Loan Some by Megan McLachlan

Loan Some-75x99Final Episode!

In the previous episode, Vera discovered Celeste and Marta tied up in Fern’s basement. As suggested by the readers, she jumped down into the basement to untie them instead of seeking help.

Episode 40

When Vera pulled open the drapes, she discovered Celeste and Marta gagged and tied up in chairs, their eyes pleading for help. Gingerly, Vera propelled herself through the window and into the basement. She untied the gags first to get an explanation about what happened.

“Shhh,” said Marta, once the gag was undone. “He’ll be back any minute.”

“What happened?” said Vera, as she united Celeste’s gag.

“Fern has me hostage until I agree to switch brown-stones with him.”

“What?”

“It’s as preposterous as it sounds,” said Celeste, after Vera freed her gag.

“Fern is obsessed with my place. He claims it’s bigger than his, and he wants to switch.”

That explained the measuring tape at the crime scene, thought Vera. He was trying to figure out whose place was bigger.

After Vera untangled both the sisters, they headed toward the busted window. Just as Vera and Celeste propped Marta up, Fern had suddenly appeared, with a gun.

“Hey, there,” he said, with a revolver aimed directly at them. “Where are you going?”

“Fern,” said Marta. “You said you wouldn’t resort to violence.”

“Did he mention he hit us over the head with a frying pan?” said Celeste.

“I found this gun on your cop friend upstairs.” He twirled it around like it was a toy.

Just then, standing behind Fern, was Officer Hartman, clutching a bruised head with one hand and a frying pan in the other. Fern didn’t see or hear him, as his finger grazed the trigger.

“Don’t make me—”

Thwack.

Fern collapsed to the ground. Officer Hartman had given him a taste of his own kitchen trick.

***

Soon, the cops were all over the place. This was the biggest crime the neighborhood had ever seen–even if it was just a 24-hour kidnapping. As Vera watched Celeste and Marta answer questions from the cops on the back of an ambulance, she felt a bit like a guinea pig for everything that could go wrong with Loan Some. With everything she encountered, she seemed to be writing the future of the company with issues that should be considered. Like loaners with insane neighbors.

After talking to the police, Marta and Celeste walked toward Vera.

“Celeste,” said Marta. “This is Vera.”

Vera was surprised Marta had told Celeste she’d been hired as a “friend” given the agreement.

“I feel sad you hired someone to prove to me you could make friends on your own,” said Celeste. “But in the end, it worked. You made a real friend.”

Despite Celeste’s chilly demeanor, her face warmed into a smile, acknowledging Vera’s heroic efforts to save the day.

We made a friend,” corrected Marta.

Real friends, thought Vera. Another thing Loan Some could never anticipate.

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