A desperate woman takes questionable advice to free herself of her boyfriend.
Nick cursed at Sarah and stormed out of the bar. She sipped her beer.
“Why do you put up with that, Sarah?”
“I’m not in the mood for company.”
Austin was just as scummy as Nick. He sat down at her table. “You need to dump that loser.”
“Last time I tried that, I got a black eye.”
“You should have gone to the cops.”
“I’ve already told you: he’s got friends on the force, so there’s nothing I can do. I’m stuck with him until he gets tired of me.”
He leaned in. “I can help you with that.”
“No, you can’t. Nobody can.”
“How would you like to wake up tomorrow morning knowing that Nick was out of your life forever?”
“I would think I was still dreaming–and I’d be right.”
He moved in closer. “No, Sarah, listen to me. I came up with a plan for you. I call it: Dump Him at Midnight.”
Sarah glanced at the clock on the dash of Nick’s car. It was two minutes until midnight. They were right on time. She said, “Thanks for going along with this, baby.”
Nick pulled into the business park and drove to the address Sarah had given him. The parking lot was empty. “I can’t believe you never told me about this fantasy of yours. What makes this place so special?”
“My dad worked here when I was a kid, and sometimes I’d ride down with Mom to pick him up at night, and there’s just something romantic about the way the moonlight hits the back of the building.”
“Hey, whatever floats your boat. All I know is: you’ve never wanted to do it in the back seat of a car before.”
“Well, like I said, it’s romantic. You’ll see.”
He drove around to the back. “You call this romantic? It looks like the sun back here with all of these security lights.”
“Yeah, I guess they didn’t have such powerful lights when I was a kid.”
“But we’re still gonna do it.”
“I wasn’t asking. There’s plenty of privacy back here with all these trees, so you ought to like that.”
“Yeah, sure. That’s good.”
He parked and killed the engine. “All right, babe, let’s do this thing.”
They got out and opened the back doors.
She froze. “Wait. Did you hear that?”
A metallic clang rang out.
“Nick, I’m scared.”
“Sounded like it came from that dumpster. Probably a big old rat or a wild dog scrounging around for food.”
“But this isn’t a restaurant. Why would there be food in the dumpster?”
“From guys throwing out crappy tuna sandwiches the little wifey put in their lunch. Just ignore it.” He climbed into the back seat, shut the door, and unbuttoned his shirt. “Get in.”
“There’s that sound again. I can’t get in the mood until I know for sure what it is.”
“Are you kidding me?” He got out of the car, slammed the door, and stomped around to the passenger side.
Sarah braced herself. She knew she was about to get smacked in the face.
But instead, he opened the front door, reached into the glove box, and pulled out a pistol.
She stepped back and held up her hands. “Nick, what are you doing?”
“I’m gonna take care of that thing so we can do what we came here to do.”
She jumped into the back seat and closed the door.
Nick took a position twenty feet in front of the dumpster. He yelled, “Come out here, you dirty stinking rat, so I can blow your ugly head off.”
A gunshot rang out.
Sarah got out of the car and ran toward him.
Austin stepped out from behind dumpster. “He wasn’t supposed to have a gun. He could have shot me!” He stuffed his pistol under his belt, walked over to Nick, and checked his pulse.
Sarah kept her distance. “Is he dead?”
“As a friggin’ doornail.” Austin laughed. He went back to the dumpster, threw open the lid, and pulled out some of the trash: cardboard, plastic sheeting, and styrofoam. He threw it on the ground and went back to Nick’s body. “Come here and help me.”
“I’m not touching a dead body,” she said.
He glared at her. “Sarah!”
“Okay.” She helped him pick up Nick and carry him to the dumpster.
“And from this night and forever, you’re my woman.”
How foolish she’d been, letting Austin talk her into this. She’d traded one lousy boyfriend for another–AND become an accomplice to murder.
They lifted Nick’s body over the front of the dumpster.
“Dump him at midnight.” He laughed. “That’s what I called it. Remember? And that’s exactly what we did.” He began to pick up the cardboard and other trash from the ground and pile it on top of Nick’s body.
Sarah walked to the spot where Nick had been shot and picked up his pistol. “Why would I want you, Austin. You’re no better than Nick.”
“Huh?” Austin turned around, saw the gun pointed at him, and held up his hands. “Whoa. What are you doing, Sarah? Put that thing down before it accidentally goes off.”
She fired the gun repeatedly, until it was empty. Austin never had a chance to pull out his gun. He fell back and slowly slid down the front of the dumpster to a sitting position on the ground.
She hadn’t planned to kill Austin, but she could make this work. She would drag Nick out of the dumpster and position him so that it would appear that the two men had a shootout and killed each other.
Sarah put the gun on the ground, went to the dumpster, and yanked on one of Nick’s legs, then the other, trying to pull him out. It took several minutes, and by the time Nick was on the ground, her clothes and her hair were covered with his blood.
She nearly vomited several times as she pulled him across to where he’d been shot, leaving a trail of blood on the concrete.
How was she going to clean it up? She saw a water faucet on the wall with a hose connected to it. Yes!
She wiped off Nick’s pistol with her blouse to remove her fingerprints and set the gun down beside his body.
That should do it, she thought. Now she would wash the blood off the concrete with the water hose, walk home, get cleaned up–and finally be free!
Dump him at midnight. Yeah, great plan, Austin, but she preferred to dump both of them at midnight. Sarah laughed to herself.
She was gonna get away with this.
She was about to walk over and get the water hose when something caught her eye.
At the top of the wall.
A security camera.
It was pointed directly at her.
Copyright © 2017 Robert Burton Robinson