Friday, June 28, 2019

Flash Fiction Friday, Week 26 - Simple Raymond

The prompt this week was a particular scenario: “You’re in prison and your partner is visiting for the first time. Write the conversation you have.” In my story, the convict’s partner is his partner in crime. Please enjoy.

Simple Raymond

“What the…”

“Hi, Gerald. I know you’re upset, but please try to understand. What I did was…”

“When they told me I had a visitor, I thought my old ma was finally able to raise bus fare. But you? What makes you think I’d ever want to look at your lying, back-stabbing… Guard! Take me back to…”

“Ger, wait, please let me explain. That’s why I came to see you today. It was hard too. You know how I get when I am in close spaces, and this prison is made up of so many small and cramped rooms. I am feeling very uncomfortable right now.”

“I’m sorry this isn’t fun for you, Raymond. I mean, the purpose of a prison is to make its residents and their visitors feel all snuggly buggly.”

“Thank you for your concern, Ger. I’ll be all right. I just need to keep taking deep…”

“What the hell is wrong with you? You’re uncomfortable?  I’m the one who got convicted and sentenced to do a dime, not you. Did it ever occur to you that I might be a little uncomfortable too? After all, a 6 by 9 room with bars and a metal bowl for a toilet is my home for the next ten years. What explanation could there be for you betraying me like that?”

‘Ger, I had to testify against you. You know I wouldn’t be able to stand being locked up. When I told the cops you came in and forced me to open the safe, they said I was lucky to be alive. They said robbers usually kill witnesses and…”

“Raymond! Tune back in to reality. You weren’t a witness. We both were in on it to rob the gas station. Remember the plan? You send the other clerk out for dinner, open the safe, take out the payroll pack, we clean out the registers, and drive away. Easy peasy. Once we cross the border, we’re home free. The plan was perfect, but you screwed it up.”

“How many times do I have to say sorry? I was just as startled as you were when the alarm went off. I thought I had turned it off, but I was remembering when I turned it off last Friday morn…”

“Raymond, why are you here? I thought you were going to explain why you betrayed me.”

“Ger, I wish you wouldn’t look at it that way. If it was a real betrayal, I wouldn’t be here to console you.”

“Console me? I swear, you are out of your…”

“Listen. Please. There are two reasons why I’m here, and they will both make you feel better about this whole situation. First of all, just think about how it all turned out. I’m on the outside and I’m not cooped up. I would be very unhappy if I was cooped up. You’re my friend, and I know how important it is to you that I am happy.”

“That is one of my personal goals in life.”

“I know, Ger. You have always…”

“What horrible thing did I do in a past life that’s causing me to be punished in this one?”

“What do you mean, Ger?”

“Nothing. What’s the other reason?”

“The money. Remember how when the cops surrounded the building, and you were trying to figure a way out through the vents in the ceiling the led to the roof?”

“Yeah, so?”

“I hid our bag of money behind some tiles in the corner. After we reopened, I checked, and it was still there. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t found when the cops went through everything.”

“They never did ask me about the money. I always wondered why.”

“That’s because I told them there was another member of your gang that drove up and you tossed them the bag and they drove away just as the cops arrived.”

“Another member of my… What’s the point of talking to you? What does it matter if you have the money? I’m locked up and you can’t spend it. That would attract attention.”

“It’s a good thing, Ger. When I get paid, I take a couple of twenties out of the bag and deposit them with my paycheck. I told the teller I got a second job with a Mom and Pop store and they pay me in cash.”

“I know I’m going to regret asking, but how is that a good thing?”

“I’m going to keep depositing that stolen money, and when you get out, we’ll take it out and go someplace nice.”

“You really think that we… Never mind. Great plan, Raymond. My time’s up and I have to go back. Do come again, okay? The next ten years promises to be pretty dull, and you’ll be good for a laugh or two.”

“Of course, Ger. I’ll keep you posted on the interest we’re earning too.”

“Lucky me. Guard? I am so ready to go back now.”


“How’d it go, sweetie?”

“Perfection. Gerald bought it hook, line, and sinker. We’ll be in a villa in Rio by the time it dawns on him it was all bull. If he snitches to the law, they’ll think he’s making up a story to get out sooner. If he tries to put a hit on me with one of his people, they’ll never find us. I’ve got passports for us with new names. The haul from the Texaco, along with my other side deals, will keep us in champagne for years to come.”

“It’s wild how he believed all this time that between the two of you, he was the one with the brains.”

“Isn’t it? Every town’s the same, babe. Side deals are always on, but I always need a sucker to clean out somebody’s payroll. The first time Gerald pulled in for a fill-up, I knew I had found my fall guy for this caper.”

“You used Simple Raymond this time, right, honey?”

“Simple Raymond it was, doll. One of my faves…”

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