tagNovels and NovellasEvil Benni Ch. 05

Evil Benni Ch. 05

byEgmont Grigor©

Respectability is beginning to close in around Benni. He is given another task more suited to a much older and experienced specialist in the field of strategic business development. Benni's approach is ad hoc but he does get assistance from a beautiful woman who works for the enemy – the mall. With Benni being Benni the hero is bound to pull this one off, but how?


Benni 'Mr Popularity' James was driving to his workplace from his new apartment three weeks after his promotion, still amazed that life could be so sweet. People actually smiled when they saw him coming toward them and to his mom he was now 'Dear Benni'.

Bess had moved in with him; he really considered himself fortunate and first the first time in his life had moments when he was thinking he was being regarded as a good guy...an amazing turnaround.

Approaching work he could see the flashing lights of police cars and an ambulance.

"Fuck, we've had a break-in and someone's hurt."

"You can't go in there son," said a cop guarding the main door.

"I work here," said Benni, showing his personalized business card with photo.

The gathering was at Barron's office and Benni was allowed in.

"He's been calling for someone called Benni; this guy's Benni James."

"Let him in," said a medic.

Barron was on a stretcher, head bandaged and face bloodied and arm in a splint. He was barely conscious.

"Talk to him Benni, but make it quick; we want him in hospital but as far as we can tell here he should be okay."

"Benni," croaked Barron, spitting out some blood. "The bastard had a knuckleduster."


"Get them away."

Benni asked the medic who'd spoken to him to move the people back a bit. They moved but if anything the cops moved in closer. Benni leaned over Barron.

"Her husband, Benni. Broke through the rear entry – the alarms were switched off of course. Said he'd become suspicious of her and was having her tailed. He'd come to warn me off. The fucking Chief of Police did this to me Benni, I recognized him. I only got a couple of punches in and that was the end of me. Warn her, Benni, but watch yourself."

"Right, I'll get the alarms changed and change the electronic code on the safe as you suggested, Barron," said Benni in a loud voice, giving the impression Barron had been briefing him about security.

Barron was taken away.

A detective wanted to interview Benni but first he phoned Marlene who screamed and said she'd go straight to the hospital.

"Take care driving, urged Benni." Pick us Bess on the way; I'll phone her and she'll be waiting for you outside our new apartment – got the address. Good, that's it. Let her drive. As I said, the medics reckon he's going to be okay."

Benni was questioned by the detective for almost ten minutes.

"I reckon Barron got beaten up like that because he refused to give the code to open the safe," he said. "Then something must have disturbed him or them. Who called you cops?"

"Mr Pfeiffer did when regaining consciousness."

Barron was kept in hospital for forty-eight hours but no concussion or sign of internal bleeding eventuated.

Late at night on the day of the attack, Benni went to see an old school buddy, Hal Beamish, who managed to finish high school despite four suspensions. Hal now had a police record that included on jailing safe-blowing and getting away with $15,000, of which only $1300 was recovered.

"You caught me just as I was going to bed," grinned Hal. The woman scowled at Benni and walked off.

"What brings you here with those beers, my old pal?"

Benni drove back home very pleased with his session with Hal. He now had the technical knowledge to make a gas explosion inside a house look like it was accidental. He now only had to make three decisions: When to do it, how to make sure Bette Lucas and any pets were not inside the house and whether he wanted her police chief husband to be approaching the house when the big bang occurred so that he experienced his vulnerability.

"Yuk, you smell of beer," Bess said, when he climbed into bed. "You'll have to wait till morning for your aerobics. Dad's fine – reckons robbery was the motive. He's pleased as punch because on the TV clip he was described as 'The charismatic Chevy dealer Barron Pfeiffer."

"I'm glad he's fine, I'll visit him in the morning."

Before going to the hospital Benni, driving a gray compact he'd taken from the pre-owned lot, parked across the street from the Police Chief's home and pretended to be reading a newspaper. A couple of minutes later he drove off cursing, because of a double whammy.

The first was there were TV monitors on very high poles at both the front and back of the house and no doubt there were exterior infrared scanners. He'd not been prepared for this although Hal had briefed him about ordinary house alarms; obviously the police valued their chief and had him well protected.

The second thing was there was no gas box near the front of the property – he'd stupidly had assumed the Lucas' would have had gas for heating and stove top cooking like most other people. What a fuckup!

That night, after Bess's aerobics workout stretched him to near limits, he left the bed when she fell asleep and took a mug of coffee on to the deck.

You stupid sod, he thought. You went in to dent Lucas's rump like a brainless amateur – you're getting soft, losing your natural cunning at counter-attack.

He'd enrolled at university on-line to finish his bachelor's degree in sales and marketing and reading the onsite information for part-time students with a busy work and home life, a particular message came through very strongly – plan, plan, plan.

That's it; he needed to hatch a plan about how to get Lucas. He'd not done that, yet he'd planned how to warn Bette Lucas that she was under surveillance and executed that plan which went very smoothly. He simply went to the department store and paid a clerk twenty bucks to phone Bette. That caller then said she was handing the phone over to her department manager.

"No names," said Benny as Bette picked up the phone. "Wrong bra type, remember?"

"I do," she said calmly.

"Himself has you under surveillance."

Benni heard Bette's sharp intake of breath as he put the receiver down. It was very unlikely her calls were being monitored 24/7 by eavesdroppers, and when Scumbag Lucas checked incoming calls for his wife he'd see this one as coming from the department store where he wife spent a fortune; he'd think nothing of it.

Now, sitting on the deck watching the moon rise, Benni knew he needed a plan that would not lead any police investigation to him or Barron or bring Nancy Lucas under suspicion.

For days he grappled with the problem – only for an hour or so, but he found it taxing, so frustrating.

"Are you getting too much sex – you appear to be getting grumpy?" Bess had asked, quite seriously. Oh shit; cut off the supply and I'll be really grumpy, though Benni.

"Let's meet for a sandwich at lunchtime and we'll look around for a wee present for you."


"If you open those legs more frequency I'll make it a big present."

"Oh yes, yes! How big is big?"

Well, that was easy. Why can't I knock over Scumbag Lucas that easy?

While Bess was trying on a little black dress at lunchtime, Benni picked up one of those muckraking newspapers the girl serving Bess had been reading. The front cover picture showed a man trying to shield his face from the camera and the over-line screamed: 'Politician Betrays Wife'.

A huge grin spread over Benni's face: if Lucas wasn't getting it regularly from his wife, he'd be getting it elsewhere.

Benni took Barron to lunch and told him the plan.

"Brilliant, you're a genius Benni; if it comes off he's finished and won't even consider us being behind such an exposé. Even if it doesn't come off I'm prepared to pay big for the initial investigation. Brilliant, Benni. I'm thinking of putting you into a Corvette with all options."

"No thanks, boss. I like my Old Faithful too much."

"Then I'll send you and Bess on a Second Honeymoon to Hawaii."

"We haven't had our first yet."

"Oh. Neither you have – you two seem so much like young marrieds I forgotten."

Benni looked worried.

"For fuck sake, Barron. Don't joke about that to the women; that would trigger wedding bells."

Benni's plan was brilliant. Hire a detective agency to find if the Police of Chief has a regular girlfriend and to take that information to a drop-off point to be collected by the unidentified client. No use leaving any scent around!

Stage two was a mystery caller (Benni)using a public call phone giving full details to that trash newspaper he'd read recently in the dress store. The newspaper would then allocate the assignment to a stringer photographer who'd work her/his guts out trying to get the photograph as she/he would only be paid on results and in this case hugely, as the photograph would be on-sold to other media.

Three weeks latter the photograph was published under the heading, 'Horny Police Chief Betrays Beautiful Wife' and next day the photograph appeared in other newspapers and on TV, along with film clips and photographs of the ashen-faced Chief Lucas being arrested, after resigning his job. He was then charged with consorting with an unlicensed prostitute, which was a holding charge while he was being investigated on suspicion of corruption in allowing call girls to operate unchalleged by the police.

A week later Bess and Benni flew to Hawaii with Bess, sprawled in her first-class seat drinking champagne, saying: "I feel as if I'm on my honeymoon.

Fear tickled the pit of Benni's stomach, it being the first time she'd made such a reference. Hopefully it was the champagne talking; this was her sixth refill, his fifth.


At the monthly meeting of the executive of the business and professional association (Bus-Pro), nine membership applications were approved, on the recommendation of the recently appoint CEO.

Acting president Marty Brancato was confirmed as president which left his vacated position of vice-president to be filled.

"We need a strong personality, someone tough who can call the shots and kick butt when the response is poor, said Bert Wheeler. "I believe I have found such a man to work alongside Mick our CEO and President Marty to get this association back to its dominant position of steering the development of this city. Our influence has been severely eroded by those faceless bureaucrats at City Hall led by thjat arrogant self-serving Mayor Josephs.

"I move that we accept this late nomination, moved by member Nstton Pfeiffer and seconded by myself. A late nomination is allowed under Membership Rule 29.13.7."

The motion was carried unanimously.

The president then invited Bert to outline the attributes of the latest nominee, Benni James.

Next morning Ross James was skimming the newspaper before heading off to work.

"Look at this dear."

Gladys came over and read the item under the photo of her son.


Thump, she collapsed on to the floor.

Ross poured some milk over her face, thinking his coffee was too hot.

"Why the hell did you do that?" spluttered Gladys as Ross helped her to her feet.

"I once read it's what you do when people faint."

"You're supposed to use cold water," complained Gladys.

"Our son's going to be famous one day, isn't he?"

"Once I would have disagreed with that," said Gladys. "But now I think Evil Benni had come of age."

In Hawaii, Bess lay on the bench, sore in the crotch from over-use. They had been having a great time. She was watching Benni at last catching a ride on his board under the encouragement of his instructress, whose bra and thong were obscenely small. Bess's phone alarm went; she read the email with delight.

Bess saw that sexy instructor kiss Benni goodbye, full on the lips with her left leg bent, off the ground, and thought your next lesson is with a male instructor, my boy. She knew it wasn't Benni's fault really that he was getting this attention but he'd being working very hard at the gym over the past few months and it was really showing. Gawd, she only had to watch him walking away from her and she felt a big stirring coming on.

Benni flopped down beside Bess, kissed her and asked how the over-use syndrome was going. He was ignored.

"Got an email from Marlene. You are now a member of Bus-Pro and have been named as its new vice-president"

"What? I didn't have a nomination submitted and anyway I haven't a clue what the association does."

"Its biggest problem is to protect its funds, but you're already solved that leakage for them. Executive members have remembered that when voting you in; it was a three-way contest as you would have seen. Its business is serving members, dealing with the interconnecting political ramifications on business and the promotion of the activities of association members as a whole."

Benni looked at Bess almost in awe.

"It sounds as you should be the new vice-president."

"Thank you darling, but I must keep myself free in case of other family duties arise."

That perplexed Benni. What other 'family duties'? Slowly it dawned on him: there could only be two substantially impacting circumstances: Death or disability of either one or both or her parents or...he paused, feeling almost overwhelmed: Pregnancy. She was at it again – nudge, nudge, wink, wink. This underhand pressure was almost becoming too much.

Three weeks later, at the first meeting of the business and professional association executive, Benni realized he was on show. Those who had supported his nomination wanted to see him perform well, those supporting one of the other two contenders would hope to see him shaft himself. Not a setting akin to a walk in the park.

During discussion on the business viability of the central business district, where almost all of members derived their income, it was stated that with few exceptions businesses overall were doing very well.

"What do you say, Benni?" asked Ritchie Smart who'd backed Ralph Zachary for the vice-presidency.

"I'm sure the meeting is not interested to hear from the new boy," Benni said nervously.

"We expect our VP to be constantly engaged in and hands-on approach to matters affecting the livelihood of members," said Ralph.

"Steady on, Ralph, give him time to find his feet," admonished President Marty, though smiling .

"Come on, Marty," countered Ralph. "We don't want deadwood occupying chairs around this table. Our charter states we shall strive to be a progressive society."

"Okay, Ralph," said Benni, accepting the challenge. "We all know that you have three good performing businesses in MainStreet and you are deputy-Mayor of this city. You assume you are the biggest operator in the area, apart from the neighboring mall as a total business operation.

Do you wish me to continue?"

"You've got those facts right, so proceed."

"MainStreet business has slumped 3.9% in reported turnover in the past 12 months whereas turnover at the mall has jumped 5.3%, taking business off us and adjoining strip shopping centers. Unless we can reverse that trend MainStreet business, which includes businesses on the peripheral within 200 yards of MainStreet and includes the company with which I am associated, face business paralysis.

"Fortunately, not all will be afflicted – my company obviously being one of the exceptions as you only have to look to see our new service centre has doubled in size and our showroom is currently being extended.

"Unfortunately, many of our members will just sit and wait, sit and wait, hoping that turnover will improve, although aware that just like bathwater, once the plug has been pulled the water runs out.

"Ralph, there are two dine in/take-out businesses, members of our association, that exceed the turnover of not one, but all three of your businesses. There is one professional business that has half the turnover of your largest unit and Ralph, my boss's company has a turnover three times the size of your stated business turnover. That is something I do not wish to boast about, but Ralph, four years ago the turnover of Pfeiffer Chevrolet was only one third the reported turnover of your three businesses. So what we need here is a working party to investigate what's happening, and how can we work collectively to reverse this trend.

"We all think we know the problems/solutions, but our opinions differ, so we need some solid information, analysis and recommendations to place before our members if we want authorization to spend on a solid repair job.

"President Marty, I move than a five-person working party be formed with Ralph being appointed a member of that group and to convene it."

The president called for a seconder and Ritchie Smart seconded the two-part motion.

The meeting broke up almost an hour later.

On the way out Benni expressed satisfaction to himself with his maiden performance, particularly as the elder statesman of the Bus-Pro Kevin Saunders had not been there to back him up. Bess had been going on so much about 'fabulous Hawaii' that Kevin had taken two nieces and two nephews with him to see for himself.

Marty and Michael (Mick) Smith-Wells were talking near the door, and Marty called Benni over.

"Very impressive performance, Benni," said Marty. "What surprises is that you obviously feel strongly about this but didn't hint that you wanted to head the investigating team, quite the reverse. Like to tell us why?"

"Well, it seems to me anyone can investigate anything but in this case our members will be looking for solid recommendations from a solid-looking team before they front up with extra bucks – and this thing is going to take big bucks to fix. I picked Ralph would be the biggest opponent to full-on action; he's got a big mouth and some influential cronies around him. So I thought he's the guy to carry the sword."

"Jesus, that's brilliant, Benni – risky but I see it as brilliant. What do you reckon Mick?"

"Actually Marty, it's a tactic taught at business schools and probably other schools as well, loosely described if you can't move the elephant off the mountain, move the mountain instead. I agree in this case it's risky, but it's up to you to push Ralph along, boss."

"Oh, thank you, Mick. Like to join Mick and me for a drink, Benni?"

"Don't mind if I do, Marty. Are you including Ralph?"

"No, don't think so. Did you play with matches when you were a kid, Benni? You seem to enjoy lighting fires."

They all laughed, Marty slapping Benni on the back.

Benni had this desire to tell a certain person about his debut at Bus-Pro, so went in the restroom at the bar sent off an email to his unofficial godfather – Kevin Saunders, presently in Hawaii.

On the way home Benni called in to see Barron, whose facial wounds had left only faint scars, most of which were partially masked by gathering skin wrinkles from premature ageing of a heavy drinker. Barron and Marlene were out in the rear garden drinking martinis, watching the sunset.

"Smart move with Ralph, good to have him as the front man, but you better get in there and do some digging yourself, my boy. You appear good at that. Take all the time you need."

Benni was pleased to hear that, but what almost floored him was Marlene. She'd sat listening, not saying a word while her husband kept trying to pull more information from Benni about the meeting.

All she said was, "I'm proud of you Benni."

"You've been drinking, but at least it's not beer," said Bess, greeting Benni's arrival warmly.

"Why are you turning the oven down? Why are you carrying me off to bed so early, dinner is almost ready?

"Oooooh, that was lovely, kiss me like that again."


Basically, Benni's approach to anything is 'full ahead' so it was typically full throttle with an economic appraisal of the business viability of MainStreet and environs extended to include the mall. The overal appraisal was a huge undertaking, far too large for one person even working at it fulltime. But Benni wasn't interested in the overall picture, he zeroed into a small sector of the big picture.

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byEgmont Grigor© 3 comments/ 14316 views/ 1 favorites

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