Chuck heard a loud crash from his old neighborhood, Jared’s house, and found him dead in his basement, but there was something even more surprising in the room. He just didn’t expect to land in jail for it.It was already night. Chuck returned home after a long tiring day at work, and as he got down from his car, he saw his neighbor, Jared, struggling to carry a heavy bag home.
“Hey, Jared!” Chuck called out, locking his car door. “Wait a minute. I’ll give you a hand!”
The older man dropped the bag and looked up, huffing. “Did I ask ya to help me out, boy? No need!” he said and got back to dragging the bag up the stairs.
Chuck shook his head, ignoring the older man’s modesty, and ran over to help him. But the bag turned out to be quite heavy, and Chuck could barely carry it himself.
As they reached Jared’s porch, the man opened the door, and Chuck was about to head inside when Jared took the bag from his hands. “That’s enough, boy. I think I can carry it further alone,” he said, trying to close the door, but Chuck stopped him…
“C’mon, Jared! Let me at least have a look inside, will you?” he laughed. “The whole neighborhood probably knows that you might as well refuse the President if he wanted to see your home. What’s inside that I can’t see, huh?””Billions, boy, billions!” joked Jared. “And I don’t want anyone to get a hand on my billions. So thanks for the help.”
“Well then, Jared, how about getting yourself a new car? Because you will soon need to harness horses to drive this one!” laughed Chuck, pointing to Jared’s old car. “Anyway, Good night!” Chuck added and went home.
A couple of hours later, Chuck came out for a smoke. He was in the front yard when he suddenly heard a loud crash and a scream from Jared’s bedroom window. Chuck dashed to Jared’s front door and knocked several times, but no one answered.
“Hey, Jared! It’s me! Chuck! Open the door!” Chuck called out. Still, there were no replies.Chuck dashed to the man’s backyard and noticed the open backyard window. “Jared! I’m here! Right under your window!” he called out to Jared again, but the man never replied.
Sensing something was off, Chuck crept into Jared’s house through the window. As he entered, he discovered an open hatch in the center of Jared’s bedroom.
“Jared, are you there?!” he called out, kneeling beside the hatch. No replies again.
Chuck finally climbed down the ladder that led him to Jared’s basement and was shocked to find the older man in a pool of blood on the floor.
“Oh no…Ja…Jared!” Chuck exclaimed. His fingers reached for his phone to turn on the flashlight and call 911, but the light showed him what he hadn’t seen before.
Gold. A huge collection of gold antiques on the shelves. Placing the phone back in his pocket, Chuck grabbed a duffel bag from a corner and stashed it with everything he could.Chuck called in sick at work the following day but didn’t tell his wife. It was just another regular day for her, so he left and drove to a town two hours away with a few bags in his hands.
He entered the antique shop and noticed a man sitting at the desk.
“Hello, sir. I would like to get these things appraised. It’s an old collection my grandfather gave me in his will,” Chuck said, trying not to gulp.
“Of course,” the old man responded, gesturing for Chuck to place the items on the counter.
After a while, the vendor frowned. “You said this was an inheritance. Right? Interesting,” the old man muttered, reaching beneath the desk. A loud siren bounced through the wall, making Chuck jump back in fright.
“What’s happening?” Chuck said, his hand covering his ears. He saw the doors and windows coming down in loud bangs like in movies, and his eyes flared and glared at the old man.”Don’t try to escape. It’s futile,” the old man said calmly. “But would you like to hear why I know these items were stolen? “It was almost 38 years ago to this day…”
A well-dressed man, Arnold smiled as he entered the kitchen, greeting the staff, including Jared, who had worked for him for nine years. Arnold was a second-generation antiquarian, carrying on the legacy that made his father extremely rich.
Jared greeted his boss and told him his cook, Catherine, made him his favorite breakfast.”Oh, also, Jared. An old friend of mine is coming to visit us today. Please prepare everything for him.”
Arnold’s friend, Edward, arrived after lunch. They hugged each other while the staff helped with his bags and prepared everything for dinner.
“My friend, I found a collection of dishes from the 18th century on the black market! The ones my father wanted.”
Edward didn’t believe him. He knew Arnold’s father and learned about the allusive collection.
“I’ll show you!” Arnold said with glee. “Oh, Jared. Head back to the kitchen and discuss tomorrow’s meal with Catherine. Edward and I will be busy, so I don’t want any disturbance.”
“Yes, sir,” Jared said, knowing his boss didn’t want him to see whatever they discussed. The servant may not know anything about antiques or the black market, but it sounded ritzy. So, instead of going to the kitchen, he dashed upstairs to his boss’s room and hid in the closet.
Jared saw his boss entering the bedroom with his guest trailing behind and noticed everything he did, from grabbing a secret key stashed beneath a tile to uncovering a large vault behind a large dresser.
“Sorry, you can’t be too careful. Even at home,” Arnold said, finally opening his safe
“You are your father’s son,” Edward nodded, chuckling. But his laughing stopped after seeing the contents of the safe, which Jared couldn’t see. But his boss’s guest marveled and offered him almost a million dollars on the spot.
“Not for sale, my friend,” Arnold laughed. After what seemed like an entry, his boss returned everything to its place, and they both left the room. Jared came out of the closet with several thoughts and a plan in mind.
He asked to head home for the night, and his boss agreed readily.
But Jared didn’t go home. He went to the local morgue late at night in his old uniform. After a few shifts as a coroner, Jared realized he preferred to work with living people, but he learned a few things. He reached the mortuary fridge room quickly. People weren’t that worried about anyone robbing the dead.
Finally, he started checking each fridge, looking at the tags on each foot. Finally, he read the words “John Doe.” Probably a homeless man with no family, so Jared felt no guilt about taking it. He carried the body the same way he came in. No one would even notice the body was gone.
At home, Jared placed the body on his bed and found gasoline cans he always kept in his garage. He poured everything all over his house, feeling the adrenaline rushing through his veins. A tiny matchstick was all it took to ignite his entire home.
He ran away quickly, leaving his old car in the garage to burn too.It took a few weeks to execute his heist, but he finally arrived at his old boss’s house one night, disguised as a cop, and cut off power to the entire estate. With the help of a flashlight, Jared made his way to the house and knocked on the door.
He blinded the servant with his flashlight for a second until he realized it was a new hire – his replacement. His boss wasn’t home, and the man asked what he could do for the officer.
“Good evening. I’m Officer Graham. We received a call that someone intentionally turned off the power supply at this address,” he said. “My chief happens to be a good friend of your boss, and he asked me to come and patrol the area for the night.”
“Thank you. It must be true because the power just went out,” the servant nodded.
“Is anyone else in the house?” Jared asked.
“Only the cook, but the staff house is about a hundred feet away,” the servant answered. “Would you like to come in and check things inside?”
“That’s a good idea,” Jared said, and once the servant turned his back on him, he struck. He tied and gagged the man, leaving him on the floor as he rushed upstairs to his old boss’s room. He bagged the heavy collection quickly and ran down, exiting through the backdoor.Once outside, he took cover in the trees where he had hidden some clothes. Jared changed, placing his cop costume in a pit he had dug up earlier. He doused the uniform, lit it, and took off deeper into the forest with his heavy bag.
Finally, Jared reached the car he had stolen in preparation, hauled the bag into the trunk, and took off.
The police couldn’t do much because the new guy hadn’t seen “Officer Graham’s” face clearly, and the blow to his head caused a concussion.
Jared left town, and 14 months later, he was living quietly and unassumingly, working odd jobs here and there. He had to wait before finding a buyer. A man named Harry, a collector, was interestedHe offered Jared a ton for the collection and agreed to meet at a bar. Jared had to wait for Harry for several minutes.
“Where is it?” Harry asked as soon as he sat.
“I wouldn’t bring it to a bar,” Jared answered, swiftly drinking.
“I’m not a man you want to play with,” the collector said menacingly.
“Come with me,” Jared said, finishing his drink and walking away.
Harry followed, but as they rounded a street, Jared saw his old boss, Arnold, sporting a dreadful expression. When Arnold’s eyes lifted, Jared took off, only thinking about saving himself. But his old boss had brought reinforcements who pursued, warning him they would shoot.But Jared was tenacious and crafty. He ran, skipped, turned, and swiveled through alleys, fences, and trashcans. Finally, he found a vast crowd gathered for some protest, and cut through it, jumping to another path and scurrying away before the cops knew what had happened.
“And that’s how we lost track of him,” the antique shop owner finished, sighing at Chuck. “No one knows if Jared ever sold anything or if he lived miserably, hiding.”
Chuck was sweating, still helplessly using his fists to knock on the door.
“Based on these things you brought,” the antiquarian continued. “I assume the latter. Oh, excuse my manners. I didn’t even introduce myself. I’m Arnold.”
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