THE TIMING IS MINE

There’s no love lost here.

Sally hurried back to the house as quickly as she could. That pathetic, sniveling younger sister of hers, Alice, was planning something disastrous, and Sally was determined to put a stop to it.

“She’s probably gotten ahold of the last of Daddy’s money,” she thought. “Well, we’ll see about that.”

Their father had passed away not more than a month ago, but the old fool had gotten into more than enough trouble with his creditors, and now the bank had taken almost everything. But Sally knew that the paranoid old man had stashed away some of his cash somewhere within the old mansion, and dollars to donuts, Alice had found it.

Alice had always been the studious one, always reading this and that while picking up new skills. She had taught herself to quilt, had taught herself first aid, and had even taught herself how to fix a car, but it was her philanthropy that ground into Sally. That whiney, irritating, little do-gooder was a thorn in her side, almost as big a thorn as Constance.

Constance was more like Sally, so she was definitely a bigger problem, but Sally’s older sister was also shortsighted. That woman didn’t know her hat from a banker’s check, so she had probably never even thought of Daddy stashing away any sizable amount of money.

“I can’t let that money go to waste,” said Sally to herself. “Constance wouldn’t hand over a penny, and Alice would probably donate it all to sick orphans or some such nonsense. There’s no way I’m handing over that cash to either one of them. Not one single cent.”

She pulled up to the old mansion drive in her Studebaker, but her instincts had proven correct. There was her younger sister, Alice, leaving the house, locking the door behind her, and in her altruistic little hands was a large leather hand bag.

“You little…” hissed Sally.

Alice deposited her skinny self into her own Crosley station wagon, and the middle-aged woman was off, probably to spend every last penny of the last of the family fortune on some unforgivably-wasteful charity.

Alice pulled out and past Sally’s Studebaker, and their eyes met. The look of panic on Alice’s face told Sally everything she needed to know.

“Traitor!” yelled Sally, even though she knew Alice could not hear her from within the confines of her own car. “You vagabond! That’s my money!”

Alice backed out with such haste that she almost hit the opposite side of the road, nearly ending up in the northside ditch.

Sally flipped her own gear in reverse and pushed hard on the clutch to follow her.

“Come back here!” shouted Sally, the sound echoing throughout her car.

Alice backed out into the road just as another car pulled up behind her. It was Constance’s own Muntz, the one Daddy had bought her with money he hadn’t had to spend, but this posed yet another problem, for Constance was in the race now.

“Not that parasite!” hissed Sally.

She shifted into first, hit the gas, shifted into second, and was in hot pursuit of her younger sister a second later, her older sister right behind them both.

“That’s my money!” yelled Sally as she rolled down her driver’s-side window.

She hit the gas on their back road as all three cars headed toward town, a dangerous race that Sally was determined to win.

Sally sped forward as she drove up next to Alice in the driver’s lane, Alice’s Crosley in the passing lane, and as fortune would have it, Alice’s front passenger window was down.

“Pull over!” yelled Sally, her face hot with rage. “Pull over that piece of junk right now, Alice!”

Alice shook her head no in silent defiance, her face a picture of sheer panic. Sally’s younger sister hit the gas and sped forward, and Sally was honestly surprised that the little do-gooder had it in her to defy Sally’s well-deserved rage.

“That little, pathetic, whiney…!” hissed Sally as she raced to catch the last of their family’s fortune.

Constance’s Muntz sped past her in the passing lane, and Sally let forth a series of expletives that would have made a sailor proud.

The three cars hit the city limit in nothing flat. Alice’s Crosley slowed down as she turned onto Main Street, Constance following her close behind, with Sally trailing a not-so-distant third.

Sally followed both cars down Main until Alice pulled up and parked in the lot of the Parkerdale Commerce Bank.

Sally swore yet another litany of curses as she realized what Alice was going to do.

“Oh, no, you don’t!” screeched Sally.

Handing over the last of Daddy’s money to those vultures at the bank was even worse than wasting it on charity. There was definitely no way Sally was going to put up with that.

She pulled up the Studebaker beside Constance’s Muntz and blocked her older sister from opening her own car door. It would take that parasite a moment to get out through the passenger side, and that was all the time Sally needed to claim that money.

Alice exited her own Crosley and made a run for the bank, but the middle-aged woman was not so spry anymore, and she fell hard to the pavement, the large leather bag sliding out of her pathetic slender little hands.

Sally dropped her purse in the front seat, grabbed her keys, and was out of her Studebaker in a flash. She clutched her keys in her left hand as she ran across the lot towards her one and only goal.

She was on the bag in a heartbeat. She picked it up and clutched it closely to her chest in triumph.

“No, you can’t take that!” screeched Alice.

“I’ll take what’s rightfully mine, you little fool!” hissed Sally. “You’re lucky I don’t kick you while you’re down!”

Alice burst into tears as she tried unsuccessfully to stand. Her elbows and knees were skinned, and her green-print dress was torn, so she wouldn’t be putting up any kind of a fight.

“They took everything!” wept Alice. “You can’t take that! Justice is all I have left! They stole everything! You don’t understand! I have to give it to them! I have to get to the bank! There isn’t any time left! You have to give it back! You don’t understand!”

“I understand you’re a weak little fool!” yelled Sally. “Go back to your books, you pathetic little worm! Teach yourself how to grow a spine!”

Sally started back toward her car, but she stopped stock still as she stared into the determined face of her older sister, Constance, and more importantly, Constance’s Muntz. That parasite had pulled back and out from her parking space and was now revving the engine of her overpriced vehicle in what was clearly an attempt to commit vehicular murder.

“You wouldn’t da—” whispered Sally, but the forward motion of the Muntz cut short that sentence.

Sally danced backwards as she turned to run. She dashed toward the sidewalk as Constance hit the gas and attempted to run her over. Sally barely made it to the walk, but she fell to her bottom as Constance slammed on the breaks just before the grill would have turned Sally’s face into mush.

“Ha!” mocked Sally as she struggled to stand. “I knew you didn’t have it in you!”

She got to her feet just as Constance exited her car and chased after her.

“Come back here, you lush!” yelled her older sister.

Sally stumbled and ran as Constance pursued her.

“I won’t let you waste it all on men and booze!” screeched Constance.

“You’d just gamble it all away, you hypocrite!” yelled Sally in return.

Sally ran down the walk as her older sister ran after her. She made it halfway down Main before Constance tackled her from behind. They both stumbled and fell, and then they were rolling around on the pavement in front of the post office as they attempted to wrestle the bag out of each other’s hands.

“It’s mine!” cried Constance. “Give it to me! Daddy left that for me!”

Sally managed to get to a standing position as the two fought over the bag, but her parasitic older sister would not let go of the prize between them.

“It’s mine!” yelled Sally. “You can rot in the poorhouse, you thief!”

“It’s mine!” screeched Constance. “It’s my turn, and it’s my time!”

“The timing is mine!” shouted Sally in return.

She took to hitting her older sister with the keys in her left fist as she clutched her prize with her right. She hit Constance twice in the face before the older woman fell to the pavement while holding her bloodied right cheek.

The prize was Sally’s, and the timing was indeed hers. She sneered down at Constance and then gave her a nasty little smirk.

“You’ll never be anything but a lowly little peasant,” she gloated in triumph.

Constance stood and staggered toward her, but Sally knew that the gambling thief would no longer be any trouble. The fight was out of her older sister, and if it wasn’t, Sally was not above finishing her off.

Sally pried open the leather bag and studied its contents with both hunger and the pride of victory.

“It’s all mi—” was all she got to say.

The alarm clock within the bag rang as the timer ran out. The crude clock mechanism Alice had pieced together had served its purpose, and the dynamite attached to it exploded, destroying a chunk of the post office parking lot while damaging a small portion of Main Street.

The Timing is Mine Copyright © 2021 Matthew L. Marlott

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