Flash Fiction Entry - A Good Deal Isn't Always
“You can’t get a decent job done for that”, Barney Sommes was telling his wife over the phone, “Just call Ajax back and have them do it”. “No”, Marcia said, “They want twice as much, and they can’t do it until tomorrow”.
The hot water heater had given out suddenly, and there was water all over the basement. “Of course”, she had thought, “It had to happen while Barney is at his conference in Fresno”. She had called Ajax Plumbing, but they were busy until tomorrow. She had seen the small ad in the classifieds for: “Experienced plumber, low rates” and had called. He said he could be there in two hours with a new water heater, and install it for only $200.
She had called Barney, but instead of being happy that she was saving money, he had told her “Call Ajax, they’re a good company, and with this other guy, “You don’t know who you’re dealing with”.
“Look”, she told him, “I’m not staying in a place with no hot water, so either this guy fixes it, or you can pick me up at the Fresno airport this afternoon”. She knew which he would choose.
“Okay, but get the receipt, and a guarantee before he leaves”. She promised she would, and hung up. It was the last time they spoke.
When he arrived home in the morning, there was no one home. The old water heater was still in the flooded basement. Later, the police told him that the number in the ad was a disposable cell phone. They said maybe Marcia had just run off with the plumber. There was no evidence of a crime.
Of course, that changed three days later when they found her body near the rest stop on I-80.