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News & Features » August 2017 » “Hide Out” by Jeremy Ford

“Hide Out” by Jeremy Ford

Mondays Are Murder features brand-new noir fiction modeled after our award-winning Noir Series. Each story is an original one, and each takes place in a distinct location. Our web model for the series has one more restraint: a 750-word limit. Sound like murder? It is. But so are Mondays. 

This week, a man and a woman discover startling truths about one another.
 
Hide Out
by Jeremy Ford
Fishing Town of Venice, Louisiana

At eleven o’clock on a Wednesday night, a man and a woman checked into cabin number 17 at Venice Marina under the false names of David and Connie Monroe. Earlier that day, at a motel thirty miles north near Port Sulphur, they stole five kilos of cocaine from members of the Gulf Cartel. Connie figured the cartel operatives would assume they escaped north to New Orleans, so she suggested David and her go to Venice, a fishing town at the southeastern tip of Louisiana, where within a few days they hoped to charter a boat to Miami.

They parked their Ford Taurus next to the stairs that led up to the cabin and unloaded the drugs. “Let’s get this stuff hidden,” Connie said, searching the room for a proper place. “We should be safe here for the night.”

David slipped the cocaine-filled suitcase under the bed, then pulled out his Ruger and placed it on the nightstand.

The cabin sat twenty feet high upon wooden piles at the far end of the marina, with a wooden platform around the front and the side. Inside the room was a bed, nightstand, a small closet, and a bathroom. Two windows, one beside the door and the other on the side wall facing the boat docks, each shaded by a thin cloth curtain, let in little light from the marina.

They agreed to keep lookout in shifts, and Connie said she would go first and wake David up in two hours.

David sat on the bed with his back against the headboard and began pressing buttons on his cell phone.

“What are you doing?” Connie asked.

“Trying to figure out how to get a boat out of here,” David said.

Connie placed a chair in the corner of the room and loaded her Glock 19 with hollow points. She used a Glock because it had no safety—just cock one in the chamber and let fly. She sat in the chair, faced the door, and cocked the pistol, thinking it impossible for the cartel operatives to find them here, but preparing for anything.

“Get some sleep,” she told David. “You only get two hours.”

An hour later, while David slept, Connie walked to the side window that faced the boat docks. She pulled back the curtain just enough to see out with one eye. She saw the wooden platform just outside the window, and below, several shrimp boats sitting motionless atop the dark water. The saltiness in the air reached her nose through the cabin walls.

She closed the curtain and turned back to the chair, but as she took her first step, the silhouette of a man passed across the front window. Connie stopped. Another man’s silhouette passed. She tip-toed to the bed and pushed four fingers into David’s chest, waking him. She put her index finger over her lips and with her head gestured to the door. David rolled toward the nightstand and grabbed his Ruger, and Connie backed herself to the side window with slow, deliberate steps.

A shotgun blast exploded through the door, sending specks of wood hurling into the room. Connie threw open the side window with the sound of the blast and slipped outside onto the platform.

Before the two men could enter the room, Connie turned the corner and fired five rounds. Both men staggered back against the wood railing and fell dead on the walkway. She heard the door open and saw David walk out and look at the bodies.

Bang! Connie fired. Bang! She fired again—two rounds into David’s gut. David slumped down between the other two men. He pressed his hand to his stomach, but a pool of blood spread around him and began to drip between the wooden planks of the platform to the concrete below.

Connie stepped toward him and, standing over him, said: “You must think I’m pretty stupid, huh?” Her eyes were stolid and a menacing grin dressed her face.

“What are you talking about?”

Connie reached into David’s pocket and pulled out his cell phone. She saw the most recent text message sent to an unknown number: “Venice Marina Rm 17.”

She turned the phone and showed it to David, and his eyes widened with shock before his last breath went out.

Connie dropped the cell phone onto David’s body, grabbed the cocaine, got in the Taurus and sped off, the moon’s gleam a pearl white on the bayou.

***

JEREMY FORD is a native of New Orleans, LA. His work has appeared in Birdwatching and in the online newspaper Nola Defender.

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Would you like to submit a story to the Mondays Are Murder series? Here are the guidelines:

—We are not offering payment, and are asking for first digital rights. The rights to the story revert to the author immediately upon publication.
—Your story should be set in a distinct location of any neighborhood in any city, anywhere in the world, but it should be a story that could only be set in the neighborhood you chose.
—Include the neighborhood, city, state, and country next to your byline.
—Your story should be Noir. What is Noir? We’ll know it when we see it.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—Accepted submissions are typically published 6–8 months after their notification date and will be edited for cohesion and to conform to our house style.
—E-mail your submission to info@akashicbooks.com. Please paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.

Posted: Aug 7, 2017

Category: Mondays Are Murder | Tags: , , , , , ,



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