The Anklet

The Anklet.jpeg

During a Friday evening, sleazy person Andrew Squervil is in a nightclub frequently populated by attractive, rich, single women. At the moment, Andrew is talking with an attractive, rich, single woman he introduced himself to moments earlier. Her name is Svenka.

Andrew, who is not rich, has a goal to become rich. He intends to accomplish this goal by marrying a rich, preferably beautiful woman for her money. At the moment, Andrew is hoping to accomplish this goal with Svenka. He hopes that he will succeed at manipulating her into falling in love with him.

Svenka finds Andrew handsome and charming. She invites Andrew to come with her back to her mansion. Andrew accepts Svenka’s invitation. They leave the nightclub together.

Seducing beautiful women has never been much of a challenge for Andrew. It is one of the few things he is actually good at.

As Andrew and Svenka are outside, walking to Svenka’s mansion, they are stopped by a tall, attractive woman. She shows Andrew what appears to be a police badge. “Andrew Squervil, I am a police officer and I am placing you under arrest,” she says.

Andrew laughs. “Is this a joke?” he says.

“Absolutely not,” the apparent police officer says.

“What are you arresting me for?” Andrew says.

“Defrauding women out of their money,” the apparent police officer says. “Turn around and place your hands behind your back.”

“This is crazy,” Andrew says, speaking to both the apparent police officer and Svenka. “I haven’t defrauded anyone.”

“He’s lying,” the apparent police officer says, speaking to Svenka. “You were his current target. You’re lucky I caught him when I did.”

“Svenka, she’s lying!” Andrew says, realizing his chance to complete his seduction of Svenka and subsequently con her into marriage is quickly slipping away.

“Thank you for stopping him, officer,” Svenka says, speaking to the apparent police officer. “Do you need anything of me?”

“No, I’ve already got more than enough evidence to put this criminal away for a long, long time,” the apparent police officer says, speaking to Svenka. “You can go.”

Svenka begins walking away, much to Andrew’s dismay. The apparent police officer turns Andrew around, then places handcuffs on him, then forces him into the back of a nearby car. She gets into the front of the car, then begins driving it.

“This is crazy,” Andrew says. “I haven’t defrauded anyone.”

“I know you haven’t, Andrew,” the apparent police officer says.

“Then why have you arrested me?” Andrew says. “Why did you tell that woman that I was guilty of this crime? I was really getting somewhere with her!”

“That’s exactly why I lied to her,” the apparent police officer says. “I had to ruin whatever chance you had with her so it wouldn’t interfere with my organization’s objective.”

“What organization?” Andrew says. “What are you talking about?”

“My name is Eva,” the apparent police officer says. “I’m not really a police officer. And you’re not really under arrest. I’m a member of a secret organization. The organization’s only mission is to increase its’ members’ collective wealth, via different opportunities.

“What does any of that have to do with me?” Andrew says.

“Not that long ago, you were a romantic rival to a man named Igbert,” Eva says. “The woman he was in love with was in love with you. As you already know, Igbert wanted to take you out of the picture. He hired a private investigator to obtain information about you. Igbert wanted to use that information to help him figure out how to remove you from the love triangle. The private investigator collected a lot of information about you during his investigation. Some of that information was useful to Igbert, but, as you already know, the love triangle ended badly for both you and him. Meanwhile, the private investigator maintained a file for the investigation he had conducted on you, as he did for all his investigations. Some time later, the investigator’s files were stolen by one of the private investigator’s enemies. Some time later, the files were stolen again by an enemy of the private investigator’s enemy. The private investigator’s enemy’s enemy is a member of the organization. The member shared all of the stolen files with the organization. That’s how the organization learned about you, Andrew Squervil: we read your file. And then we conducted our own investigation of you, to learn more about you. We know much about you.”

“What do you know about me?” Andrew says.

“You were born into a life of luxury,” Eva says. “You inherited your deceased parents’ fortune. You were rich for the first 29 years of your life, but you were then stripped of your wealthy status as a result of a lawsuit. Since then, you’ve been trying to become rich again. You’ve made many, many attempts to accomplish this goal. Many of your attempts to become rich have somehow revolved around you seducing beautiful, rich, single women. Though you’ve been successful in seducing many of these women, you failed to regain your wealthy status every time. Also, you’re having a secret affair with your friend’s girlfriend.”

“What do you want from me?” Andrew says.

“The organization wants to acquire your services for tonight,” Eva says. “You’ve demonstrated an ability to charm and manipulate women. We want to use that ability to acquire an item.”

Eva pulls the car over to the side of the road, then stops the car. She gets out of the front of the car, then gets into the back of the car, next to Andrew. She hands him an envelope. “This is for you,” she says.

Andrew opens the envelope, suspicious. Inside the envelope is money. Andrew takes the money out, then counts it. It is a large amount of money, not an amount large enough to make Andrew rich, but a large amount nevertheless.

“You can keep that,” Eva says. “And if you agree to work for the organization tonight, we’ll pay you that same amount of money again, after you complete your assignment.”

“What do you want me to do?” Andrew says.

Eva hands him another envelope. Andrew opens the envelope, suspicious. In the envelope is a photograph. Andrew takes the photograph out. It is a picture of a beautiful woman walking out of a restaurant in the daytime. In the photograph, she is wearing an anklet on her left ankle.

“This is Breea,” Eva says. “She’s a very wealthy, single heiress. She goes to the same nightclub every Friday night. She’s very wild. She likes to dance and drink alcoholic beverages and go home with men she meets in the nightclub. She’s exactly the type of woman you often try to seduce. But Breea is not the easiest floozy to seduce. She’s very picky about which men she takes home with her. Many, many handsome men have failed to seduce her. The most attractive member of our organization, a male model, tried to seduce Breea for the organization, but she coldly rejected him because his sideburns were slightly longer than she would have liked them to be. The organization hired other handsome men to also try to seduce her, but those men also failed. We believe you have what it takes to seduce Breea.”

“And you’ll give me more money if I seduce her?” Andrew says, confused.

“No, you idiot,” Eva says. “We want you to seduce her so you’ll be close enough to her to complete your assignment. Your assignment is to steal the anklet on her left ankle. If you get the anklet for us, we’ll give you the additional money.”

“What’s so special about the anklet?” Andrew says, looking at the anklet in the photograph.

“It’s a very, very valuable artifact from an ancient civilization,” Eva says. “The anklet originally belonged to that civilization’s queen. It was passed down to future generations. Eventually, it ended up in the possession of one of the queen’s male descendants, a rich young man who lives in the mansion next to Breea’s mansion. The man was trying to woo Breea. In his attempt to woo Breea, he gave her the anklet as a gift, and a symbol of his undying love for her. Breea rejected the man, but kept the anklet. She wears it all the time. She never, ever takes it off. And, based on what the organization knows about the anklet’s physical properties, the anklet is very difficult to remove without its wearer sensing the removal. In order for you to remove the anklet without Breea noticing, you’ll need to make sure she’s distracted. Very, very distracted.”

Andrew is thinking about this potential assignment, considering all the angles. “Let’s say I succeed at seducing her and manage to steal the anklet from her without her knowing,” he says. “What will happen then?”

“Then I’ll be waiting for you in this car, outside her mansion, or wherever it is you complete your seduction of her,” Eva says. “You’ll get in the car. You’ll give me the anklet. I’ll give you the promised payment. You’ll get out of the car. I’ll drive away and you’ll never see me again. And the organization will sell the anklet for a very large amount of money, thereby increasing its members’ collective wealth. Will you do the assignment?”

“Yes,” Andrew says.

Eva drives Andrew to the nightclub that Breea visits every Friday night. “Breea is in there,” Eva says. “Don’t let the organization down, Andrew.”

“I won’t,” Andrew says, lying. He very much intends to double-cross Eva and her organization.

Andrew goes into the nightclub. He spots Breea on the dance floor. She is dancing provocatively with a handsome man. She is wearing the anklet.

Andrew approaches her. Breea, seeing Andrew, quickly abandons the man she’s been dancing with and begins dancing with Andrew.

Later, Andrew and Breea leave the nightclub together. They get into Breea’s car. Breea begins driving herself and Andrew to Breea’s mansion, unaware that she is being followed by Eva.

Later, in Breea’s mansion, while Andrew is completing his seduction of Breea, and while Breea is very, very distracted, Andrew removes the anklet from Breea’s body without Breea noticing the removal. He hides the anklet in his mouth.

Afterwards, Breea says to Andrew: “I’m done with you now. Get out of my mansion.”

Andrew, pretending to be annoyed by Breea’s disposal of him, leaves Breea’s mansion. Outside the mansion, he takes the anklet out of his mouth.

He sees Eva nearby, sitting in her parked car, waiting for Andrew. He holds the anklet up so she can see that he has it. Then he makes a derogatory gesture toward her. Then he begins running away. He intends to sell the anklet himself, thereby making himself rich again.

However, a few feet away from Breea’s mansion, while Andrew is still running away, he is tackled by five other people, causing Andrew to fall to the ground and drop the anklet.

A few seconds later, Andrew, who is still laying on the ground, sees Eva and her five colleagues standing nearby, looking down at Andrew. Eva is holding the anklet. “Oh Andrew,” Eva says. “You didn’t really think I was working alone tonight, did you? And of course I knew there was a possibility that you would double-cross me. You shouldn’t have double-crossed me, Andrew. I would’ve paid you the promised amount of money. Now you get nothing.”

Eva nods at her colleagues. The colleagues proceed to pummel Andrew mercilessly.

Later, Andrew regains consciousness. He is laying on the ground. Two people in police officer uniforms are standing nearby, looking down at Andrew. Breea is also standing nearby, looking down at Andrew.

“That’s him, officers,” Breea says. “That’s the man who stole my anklet! Give it back to me, you sleazy loser!”

Andrew looks around. Eva and her colleagues and the anklet are gone.

“You’ve crazy,” Andrew says, speaking to Breea. “I didn’t steal anything from you.” Andrew finds some small comfort in the idea that, although he lost the anklet, he won’t be legally punished for his theft, given that there is apparently no evidence that he stole it.

But then Breea smiles cruelly. “I have security cameras around the outside of my mansion,” she says, speaking to Andrew. “And one of those cameras captured you taking the anklet out of your mouth and then running away.”

“She’s right,” one of the police officers says, speaking to Andrew. “She showed us the footage. You were clearly stealing the anklet. And for that, we are now arresting you.”

And that was how Andrew ended up getting arrested.