Deaths Investment

Deaths Investment

A Story by T.L. Ray

A short story about the death of an old lady in the deep south, her demise leads those involved down a path nobody could have predicted.


“Mrs. Morrison was too busy to die”.  These were the words slowly uttered from the Presbyterian preacher in the hazy Alabama heat of 1979.  Mrs. Morrison was 102 years old when an arguing couple from the Bronx hit her in their ugly yellow Subaru.  This moment set off a chain of events which nobody on Earth could have predicted, let alone anybody in Magnolia Springs Alabama.

The couple quickly stopped their yelling match when coming to the realization that manslaughter was a very real possibility instead of their planned trip through the Bible belt.  The man’s name was Jordan, his wife’s name was Emma, they simultaneously slinked out of the car and stared wide eyed at what they had done, there was no question, she was dead.  Jordan looked at Emma and they silently acknowledged what had just occurred. He frantically said “she looks old, couldn’t have had much time left anyway right” he was met only with silence.  Nobody wanted to admit it but they both knew there was no way that they could go to prison over an old lady who was going on 103 years old.  This was just another problem in a lifetime of obstacles for Jordan.

One phone call led to another, let’s be honest a young guy from the Bronx, he had contacts for this sort of thing.  The phone eerily rang, “hello”, “yes this is Jordan” “what’s your location”.  Boom, not 45 minutes later a green work van arrived and loaded Mrs. Morrison into the trunk.  Reluctantly Jordan and Emma rode on, they made a vow to not speak of the occurrence until their trip was over and that only then they would figure out if they could live with what they had done.  About the time they got back to enjoying their trip, a call came through to Emma’s phone, “do you know what you guys did, are you kidding me, you killed Nancy Morrison, the Nancy Morrison” her name sent chills down Jordan’s spine; he knew his life just changed.

The lights of a dusty motel warmed their hearts as the Subaru came to a halt, a safe haven at least for the night.  Sleep came seldom, more often than not Jordan found himself looking towards the cracking white sealing of room 12, and Emma offered no solace, only more tension.  Jordan was dealing with the fact that most of New York’s undesirables would be after him and his wife for the better part of what was supposed to be their vacation, their quaint vacation had turned into a dangerous game of hide and seeks.  The sun finally arose just in time for Jordan to figure out that his car along with Emma were nowhere to be found, this was real and he was not in a good position.

Blam, Blam, Blam, a 9 millimeter rang out through the motel parking lot just missing Jordan’s neck.  His veins pumped petroleum and he ran, faster than he had ever run before, he ran until his eyes hurt from a mixture of dripping sweat and adrenaline.  The man arming the hand cannon was none other than Eric Ko, a notorious killer for the Japanese gangs of the inner city; he had viciously taken lives for the better part of the last 3 decades and had no mercy. Eric Ko was a man driven by two things financial gain, and loyalty, one of which brought him to a crappy hotel in the Deep South.  Jordan dramatically entered Southern Gold and Pawn, he handed the man at the counter what was left of his vacation money in return he received the righteous protection of a 45. Caliber six shot revolver, and a bag of copper plated death.  This was turning out to look like a good ole fashioned shootout with two men entering and one man making it home.

Now at this point you’re probably wondering why two men are going to war over an old lady in Magnolia Springs Alabama, well Nancy Morrison was not just any old lady.  She was the heir to a line of people with bad intentions and ridiculous drive to accomplish anything they pleased.  She had participated in everything from simple theft to funding underground wars all over the East Coast. Sure she was old but that didn’t matter to the people who knew Nancy, because those people owed her and when they had a chance to pay off that debt, well they were going to take it.

Jordan was ready for battle but had no idea where his opponent was, he didn’t know what hit him, never even fired a shot before the poised assassin picked him off from over 545 yards away with a 308. Remington rifle.  The truth was Jordan never had a chance, the moment his Subaru hit Mrs. Morrison he was a dead man walking, and with Ko on the job it was just a matter of time.  Ko called in the coordinates and Jordan’s limp body was taken away as swiftly as the green van could accomplish.  Ko was almost done, now all he had to do was deliver Mrs. Morrison’s body back to its rightful owner, the town of Magnolia Springs.

Eric drove calmly back to the shady dive bar where the Morrison family did most of its drinking, as he walked in a sense of control was lost, he would either be celebrated as a hero or killed for having the audacity to carry the old ladies body in the back of his pickup truck.  The transaction went smoothly, a strong burly man loaded the body into his vehicle and he drove off for the funeral home, the story on the street was Mrs. Morrison’s age finally caught up with her and that was all anybody needed to know. 

Eric Ko had completed what he set out to do, it was easy as pie and his debt was payed off, he was a free man.  But Death is indiscriminate, and you can’t pay it off.  Not a week later Eric Ko was diagnosed with stage three brain cancer, he was given between one and two months to live, he only lasted two weeks.  In the end the universe corrected itself, Emma moved out west to escape her troubled past, she had nothing and nobody, a year later she was listed as committing suicide, two bullet holes in her temple said otherwise.  The east coast crime syndicate weeped, but eventually it too moved on, Magnolia Springs had lost an old lady, hardly anyone noticed.  And Death had claimed four more trophies, truthfully the preacher had been right, Mrs. Morrison had been too busy to die, and it showed with fatal consequence.

© 2016 T.L. Ray

Author's Note

T.L. Ray
ignore grammar problems, no professional editing was done,
originally written to be submitted for The First Line competition

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Wow, that was intense! Wonder what mischief dear Nancy got up to in her days. Good work!

Posted 9 Months Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This writing have strong atmosphere . Words like are bullets. Reader can feel tensions of characters. Also there is no any place when reader get bored. That's great. You make good job. Keep writing.

Posted 9 Months Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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2 Reviews
Added on September 16, 2016
Last Updated on September 16, 2016
Tags: death, crime, short story, fiction, thriller, adventure, cool, dark, violent


T.L. Ray
T.L. Ray

Simpsonville, SC

I am a young teen writer from Greenville, South Carolina. I am currently working on multiple short stories and a couple longer novels. I am a two sport athlete and love to compet in jiu-jitsu and st.. more..


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