Raised Stakes – Flash Fiction
Jack gulped down the bourbon and sat the glass back on the bar. It’d been hell the past few days. Ella had committed suicide in prison and Victor wanted to see him. Not to mention, Bobby hadn’t come up with anything for the latest case. Bad news comes in threes, they say. Jack tossed a few bills on the bar and nodded at the bartender.
“See you around, Frank.”
He grabbed his coat and fedora and headed out of the bar. The drive to the prison did little to improve his mood. Rain fell upon the City in long sheets. The grey clouds blocked the sun for the third day in a row. Even the office was gloomy. Dani had gone to New York to visit her sister. By the time he pulled up at the docks, he was a wretched mess.
“Hey, Gessum,” Jack said to the prison guard who would ferry him across to Alcatraz.
“Evening, Mr. Diamond. Miserable day, isn’t it?”
Jack nodded and followed the young guard onto the ferry. He couldn’t imagine why Victor wanted to see him. He hadn’t seen him since the trial a year earlier. As far as Jack was concerned, they had nothing to say to one another. Victor was scum and exactly where he deserved to be. Jack pulled the collar of his coat up around his neck and pushed the fedora down over his eyes. Still, the rain soaked through to his already chilled bones.
When he arrived at Alcatraz, Jack was ushered in to see the Warden. He was a man of about fifty, grey-haired and with dark creases under his eyes. He motioned for Jack to sit down while he finished up a telephone call.
“Sorry about that, Mr. Diamond,” the Warden said as he hung up the phone. “I appreciate you taking the time to come here. Mr. Angelo has asked to see you for the past six months.”
“Any clue why?”
The Warden shook his head. “None. He got more insistent though when his half-sister committed suicide day before yesterday. Shall we?” he said as he stood up and moved around the desk and toward the door. Jack followed the Warden into the belly of the prison and toward the mail room.
“I’ve put you in here. I didn’t want to drag you through the general population,” the Warden stated as he opened the door.
Victor Angelo sat shackled at a table. Two guards stood on either side of him. He grinned up at Jack.
“You look like hell, Jack, but then you always look like hell,” Victor gloated.
“And you look surprisingly well, Victor. Prison agrees with you,” Jack retorted as he sat down across from Victor. He didn’t want to waste time with pleasantries. “What do you want, Victor?”
“Straight forward as always, I see. You know, Jack,” Victor began as he leaned across the table and stared at Jack for a moment. “We aren’t so different, you and I,” he finally replied.
Jack sighed. Victor was up to his old tricks. “What do you want, Victor?”
“Not even curious why I said that?”
“If it will get you to the point of this visit, then tell me why?”
Victor grinned. “We both have one serious flaw, Jack. Beautiful women.”
“I still don’t see your point, Victor.”
“Such a tragedy about Ella? Don’t you think?”
Jack’s patience were wearing thin. “Is that why you asked to see me? To talk about Ella?”
“No, I just wanted to see your reaction, but you are as cold as I am about the news. She did, after all, betray us both, Jack.”
It was true. Ella had betrayed Jack long before she testified against Victor. “Just get to the point, Victor!”
“That beauty you are with these days… Dani, isn’t it? You have to admit, beautiful women always get you into trouble. Or perhaps trouble has a way of finding your beautiful women.”
Jack narrowed his eyes and glared at Victor. “Is that a threat, Victor?”
Victor laughed. “How can I threaten anyone? I am stuck on this rock. Isolated for 23 hours a day. No, Jack. It isn’t me you have to worry about. But you may want to keep an eye on your girlfriend. New York is such a dangerous place.”
“What have you heard, Victor?” Jack growled at his nemesis.
“Just bits and pieces. The grapevine in a prison can be so unreliable, Jack.”
Jack reached across the table, grabbed Victor by his jumpsuit and shook him. “Tell me!”
One of the guards loosened Jack’s grip and pushed him back into his seat. Victor laughed again as amusement danced in his eyes.
“When you locked me up, you merely cut off one head of the hydra, Jack. And I was such a small head too. There’s an even bigger monster out there and it has its sights on your lovely girlfriend.”
“Why are you telling me this, Victor? You aren’t one to divulge information unless it gets you something in return!”
“That’s true, Jack. I want off of this rock. And you and the police chief will see that it happens. That, or I keep the information I know to myself. Your choice, Jack. I’d really hate to see you a broken man again.”
Raised Stakes ©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.
(Note: For Friday’s prompt, I revisited my protagonist and antagonist favorites – Jack Diamond and Victor Angelo from my novella, The Stacked Deck. This is not a complete story by any means, but it just fits so well with the prompt. I will probably revisit this soon and write more to it as a new novella. So stay tuned!)
Each day in May, I will be participating in the StoryADay in May. Here is today’s prompt: