#157 See You Down Below
#157 See You Down Below Joe Di Angelo sat in his car on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean while he loaded his Smith & Wesson .38. He’d shoot his wife when she showed up. He’d make it look like a carjacking gone bad. If he hadn’t married her, his life could have been glamorous, exciting, and filled with pleasure. Instead, he married Matilda, a substitute for his true love, Mark, who he dumped because he thought Matilda had plenty of cash. As he polished his gun, he thought of how clever he had been by inviting John Dreyfisk, his insurance agent, for dinner. When John finished the meal he said, “Mrs. Di Angelo, if I were to eat here often, I’d weigh 300 pounds in no time,” John put his napkin on the table and opened his briefcase. Joe figured he couldn’t resist trying to make a sale. “We have a special today on million dollar life insurance policies. Matilda, is it all right if I call you that Mrs. Di Angelo?” “Of course.” She smiled at him, “What’s this about a million dollars?” “If your husband should die, you’ll have a million, and if he dies in an accident or is a crime victim, you’ll get two million.” Matilda smiled at Joe. “Why, I’d rather have my husband than money any day.” Joe smiled too, “Likewise, sweetheart.” He ignored the sales spiel and was happy when he heard, “Okay then, both of you sign on the dotted line and you’ll be covered starting at noon tomorrow,” John handed Joe papers. “Why do we both have to sign?” Matilda wanted to know as she peeked over Joe’s shoulder. “This policy pays if either of you die, so both of you can rest assured if calamity strikes, the surviving spouse will be well provided for.” Joe and Matilda both smiled. * He heard a sound and looked up; eighteen wheels screeched and smoked as a semi headed straight for his car. He felt the impact before he heard the crash. His 98 Oldsmobile coupe flew through the guardrail like papier-mâché. It sailed through the air as though the updraft would keep it afloat forever. Looking at the water below, he knew this was the end and his mind filled with past happenings. The wind whistling through the open window took him back to when he had influential friends, and he could call celebrities who always showed interest in his next project. That was before he met her, and his desire for wealth took over his life. Searching for lost treasures, he had lost his strength, his looks, and his friends. The car spun in mid-air, and through the windshield he saw the cliff and the semi’s cab hung over it. As the driver scrambled to safety, he noticed something familiar about her. She reminded him of all the beautiful men and women he had known and the adventures he had before he married Matilda. He prayed to his God and to Jesus to save his life. When they didn’t answer, he prayed to the Devil. The car stopped spinning and dropped straight down. He braced himself for the shock of hitting water and his mind wandered off again. His car landed softly on ocean swells. His prayers were answered; he was alive. As the car sank beneath the waves, he saw a great white shark swimming towards him like it thought the car was something it could eat. When it got close it wasn’t a fish at all - it looked like Satan. “That’s right. That’s my name, and you owe me big time,” Joe heard him say without his lips moving. “Why?” “Did you think life was a free ride? You’ve had a good time. Now you’ll pay the price.” With Herculean strength, Joe pushed open the door and swam to shore with laughter in his head and fear in his heart, but when he stepped onto dry ground, he knew Satan was just in his head, a vision driving him to save himself from beneath the azure waves. Joe looked above. The semi driver was aiming a rifle at him. That’s when he knew it was Matilda, and the truck hitting his car wasn’t an accident. He ran with bullets zinging into the surrounding sand until he reached an outcropping of rocks where he hid. The shooting stopped while she climbed down the cliff with the rifle on her shoulder. Joe ran again; felt the weight in his pocket and remembered he too had a gun. He hid behind a rock with gun in hand; waiting as her shadow fell on the sand near him. “I just want you to know, Joe, that I’ll use some of your insurance money to get the operation, and I’ll be a man, like you always wanted me to be.” Joe’s heart almost burst with love. He stepped out with his arms raised. “Matilda, if you’d do that for me, I’d be the happiest man on Earth.” “I’m not doing it for you, fool; I’m doing it for Mark, who you abused.” Joe pointed his gun when she said that, but too late. She pulled the trigger and blew a hole in his stomach. As he lay on the sand bleeding, he saw Mark climbing down the hill. Matilda and Mark each took an arm and dragged Joe to the water, pushed him in, waved goodbye and said, “See you down below sucker.” They gave each other million dollar smiles.