Friday, August 31, 2012

FFF: The Source

Every Friday Kurt posts a new bit of flash fiction. Today's story...

The Source
Word Count: 600

Sanford emerged from the stairwell into the dim parking garage. He could just make out a man across the way, standing in an empty handicapped space. He was smoking on a cigarette and wearing a trench coat. That must be my contact.

“You’re Logan,” said Sanford, approaching. “This is a non-smoking facility.”

“I am,” said the man in the trench coat. “And this is a parking garage.”

“The rich don’t like their cars to smell like smoke,” said Sanford. “You’ve certainly gone out of your way to try and look inconspicuous.”

Logan looked down at his clothes. He chucked his cigarette onto the ground and stamped it out. “Make your jokes now. Soon enough, I’ll be the one laughing.”

“Why don’t you tell me what you think you know?” said Sanford.

“Where do I start?” asked Logan. “The shell company in Belize? The bank accounts in the Caymans?”

“There’s only one account in the Caymans. The other is in Malta. You do realize that none of this is illegal?”

“Of course it isn’t,” said Logan. “You’re far too clever for that.”

The two men stared at each other for a while.

“So?” asked Sanford. “You’re the one who arranged this meeting. What did you want?”

“Just to let you know that I’m onto you.”

“Onto me?” asked Sanford. “Whatever about? My business is aboveboard.”

“That’s not what I’ve heard. I’ve got a source.”

“A source?” asked Sanford. “Is it a good one?”

“My lips are sealed.”

“I see,” said Sanford. “Hard for me to make much of your source then. Or of your presence here. You haven’t actually threatened me with anything yet.”

“Oh, that’s coming,” said Logan.

“Well, if we could hurry it along, I have a dinner engagement—“

“Project Reichenbach,” said Logan smugly.

Sanford started at the name. It was a small motion, but Logan noticed.

“So,” said Logan. “I think you might want to keep this out of the papers.”

“Ah,” said Sanford. “Extortion. I should have guessed.”

“Call it what you like,” said Logan.

“I call it a waste of time. Reichenbach is old news. That was in Sandra Meyerson’s portfolio, if I recall. I can’t imagine she would have talked to you. Someone under her. Someone disgruntled who would have left when that project was still active. That would have been about three months ago?”

Logan blanched.

“If my memory serves,” said Sanford, “then your source is an accountant with a serious cocaine habit that needs servicing. No wonder he went sniveling to you.”

Logan said nothing, but fumbled for another cigarette.

“Funny thing about cocaine habits,” said Sanford, “is that they make whistleblowers very easy to discredit. Perhaps you should remind your source of that. And this is still a non-smoking facility.”

Logan froze and shoved his pack of cigarettes back into his jacket pocket. “I guess we’re done here.”

“It would seem,” said Sanford.

Logan slunk away quietly. Sanford waited a few minutes and then headed to his car. He pulled out a disposable cell phone and dialed.

“Yeah, boss?”

“I just took a meeting. That accountant Sandra was screwing has been in contact with a reporter named Logan.”

“Logan Miller. I know him. He’s an idiot.”

“He knew about Reichenbach,” said Sanford.

“Reichenbach’s old news.”

“I’m aware,” said Sanford. “It’s still a bit troubling.”

“You want me to take care of him, boss?”

Sanford pondered. He hated unnecessary bloodshed. “Yes,” he said at last.

“Not a problem.”

“You’ll be discreet, of course,” said Sanford.

“You know me, boss.”

“No, I don’t,” said Sanford. “Never heard of you in my life.”

Edited by Carolyn Abram

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