Brad walked up to Ruby Ann’s door and rang the bell. He ignored Dent’s car – it was a bit weird, but perhaps Dent had friends in the neighbourhood. Anyway, he had more important things to think about.
After a minute, the door opened slightly.
‘Hi,’ said Ruby Ann.
‘Hi,’ replied Brad, stepping past her. The door closed behind him.
Ruby Ann led him into her living room and Brad took out the $9000 from his pocket. He flung it down on a glass coffee table in the middle of the room.
‘I don’t want to touch it,’ said Ruby Ann. ‘It feels like…blood money.’
‘We didn’t kill anyone Ruby Ann,’ Brad told her. ‘Anyway, I am sure Hank and Bev would want you to have it.’
Ruby Ann started to cry and her mascara ran down her cheeks. She tried to wipe the tears away with the back of her hand.
‘Come on,’ said Brad, leading her into the kitchen, ‘let’s get a tissue or something.’
At the sink, Brad dampened a kitchen tissue. He cleaned away the mascara on Ruby Ann’s face. ‘I think I saw Mr D’s car parked outside…’ he said.
‘Dent?’ said Ruby Ann, her eyes growing wide.
‘Yeah..What’s the matter?’ asked Brad.
‘The night Bev and Hank…the night they died, Bev called me.’
Brad nodded. ‘Okay,’ he said, not knowing where this was going.
‘She and Hank saw Dent that night too. He was there! He was there the night they died.’
‘Where?’ said Brad.
‘At the tanning salon they went to – ‘Lazy Days’ I think it is called. She said some guy beat up Dent and threw him out.’ She sniffed loudly.
‘What do you think that was about?’ Brad asked.
‘I don’t know, but Bev said that the tanning salon is owned by a big time crook from downtown.’
‘Weird!’ said Brad.
‘Yeah, very. Listen – I’m sorry. Are you hungry? Can I fix you a sandwich?’
Brad thought about it. ‘Yeah,’ he said. ‘Sounds good.’
‘Okay, you go through and have a seat. I’ll bring it to you. You like tuna? Mayo? Pickles?’
‘Sure,’ replied Brad. He pushed open the kitchen door and went into the living room.
A second later, Ruby Ann was reaching for a tin of tuna when she heard Brad shout. She dropped the fork and ran to the front door. Brad was standing on the road.
‘What happened?’ she shouted.
‘The $9,000 on the table’s gone. Someone must have…’
Before he could finish, there was the roar of an engine and a car came rushing out of the darkness towards him. Just in time, Brad threw himself onto the hood of his car. The other car flashed past, scraping along the side of the Corvette and swinging wildly from side to side as its tail lights disappeared around a street corner.
Ruby Ann – her jaw slack with astonishment – stood and stared. She was asking herself just one question: ‘Why was Dent driving the car that almost hit Brad?’