The Standalones

Chapter Thirty

Ken Preston

27 June 2024

Silhouette of a rock band against a spotlight and the words The Standalones

“You’re that man, the one who collided with me at the train station!” Chloe exclaimed.

“Yeah, that’s right, and you’ve made my life a misery, I can tell you,” Ratzo replied.

A hot, fierce anger surged inside Chloe’s chest. “I’ve made your life a misery? I wish I’d never met you, I wish I’d never seen all that money of yours.”

“Well, you should have watched where you were going, shouldn’t you?”

“But I was sitting down!”

“What’s that got to do with anything?”

“Because you collided with me, because you were the one who wasn’t watching where you were going, that’s what!”

“My point exactly, you were sitting in the middle of the concourse waiting to trip somebody up. That’s why it’s your fault and not… ah, whatever, who cares?” Ratzo eyed the holdall at Chloe’s feet. “That’s not the money, is it?”

“Don’t be stupid, why would I be carrying a bag full of cash around London?”

Ratzo bent down and unzipped the bag. A brief glance at the contents seemed to be enough for him, and he stood up.

“Satisfied?” Chloe said, hands on hips.

“I knew it was your bag, really.” Ratzo wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “I just needed to check, that’s all.” He took a swift look around. “Don’t worry about it anyway, the money’s not your problem anymore.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means I’m out of here, and I hope I never have to see you again.”

Writing in the Shadows is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

>