Saturday, 27 June 2015

'The Note' by John Holland

Harlan T. Spank III, aged 10, round, red-haired, putty-faced looked like a difficult child. Was a difficult child.  He was cruel, selfish and argumentative, traits he inherited from his parents. His mother Marcie and his father Harlan T. Spank II had not wanted a child and tended to gratify young Harlan’s wants rather than satisfy his needs. His father was a multi-millionaire property developer, although some said he had links with the underworld that went back at least one generation, and that he made his money in less than legitimate ways.

The note from the kidnappers read-
For the kid, leave $1 million in used notes in the big burnt out oak tree by the crossroads at 2 am on Tuesday.

At 2 am on Tuesday, the kidnappers went to the tree and found only a note from his parents.  It read-
Did you mean this tree?  There’s another burnt out tree just across the meadow.  Which tree is it?  We will pay no more than $500,000.

The next note from the kidnappers read-
Of course that tree.  It’s an oak.  The other tree is a lime.  And it’s nowhere near the crossroads.  $800,000 then.  Put it in the burnt-out oak tree in used notes at midnight on Monday.

At midnight on Monday the kidnappers went to the tree and found only a note from his parents.  It read-
Midnight is like zero hours, so did you mean midnight from Sunday going on to Monday, or Monday going on to Tuesday?  Jees, can’t you be more exact? Also can we change to the other tree?  It’s really muddy by this one.  $500,000 is all we got.

The next note from the kidnappers read-
For Christ’s sake, forget the other tree, $500,000 it is then.  Leave it in the burnt out oak tree by the crossroads at fifteen minutes past midnight on Wednesday morning 27 March 2013 DST (Daylight Saving Time). This is your last chance.

His parents paid up, and, much to their relief, within days the kidnappers had taken young Harlan.





The Note was first published in 'Ell Oh Ell' by Earlyworks Press in 2014

2 comments:

  1. Haha, brilliant! Ending totally caught me off guard!

    ReplyDelete