Bad Timing Noir Flash Fiction By Paul Kindlon

Bad Timing: Noir Flash Fiction By Paul Kindlon

Paul Kindlon, author of Bad Timing, is a professor of Humanities and a regular contributor to Mystery Tribune. He lives somewhere in New York State.


Sasha thought it was a good idea. Samson did too. Only Carol – the skeptic – wasn’t sure.

–  Jesus…it’s like taking candy from a baby. I’ve noticed that most of them don’t even lock their doors because they want the EMS people to have quick and easy access if they should suffer a heart attack. Another thing is the old ladies generally keep their jewelry in a special drawer somewhere in their bedrooms. And many of these people have money stashed away in their apartments. I don’t know if it’s because they don’t trust banks or their relatives, but a lot of them keep money in their freezers.

–  Something’s wrong, Sasha…or I mean missing…it seems too easy. There has to be a weakness somewhere in you plan…something you’re not taking into account.

–   Like what?

–   Oh I don’t know. What if – when we enter their door- they have a heart attack right then and there. Are you gonna rob somebody who is having a heart attack that you are the cause of?

–   Wow, she’s right Sasha. What about that? Makes sense to me.

–   Okay genius…if it’s a bad idea then you tell me one that’s better.

–   I will. “Honesty is the best policy”.

After Samson explained his idea both Sasha and Carol agreed to go along. Sasha’s job was to guard the hallway near the elevator and be the look –out. Samson tapped lightly on the first door and slowly opened it.

An elderly gentleman asked who he and Carol were.

–   We’re robbers here to steal from you, but don’t be afraid. We will not hurt you at all. I promise you.

…I’ll get it for you, but you’re not getting my wedding ring

The gentleman seemed surprised, but not shocked and nodded his head in quiet resignation. His wife appeared to find out who was visiting at such a late hour. When her husband told her who these people were and why they were there, her reaction was that of annoyance.

–   Where is your jewelry?

–   I’ll get it for you, but you’re not getting my wedding ring! She then proceeded to her bedroom and re-appeared carrying jewelry- draped over a pistol. While Samson was busy emptying the refrigerator of frozen Benjamins, Mrs. Mortimer shot Carol right through the heart.

Samson – terrified and traumatized – fled the scene screaming. The sleepy neighbors came out to see who was making such a ruckus.

Sometime later, a policeman questioned Mrs. Mortimer.

–   If I understand you correctly…you shot the intruder because they had the audacity to rob you at night?

–   Not just any night. Today is Tuesday and they came here at nine-o’clock. That got me all riled up. Everyone knows that’s when my program is on!


Our free digital archive of flash fiction including other stories by Paul Kindlon is available here. Additionally, premium short fiction published by Mystery Tribune on a quarterly basis is available digitally here.

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