Money or the Silk – 500 Club (2/24/11)

Life could be mean. In one hand he held a swath of red silk. The other, a stuffed envelope. Neither choice was good…

“There a problem, Fucker?” Paul asked from across the desk.
“No,” Matt said, and dropped his gaze to the items in his hands.
“Caroline! Get your ass in here,” Paul bellowed.Matt moved to stuff the scarf and envelope into his jacket pockets.
“No you don’t,” Paul said as the door behind Matt opened.
Though he could not see her, Matt felt Caroline approach. She stopped right behind his left shoulder. He did not dare turn to look at her. Her breath sounded short, rapid.
“Ah, Caroline,” Paul, still seated, exclaimed stretching his arms in a faux hug to her.
“Daddy,” she said.
“Do you know this boy?”
“I don’t know. I can only see his back.”
“You, Shithead,” Paul commanded. “Turn.”
Matt looked at Caroline. She was tense. He offered a reassuring smile, but she looked past him to her father.
“No, Daddy. I do not know this boy.”
Matt turned back to face Paul.
“See. I told you so,” he said and began to put the envelope and swath of silk back on the older man’s desk.
“Hey, Fuckhead!” Paul roared. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“Er, I thought…”
“You thought nothing. She’s lying. You’re lying. Stay right where you are and shut the fuck up while I talk to my daughter, you hear? Do you hear me?”
“Yes, Sir.”
Paul sank back into his chair and lit a cigar. He took a few drags, relishing the smoke.
“Caroline,” he said, “you’re a liar. You know this boy, this Matt character in front of you. In his hands are two items. One is an envelope filled with an undisclosed amount of cash. A small fortune. Or is it merely an envelope stuffed with paper? The other item is a strip of red silk. A symbol of both passion and danger. Do you know why he holds it in his hand?”
There was a prolonged silence.
“Tell her,” Paul instructed Matt.
“To… I must choose. I must choose the envelope or the silk. If I pick the silk, I must strangle you to death with it.”
Matt turned to Caroline. He was unable to decipher her thoughts at that moment.
“Hey, Numbnuts, don’t look at her. Look at me,” Paul said. “It’s time to decide.”
“I know who you are,” Matt said. “I know that people fear you. I fear you. But you will never take away what Caroline and I have shared. I love your daughter. She will die with that knowledge.”
Matt tossed the red silk swath on the desk along with the envelope and turned to Caroline. He drew her into an embrace.
“Sorry,” he whispered.
There was a loud bang. A gunshot. Matt felt a terrible pain in his stomach. He looked over his shoulder at Paul, who smiled and shrugged.
“Me too,” Caroline said as Matt slumped to the carpet.
“Aw, come on,” Paul called as Caroline walked to the door. “The right one is out there somewhere. We’ll find him, Sweetheart. Promise.”

The Parking Lot Confessional


11 thoughts on “Money or the Silk – 500 Club (2/24/11)

  1. Mike

    Great story. The tension was there from the first line.
    At the end I got the horrible feeling that there would be quite a few more dead bodies before they found the ‘right one’.

  2. screen_scribbla Post author

    Thanks for the read and comment.
    Thanks also for the question. To answer:
    I was hoping that just mentioning there was an undisclosed amount of money in the envelope would indicate that one of the options he had was to take the money (if any) in the envelope and leave for good. I saw the items in his hands as a test to indicate how much he really loved her.

    If he took the money and ran it could be a sign of not loving her at all- that he was hoping to end up rich. Or, perhaps he could take the money as a moral choice, showing both Paul and Caroline he was not prepared to kill anyone, regardless of the love he professed for them.
    If he was prepared to kill her with the swath of red silk, it would indicate his obsessive love/lust/passion for her. That is what Caroline desired – a man who was prepared to kill her with his love/lust/passion for her.
    Matt failed the test when he thought he took the moral high ground by returning the items and wanting to leave. Love is seldom a logical thing, so taking the moral route was perhaps the worst thing he could do. The punishment was death.

    I hope that clarifies it a bit. I actually think I may have made things worse though.

    1. Jinx

      Okay that makes a lot more sense. I had a sort of suspicion it was something like that but I didn’t quite get it. =)

  3. Jinx

    Okay, wow oh wow oh wow! This is just awesome. And totally creepy because up until the end, I really wasn’t sure what to think of Caroline.

    One thing is that you never explained what he had to do if he chose the envelope? You explained the silk. Just not the envelope and I’m really curious as to what it leads to.

    Anyways, amazing as always. Keep up the good work.


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