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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 17, 2017

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Submitted: October 17, 2017



State of Vengeance


Phillip Lanuto


WorldMaker Media


WorldMaker Media

P.O. Box 610383

Newton, MA 02461



Copyright 2013 Phillip Lanuto. All Rights Reserved.

All rights reserved.

First published by WorldMaker Media, a division of TheNextBigWriter, LLC on January 10, 2011.


Chapter 1


“Can you change Samuel’s diaper?” Rachel asked him as she zippered closed her suitcase. Woman’s shirts, slacks, and dresses lay scattered across the bed and brightly colored children’s books were strewn across the hardwood floors along with an assortment of other items including a measuring cup, a cassette tape, three cd’s, and a light blue stuffed bunny.

The clutter drove him nuts but this morning he hardly noticed it. If it wasn’t for the fact that Sam and Rachel were leaving for a week, he would have been even deeper in thought. Today he would find out if the financial gamble he had staked their future on was going to work.

He pulled a dark green polo shirt over his head and became aware of a small form looking up at him. Samuel, their two year old son smiled, and then went back to spinning a nine volt battery that he had fished out of a toy.

“You’re not listening to me, are you Zeke?”

“Sorry, did you say something?” he asked.

“I said you aren’t listening to me. You’re thinking about today, aren’t you?”

“Well, I…” he stammered, not wanting to admit the truth. Five years ago he had left the big bank he worked for after his main idea, a new system for calculating risk in the commodities market had been rejected by the risk and compliance committee. "Unproven" and "fundamentally flawed" had been written in big red letters on the front of the presentation binder. This from a bank that just a few years earlier had almost managed to sink the global economy with its mortgage backed securities and traches of securitized debt. He had anticipated this might happen and so Zeke had put together a backup plan, he always had a backup plan, and within two months he had let the bank and set up his own hedge fund to try out the idea. At first, he had tested his theories with small investments to see if they were valid, and with each success Zeke became convinced that he had developed a viable, legal, and enormously profitable way to arbitrage the financial markets. Today, after five years of experimenting, struggling to raise money, living with the hope but also the doubts, he would see if the theory would work.

"Zeke, you there?" Rachel asked.

"Yes, sorry, just spaced out a for a minute."

He thought she would be mad but instead Rachel smiled, walked over, and threw her arms around his neck.

“I understand,” she said. “It’s okay. You can neglect us, but just today. Even though you won’t see us for a week, I understand.”

“Do you have to leave today?” he asked. “Wait a day.”

“I can’t or we’ll miss the boat. My parents will be waiting. If things work out, why don’t you try to get on the boat in Sicily.”

“You know how I feel about your parents.”

“That’s in the past Zeke. This trip is their peace offering.”

“Really?” He doubted it. More like some ploy. They knew how bad the timing was for him and he hated the fact that her parents had paid for the trip. They couldn’t have afforded it by themselves. The two of them hadn’t been on a real vacation since their honeymoon. Rachel’s nursing job covered the rent and most of their expenses. Five years of little to no income had taken its toll and Rachel's parents thought him reckless and irresponsible.

They hadn’t liked him from the beginning. First, even though he had a Jewish grandfather, he had been raised Episcopalian, not Jewish. Strike one. Second, he had been raised an orphan and rather than elicit sympathy, it had raised suspicion. He found that people pitied orphans but didn't want them marrying their daughters. Strike two. Third, he had studied business and economics in school.

“You’re a banker,” her father had said. "And worse, a gambling banker." He hated bankers. Strike three. With no hope of getting their blessing, Rachel and Zeke had eloped and given them the news. Instead of joy, they reacted as if someone had died in the family. Sam’s birth had thawed them a bit and the cruise invitation had been another step forward but he could still remember hearing Rachel’s father asking his daughter if Zeke had any future, any means of supporting her.

“He’s an unemployed banker with no family working on some idea rejected by all of the banks. You deserve better, you can do better. We just want you to make your life easier,” he had overheard on a call.

“He’s working on something Dad. You’ll see.” You deserve better. He had to repay Rachel's loyalty with success. He was fairly certain she would stand by him even if the idea failed but he wasn't sure if could remain the same person.

He scooped up Sam and caught a whiff of the load in his pants. Still, if everything went well today, he might be able to tolerate them for a week. He wondered how they would feel knowing that the bum who had married their daughter had now become wealthy. He had spent countless hours daydreaming about the look on their faces when Rachel told them about his success. The plan had to work.

“That’s a stinker you have in there little guy.” Sam twisted and he put him on the changing table.

“What time does your flight leave again?” he asked as he cleaned the mess with a wet wipe.

“We’ve got about 2 ½ hours. It leaves at 10:30.”

“I’ll drive you to the airport.”

“Do you have time?”

“Yes, the position won’t start too really kick-in until the end of the day.”

“Okay, that would be nice,” she said from the other room. The phone rang.

“Can you get it?” he called. He smothered on some goopy white Dessitin and then closed up the diaper. Sam gave him a kick and then smiled.

“Better?” he asked.

“Kha-kha,” was all that Sam said before he scurried off into the other room to throw more toys onto the floor.

Zeke scanned the room for his phone, found it under a magazine, and quickly glanced at the headlines. The President was traveling to the UN for an address to the General Assembly, heavy rain threatened flooding in Louisiana, the Patriots had won their first regular season game. The universe appeared to be in harmony, at least for the moment.

Any major headline event could distort the algorithms and disrupt the complex financial positions they had built over the lasts three months. That was the only major risk he had been able to identify over five years of testing the model.

The forecast looked just as good for Rachel and Sam with the meteorologist calling for clear skies and a high of 65.

He turned and noticed Rachel leaning against the door with a concerned look on her face.

"Rach, is everything okay?"

"I just received the strangest call."

"Okay," he said slowly. She looked spooked as if she had seen a ghost in their small kitchen.

"He said he could only speak for a second. Someone was listening."

"What did he say?" She paused for a moment as if deciding whether or not to divulge the information. "Rachel," Zeke said impatiently.

"He said not to leave today for the trip."


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