Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2235444-The-Collision---Chapter-1
Rated: 18+ · Assignment · Action/Adventure · #2235444
Chapter 1 Image prompt competition
Gloria Leatherford a successful investment banker with New York International Investment Bank stood confidently at the top of the boardroom. She stood to the right side of a 42-inch monitor delivering her presentation on emerging African markets. Dressed in her two-piece black Vera Wang trousers power suit. Her uniform of choice each working day, without exception; her walk-in wardrobe exploding with black suits. Some of which were never worn.

Her slender right hand controlled the clicker for each presentation slide while her left hand waved around frantically with every word she spoke. At the twelve-foot oval board table sat six board members all dressed in black power suits. Nearest her on her left was Larry Armstrong, Larry was two months from retirement, she was expected to replace him on the board. Opposite Larry sat 42-year-old Gunther Fleck. Gunter was on his third wife and rumors were she'd soon be his former wife as he was cheating with his executive assistant. Next to the left was Mavis Lee. Mavis would walk on people to get into power. Her life revolved around work and the gym and could never do small talk. Opposite Mavis was seventy-six-year-old Robert Robinson, Robert's children were out of state and his wife passed away a long time ago. He worked to pass the time. At the end on the left was Florence Sternwood. Gloria promised herself she'd never be like her, Florence was a savvy intelligent businesswoman but was obese. Gloria could think of nothing worse. Opposite Florence was Frederick Reel or Frederick Reel Asshole as his reports called him. He was proud of that nickname, to him, it meant he was doing his job properly.

"Obviously" stated Gloria "To invest directly in Nigerian minerals will be a non-runner with US government agencies rules; however; we can use a third party and with some complex legal vehicles in place, we will come out clean and cannot be linked to any Nigerian Governmental corruption".

From the back of the room, she noticed smoke beginning to rise from the bottom of the floor "Is something burning?".

No one responded. Her heart rate jumped "Is something burning", no one again responded. This time she screamed, "IS SOMETHING BURNING". The far wall was now covered in smoke. Terrified she glanced at her colleagues, their pale white faces just staring at her with eyes, bright red in color.

A panic attack came upon her "No please, no, no, no, no" She yells as from out of the smoke a figure begins to appear. "Please no, please, please, please". She glances at her colleagues, their faces emotionless staring at her. The only one that spoke was Frederick Reel "You done it!!".

She looks back at the wall and screams in horror, the grey female in her white dress slowly appears from the smoke and slowly glides towards her. The female in her 20's is wailing.

Gloria is paralyzed she can't move. The ghostly figure appears right before her face and then

Gloria wakes up shaking rigorously in a cold sweat. She jumps out of bed straight into an adjoining spotless ensuite and pukes into the toilet bowl, it feels like she has emptied out her entire insides. She then sits on the cold white marble floor with her back against the glass shower wall and pushes her knees right up to her breasts into a tight ball and begins to sob hysterically. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry" she cries "I didn't mean it"

Motionless she sat there for some considerable time. How she wanted to tell someone. For the umpteenth time, her mind raced to whom she could confide to 'Her parents perhaps but they would take her to the police. Her brothers and sister would do the same. what about her friends, no, no, no, they would make her hand herself in '.

Really she wanted someone that would tell her not to go to the police 'What about Frederick, he'd tell her not to go to the Police but he'd tell on her, what about Mavis, she'd use it against her, blackmail her ', she whined there was no one that would tell her what she wanted to hear.

Gingerly she rose from the marble floor and walked through the bedroom and across the apartment hallway into her living room. She plants herself on an Italian leather chocolate brown sofa and picks up the handset from a cordless telephone left lying on it from the night before. Shakingly she presses nine, then one but like the night before her left thumb froze, and couldn't press the final one. "Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, Fuck" she cries just like the night before, and just like the night before she places the phone back down and cries. She removes her smart tv remote off her glass coffee table and puts on a wellness channel.

She shuts her eyes, and her mind quickly shapeshifts the darkness into a grey smoke with the grey lady in the white dress slowly peering through it. She opens her eyes instantly and brushes her right hand through her long black hair. She turns off the tv and sits in silence, her mind wandering back to the night. What was she thinking by drink driving, if only she could turn the clock back. Why didn't she just leave her SUV and get a taxi home, how could she be so stupid. It was stupid enough going on a date with someone that had links to the mafia but drink driving was way more stupid. The question haunted her as much as the young woman did. A hit and run, she shook with the thought of the prison sentence. She'd never survive in prison. The female gangs would make bits of a rich bitch like her.

The 6am alarm went off in her bedroom. Another sleepless night. Another night of her conscience haunting her, maybe it wasn't her conscience, maybe it was the girl. She was an atheist but perhaps, perhaps there was an afterlife and the woman was communicating with her.

She showered and put on a suit, she couldn't stomach breakfast. From her home office, she gathered up her tan-colored anorak, laptop bag, and handbag. She leaves her apartment and locks its door and enters the elevator and selects P2 for parking.

After a short few moments, she alights the elevator and plods towards her black Lexus SUV. She felt queasy at the sight of it. Every time she sees it she gets flashbacks. It seemed to repeat itself in slow motion. It was one am. She took the corner too fast and mounted the footpath. That's where the lady was. The horror on the young woman's face as she waited for the inevitable to happen and then it did and Gloria drove on.

She unlocked the SUV and sat behind the steering wheel. The Lexus was once her pride and joy but now she hated it, now she wanted to be rid of it, but like her dreams she couldn't get rid of it, it was too risky. On the passenger seat, she notices a white folded piece of paper.

Anxiously she picks it up and slowly unfolds it. On it are coordinates and the words "Be there at 8pm sharp". She stares straight away into the distance. Her mind racing "maybe it's the mob" she thinks to herself. She hated herself for going to them for help. You're never out of debt with them. She handed over one million dollars to them, perhaps they want more or her apartment, and she'd have no choice but to hand it over.

One hour later, She parks up in the office car park and sighs. She no longer had the energy or interest in work. It all seemed pointless and unimportant. She lumbers out of the SUV and plods towards the elevator. She enters and is followed behind by Mavis. Mavis glares at her "You look like shit!!".

"I haven't been sleeping" tamely replies Gloria.

Mavis sighs in disgust "what's sleep, actually, I don't want to know, what I do know is you've lost focus Gloria. Your work recently is substandard".

Gloria stared down at her feet, she couldn't look Mavis in the eye "I'm sorry, it won't happen again" Any particle of putting up a fight was sucked from her by the dark cloud hanging over her.

"Too right it won't Gloria, because next time you'll be gone. This is not friendly advise, it's an official warning". The elevator stops at floor four and Gloria trudged out.

Un-enthusiastically she enters her office. Her power march is now redundant. She Sits down at her desk and connects her laptop to her desk monitors. She stares at them, her mind lost in thoughts. A knock on her door takes her out of her trance. It's Sammy from the junior investment team with a box of donuts "Hi Gloria, sorry did I startle you?"

"Oh no," she replies "I was eh just, just thinking about the meeting with the Lamburn fund investors later in the week".

"Oh Yeah, I hear they are a tough lot, anyways, I got a box of donuts this morning, would you like one?"

Gloria fakes a smile "Sure, thank you". He opens the box and she chooses a chocolate ring donut.

She takes a bite but the sweet taste doesn't deliver the comfort eating experience that she hoped for and puts it aside.

She powers on her laptop, before logging into her laptop she opens the piece of paper again with the coordinates. "What do the mob want, I've paid them?" she wonders "What if it's not the mob, what if someone saw me and is going to blackmail me, what do I do?"

She massages her forehead with her fingers "Maybe I'll leave here, head back to Chicago, fuck business, work with disadvantaged kids and give back, that will be my sentence" Her attention then turned to her designer suit "Though can I really give this up, the money, the power". In frustration, she slams her fists off her desktop.

"Gloria, are you okay", whispers her executive assistive Tanya as she rambles into the office and closes the door behind her. "Just you've been sitting here 30 minutes and you haven't logged on and you fairly well thumped your desk."

Gloria looked at her monitors, they were still waiting on her to put in her log-in details. "I apologize, Tanya, Mavis won't stop going on about the errors in the reports from last week and it really pisses me off!!". Tanya watched her boss bite her lower lip, she knew she was lying.

"Alright Gloria, well I'll let you get on with it, would you like a coffee or something".

"Oh please Tanya, a large one, I'm having a bad morning, sorry, I really am".

Every morning first thing when she logged into the company systems, Gloria rechecked the business news, that she already checked before leaving for her day's work. Now she just checked the regional news.

"Fuck" she whispers to herself "fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck fuck". There was one headline that caught her attention "Governor Hal Palmer announces reward and police closing in on vehicle type"

She clicks into the article
"Governor Hal Palmer this morning announced a reward of twenty thousand dollars for information that leads to the arrest of the individual or individuals responsible for the death of twenty-seven-year-old Trudy Latchfort following a hit and run over a week ago.

Chief of Police Maureen O'Kelly stated the police re-examined the crime scene and do still believe it was tampered with immediately after the incident occurred. Following re-examination, forensic examiners identified what she described as a small black section of a wing panel. This has now been sent to labs for forensic analysis. She stated it may provide a vital clue in identifying the type of vehicle involved."

"Fuck sake" whines Gloria. Her left foot starts tapping the carpeted floor uncontrollably, as her thoughts turn to anger "Shit, fucking mafia, how did the useless bastards miss that, fuck them anyways" She was now unsure if she was thinking out loud or thinking to herself. She rubs the palms of her hands up and down her suit trousers and attempts to stop herself from crying.

Tanya enters with the coffee and places it on her desk, her eyes catch what's on Gloria's monitor. "Very sad, that case, hope they get the bastard that done that soon, imagine cleaning up the crime scene and leaving the person on the side of the road, maybe if the person called emergency services she may have survived, such a cruel world, it breaks my heart".

Gloria bit her lower lip again. Part of her wanted to shout out "It was me, it was me, it was me". The other part was ashamed and afraid. "I know, it's really terrible, how could someone do something like that".

Tanya recognized an emptiness within Gloria. The confident businesswoman had left the building some days ago and hadn't come back since. "I will let you get on with it Gloria".
Tanya returns to her own desk, she begins to wonder if the confident businesswoman within Gloria left after the hit and run. She couldn't remember at the moment.

At 6:30pm Gloria powered off her laptop, she achieved none of her targets for the day, in fact, normally she'd be another few hours in the office but that was the old her and she was unsure she'd ever get her back. She'd abandoned her, she didn't want to be associated with Gloria the drink driver and murderer.

She gathers up her items and makes her way to the elevator, her mind elsewhere and oblivious to her department staring at her and whispering about her weird behavior.

Gloria starts up her Lexus, she feels unclean sitting in it. "Oh God," she thought, "Maybe I should just disappear". She typed the coordinates into her phone. The destination showed up as an old warehouse way out in the country, it was about an hour away. "Why, so far?" she asked herself. She began her journey. Her mind racing, "They must want more money, fuck, they might demand my apartment, I'll have no other choice but hand it over, fuck".

She arrived at the location, an old rusty silver Peterbilt sand and gravel truck that looked abandoned was the only resemblance of activity there. She calculated in her mind how much more money she could give. Her mind turned to The Sopranos, Goodfellas, and The Godfather. "They're going to kill me, they're going to kill me". She began to cry and tremble uncontrollably. "Fuck, fuck, why didn't I think of that". She opened the driver's door and emptied her insides out. She thought of her family, the torture and torment they will go through wondering what happened to her, and where did she go. Maybe she could still disappear but where. She couldn't think clearly, she could hardly breathe, the space around her appeared to be closing in, and her breathing became labored. She thought of work, did they notice her behaving differently, she thought of bitchy Mavis, and Florence, how she wished she was now Florence rather than her. "Maybe she should leave someone a text message on their cell phone", she picked up her phone but then two black Ford Explorers drove in at speed braking at the last minute to the front and rear of her car.

She drops her phone, her breathing shallow and short. She tries to restart her Lexus but she's too weak to even turn the key. Her driver's door is opened and she's dragged out of it. A hand is placed over her mouth and she's told not to scream or she'll be shot. A black nylon bag with two air holes is placed over her head, her world now plunged into darkness. Next, her hands were tied behind her back and she is forcefully dragged and seated into the rear of one of the vehicles.

A stale smell from the bag fills her lungs, as they struggled to function with the minuscule air holes slit in it. Her airwave left like it was half the size of a straw. She cursed her stupidity in silence, now she had to come to terms with her faith. She went through what she could offer them again. She'd money and the apartment, she'd give it all, start again. In the darkness, the smoke appears again and the young lady in white slowly appears, this time not wailing but staring at her. A cold silent stare. Gloria presses her eyes shut as tightly as she can but the image doesn't disappear, she can't even come to terms with her impending death, then why should she, she didn't deserve it. "Why didn't I leave the car at home, why did I drink, why didn't I just call the police there and then, why, why, why" Her stomach felt like it was knotted several times over. She tried to think about her family, her nieces, and nephew but the face, the face just won't go away. She was being haunted and there was no escape. She tried not to think of the afterlife, she gave up on her religion a long time ago, so much so that she struggled to remember which religion she was. She was sure there will be no mercy for her.

Sometime later the cars brake on gravel and come to a stop. The Next sound she hears is a passenger door opening. She is grabbed by her left arm and forcefully dragged out of the car. Someone grabs hold of her right arm and she is dragged along the gravel by both at speed. She is stone cold with fear, she's no doubt they can feel her trembling. She hears what sounds like a door opening. This time she is marched at speed on what sounds like a wooden floor and forcefully moved in different directions. Again another door opens and she's forcefully planted on a chair.

The cheap nylon bag is removed from her head and she takes several quick shallow gasps. She is sitting in a room like a man cave. There is a snooker table, a poker table an oak bar counter and 4 stools along with it, and a 52-inch wall-mounted tv screen. She's sitting at a small wooden table. A sharp pain radiates from her wrists, she moves her tiny fingers as best as she can to keep the blood flow moving. On the wall behind the bar are several soccer photos of a team in blue, she's unsure of who they are.

She hears a doorknob turning to her right and turns her head. Panic surges through her and she begins to tremble. Followed by two armed gunmen with submachine guns is the Godfather Paolo Falasca. His trousers and shirt a very dark black in color, his hair was also black but quite probably dyed. He strode confidently towards her, his stern stare not leaving her. His six foot 4 frame had presence. He pulled out a chair on the other side of the table and sat opposite her, with the two gunmen behind him. He just sat staring at her.

The longer he stared the harder she trembled. "So you're the road killer!" He spoke with a broken Italian accent. He stared at Gloria like she was a piece of dirt.

"I didn't mean it". it was the only response she could come up with.

"I don't care, I'm stating the fact, I don't care whether you did or didn't"

Gloria breaks down in tears, here she was her executioner, the last one she'd talk to, she wished he'd just get it over with.

"You don't look like a road killer, you just look like another stupid rich girl in a suit, who turns her nose up on what we do, then when you fuck up you leave us to clean up the mess"

"I'm sorry" she cries, "I'm sorry"

The godfather takes a beer mat from the table and starts tapping it on the tabletop staring at her "You've created a big big problem for us"

Her left leg begins to tap off the floor uncontrollably "I'll go to the police, I'll disappear, I'll do anything please"

He continues to tap the beer mat of the table, saying nothing just staring at her, tormenting her, dragging out her suffering as much as he could

"As soon as you came to us the chance to get the cops involved vanished. As for disappearing, we don't let people disappear, we do things to make people disappear for good".

"Please" she begs. "I'll say I changed the car panels myself, if it's the money from the governor I'll pay whatever it takes to keep people quiet"

The godfather places the beer mat flat on the table and leans forward. "The girl you murdered is the fiancé of Marco Mantranga. Do you know who Marco Mantranga is?"

She slowly shakes her head from side to side indicating that she doesn't.

The Godfather sits back in his chair "He is the grandson of Luigi Mantranga. There is an uneasy peace between our family and the Mantranga's".

He crunches his face up in anger and stares at her again for a period of time before continuing "The Mantranga's maybe backward fuckers but they aren't stupid, you see a member of their family is killed in our territory and all clues disappear, so they are pointing the finger at us, old man Mantranga is old school catholic, eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth"

Gloria could feel the color and life go from her veins, she was sure now she was as grey as the girl that kept appearing to her. "What if Luigi Mantranga was coming here for her", she closed her eyes, and tried to pray but she couldn't remember any prayer.

"So little Miss Roadkillar, the anonymous reward put up with the governer was by the Chicago family, the Santoro family. They want to gain favor with the Mantranga family. Not only have you put us at risk with war with the Mantranga's but with the Santoro's too, wars are expensive".

Gloria tries to compose herself and sniffles a number of times "I've still got some money and an apartment"

"You can keep your apartment!!, but remember that's always subject to change" the Godfather interrupts "We've come up with a plan but little woman we own you now".

She closes her eyes in relief, she wasn't going to die today

The godfather stands up and looks down upon her "You're working for us now. You're going to launder money for us and do anything we ask you to do at that fancy bank of yours or elsewhere."

Her sense of relief is immediately replaced with dread, working for the mob added to her nightmare, at least though she was alive.

"Do anything stupid and your family will pay. your lucky you're useful to us but that as come at the price of someone else that isn't".

He turns around and walks away. When he reaches the door he entered through, he turns around again and points his right index finger at her and bellows "You better stay useful to us and don't do anything stupid, because if you do, you're family, friends and anyone that means anything to you will pay the price."

© Copyright 2020 amateur40 (amateur40 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2235444-The-Collision---Chapter-1