“That’s it then? Three idiots vote for me and I’m the bad guy?” Sunny demanded.
“Unless you have another way to solve this problem,” Bats said amiably. “I’d rather not shoot you Sunny. I like you. In fact, I like everyone here.” He gestured around the table with his left hand, keeping his gun trained on Sunny with the right. “But one of us is trying to rip the others off, and I don’t like taking chances. So, you got anything to say in your defense?”
Sunny looked slowly, deliberately around the table. No one would meet his eyes, except for Bats.
“I’ve worked with you all for months on this job. And I’ve worked with some of you for years. Have I ever given any of you a reason to mistrust me?” he demanded. “If I was a mastermind thief, wouldn’t someone have noticed by now? How could I keep a charade going for this long?”
As soon as Sunny began pleading his case, Handsome Dave snapped to attention. He watched curiously as Sunny spoke. He paid attention to the hand gestures, the facial expressions, the eye movement. There was something slightly off about Sunny, but he couldn’t tell what it was. His puzzlement increased as Sunny spoke, and it reached a peak when his eyes narrowed as he fixed them on Sunny’s nose.
He took a final sip of his beer, then slowly pulled his bottle back, and snapped its contents forwards into Sunny’s face, covering him in beer.
Sunny sputtered and spat angrily, wiping his eyes. Handsome Dave stepped forwards, grabbed his nose, and pulled. Sunny yelped out in pain as a silicone fake nose was ripped off his face, leaving splotches of rubber stuck in patches around his cheeks and below his eyes.
The men all stared in stunned silence.
I’ll admit, this isn’t unravelling the way I hoped it would. Still, I believe if one plans it right, there’s always a way out.
“Hang on a minute,” Sunny said, the desperation apparent in his voice. He raised his hands protectively in front of his face. “This isn’t what you think it is. I’m not Proteus, I swear. This nose is just…”
His face snapped back as three bullets penetrated his skull in quick succession.
Bats looked to his right in amazement, and watched as Flippy slowly lowered his gun. He tucked it in a holster under his jacket, then zipped it up.
“What?” he said defensively. “We voted him off the island, and he had a mask on. Problem solved. Now let’s get out of here, this location is going to be hot real soon.”
He picked up his phone and stood up, then walked over to his bag and shouldered it. As he clipped on the straps, he noticed the men were all sitting, still staring at him in shock.
“Move assholes!” he yelled, snapping them out of their reverie.
With the spell broken, they all sprung into action, grabbed their gear and headed for the door as originally planned.
Once outside, they made their way to Flippy’s backup vehicle, and hopped in. Bats climbed into the passenger seat, with Flippy taking the driver’s. He buckled his seatbelt, and started the car. He then checked his mirrors, looked into his rearview, and paused.
“Daniel,” he said. “Where the fuck is Handsome Dave?”
Daniel looked around him stupidly, still in shock from the murder he’d just witnessed.
As I said, there’s always a way out if one plans right.
I am a bit sad now the job is done. I quite enjoyed playing the part of Handsome Dave.
The real Dave died years ago. The night I joked and told him he was pretty, he pointed his gun at me and told me to say that again, to his face. I dislike having guns pointed at me, and slapped it out of his hand. His gun went off, and tore into my face.
He panicked, and turned to run. I shot him in the back four times, and considered it fair play.
It’s interesting what a big scar and a few modifications can do to one’s face. I hardly recognized myself once the surgeons were through.
Rather than look a gift horse in the mouth, I decided to take on the persona of Handsome Dave, the scarred gangster, and play the greatest con of my life.
Still, I am mildly ashamed at how today played out.
I would have preferred Sunny not get shot on my behalf. What can you do, that’s what happens when a plan goes wrong.
He served his purpose quite well. When I put this team together, I paid him extra to hide his face, and lie about working with Handsome Dave. I told him it was for another job we would subsequently do together.
In reality it was my backup plan if things went south. I always have a backup plan.
In this case, one worth forty million dollars.
And we’re done! This story was a doozy to write. I got stuck with several plot points, and Celia pointed out flaws in chapters two and three which forced me to rewrite them from scratch.
Overall it turned out ok, although I would have liked to develop it further. The lesson I learned is I really need to plan a more detailed outline before diving into this type of whodunnit story.
Otherwise it tends to flounder in the middle, and people lose interest before the end, myself included.
Anyway if you’re reading this, thanks for tuning in, and I’ll catch you on here soon during the next short story.