LIVE AND LET LIVE - RON KOPPELBERGER
The shrewd haul, the weatherproof asylum, the carefully exalted argument for universal gold. He saw evergreen nuance in the hundred dollar bill, it was perfection, a generous dollop of amazing art. He had spent a year perfecting the silver plates, a year of diligent dreaming in vagabond tatters. The counterfeit bill was perfect and the paper was in whitewashed unity with the fresh ink. From one dollar to a hundred. He had bleached five hundred one dollar bills and reprinted them with the silver plates.
He felt prosperous as he surveyed the clothesline full of money. “Ahhhhhhhaaaa!!!” The smell of drying ink, he sighed in quiet admiration. He inhaled the scent with profound measures of intoxicating glee. Benny Worthy was his partner in crime, he had supplied the ink and enough inspiration for both of them.
The oaken varnished veneer of the door rattled on its hinges. “Open up, it’s Benny!” He went to the door and unlocked it, cautiously leaving the chained portion secure. Peeking into the hall, he saw Benny’s unmistakable figure impatiently shifting from one foot to the other. “Come on, open up!” he groaned. He opened the door to Benny’s betrayal and the end of their relationship. Benny pointed the .38 revolver in his direction. “Here...” He tossed a knapsack to the ink stained floor and said, “...put the plates and the money in the bag Hank!”
Hank filled the bag with the hundred dollar bills tossing in the silver plates last. “Thanks, Hank...” he chuckled. “Thanks, Hank...for the memories,” he sang. Benny turned his back to Hank and walked toward the door. Hank had a semi-auto .22 rifle in his hands a moment later. He aimed at the center of Benny’s back and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened, the gun had jammed. “Live and let live,” Benny chanted as he left the room. Hank sighed realizing he had no choice.
A single hundred dollar bill lay crumpled, unnoticed against the floorboard. Smiling, he realized that would buy him an unsurpassable drunk.
BIO: Ron Koppelberger is aspiring to become established as a poet and a short story writer. He has written 95 books of poetry over the past several years and 16 novels. He has been published in The Storyteller, Ceremony, Write On!!! (Poetry Magazette), Freshly Baked Fiction and Necrology Shorts. He recently won the People’s Choice Award for poetry In The Storyteller for a poem titled Secret Sash. Ron is a member of The American Poet’s Society, as well as The Isles Poetry Association.
OPEN SECRET (1948)
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