Never trust a woman? Why not? Does she have something sinister in mind?
Mister Power of Four is a free short story. A work of fiction. The events and characters described herein are products of the author’s imagination…
Never Trust a Woman: Mister Power of Four
Copyright © 2021 T. M. Watson
All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. This short story may not be copied or redistributed without the sole written consent of the author.
“Tell me again, Mandy. Why’d you need me to follow him? If he spots me he’s gonna be suspicious.”
“He’ll be more suspicious if he sees me, Chad. You and Eddie worked together, went to the club together and other stuff.”
“You and Eddie were married for fifteen years, Mandy. You ought to be on speaking terms, at least.”
“Look, it’s a long story. I need you to follow him for a few days so we can verify his routine. Um, I gotta go. See you tonight?”
“Yup. I have a bottle of your favorite Cabernet.”
Two weeks prior, Chad and Mandy recognized one another at a pizza pub. After a gracious ‘hello’ they shared a pizza, a few pitchers of beer and a bed that same night.
Mandy told Chad she’s divorcing Eddie. “He’s become so goddamn finicky I can’t stand him anymore. Extremely OCD to the point he was telling me how to breathe.”
Chad figured she exaggerated somewhat. The next day he tracked Eddie downtown. From his car, he watched Eddie sitting at a sidewalk table in front of a coffee shop.
He called Mandy.
“Hi. How ya doing’, Love?” she answered. The first she’s called him anything affectionate.
She is such a fox. Chad, on the other hand, has been a womanizer since high school. Get married someday? Hell no.
“Eddie’s at the downtown coffee shop. Is that his norm?”
“It’s Wednesday, right? Yup. That’s his usual. Then, he goes next door to Sam’s Security Emporium. Usually buys one item a week. Drives me nuts.”
“He’s finished his coffee. Damn, no wonder we all called him Eccentric Eddie. He just meticulously folded his napkin, put it in the bottom of his paper cup, sharply folded the cup. Now, he’s put the cup in the trash.”
“No. He buried the cup in the trash. Pushed it all the way through it.”
“Sounds just like him.”
“He’s going into the security supply place next door. He bought something, set it on the checkout counter, but I can’t tell what it is through these binoculars. Looks like it’s in a small, red box.”
“That would be a hide-a-box, or something. The cover looks like an electric plug receptacle. There’s a compartment behind the receptacle to keep valuables hidden.”
“Nope. He’s got about five of them around the house.”
“Hmm. No wonder you left and he kept the house. Sorry for your loss, Mandy.”
“Don’t go soft on my now, Chad. Everything valuable to him will be ours, soon. Eddie will be SOL.”
“A week from today at this same time?”
“Right. I’ll get you the house key, the security alarm deactivation code and the diagram of the house with all his hidey holes. Fucking pack rat.”
“It’s bound to be enough for a fresh start if he has all the money and jewelry as you say.”
“Not to mention his precious coin collection. Eddie told me it’s worth half a million bucks. That was two years ago.”
“Eddie’s coming out of the store. Gotta go.”
“See ya tomorrow, Chad. Love ya.”
. . .
A week later, when Eddie was at work, Chad parked Mandy’s car in Eddie’s driveway. Mandy said it would be less suspicious using her car. But he waited a few moments before getting out, checking his surroundings.
Chad climbed the three steps to the porch, punched in the alarm code from memory and unlocked the door.
Smooth so far. No alarm.
He walked into an immaculately clean, organized house, closed the door behind him and unfolded the diagram Mandy had made for him.
“Holy shit. That’s a lot of hidey holes.”
He quickly decided to begin at the back of the house and work forward to the front door. A three bedroom ranch style home, everything was on the main floor.
Mandy said Eddie didn’t like basements because of spiders or some damn things. All his precious treasures were hidden on the main floor, squirreled away. She said she knows every place her ex-husband stores his valuable shit.
Supposedly, Eddie isn’t aware she knows every hiding place.
Chad entered a guest bedroom. Mandy’s diagram indicated a couple loose floorboards in the closet, covering Eddies precious coin collection.
He removed some shoes, boots and other items, lifted the first floorboard, then the one next to it.
However, a commanding voice sounded directly behind him.
“Get off your knees, asshole. Stand up and turn around.”
Chad, slowly did as he was ordered.
“Oh, hi, Eddie. How ya doing’?”
Eddie faced him with a revolver in his hand, pointed at Chad’s belly.
“Better than you at the moment. I thought we were friends. The fuck you doing’ in my house? Get your hands up.”
“Why don’t you ask your ex wife? She’s right behind you.”
Mandy moved around Eddie. She had a revolver in her hand, too.
“Take his gun, Mandy, before he shoots me.”
“You’re in no position to give me orders, Chad. Mister ‘power of four.”
“The hell, Mandy? Watch where you’re pointing that thing!”
“Shut up, Chad. Move over and sit on the bed…Now!”
“That’s a good boy,” Eddie commented. “Mister power of four, huh?”
Chad was catching on. Slowly. “You turning on me, Mandy?”
“I was never with you, Chad. But, now that you’re here…”
Eddie let out a harsh laugh, “Never trust a woman, Chad! See where it got you? Now, give my wife her house key back, Mister Power of Four.”
Chad handed her his key ring. “See, Eddie. Four keys…and I want your wallet, too, Mister Four.”
“Bullshit. You’re not getting my money.”
Eddie shot Chad in his right knee. Chad rolled back on the bed, screaming in pain. Mandy reached over and grabbed the wallet.
“See, Eddie? Four thousand bucks. Cash! Now, we need the key to his locker at the club.”
Eddie knew where Chad kept the locker key. He peeled off Chad’s right shoe, found the key sealed on the inside.
“That the right one?” Mandy asked.
“Yup. Locker number four. Fourth one down on the left,” Eddie responded with a big smile.
Facing Chad, who now sat up on the bed, gritting his teeth from the pain, holding his bloody, demolished knee, Eddie asked, “Do you still have the false panel in the back of locker number four with all that stolen cash?”
No answer, except for a look of disgust. And hate.
“What did you tell me last year? Over forty thousand bucks in there? Go to hell, Chad,” Mandy said, shooting him in the heart.
“Well, dear,” Eddie said. “Shall we clean this up and go get our money?”
Mandy smiled at him, lifted her gun and shot him in the heart. He dropped like a stone.
“Never trust a woman, Eddie.”