The Grand Plan – Flash Fiction
The Grand Plan
Maynard Holiday scampered down the stairs of the airplane and hurried across the tarmac. As he entered the airport lounge, his eyes scanned the large room. He rushed to a restroom and sat his briefcase down on one of the sinks. His heart raced as he inhaled deeply. He gazed into the mirror and shook his head. He looked liked hell. His hair was disheveled, his face unshaven and lines creased across his forehead. If anyone saw him, they’d swear he was guilty of something.
He turned on the water and splashed some across his face, then he ran his wet fingers through his hair to smooth it down. He adjusted his shirt, stuffing the ends into the waist of his pants. Finally, he placed his fedora on his head and stared in the mirror one more time, raising an eyebrow. He looked more presentable. He felt confident that he could state his case before the Mayor now. So long as he remained calm, that is. There was nothing to gain in acting guilty.
As he exited the restroom, Maynard took one last glance around the lounge. He tilted his fedora down over his eyes and slipped past a security guard. Outside the airport, he hailed a taxi. As they drove past Pail Street, Maynard felt a tinge of pain in his heart. He couldn’t return there.
The taxi pulled up outside the Mayor’s office and Maynard hastened inside. By the time he was seated in front of the Mayor, he was out of breath. He removed his hat and sat his briefcase down beside the chair.
“I did as you asked,” Maynard stated. “I never thought they would blame me. I won’t take the fall for this!”
The Mayor furled his brow. “Keep your voice down.”
Maynard shifted in his chair. “You said this was on the up and up. I wouldn’t have risked everything if I had known.”
The Mayor leaned back in his chair and rested his chubby fingers on his protruding belly. “I don’t know why you are complaining. You will be rewarded and your family is safe. Now, tell me everything.”
Maynard relayed the whole story. He’d gone to Chicago like the Mayor asked him to. He’d passed on the envelop and checked into his hotel to wait for his return flight.
“So how did you become a suspect?” the Mayor asked as he leaned forward.
“I was the last person seen exiting the building before the Mayor keeled over.”
The Mayor sighed. It had been simple plan. He and the Mayor of Chicago had a running prank for years. All Maynard had to do was deliver the envelop and return home. His friend would have known the pictures inside were from him and had a good chuckle. Instead his old friend had been poisoned and now his accountant was suspected of murder. What a mess!
“Your wife and kids are held up at an associate’s summer home. You will join them and stay until the Chicago police figure this whole thing out. Don’t worry, Maynard. I won’t let you take the rap for my prank.” He handed Maynard a thick envelop. “This should be enough to hold you over.”
As Maynard left the Mayor’s office, a smile creased across his face. No, he thought, I won’t take the fall. You will. Maynard stopped in the restroom on his way out of the building. He wiped the bottle of poison down with a handkerchief and tossed it into a trash bin. Maynard had grown tired of cooking the books for the Mayor. He’d grown tired of skimping and saving while the Mayor lived like a king. That fat bastard would get what was coming to him. It was a grand frame-up.
Maynard gathered his family and headed to Mexico. Months later, he received word that his old boss had been charged with murder. Everything had gone as planned.
©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.
Each day in May, I will be participating in the StoryADay in May. Here is today’s prompt: