Criminal logo

The Rippling Effect of Greed

by Kylie Calwell 14 days ago in fiction · updated a day ago

The Fixer's seven deadly sins task list

The Rippling Effect of Greed
Photo by David Holifield on Unsplash

Prisons are full of dumb criminals. Life has a few not so dumb ones. It is my job to deal with those who may believe they can get away with what they have done, those who think they are protected. They are not. It is a hard lesson to learn, and often a final one. Which brings me to my current project, there are seven deadly sins and seven targets on my current task list. It seemed appropriate that Greed reared her ugly head first, though as with many of these people more than one of these sins permeates their lives.

Jessica made a wonderful living off her looks. When she had been younger, she had been courted by the wealthy and powerful. Expensive gifts had practically rained down all around her. Everywhere she went people looked at her with lust filled eyes and she knew it. She loved it, and she played on it. But lust isn’t the sin that caused her downfall.

By the time age pushed her past the ability to compete with the younger, tighter girls in the room, she had moved sideways and became known as Mistress Scarlett. Her signature rich red leather body suit and thigh high boots the reason behind her new moniker. Pretty much whatever your fetish was, Mistress Scarlett could cater to it, or find someone who could. She was a broker for those with a wide variety of kinks and lived very well. In fact, some of her unconventional pairings had resulted in marriage, not that she had ever set out to be a matchmaker. No, she was more than content running her employees and scratching her own urges when the price was right.

Then my client made a terrible error in judgement. She sold her multimillion dollar business, and decided to go into politics. Who can understand some people, am I right? She had a great life and allowed boredom to change her life path. Everything was fine leading up to the election, and when she won her seat there was no indication of the storm that was about to hit. Indeed, life was humming along quite nicely thank you, right up until she was put forward as candidate to lead her political party.

That was when the first note made its way to her house, followed closely by a second to her office. At first, she couldn’t figure out who was sending them, it had to just be someone fishing, hoping to get lucky, after all history attested to the fact there were plenty of juicy political scandals around. It had made no sense that Jessica could be the one behind the threat, despite the fact she was the one person my client knew for certain was privy to such delicate information. Surely Mistress Scarlett wouldn’t jeopardize her lucrative business by sullying her reputation with the vileness that is blackmail.

I looked though. My client requested the source be found and dealt with. Funny no one is worried about the things that happen behind closed doors until they threaten to spill out into the light. I don’t get the fuss, she was hardly the first politician to have some kinks, and I doubt she’ll be the last, however we all have bills to pay and cleaning up such matters is how I pay mine.

So, I got busy, looking in to every aspect of Jessica’s life. It wasn’t so hard really as her business was all above board, more or less. It was simply a matter of knowing the right questions to ask the right people. Research is the key to success in my business, that is how you find chinks in the armour, gaps in defenses and plans just seem to fall into place.

Mistress Scarlett had her own weakness, her sweet tooth. On Wednesday’s she had a standing order with Fairy Tale Creations bakery. It was something that ensure no staff member missed working on Wednesdays. Part of that order was always the triple layer Death by Chocolate cake. One layer each of white, regular and dark chocolate, separated by chocolate mousse, iced in ganache and topped with rosettes of white chocolate mousse.

Every Wednesday a slice of this cake was taken to the boss’s office before anyone else touched anything, along with her Vienna coffee, nutmeg sprinkled on the cream. No-one questioned the new delivery woman that Wednesday. The cake was cut, the lid removed from the coffee and the tray, like always taken in to Mistress Scarlett’s office.

Without really paying attention Jessica took a forkful of the decadent cake, then a second, before she realized something seemed slightly off. She reached for her coffee, stirred the cream through and took a long mouthful. Her throat got tight. Reaching for her drawer she pulled it out frantically looking for the epi-pen. It wasn’t there. Her skin began to break out and air was barely making it to her lungs as she grabbed for her bag and pulled out her two back up pens. The first one jabbed into her thigh and there was nothing, consciousness was fading as she stabbed the second one into her leg, just as a staff member raced through the door.

Some peanut allergies are brutally deadly. It was such a shame she had forgotten to ensure her medication was all current.

Switching out the epi-pens just required a clumsy encounter on the street, and a very easy break in. It turns out Jessica had recently received a diagnosis of dementia and blackmail was her retirement plan. If she had been happy with the nice nest egg she had already built, she could have faded away into memories of a young woman with men throwing themselves at her feet. The greedy though, are seldom happy with what they already have.

Kylie Calwell
Kylie Calwell
Read next: Chad Alan Lee
Kylie Calwell

Book lover and writer of fantasy fiction and sometimes deeper topics. My books are available on Amazon and my blog Fragile Explosions, can be found here

See all posts by Kylie Calwell

Find us on socal media

Miscellaneous links