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Mystery inspired by a mysterious photo

"Crime Doesn't Pay" by Lynette Kiely

Flash #248 - May 2015

Orig. appeared May 1996

Previous Flash

The Home Run

by Richard Saxe

Ty Cobb Jones was a happy ball player...

Flash 248: mystery inspired by a mysterious photo

CRIME DOESN'T PAY. All Alan's life, that line had repeatedly been drummed into him. But with both his mother and his father in the police force, Alan had quickly learnt that crime fighting also rarely pays. At fifteen his parents had separated. They had virtually lived apart anyway, as one was usually solving a case while the other was in hospital recuperating from some new wound. Still, Alan had become a cop himself and that was where he had met his partner 'Bo' Bodine. Bo possessed a quick smile, a quick wit, and a family as intertwined with the force as his.

The two had been working together for eight years and had a reputation for always finding their man, so it was natural for them to arrive at work one day to find The Big One they'd worked so hard to get had at last made its way onto their desk. $2,365,000 had been stolen from the Western Bank. Working at peak efficiency, they'd quickly found the thief and had handled him in their usual professional way. After a glorious game of "good cop/bad cop" they had a confession and a map and now it was a matter of locating the money. Bo had quickly ascertained that the 'X' represented an old abandoned warehouse and an hour and a half later they had managed to rip down the fake wall. It was empty.

Together they checked the map again to make sure they had the right warehouse.

"Okay, Alan my friend. It's time to think like a criminal."

Alan complied and ran the scenario through his mind. If I were this man, he thought, and I knew the famous Bodine and Carson were on my tail, where would I stash the loot?

False floor under the fire place? Too obvious. Hidden passageway behind a wall? Only one of four walls was adjoining another room and they had just demolished that. Slowly Alan turned around and surveyed the empty room. Finally his eyes rested on the air vent. He glanced at Bo, only to find him staring at the same thing. Silently they walked towards the opening and Alan gave his partner a leg up. Soon Bo had the grid pried loose and on the ground. He hoisted himself up further before giving a muffled cheer.

Three hours later the two men toasted each other on their find. Today they were famous for nabbing this criminal. This time tomorrow, they would be truly legendary. And free. Bo took another long drink of champagne and settled back in his seat with a sigh.

"Didn't I tell you, Alan? All those years of cracking the smaller cases and we finally made it big."

"Yep. The sky's the limit now--now that the money is safely deposited in our Swiss account and we're on our way to be with it." Alan smiled and thought about his crime-fighting family. They should have taken a page out of Bo's mob-related family. If you worked hard enough, crime definitely did pay.

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