Welcome to "Farewell Gift", a 2,500 short story I wrote earlier this year. I've decided to present it to you here on Surge Bin in five parts. Why not start with part 1, and work your way through? Enjoy!
On Tuesday morning, Marcelle and Laura walked the paths and open spaces of the Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens with the wind in their hair and the Autumn sun overhead. They'd both phoned into work sick, saying she didn't expect to be in for the rest of the week. They had a lot of work to do.
"I just want him dead," Marcelle said firmly. "He deserves it. He has no right to throw me aside, after everything I've done for him. Over the last eighteen years I've sacrificed my career so we could make the moves to get him the promotions. I've lived my life through his success. He needs to pay!" She paused, then said, "I'm ranting, aren't I?"
"Well," said Laura, with a smile, "yes."
"How are we going to do it, Laura? How are we going to actually kill him?"
Unfazed by the directness of the question, Laura said, "For a start, you and I are not going to go around with knives and guns, or run him down with a car. We need to be really smart about this."
"Do you want to use a hit man?"
"I considered that," she replied casually, "but I don't think we want to bring someone else into this. Obviously there are lots of ways to go about it, but I think the best for our situation is capital punishment."
"Australia doesn't have capital punishment."
Marcelle felt her face flush as she realised, "Gary's going to Thailand next week!"
Laura nodded and smiled, then repeated softly, "Gary's going to Thailand next week."
Marcelle found Laura's cold and calculating manner reassuring. This should be freaking me out, but I'm just so glad to have her on my side. Then she thought aloud, "Why would Gary be given the death sentence? I don't think he's planning to commit any crimes over there."
"Gary? Didn't you realise he's a heroin smuggler?" said Laura, chuckling.
"A what?" Marcelle stopped on the path, astonished at the suggestion.
Laura explained further, "The Thai government executes drug smugglers – especially those that bring in heroin. Getting caught bringing that stuff into the country is a one-way ticket to death row over there."
Marcelle barely paused before she laughed, and then said, "So let's buy one of those tickets for my darling husband."
The two women walked and talked for the rest of the day, probing the plan from all angles for weaknesses. The final plan was simple: Marcelle would give Gary a new suitcase for his overseas trip as a farewell gift. Once the plane was in the air, the Thai authorities would be notified anonymously that there was heroin hidden in the lining of Gary's suitcase. The rest was up to the Thai government.
"I had a chat last night with an old girlfriend who made some different choices in life, and has made some very different friends. She can get us 120g of some reasonably pure heroin by tomorrow night. That's more than enough to buy his ticket to death row. Like I said Marcelle, this stuff is expensive, but it's worth it. Once Gary's dead and buried, you'll have all of his money anyway. I'll loan it to you out of my savings for now, and you can pay me back when it's all over."
"How much?' asked Marcelle.
"Fifty thousand dollars."
To Marcelle, it was just a number. She wouldn't enjoy her life again until Gary was gone, so what was fifty thousand dollars?
(To be continued...)