Failure to Launch



The man sat in the office, sipping the coffee and staring at the certificates on the wall- certificates for ‘Employee of the Month’, ‘Best Boss’ and things like ‘The Best Company 2008’. He had come here for one reason and one reason only; payment.

A door opened and a man cleared his throat “Our appointment isn’t until twelve this afternoon. You are an hour early.”

The other man in the chair swivelled around and looked squarely at the person who had just walked in- the man he came to see. He was tall with greying hair and a navy blue suit. His shoes were half-heartedly polished and his tie was crooked. His name was Andrew Great. He was fifty-six years old and had been running this operation for the last twenty years.

Andrew knew how to handle himself and had gotten his hands on the latest, and most advanced hi-tech security systems to ever hit the market. Andrew made sure he was well protected on every front. He had body guards, infrared trip wires in front of his vaults that only the cashiers and guards knew the code to, he had CCTV cameras on every floor and in every room, he had a sophisticated alarm system, and he had dogs.

He knew what he wanted and how he wanted it, and here was a man, who was smaller in stature and unimpressive in every degree, asking for money. Money that he did have, but money he wasn’t going to give out willy-nilly.

“I came to see you” the other man said “To settle our payment. I need it now. I cannot wait. I must have it or something bad is going to happen to me.”

Andrew spoke as he walked across the room, “You come in here with your cheap suit and shabby briefcase, demanding money, telling me that something bad will happen to you. Nothing bad will happen to you, unless I get there first.” He sat down and poured himself a brandy. “Now tell me, why the urgency.”

“Some men I owe money to will kill me if I don’t pay them” there was genuine panic in his voice, but Andrew wasn’t buying it.

“Samuel, calm down. Who do you owe money to? You know I will help you. We are partners, but I cannot just give you the money until you tell me how much and to whom it belongs to.”

“£55,000 and the, the…”

“£55 grand. Fifty-five fucking grand and you expect me to just hand that over! How the fuck did you get yourself into this mess? Who do I have to speak to, to sort this shit out?!”

“The mob” the man said, shaking with fear, beads of sweat running down his face.

Andrew downed his brandy and pressed a button under his desk. Another door opened and two armed guards walked in. One was tall with a tan, a thick moustache and a strong build and the other was short, and paler, but with an equally strong build.

“Boss?” the shorter man asked. He had a London accent and used to be a banker.

“We have a slight issue.”

The taller man spoke, stroking his moustache. He had a Spanish accent. “Problem sir? What kind of problem?”

“Samuel here has got himself involved with the mob and in debt to them. He owes them fifty-five grand. Can you believe that?”

The Spanish guard spoke. “Well Samuel, that is most unfortunate. How have you gotten yourself involved with them again? We bailed you out last time; perhaps we should not be so kind this time. But then again, perhaps the mob boss needs to learn his lesson and go bye-bye.”

“Please, Alejandro. I need your help. Jack Crimmer needs to learn his lesson. So do I, but it was he that asked for my help. He gave me a job to do and then he turned the tables, deliberately blaming me, using me against him; telling the men that I did not do the job that he asked me to do. Now there is a price on my head and they all want me dead. Please, I have a wife and kids, you know this. He has Alice, my youngest and promises me that she will die if I do not give him the money I owe him.”

“Jack promised you the money, for what?”

“Taking care of business and wiping out a family, but making it look like an accident. He knew he could trust me, because I am an ex-cop. Don’t ask me why the mob is getting involved with an ex-cop, I don’t know. His words to me were, ‘Ian is starting to get unreliable in this job. He has begun stealing and I need your help. I trust you. You’re an ex-cop. My men, they’d make a mess of this. But you, you have the skill and the means to kill him and his family and make it look like an accident. I believe you can do this and I shall reward you heavily.’ That is what he said and I agreed, for the money. He then told the men that I killed Ian and his family when my job was simply to confront him and get back what he had stolen. He told me I had two choices. The first being I pay him fifty-five grand. The second choice is Alice dies; unless he is dead first, but I want to pay him to get Alice back. Please, you must help me.”

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