A Dying Wish

Posted: September 4, 2020 in Advice, Experiences, Thoughts
Tags: , ,

As most of you know, I work for a mob boss. He knows my secret that I can read minds, and he coerced me into working for him. Now, I call him Uncle Joey, even though he’s not really my uncle, and he treats me like family. Who would have thought I’d become a mob boss’s niece? Not me.

My ability comes in handy for most of Uncle Joey’s needs, and he pays me well for my time, so I can’t complain too much. Even crazier, I’ve developed a soft spot in my heart for him, and he has for me, so I guess it’s not so bad.

Yesterday, he needed me for an unusual task. It involved visiting his father’s old friend whom he hadn’t seen in years. In fact, the old man was in hospice care and fading fast, but he wanted to see Uncle Joey one last time before he died.

At first, I didn’t understand why Uncle Joey needed me, but on the way he explained that things hadn’t been good between his father and this man for a long time. In fact, they’d had a falling out over a business deal and it had brought his father a lot of pain and remorse. He didn’t know much about what had happened, so this visit might shed some light on that.

The last time Uncle Joey had seen Brent was at his father’s funeral. Brent had come to his father’s funeral with a chip on his shoulder. He had been brusque, and seemed to hold a grudge against his father, even though he was dead.

Uncle Joey figured that Brent wanted to meet with him to settle things before he died, but from past experience, he didn’t trust him, and wanted my special help to know exactly what was on his mind.

Intrigued by the story, I looked forward to meeting the man, and hoped I could figure out the mystery between him and Uncle Joey’s father.

We arrived at a large mansion and rang the bell. A man answered, telling us he was Brent’s caregiver, and Brent was expecting us. He led us up the stairs to a large master bedroom. An old man lay propped up in the bed, with an oxygen mask over his sallow face. The fringe of hair around his head was white, and sticking up in places.

The caregiver stepped to his side and jostled him awake, telling him that the Manettos were there. He moved away and Brent’s eyes landed on Uncle Joey. He brightened with anticipation, and brusquely told the caregiver to leave us.

I picked up that the caregiver didn’t like Brent much, but he paid him well, and Brent would be dead soon, so he’d stick it out.

Brent licked his lips with anticipation, and I picked up his relief to finally get something off his chest that had been bothering him for years. “Did your father ever tell you what happened between us?”

He was thinking that he’d probably poisoned his son against him, and that’s why he’d never reached out to him to make amends.

Oops… this didn’t bode well. Uncle Joey glanced at me before responding. “No. He never said anything about it.”

Brent shook his head. “I meant that little to him? Did he ever tell you anything about me?”

“Of course. He told me you were great friends once, and he regretted what happened between you, but he kept the particulars to himself, so I never knew.”

“That’s hard to believe. Your father ruined me. Not just with the business we were involved in, but my reputation. I lost everything, and I had to start all over because of him.”

Hate poured from him, and I took a step back in response.

Uncle Joey wasn’t as concerned as me, thinking this old man couldn’t hurt him now. “I understand you hold a grudge against my father, but all that happened in the past. What do you want from me?”

“I made a promise to your father all those years ago. Now that I’m dying, it’s time to fulfill it. Come closer, and I’ll tell you what it is.”

Alarm spiked through me, and I grabbed Uncle Joey’s arm before he could move. “Don’t do it. He’s planning to kill you.”

Brent’s eyes widened and he moved his fingers to the gun under his blanket.

“He’s got a gun under the covers!”

Uncle Joey reached across Brent and held his hand down before he could raise the gun to shoot him. Brent’s dismay turned to outrage. “Let me go. You can’t do this.” His outrage gave him uncanny strength, and he grabbed Uncle Joey around the neck and squeezed.

Uncle Joey grasped Brent’s wrist and pulled his hand away from his throat. Brent doubled his effort to use the gun, but still couldn’t get his hand away from Uncle Joey.

I ran to the other side of the bed and pushed down on Brent’s arm. Between the two of us, Brent couldn’t move. He struggled, cursing at us, before all the fight went out of him, and he fell back against the bed, his breathing ragged and harsh.

The caretaker had overheard the commotion and rushed in, just as I pulled back the covers and took the gun from Brent.

“What the hell’s going on?” he asked.

“Brent was planning to shoot Uncle Joey,” I said. “Maybe you’d better put this somewhere safe.”

Before he could move, Uncle Joey stepped forward. “If you don’t mind, I think I’ll take that.”

I nodded and handed it over. Uncle Joey checked the chamber and took the bullets out of the gun. He glanced at Brent, his brows drawn together. “Why kill me?”

Brent had a hard time catching his breath. “Because your father… pushed me out… because of you. I swore I’d kill you before I died. Now… it’s all for nothing… you… you…”

Brent never finished that sentence. His eyes turned glassy and he died right there in front of us.

“Whoa,” I said. “Is he dead?”

The caretaker swallowed, then checked Brent’s pulse just to make sure. “Yup.” Nodding, he glanced at his watch for time of death, so he could write it on his report. “I guess that’s it. He’s gone”

“Wow.” I glanced at Uncle Joey. “He really wanted you dead.”

Uncle Joey nodded, then sent me a tiny shrug. “So much for dying wishes.”

“Yeah. You can say that again.”

We left the house. Uncle Joey kept the gun and the bullets, since the caretaker wanted nothing to do with them. On the way home I glanced at Uncle Joey with a raised brow. “So you really have no idea what that was all about?”

He glanced my way and grinned. “Of course I do. That’s why I wanted you to come along. It’s a good thing I did, too.” I nodded, and he continued. “Well, at least that’s one less person I have to worry about who wants to kill me.”

Shocked, I turned his way. “Yeah… I guess that’s positive. How many more are there?”

“Hmmm… I’d say only two or three now that he’s gone.”

He smiled, and I picked up that he was teasing me. “You’re terrible. You had me worried there.”

He chuckled and I couldn’t help chuckling as well. Still, I picked up a name… I think it was something like Sonny… and I knew that someday, he might come calling. I’d just have to make sure I was around so he didn’t succeed.

So there’s my story for the day. It made me realize that having a dying wish is probably not a good thing.

It’s much better to live life with no regrets, and if you have issues with someone, take care of it while you’re alive. Right? Uh… as long as it doesn’t involve killing anyone….

Comments
  1. Kathy Crague says:

    Loved it. Love all the Shelby books!

    Like

  2. Dorothy Schaefer says:

    Loved it I love all of Shelby books can not wait for the new one to come out Dorothy Schaefer

    Like

  3. Geoffrey Parker says:

    I loved it, Shelby. And while it didn’t make your latest super sleuth tale, at least we get to enjoy it here. Stay safe out there, girl! It’s a dangerous world! Especially with some of the company Uncle Joey keeps!

    Like

  4. Haha! You are so right about that! You stay safe too!

    Like

  5. Molly says:

    Wow, why did Brent wait so long or had he tried to kill Uncle Joey before? And who is Sonny?? Will Sonny show up in the next book or the one after? Shelby are you giving us a tease? Too many questions after reading this snippet but I loved it!!! Already pre-ordered the next adventure and cant wait.

    Like

  6. Julia says:

    I enjoy this little tidbit. I can’t wait for Dying Wishes to come out. I’m so glad that for this series, if it wasn’t for the cover o f Carrots and the title I might not have read this great series. Thank you very much for writing books for us to enjoy.

    Like

  7. Debra Morgan says:

    Loved it!

    Like

  8. Lorna says:

    Loved this (as usual). But where’s Ramos???

    Like

  9. Winifred says:

    Loved this little bite of Shelby’s adventures. However, I must point out there was a decided insufficient level of Ramos in it. Please include Ramos in all future adventures. Thank you!

    Like

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