Thriller, who can you trust?
Slim or No Chance
“We are running out of time,” said Stu. He upped the pace of his jog. His snub nose pistol was working its way loose in his waistband.
“Relax, we’ve got ages,” answered Alex, “Watch you don’t drop the shooter.”
Stu grabbed for his weapon as it cartwheeled towards the runway. The blast stunted Stu; it killed Alex. Stu collapsed next to his friend. He tried and failed to shake life back into him. The hole in the front of his face was not for talking or eating. The hole at the back of his head was bigger and splintered the skull. Stu wanted to cry. Hard men don’t cry, he ran.
Two men jumped down the plane’s stairs.
“Who the hell is that?” said the man wearing a blazer and cap.
“Never mind ‘im. What happened? He didn’t off himself or the gun would be here. Who did it, and where is he.” His icy grey eyes scanned the shrub line bordering the runway. Tall grass flexed.
“Clean that up,” he said pointing to the body as he sprinted towards a patch of trampled grass.
The pilot scratched his head, his passengers would not be willing to help him. Likewise, they wouldn’t want a body on the flight. There was nobody at the small airfield. He went to the hanger and fetched a trolley.
“Butch, what the hell is going on?”
“That is what I’m trying to find out, Mr Jacobi.” He clicked off the mobile as he stooped under branches.
Broken twigs cracked as he moved on. Stu watched every move.
“Come out,” Butch said. He didn’t need to shout Stu was nearby. He ducked missing tree overhangs and stubby clumps of greenery. Butch bowled ahead, not noticing the facial scratches. The gun cracked, he noticed that. Stu stumbled forwards, he moved leaves aside to check on his accuracy, Butch had crumpled.
The pilot hastened, pulling Alex onto the hanger’s trolley. He moved ahead; the plane stood between him and the tree line. “Now what?”
There was no sign of the men who entered the shrubs. The pilot rushed up the steps.
“What is going on?” he asked those sitting inside.
“Butch must be dead. We had better go. Be quick.”
“What about the body?”
“Christ, I don’t know. Dump it in the hanger. And get a move on.”
The pilot rolled the body off the trolly under the tail end of the plane. He chucked his blazer and hat after it. He pushed the empty trolley through the hanger doors and waited.
Stu rounded the plane from the rear. He clipped a hooked wire to Alex’s clothing and attached it to the plane’s landing gear. Now wearing the pilot’s jacket and cap he hastened into the cockpit.
“About bloody time.” Shouted from the rear.
Stu needed to familiarise himself with the controls. It had been a while.
“What are you waiting for? Let’s go.”
The engine fired, and the craft rolled forwards. Its speed increased and took off. The discussion became heated between father and daughter behind Stu.
“Sonya, I told you to leave that useless son of a b…”
Stu left his seat, stood and turned to face his passengers.
“I take it you are talking about me?”
“Oh, Stu,” she said.
“What the f…” Her father couldn’t finish his sentence as a bullet buried itself between his eyes.
Sonya was more worried about the blood splashing her new Chanel frock.
“Stu, thank God. You have saved me from him, and his domineering rules and monster mates. Now we can be together.”
“Yeah, right. I wanted to spend my life with you. Until I found out about Alex.”
She looked surprised for a moment. “Stu, darling, we can be together forever.”
Stu turned and checked the controls, as he stretched below the co-pilot’s seat and pulled out a parachute. He noticed the coastline was below. He shrugged on the backpack.
“What are you doing?”
“You said, you wanted to spend the rest of your life with me?”
“Yes, yes, I do, I will.”
Stu chuckled, “Well, that won’t be long.” He checked his watch and pulled out the pistol again. “The ex-pilot is phoning the police, saying someone has stolen his plane. A young man with his girlfriend. By the way, your lover, Alex, is strapped under us. When the plane hits the water he will come loose.”
“Why? What are you talking about?”
“I loved you. But, I also enjoyed learning the tricks of your father’s trade. Yes, even juggling a shooter. A pity you didn’t see the simple circus trick I learned to shoot Alex. I was proud of that.” He smiled.
Sonya fought with her seat belt. Stu raised the pistol once more. Fake tears dripped from Sonya’s chin.
“I’ll do anything for you,” she said, “Now dad is dead we can enjoy his money, travel the world.”
“That reminds me, I need you to sign this.”
“What is it?”
“It’s your will, dated last week. You have willed everything to me after you get the same from dear daddy.”
A bullet entered her thigh.
She screamed in agony clutching the leaking flesh.
“The next one hurts more.” He pressed the barrel to the other leg.
She scratched her name on the last will and testimony.
Stu unclipped her seat belt, knowing the pain in her leg wouldn’t allow her to put up a fight. But she would try to get to the controls.
“Oh, this is for you.” He handed her the snub. She snatched it, aimed and fired.
Click, click. Empty.
He opened the pilot’s door and jumped. The plane flew on, over the channel’s choppy waves until it would run out of fuel.
The pilot’s sister cruised her little fishing boat to pick up Stu. Her brother was answering police questions. “Yes officer, they took off without me. I’ve no idea what they were thinking of? My boss, his daughter and her boyfriend.”
The trio enjoyed a celebratory meal. The wills would take some time to be accepted. “No rush,” they all agreed. The second bottle of red was ordered. The waitress smiled as the restaurant door opened. A well-dressed young lady limped towards their table. “Shall I fetch a chair?”
All smiles faded as she pulled a snub-nosed pistol. “Remember this? It has bullets this time.”
The waitress ran for cover. Three diners slumped forward and had a closer look at their cheese and biscuits.