Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Conflict of Interest" by V.H. Folland (Novella)

Genre:  Crime

Short Story Type:  Novella

Summary:  A new job, a fresh start, and things are looking up for Harry. Maybe going straight isn't so hard.
He didn't expect to stumble over a job aimed at his new employer, for the kind of money a crook could retire on. It should be simple enough: tell the police, let them arrest the criminals, claim a reward. Sorted.

Except Harry's not a snitch - and it's being organised by his mate...

When his old life meets his new job, Harry's going to have a few hard choices to make.

"Heard you got two of Joe's boys nicked last night." Dave said it casually, over his beer.

"They the two that tried to mug me?" I took a mouthful of my drink while I thought about that little problem. Joe was a nasty piece of work, but then he'd say the same about me.

"That's right. They were meant to be casing the place, only to find you already robbing it." He grinned and I laughed, even while I swore to myself in my head. If they'd watched me working the place over last night they knew at least two ways to break in.

"Small world." Crap. My first security job, and there was already a professional crook targeting the offices. At least with a pair like that involved it wasn't going to be more than burglary – probably through the same window I'd used.

"He's not best pleased." Dave smirked and I shrugged, waving for another beer.


"Not with you. With the idiots who broke the plan 'cos they thought they'd get a five-finger bonus." I nodded. They might share the results of the burglary, but the chances of them handing anything they got off me to Joe were slight. He never took being stiffed well. "Hey, ask nicely and he might cut you in. Heard he's short-handed all of a sudden."

"Think I'll pass thanks. I've got a job already." Taking jobs with people who hated you wasn't bright. It was too easy for them to even the score somewhere along the way.

"I heard. Joe ain't going to be pleased, you working the same target."

"He can lump it. I'll be there for a while." Joe wasn't the one that got mugged, and I wasn't feeling sympathetic. If he was going to make my job complicated, I might as well return the favour.

"Yeah? So what's this about you working for 'em in security? Ain't they doing you for theft?"

"Nah." I grinned at him. "They paid me to nick the cash box."

"Jeez, Harry!" he spluttered into his pint, "I thought you were out of the insurance game after last time." I muttered something about it paying well, and dug into my pockets for a distraction. After ten years inside, courtesy of Inspector Rivers, I didn't have many career options. I was meant to be going straight, but old habits could be hard to get out of.

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