Insurance Fraud, Part 6
The music she heard started to annoy Beth, who reached out to switch off the car radio. Preparing for having crashed bones, she wasn’t in a party mood, understandably. In the sudden silence that followed, she turned left to see Frank drumming on the steering wheel.
‘Are you absolutely sure that we’ll get a huge amount of money for it?’ she waited for reconfirmation for the umpteenth time.
‘Hey, did you forget that I’ve underlined the most important sentences, and you have read them for ten times at least?’ Frank demanded, partly to reassure her. ‘Unfortunately for us, it must be a violent crime. But it pays a lot more than a simple accident. We’ll get minimum two hundred thousand or much more. Can you repeat the plan, please?’
‘I’m not a silly chick, Frank. I can clearly remember everything that you’ve told me. Well, sometime after eleven o’clock in the evening, we’ll be driving home along the Oak Drive, coming back from the cinema. Tickets are here,’ she demonstrated that she understood Frank’s sophisticated strategy.
‘What was the title of the movie?’
‘Oh, my gosh, do you think that the insurance agent will ask this question when I’ll be put into cast up to my nose?’ Beth almost cried out.
Shivering, she tried to convince herself that spending the next four to six months in an enormous piece of medical shell would be better than living the rest of her life in a dirty slum.
‘Beth, you won’t be casted up to here,’ he said, tenderly poking the tip of her nose. ‘And you must know the film title since we must pretend that it is an ordinary day. And before the incident
, we must go to the cinema, since the insurance company or the cops most probably will check our schedule. Maybe, you’ll be too nervous to listen to the movie. But you must know what it is about. Tell me the film title, please.’
‘The Pearl of Sahara,’ she whispered the words through her hardly moving lips.
In her mind, Beth would be already in hospital, confined in fairly large casts. Despite her head fixed in the hard collar, she would see the Gordian knot of the ropes of the several slings, which would be woven around her bed. Enormous pieces of inflexible dressings would capture all her limbs and most of her trunk. Arms and legs would be twisted, frozen in uncomfortable poses, maintained in permanent pull for weeks. She could hear busy steps in the room. The agile insurance agent Mr Hamilton would jump around her bed, trying to evaluate her injuries.
In the next flashforward scene, Beth saw herself planted in a wheelchair. She would be securely embedded in two pieces of casts. The number of the casts wouldn’t sound too much, but their dimension would be immense. The bigger one would be a contiguous combination of a Risser cast, a shoulder spica cast and a double hip spica cast. This one single shell would imprison most of her body, beginning from the jawline, flowing down non-stop to the base of the toes. The left arm would be kept apart from the body in its SSC, which would be built perpendicularly to the tight suit of medical dressings swaddling the entire torso. Both legs, encased in full leg casts ‘glued’ to the body cast, would be resting on padded leg rests of the wheelchair.
Stuck in this queen-sized cocoon, she wouldn’t be able to move on her own. The only limbs she could move would be her right arm, however, it would be in a very poor state, as well. Wrapped wholly in a long arm cast, the healing limb would be in hard dressings starting from the armpit, and ending at the tip of the fingers.
Straining hard, she would slide forward the right arm swaddled in the heavy LAC on a cushioned armrest. Though she could hardly push the casted hand, the top of the glove-like cast capturing all the fingers could reach the joystick mounted at the end of the armrest. Without making any sound, the wheelchair with its electric engine would start to roll from the living room toward the bedroom. Oh, yes, she would be at home. The daytime would be damn hard, but the nights would be bizarrely enjoyable – Beth would forecast. Near the bed, she would stop to wait for Frank so that he would place her on the bed from the wheelchair. Once more, Frank would be her slave for a long time. She would proudly move in the wheelchair around her home, which they would manage to keep from the greedy bank after getting the insurance money. Maybe, she would live with very-very big casts, but it would be worth all the trouble.
‘Do you like it?’ Frank asked. Suddenly, she fell back to the reality, and the scenes, which her imagination created, faded away.
‘The film, of course. Was Gerald Butler really good?’ he tested her.
‘You can’t trick me. It is a George Clooney film. Okay, we watch the movie. Next stage follows. So, while coming home, our car suddenly stops on the empty Oak Drive.’
‘Simply, why don’t we call an automobile repair workshop?’
‘Unluckily, I left my mobile at home, and yours was run out of power.’
‘So what did you do, Mrs Elisabeth Hudson?’ Frank impersonated a curious police detective or an inquisitive insurance agent.
‘Sir, my husband left me alone in the car so that he could find a telephone box to call a car mechanic and a taxi, too. It took some time because it was very hard to find a phone booth nowadays. However, by the time he came back, he didn’t find me there since I had opened the car door to get some fresh air when somebody wearing a black mask had attacked me and dragged me into a dark side-street. I wanted to fight him, but he was stronger than me, and he broke my bones.’
‘Can you recognise him?’
‘No, not, sorry, Detective,’ Beth played Frank’s game.
‘Do you know why that man attacked you?’
‘Sorry, Sir, I’m confused. I’ve got a guess, but please don’t tell it to my husband. I’m sure that the evil criminal wanted to rape me. Luckily, Frank came back just in time, and he found us in the alley. Having noticed my husband, the attacker ran away. And then, Frank called the police and the ambulance. And I’m now in hospital with these heavy and ugly casts again.’
After finishing telling the tale, she lifted up her healthy arms and legs so slowly as if they had been immobilised by a significant amount of invisible casts.
‘Excellent. I would believe it,’ Frank acknowledged the performance.
‘And who is the attacker?’
‘His name is Malcolm. An ex-security guard, who terribly needs for some money.’
‘Is he reliable?’
‘His IQ is in the negative range. Beth, this man is too stupid even to count the money that I’ll give to him.’
‘I hope so. I don’t want this Malcolm to betray us,’ Beth thought out loudly, then she started to speak about a different topic. ‘Won’t it be too suspicious? I mean that I’ll break my bones for the second time within twelve months?’
‘Why, Beth? There must be very unlucky people in the world. For example, I’ve read a story on the internet about an unfortunate woman, who breaks all her bones on every Friday the 13th. By now, she’s had two or three full body casts. Tell me what you think about it! Can it be real?’
‘I don’t know, Frank, honestly, I don’t know.’ Beth nervously shook her head.
For Frank, the briefing was over. He looked at his watch, and then he started the engine. ‘Okay, it’s the highest time to watch a good movie, isn’t it?’
Two hours later, the car slowed down and stopped by the side of the street. As Frank had predicted, his wife hadn’t concentrated on the film, but the ominous soundtrack was still in her ears.
‘So it begins.’
What Beth said was just a faint whisper, hardly audible for Frank. Just to divert her thoughts, the fearing female looked through the windshield, however, she wasn’t interested in the wonderful night view of the city, either.
‘We cannot retreat, Beth. It must be a violent crime.’
‘I know, I know, yet...,’ she stopped saying, and she didn’t list all the difficulties she would experience. Pain. Hospital. Medication. Confinement. Therapy. Casts. Slings. Wheelchair. With shaking hands, she reached into her bag to get a medicine box. After opening it, she put two pills into her mouth.
‘Hey, what is that?’ Frank asked, noticing that Beth drugged herself.
‘Sedative and painkiller.’
‘You mustn’t use too much of them. It would be suspicious if they would check your blood test in the hospital,’ he warned.
‘It was only two. This time. And two more in the morning,’ she confessed.
‘Oh, my gosh.’
But it was too late to do anything. The insurance fraud project had to start soon. Frank checked the time and looked in the rear-view mirror. The time was close to Midnight, and the Oak Drive was as empty as expected.
‘Let’s start,’ he said and turned to Beth sitting on the first passenger seat. ‘We must have got some problem with this damn car, honey.’
‘We are not in a theatre, Frank. You shouldn’t act for me.’
‘Okay,’ he told her.
Sighing, Frank he got out of the vehicle. He opened the car hood. Scratching his head, he seemingly did everything to find the cause of the breakdown. Bending forward, he checked the complex structure of the wires and parts, helplessly. Of course, he didn’t want to repair the failure that didn’t exist. On the contrary, he worked hard to kill the engine.
‘I think we should call an expert, Beth,’ Frank said, after pushing down the bonnet. According to the conspiracy script, he talked loudly enough so that any passerby could hear them speaking. Then he put his hand inside a jacket pocket. He grabbed his mobile, however, the display remained black. ‘Oh, holy sh*t, my phone is died.’
‘Honey, I can’t help you. I forget to bring mine. Don’t worry, I’ve just spotted a telephone box somewhere around the corner.’ Beth gestured toward a distant bend of the Oak Drive.
Before starting off, Frank stepped to the right side of the car. Seeing the fear in her eyes, he went to her and whispered into her ear:
'Don't worry. Everything will be all right. Hold on, close your eyes, and think of the money all the time.'
Beth just nodded but didn't answer. As they had to play their roles, Frank began walking on the pavement to get to the public phone, which could be one mile away.
Left alone, the female tried to check the time, but her arms kept shaking. Besides, she couldn’t see the hour hands as her sight started to blur due to the nervousness. In her seat, Beth turned around to see Frank strolling away to find the telephone box, which was somewhere at the known world’s end. Or, at least, at the end of this street.
Following Frank’s advice, she focused on the high pile of imaginary banknotes. Keeping the schedule, she opened the car door to get out. She shivered, but this time not for fear: the night was colder than she expected. She leant against the side of the vehicle, waiting for her destiny.
However, Beth had no more time to contemplate. Suddenly, a huge shadow stepped out of the dark spot close to the car. The approaching silhouette belonged to a man. The clothes of the ‘executioner’ were as black as the darkness from where he came. Malcolm was six feet high, and having an unmistakable shape of a body-builder.
Beth supposed that her bones would crack like matchsticks when this giant would start to treat her.
to be continuedcast <--Previous (Part 5) Next (Part 7)--> story