Flash Fiction: The Payoff

The Payoff

By, Susan Sage

“I don’t see anyone yet,” she said leaning forward to smell the honeysuckle. She kept scanning the park through dark glasses though her hand continued to bring the plant’s flowers toward her face.

Holding onto the child proved quite a task as the five year old, blond haired girl pulled at Myra’s grip.

“I want to see the puppy,” Sabrina said.

The tingle along Myra’s hairline spread down her neck. She glanced at the child and noticing where the little girl looked, she spoke.

“I see her.”

They walked towards the woman who struggled to hold the leash of a squirming pup. The young poodle entwined its leash around the legs of the tall, straggly haired woman. She leaned against a tree as the pooch pulled toward the large, floral bushes near the tree.

“I have your money,” she said after removing the unlit cigarette from her mouth. She threw it to the ground, reached into her hip pocket, and pulled out a folded manila envelope. She pushed it toward Myra. “Take it.”

“No, you open it first. I want to see it. Then you get her.”

The woman’s eyes darted around the area. With an unsteady hand, she pushed greasy hair from in front of her eyes. Her hand and arm began to tremble more. She dropped the envelope in the dirt but didn’t bend to retrieve it.

“You pi-pi-pick it up,” the woman said her head jerking side to side, her eyes darting around.

“No. Come on, let’s go,” Myra said, still holding the child’s hand.

“Okay, okay,” the woman said. She reached down without breaking eye contact. Then she snatched up the envelope and held it an arm’s length.

“You’re supposed to just take the envelope. I get the kid. You get the money.”

“I said open it. I’ll take the kid and leave if you don’t,” Myra said. Turning to Sabrina and nodding her head, they began to turn.

Shaking more, the woman struggled with the envelope almost dropping it again. She opened the fold and pulled each side open slightly, closed it quickly and pushed it at her again.

Myra took the envelope slowly at the same time releasing Sabrina’s hand. The little girl sat on the grass and began to pet the wiggling puppy, holding the leash tightly.

In that instant, a dark dressed man jumped up from behind the bushes and another dropped out of the tree branches splayed above them.

“You’re under arrest,” another person called with gun drawn coming toward the scene. Within a moment, the area filled with uniformed officers swiftly moving as a team.

“Wha-What’s going on?” The straggly haired woman said struggling against the hands now holding her arms behind her back as handcuffs ratcheted on her wrists. “I’m innocent,” the volume of her voice escalated. “You got the wrong person. She dropped the envelope. I picked it up and handed it to her. I didn’t do anything. Let me go.” She continued to yell as two female officers all but carried her to the now waiting police car.

Another officer took the leash from Sabrina and walked off with the puppy traipsing behind.

“Good job, Myra and Sabrina,” a man dressed in a suit said walking toward them carrying a radio. “I heard every word. Hopefully she’ll give up her contact.”

Myra removed the earbud, handed it to him.

“Thanks Chief.”

She picked up Sabrina, hugging her.

“Good job, Hon. How about if we get some ice cream on our way home.”

“Strawberry with sprinkles?”

Myra chuckled, “Yes, strawberry with sprinkles. You did so well playing with the puppy. Maybe even two scoops.”

About the Author

New to north Idaho, Susan Sage and her husband are enjoying getting to know the new area. She continues to work on her craft writing about God’s purpose and sovereignty in all aspects of life.

She enjoys writing devotionals and flash fiction. She enjoys mentoring other writers who are new to the craft.

She is currently working on revising her website, which should be up in the next few months.

You can find her on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.

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