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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2171780
by Paul
Rated: E · Short Story · Crime/Gangster · #2171780
They Get What They Deserve
The Safest Neighborhood

         I don’t like to travel on holidays and Christmas is the worst, but the job in Sicily was too juicy to pass up. Only two days work and a nice $450 thousand profit made getting back on the solstice worth it.
         He’d made a fortune in drugs and sex and I took $12 million of it back. A lot of schools around the world had a nice Christmas. I spread it out so no one gets a huge sum, it draws too much attention.
         I got home at midnight and turning into my driveway I saw him. He stood out crouched behind Steve’s hedge across the street, the black he wore was different than the blacks in the hedge. I watched him check out several homes over the next five weeks, but the Simpsons seemed his favorite.
He was there again tonight wearing the same black and heading for the Simpsons back yard. To untrained eyes he would be invisible; to a few he’d appear to be a shadow pulling other shadows over himself like blankets as he passed; to me he might as well be flashing lights. I’m more invisible and much quieter and I do not like intruders coming into where I live.
         I felt it with the toe of my right foot and stopped just as it made a soft tick of sound . . . noise . . . bad . . . It was so soft a sound I’m not sure my right heel could have heard it, but I did. Lifting my foot slightly and stepping around it, my eyes never left him.
         Stan and Julia Simpson were a nice couple, mid thirties with a six year old boy and another only seven weeks away from becoming their new daughter, Marjory. Stan didn’t even know it was a girl yet, Julia was waiting for a candle-lit dinner she’d set up for Saturday night to tell him. A letter from her mother and a half-finished reply told me the story last Monday night.
         Stan was away on business so only she and the six year old would be home tonight and they always left the back garage and kitchen doors open. I wasn’t going to let anything happen to them, it would bring too much scrutiny. All of my neighbors are good people, I insist on it, and they don't deserve this anyway, so I keep it safe. A couple of less desirable types were here at first, but problems like leaks and faulty wiring seemed to keep happening and they eventually left.
         I know every home in my neighborhood, a semi-secluded development with 77 houses. I know who lives in each, their families, their habits, their likes and dislikes and most of their hidden little secrets. I know who’s sleeping with who, who the pot smokers are, adults and their children. I allow pot, but heavier drugs would pose a much greater risk so I discourage it. I’ve spent enough time in each house over the past six years to know everything.
         I’d watched him casing the neighborhood for five nights and tonight the backpack said this was the night. I take care of the problems in my neighborhood. Cops tend to tear up everything investigating and I did not want them looking too hard at me, I’d have to move again and thats a huge pain in a very soft spot.
         He opened the garage door a crack and sprayed the hinges with WD40 He’d brought, then moved the door back and forth, working it open silently. He left it open and when I slipped in he was at the kitchen door. I was behind him and one stroke of the soft sap across the back of his head took him out silently leaving no marks.
         I grabbed him as he fell and stood as quietly as Rodin’s Sculpture, The Kiss, listening. When I heard no new sounds I had him outside and trussed in under a minute. I went back and made some jimmy-marks on the kitchen door with a screwdriver I quietly laid on the step. I’d discover it later then discourage calling the police and lecture them about safety and pointing out the vice-mayors problem as an example.
         The garage door closed without a sound and I had him over my shoulder in seconds, a few steps to my Tesla SUV and we were silently gone within a minute.
         I‘m impressed by the Tesla, it’s almost as quiet as I am, it’s built like a tank and is the most comfortable ride my butts ever been in. All my close neighbors think I’m a bit of a kook, an image I foster so I never appear as a threat, but instead the guy that’ll do anything for a friend, and I make sure everyone is my friend.
         “Phil? Nah, Phil would never do that, he likes people too much. Bit of a nut case though if you ask me, he drives a Tesla with those wing doors. He demands his yard service mow his lawn with an electric mower too. Can’t tell you how many lectures I’ve had to hear about my gas-guzzler Toyota.”
         The place I’d picked for dumping the thief was 22 miles away, the home of Todd Stickland our vice-mayor. A nasty, jerk with the disposition of a kicked hornets nest and was so closed-minded if he ever had a new idea it would die of loneliness. He’d been one of the earlier ones in my neighborhood things kept happening to and I’d decided that things should start happening again.
         Lots of trees for shadows and I had the thief in Sticklands garage in under two minutes, I can get through any pinned lock in thirty seconds, others a bit longer, but he’s as sloppy about locks as most are. I’d been in his house several times and discovering how crooked he really was helped me decide to start harassing him again.
         There were knives and duct-tape in the thief’s backpack. I used an old can of 3-in-1 oil I’d brought, dirty and smeared with his glove prints, a handy shelf above the door made a neat place to tip it over assuring a few drops landed on the steps, then I used the thief's foot to step in it. I’m quite strong so using him was not a problem.
         I laid him out as though he’d fallen, hitting the step with his head hard enough to break skin and bleed, a glancing blow that peeled back scalp, but did no permanent damage. I don’t like hurting people, but the knives meant more than just theft so I took some of my displeasure out on him.
         A shot of enough Propofol to kill 8 hours of memory and a knife in his right hand. He wouldn’t remember anything when he finally woke. The EMTs wouldn’t think anything but mild concussion at his confusion. The police wouldn’t think about anything except the apparent threat to the vice-mayor with the knife and the fear would make Strickland worry mostly about messing his underwear; he’s a coward too.
         I drove another ten miles farther from my house and left an anonymous tip about seeing someone poking around the councilman’s house. That should generate hours of hassle for him with cops and reporters everywhere, the crook’ll wind up in jail and my neighborhood will be safe. I’ll stage several more break ins and that should keep the police eyes on him. With any luck he’ll either get frustrated or fearful enough to leave.
I’m a professional thief and I only target thieves, never in the state where I live and usually off shore. I especially like targeting drug peddlers. One netted me over 50 million. I also give 95% or more of what I take back through charities and churches. The other 5% I keep off shore which maintains a life style that allows me live in the comfort I want and do what I do. Of the 50 million I only kept 500 thousand.
I’ll keep doing what I’m doing until I retire. In four years I’ll be 45 and my plan is to stop taking and start spending a lot of time spending on hot beaches around the world enjoying German beer, 24 year old Lephroaig Isley single malt scotch, good pot and women, in no particular order, and my choice in women is women.
I am a thief and cops crawling around pose a risk I do not wish to take.
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