It was a cold autumn’s day when Karen and Albert Poley came to know Antonio Blackwell. In truth, they were not his biological parents. Antonio was the son of Karen’s sister and Antonio was too young at the time to understand it, but he was the victim of a kidnapping.
Barbara and James lay in adjacent hospital beds, clinging to what little life still ran through their veins. Karen looms over her sister’s bed, struggling to convince Barbara to reconsider to whom she’d leave her fortune.
“So be honest Barbara,” Karen began, exuding false sincerity, “you’re really just going to leave all this money to that little boy?”
“Yes Karen,” she coughed, “he’ll need it when he gets older.”
She turned to Barbara’s husband, “James,” she smiled, “we need it.”
James lay in the hospital bed not saying a word. His breaths were heavy and laboring. “You want,” he finally managed to say, “You want, Karen. You and Albert are fine.”
Karen’s mouth contorted in all sorts of unattractive ways as she attempted to mask her anger. “What could this baby,” she motioned to Antonio, “possibly do with six million dollars?”
“Buy a car,” Albert chimed in with an unnecessary suggestion.
Karen shot him a sharp look warning him to hush, then set her sights back on her dying sister.
“Barbara,” she began in a more soothing tone, “be rational. When you die…”
“He’ll go to live with his grandparents,” Barbara spat out, “not you. I know you just want him for the money, you don’t care about him.”
“Is he with his grandparents now?” Albert wondered.
James wearily nodded his head, as Karen kissed them both on the forehead. She and her husband left the hospital and headed to the in-laws.
The uncannily unlocked door of Antonio’s Grandparents’ home eerily creaked open. Karen slowly pushed open the front door quickly scanning the inside of the home. She placed her index finger softly of her grinning lips, warning her husband to hush.
Across the living room, an ephemerally happy Antonio slept in his crib. James waited at the door as Karen inched towards the baby. The stairs moaned as the rest of the house did, causing a moment of paranoid paralysis in Karen as she feared her in-laws entrance; but nothing happened. Karen continued her journey towards Antonio and as soon as her hands were on him she heard a bone-splitting scream come from the kitchen.
“Karen, what are you doing?!” were the words that accompanied the scream.
“Making myself a very rich woman, Ethel,” she replied.
“If you take that boy I’ll –”
“You will what?” James interrupted with the cock of his gun. “Please Ethel, don’t make this anymore difficult than it has to be.”
Karen turned away from her mother-in-law with a wicked smirk and headed towards the door. Before she was out, though, she was startled by the heart stopping sound of a gunshot. She spun around, careful not to drop Antonio, to see Ethel’s body lifeless on the floor.
“She was trying to stop you,” James explained.
“So you killed her,” Karen exclaimed in a loud whisper. “Are you an idiot?”
“I didn’t think that–”
“You didn’t think,” she snapped, “you never think. Damn it James! Kidnapping is simple but murder is detectable.”
“Well it wasn’t my plan to,” James continued, “it never is.”
Karen released an exasperated sigh, “Now this little cretin is crying. Come on let’s get out of here before the cops show up.” James nodded and the head back to the car. “The things I’ll do for money,” she mumbled.
Antonio sits up and strokes his new bruise after reliving his earliest memory.
© Copyright 2016 Atton Brown. All rights reserved.
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