Queen of Hearts

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

Death and Revenge

Submitted: February 09, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: February 09, 2018



The taxi moved shark like through the late night traffic; weaving its way past the slower vehicles. Engine rumbling, it pulled up to the front of an old hotel. The passenger in the back, silent and still throughout the journey leaned forward. He thrust a handful of notes at the driver.

“I’ll be back in 30 minutes. Wait for me.”

Exiting the taxi, he stood and stretched. Today he’d travelled far and spent a fortune in preparation for this day. He was dressed in a creased and crumpled grey suit which was covered by a long coat that looked too big on his spare frame. A hat pulled low and a scarf that partially covered his face added to his anonymity. He entered the hotel. The rotating door squeaked as he pushed through into the lobby. He crossed to the desk inside the door and addressed the concierge.

“You have a Mr. Edwards staying here; Room 213. Tell him Striker is on his way.”

Before the other man could reply, he turned and strode to the stairs. His coat billowed behind him.
With the grace and energy of a much younger man, he moved with purpose. It took little time before he planted himself in front of 213. He raised his hand and knocked. A swift rat-a-tat-tat left the door vibrating. Silence… then sounds of movement. Light footsteps coming toward him. The door swung open as far as the security chain would allow. A shadowed face peered out.

“My name is Striker. You’re expecting me.”

The door closed. A rattle of the chain being released preceded the door opening once more. Striker entered and then took the liberty of re-locking it behind him. He leaned against the door. Edwards had moved to the centre of the room; one hand hidden and keeping a discrete distance between them. He was in his early thirties, dressed in a light cotton shirt and blue jeans. Tall and dark, his eyes flittered everywhere. Striker knew of the man in front of him, even though they had never met. He had a reputation for being able to obtain anything for a price; legally or otherwise. Striker was here for that reason. 

Edwards brought his hand into view. It held a small black box with a flickering red light. With a click of a switch, the light changed to a solid green. He placed it on the table and sat. He gave a reassuring grin. 

“We can talk now. This is an electronic scrambler. We can’t be bugged or recorded. You require me to obtain something for you?”

He gestured for Striker to sit. Striker declined.

“I do, but you may find it out of the ordinary.”

“Whatever you want, I can get it; from a hand gun to a Russian Mig. Just say the word.”

“I want you to find me a heart.” 

Striker’s outlandish demand did not faze Edwards in the least. 

“When do you want it? I need an exact time, as the viability of such a project depends on it.” His tone was brusque and business like.

“Three days hence. February 14th. It must be on that day.”

Edwards smirked.

“A heart for Valentine’s Day; are you kidding me?”

Striker did not move. His face did not change; his expression frozen. Edwards raised his hands in protest.

“OK, OK… I can see you’re serious. It’s not going to be cheap. A number of logistical problems need to be overcome, but with enough cash to throw at them, I can do it.”

“Money is no object.” Striker’s eyes glowed with an inner fire. He saw nothing but greed in the other man’s eyes.

“Are you sure you can do it?”

“I can,” said Edwards with certainty.

“This is very important to me. Why do you think you can?” he prodded.

A smile played around Edwards face.

“Because you’re not the first to ask me.” 

Strikers face showed nothing.

“Tell me.” It came out as a command. 

Edwards crossed his legs and leaned back in the chair. He gazed pensively up at the light.

“My client needed a heart transplant, but he was judged a bad risk. His placement and priority on the National Transplant Database was low. There are over seven thousand people on that list. Fifteen out of every hundred people die waiting for a transplant. Only one hundred and thirty heart transplants are done a year.” 

Edwards glanced up at Striker as he reeled off the statistics.

“I presume you've heard this before?” 

A quick nod of the head signalled his acknowledgement. Strikers face though remained impassive.

“My client had the money, position and power to alter the odds in his favour. I purchased the services of a top class programmer. He hacked the Transplant Database and entered a Trojan for me. I still have access to it. When organs become available I know where they’re coming from and where they’re going. I've found the easiest time to obtain them is when they are in transit. No one expects any problems.”

Striker began to circle the room while Edwards talked.

“I remember this on the news. It happened a year ago. They called it ‘The Bloody Valentine,” said Striker.

“That’s right. I handled that one myself. There’s no time to organize someone when you are talking about such a short response time. I had a truck prepared and ready to intercept the ambulance within fifteen minutes,” he said proudly.

Striker broke in again much to Edwards’s annoyance.

“You rammed the ambulance, killing the driver.”

Edwards shrugged. “I retrieved the heart.” He chuckled. “They always make sure that organs are securely stored and protected. Anyway, it was a nice little earner for me.” 

He started to turn to face Striker who was now behind him. A thin wire encircled his throat and was pulled tight. Edwards’s struggled to pull away. His fingers scrambled to get a grip on the wire as it dug in; but too late. It was already disappearing into his neck. A single last explosive word burst from his lips. 


Striker’s voice was low and pain filled as he replied.

“There was one other fatality that night.”

Blood seeped as Striker maintained his pressure.

“The woman they prepped for the transplant. She was my wife…she was my love…she was my Heart.”

The wire severed the jugular and the body shuddered once and lay still. Striker lowered him to the floor. He looked down at the sprawled, limp body with no remorse. A red pool collected around the man’s head as his heart pumped one last time and stopped.
He walked to the door; slowed and turned. 
From his pocket he extracted a playing card. With the flip of his hand, it spun through the air and landed on the body, face up.
It was the Queen of Hearts.
He unlocked the door and quietly left.
There were others who were involved with his wife's death. 
He had many more cards yet to play this night.

© Copyright 2018 Shawlyn. All rights reserved.

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