Tag: extortion

Red Bait by Edd Vick & Manny Frishberg

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An amber bulb lit up on the board and Audrey Cain reflexively inserted a plug into the hole below it.

“Mr. Gray’s office. May I help you?” she asked as automatically as she had made the connection. She barely heard the name on the other end of the line before plugging in the wire to connect the call and disconnecting herself.

Another light flashed and she repeated the process, inserting the name of one of the district sales managers, Walter Huff. This time she hesitated before pulling her plug and listened to the beginning of the conversation.Read the rest

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Stars & Stripes by Jed Power

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Sometimes with a shakedown you get more bang for your buck than expected.

I’d been lucky for a change; I’d opened my little fireworks shop just at the right time—about three weeks after New Hampshire legalized the things. I was right in on the ground floor. Perfect location too—within spitting distance of the beach and right smack dab on Route 1A. All the crazy Massachusetts kids and the vacationers (who couldn’t even buy a sparkler in their own state) had to pass right by my place to get to party city—Hampton Beach.

And man, was it a sweet operation at first.… Read the rest

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Pongo’s Lucky Day by Craig Faustus Buck

The gift that keeps on giving sometimes gives you a little more than you bargained for.

Pongo Smith’s adrenaline could have burst a fire hose. The cash wouldn’t stop gushing. He had to keep pulling bills from the slot to make room for the ATM to feed new ones. Then his sluggish brain kicked in. This is too good to be true. He felt a blast of fear as cold as the snow-packed slopes that surrounded the Indian casino. He knew the eye in the sky was watching so he took a deep breath and tried to appear relaxed, hoping whatever video feed he was on wasn’t being monitored.… Read the rest

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