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There is probably an infinite number of inspirations to write a story. A personal incident, someone else’s creative work, or the actions of a soulless coward who steals someone’s savings and lays waste to entire families just to afford to buy a summer home in the hills. We’ve turned on the news and seen these hustlers being hauled off to prison. We’ve seen the tearful interviews where defeated looking victims confess to trusting their future in the hands of a silver tounged confidence man. Yes there are some that are punished for their deeds, but what about the ones that aren’t? Im sure for every Bernie Madoff we see, they’re plenty others we don’t. What about them? Do they find peace and serenity when night comes? I’d like to think not. I guess this piece of Flash Fiction is me hoping that those who get away with doing people harm for personal gain never really get away scott free….

I love the beach. That’s why I chose this place, so I can lay in my bed and stare out the paito door at the infinite blue waves below. Hell, why not? I can afford it. Sure some people had to lose their savings to get me here but hey, better them than me, right? That’s the way of the world. I’ve lived long enough to learn that if you’re not the one doing the taking, you’re the one getting taken. I covered my tracks and anticipated every move before they even realized that what hit them. You don’t ask to join the game of life, you’re thrown into it without a rulebook, and like some sadistic video game you have to play your level over and over again until you learn the lesson and advance to the next floor. Some of the people I took from never got wise, and the game started them back at zero. Take the widow Mrs Jones, who still hadn’t learned not to trust a silver tongued fox with a smile and an airtight contract, so now she has nothing. I call it a punishment for staying nieve and not stepping her game up after hubby checked out. Some people are superior, the end. I see the gulls squaw and glide over the waves through the window and I feel like I’m about to fade out. Maybe after seventy two hours I’ve finally figured out the right combination of wine and ambient that will allow me to sleep. Like one of the waves through the glass, sleep is mercifully washing over me. The world begins to fade out in my vision and my eyelids weigh fifty pounds. Just as the cover of sleep overcomes me completely, I see him. The man in the black suit standing in the corner of my bedroom. The pleasure of sleep is snatched from me and I shoot up with my heart pounding and sweat collecting on my brow with my favorite revolver in my left hand cocked and ready to go. I jump out of bed and turn to see what I already knew I would see, nothing. No assassin waiting for a chance to take me out, no avenging spector biding his time take me to oblivion. No, just my mind playing games. My mind has been real fuckin playful in the three days since I got here. I walk to a nearby dresser where a mound of white powder sits from a party earlier this evening. I figured a good ol fashioned drug fueld romp with a few locals would put me in a relaxed mood, but looks like that’s not the case. I cut myself a thick line of powder and snort it up hard with a rolled up hundred. A shot of adrenaline shoots through my body and I instantly feel better. I feel alive. I’ll be fine. Sleep can wait. Fuck sleep, and fuck the people who a little bit poorer now because of me. Think I care if your spoiled good for nothing kids can’t go to college? So what if you can’t go on vacation twice a year or your your medical bills don’t get paid. Its Darwin, plain and simple. Adapt or die. That’s why I’ll always win, because I understand that principle in my bones. So what if sleep doesn’t come easy, nothing in my life ever has. I’ll adapt. I think I hear footsteps just outside the door. I grip my revolver hard and place my finger on the trigger. They think they can get the drop on me! Ha! Go ahead and try motherfuckers. I hear them whispering, plotting behind the door. I don’t give them anymore time. I yank open the door and unload on their stupid asses. The smoke clears and I blink and laugh. I dont think the statue in the hallway is gonna make it. One of my bullets blew it’s white porcelain head clean off. As far as I can see, this half naked, representation of some long dead Greek guy is the only casualty here. The place was empty. No voices or people at my door after all. That’s fine. Never liked that fuckin statue anyway. At least I was ready. All always be ready. After my next bump, my anxiety leaves and I’m again reminded that I’m the superior one here. That’s why I was able to get away with it. I’ll always win. Wait a minute, what was that sound?

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