone last year.
See you later,
She’d missed his email, he’d sent it just before Glenn knocked on the door. With everything that had happened today, she hadn’t thought to check her emails.
“What have I done?” she thought.
The anxiety she’d felt all day intensified. She had to tell Don what she’d done. She had to tell him how she allowed her ex-boyfriend into their home and gave him twenty thousand dollars of their money.
She felt dizzy and saw stars in her eyes as she collapsed onto their couch.
“Are you okay?” asked Don, rushing to her side.
“You’d better sit down.” replied Trena.
“I can’t believe that worked.” Glenn thought as he walked away with the money. “This is going to solve all my problems.”
Glenn and his associate Johnny had been watching Don for weeks. They wanted to know his schedule, the way he went to work, if he stopped for coffee and luckily he was a creature of habit. Johnny accidentally bumped into him in the coffee shop he went into everyday and stole his phone out of his pocket. It was Johnny who had posed as Don’s kidnapper.
The whole plan was based on Glenn getting to Trena before Don was able to communicate with her in any way. Glenn was fully aware that if Don was able to let her know he’d lost his phone that the plan would fail.
A car pulled up by the side of him and he climbed in.
“How’d it go?” asked Johnny
Glenn opened the bag of money and showed Johnny.
“Let’s get to Mattia’s.” said Glenn.
They drove through the streets that had quietened down since earlier. They laughed and joked, they both had a full sense of relief. Their plan had paid off and their troubles were over.
“Who are these two?” Detective Wagner asked the uniformed cop.
“He’s Glenn Dalton and this one is Johnny Mancini,” said the uniformed cop.
Detective Wagner looked at the corpses, they’d both been killed execution style. They were looking for Glenn Dalton but there was no sign of the twenty thousand dollars.
Bio: Jason Smith writes out of the Pacific Northwest. He’s married and a father to a special needs boy. Originally from England, he has lived near Seattle WA since 2009.
Along with this current crime flash fiction story, he has published “The Quarry“, “Automobile Psychosis” and “The Art Studio in the Basement” with The Yard: Crime Blog. He has also published with The Mystery Tribune.