Prologue…House on Ransom Hill.

Prologue

He waited.  Basking in his success.  Such a simple thing, really.  A little tweak here, a little tweak there, a few nails, and the house would go up in all that beautiful fire.  Just took some ingenuity and a little luck.

            He’d wait though.  The old man and his witch of a wife were resourceful.  He would make sure they stayed put while the flames licked all around them.

            Soon, very soon, he would have control of this farm and all that lovely money.  Maybe, he would build his own house on the ashes.  That would be fitting.

            He had put up with a lot to get this far and this family owed him.  Oh yeah, he thought, they owed him big time.

            Of course, there was always a fly in the ointment.  This particular fly would be the old couple’s only daughter.  He had had to put up with a lot from that little bitch, too.  In the long run, now that is plan was in motion, it would all be worth it.

            Through their daughter, all the property, the horses and all of that glorious money would come to him.

            Years in the planning, brilliant in the execution, his plan is foolproof.

            Thinking of the daughter, his face became grim.

            She is weak, he mused.  She depended on him.  That was good.  Sooner or later, though, she would have to go, and her two useless daughters with her.

            Sooner or later, they would join the old man and his witchy wife.

            He could hear the couple screaming at the top of their lungs.

            “Good,” he muttered.  “Keep sucking in that smoke.  Speed things along a little.”

            He knew, staying here, he risked all of his plans, but it couldn’t be helped.  One little slip and everything could go up in smoke, so to speak.  A grim laugh escaped his lips at his own macabre joke

            The delay was justified in short order.  A chair came bounding out of the master bedroom window.  Smoke billowed out.  The old man’s face popped out of the broken window, followed by his panicked wife’s face.

             He congratulated himself for sharp thinking.  He brought his gun, just in case.  Casually, he removed the gun from his back holster and fired two warning shots and the couple darted back into their smoke-filled bedroom.

           “You son-of-a-bitch,” the old man screamed down daring to peer out of the window, again.

            “It’s gonna take you that much longer to die, you old bastard.  Die you will, though!”

            He struck him that if he left now, there would be a slim chance they could survive.  The old man proved himself resourceful.  No, better to wait and hope help didn’t come too soon. 

            If they survived, prison would be on his horizon.  He didn’t think he would do well in prison.  Prison would not suit his tastes; therefore, prison simply was not an option.

            For a split second, he considered running into the burning building and finishing the job.  As fast as the thought came into his mind, he discarded it.  What if he didn’t get out in time?  No, better to just wait and see.

            A thunderous explosion almost knocked him off his feet as the flames found the gas lines and worked their merry way to the source.  There was no way the couple would have survived that blast.  Just no way in hell. 

Time to go.  He had waited almost too long.

            Taking one last satisfied look at the inferno, he climbed into his vehicle, rolled down his window, and listened.  No screams emanated over the roar of the flames. 

            This part of the plan was over.  Now, he had to get back to his present flavor of the month and ensure his alibi was still intact. 

            If the twit had awaken during the time he was gone, it could make things awkward, to say the least.

            Laughing, more than pleased with himself, he put his Jeep in gear and headed down the old hunting trail and into the woods. 

            He knew the trail would take him straight out to the highway.  How ironic, he thought, the old man never figured his hunting trail could be used for a purpose such as this.

            He took one final look through his rear-view mirror and laughed again.

            It was more than satisfaction coursing through him, watching the house burn.  It was the knowledge he would soon come into a pile of money.  Money he earned, putting up with the whole damn family for all these years.

            He would need to think of something equally spectacular to rid himself of their whiney, miserable daughter and her two brats, but it would come.

            For the time being, he was satisfied.  Mission accomplished, he thought as he turned onto the main highway and deadheaded it back to his mistress’ apartment.  Oh yeah, mission accomplished.

 

           

           

           

           

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