The Hobbyist

Uriah Quint is a man with the world at his feet. Working as a bodyguard to the rich and famous he draws a six figure salary and travels the world, his life a relentless cycle of publicity events, parties and red carpets. Indeed he believes he has it all. In the hills he has his apartment, on the coast a little retreat reserved for the weekends. In his own mind he is in control and he likes it. Then someone steals his gun...


9.15am

Billy
Hey Uriah. You up yet?

Uriah
Just. God that was a long night.

Billy
I don't know why you're complaining. Parties are our thing. Headaches a necessary work related injury.

Uriah
Perhaps. Anyway. What're you after this early in the morning?

Billy
Early? Have you even looked at your alarm yet?

Uriah
Still got my eyes closed. Waiting for the fog to lift.

Billy
Well, you'd better get up. Have you got your carry license organised for the Monaco trip?

Uriah
Monaco? Isn't the old pistol licence OK for the EU?

Billy
Nope. Changes require a new certificate.

Uriah
How long do I have?

Billy
Trip's in three weeks. Will take at least two to process. I'd get the paperwork off today.

Uriah
Shit. Can't Larry go? I'll still be jet-lagged from the Rio tour.

Billy
As your Boss I would say I don't care. It is indeed a terrible thing to be in demand.

Uriah
Helen's going to hate not having me home for that long.

Billy
You could always take her with you.

Uriah
Tried that in Paris. After the first few days she couldn't wait to get home.

Billy
Paris not good enough?

Uriah
No. Got homesick.

Billy
Well its good you don't. Get the paperwork to me and I'll send it off to the consulate.

Uriah
Roger that. Are you still going to try for the Troubadour job?

Billy
That's a work in progress. Know more next week.

Uriah
I'll get that paperwork to you this afternoon.


10.46am

Uriah
Jonas. Got a minute?

Jonas
Surely do. Two if its needed.

Uriah
I am in shit trouble.

Jonas
Sounds like you're catastrophising a bit there. What's up?

Uriah
Someone has stolen my gun.

Jonas
What?

Uriah
I shit you not. Went to get the serial number and couldn't find it.

Jonas
Come on Uri, you aren't that careless. Where should it have been?

Uriah
In the gun safe. I have no idea what's happened to it.

Jonas
You're going to have to report it to the police.

Uriah
That's the problem. If I do I'll lose my carry licence. There'll have to be an investigation and in this jurisdiction that'll mean suspension of any firearm licences I might have.

Jonas
What does that mean?

Uriah
It means I won't be able to work.

Jonas
Why would that happen? Can't you just buy another gun?

Uriah
Not that simple. In my game there are only two things you absolutely have to have. One is a valid passport, the other a carry licence.

Uriah
Either of those go and I can't work. Least ways not until I can get it back.

Jonas
That'll screw up everything. What do you think happened to it?

Uriah
To get it out of the safe someone needed the combination. Whoever stole it had the code.

Jonas
Who would know your code?

Uriah
Only three people have been in the apartment since I last handled the Glock.

Uriah
Helen's one. But she has no reason to take the gun. Then there is Horton and Jeb.

Uriah
Both were over on Monday night. Either of them could have pinched it.

Jonas
Do they have the code?

Uriah
No. Both are work colleagues. I don't see why either would want to steal anything.

Jonas
Were you broken into?

Uriah
That's the thing. No forced entry, no compromised security. The safe was locked but it was open when I looked.

Jonas
What are you going to do?

Uriah
Find the gun. I've got 24 hours then Billy's going to know something's up.

Uriah
If I can get it back no harm done.

Jonas
How are you going to get it back?

Uriah
First stop will be Horton and Jeb. Horton's a good friend I've known for years. Jeb I don't know so well.

Jonas
What will you do?

Uriah
Shake the tree and see what falls out.


11.05am

Uriah
Hi Horton.

Horton
Hi Uri. What's up.

Uriah
I've had a gun stolen.

Horton
Crap. You told Billy yet?

Uriah
Not yet. Have to see if I can recover it first.

Horton
What do you need from me?

Uriah
Remember Monday?

Horton
Sure. Great party. You could have served more shrimp though.

Uriah
True. I think the gun was taken whilst we were all talking on the balcony.

Horton
No shit.

Uriah
Yeah. Whoever took it knew the safe code.

Horton
Did someone break in?

Uriah
Not that I can tell. Checked all the security and everything is still intact.

Horton
Logic then dictates that the thief is one of us.

Uriah
I just hope not.

Uriah
Do you remember anyone leaving the balcony during the party?

Horton
Helen came and went a lot, but that was for the food and beer.

Uriah
What about Jeb?

Horton
Only once. Used the powder room I think.

Uriah
How long was he inside?

Horton
Couldn't say. Didn't take that much notice.

Uriah
I'll have to get in contact. I need that gun back.

Horton
Shit yeah. Maybe he saw something whilst he was inside.

Uriah
Maybe. Thanks anyway. Has Billy mentioned anything to you about the Monaco trip?

Horton
Just a reminder to get the carry licenses organised.

Uriah
Same here. I'll let you know if I find anything.

Horton
Cool.



11.12am

Uriah
Hey Jeb.

Jeb
Hello Uriah. This is a surprise.

Uriah
Yeah. I've got a problem and need your help.

Jeb
Happy to.

Uriah
On Monday you came over for the party.

Jeb
Sure did. Great view.

Uriah
Thanks. Can I ask if you saw anything unusual whilst you were there?

Jeb
What like?

Uriah
Any open windows. Guests acting skittish. Anything like that?

Jeb
Not at all.

Jeb
Is something missing?

Uriah
One of my Glocks.

Jeb
Shit. You told Billy yet?

Uriah
Not yet. Trying to get a handle on what happened.

Jeb
And you think it was someone at the party?

Uriah
Truthfully I don't know. Nothing's been forced. Safe was opened with its code.

Jeb
OK. I get it.  You think I did it.

Uriah
Did you?

Jeb
Shit Uriah. I get why you would think so. But no, I didn't.

Jeb
The gig we have is too sweet to screw up. I understand you don't know me that well, but I'm telling you I had nothing to do with it.

Jeb
If your safe was opened with its code then its got to be somebody real close. How many people know the code?

Uriah
Just me. I haven't even told Helen.

Jeb
Then the perp must have been watching as you opened it. Can't be any other explanation.

Uriah
True enough. I just don't know how.

Jeb
Its just me but I'd be looking out your windows. See if there are any line of sights to your safe.

Jeb
With a good telephoto somebody might have been able to get a look.

Uriah
Shit. I never thought of that.

Jeb
Hey. What are friends for?

Uriah
You still on the Rio trip?

Jeb
Yeah. Can't wait.


11.27am

Unknown
Hey Uriah. Got a moment?

Uriah
Who is this?

Unknown
A friend with a gun.

Uriah
What?

Unknown
You looking for a 9mm Glock?

Uriah
You've got my gun?

Unknown
Sure. Nice piece of gunmetal. Easy to steal too. You should take more care when you open your safe.

Uriah
What do you mean?

Unknown
Having your laptop on the bed while you open it.

Unknown
Easy to hack your webcam and see what you're doing. You should change your safe codes.

Uriah
You prick. Give me back my gun.

Unknown
Sure. No problem. You just need to do something for me first.

Uriah
I'm not doing anything for you.

Unknown
That is what they all say.

Unknown
I need some money and I am sure you are the person to get it for me.

Uriah
How?

Unknown
You did a job for that singer a few weeks back?

Uriah
Yes.

Unknown
Still have the access codes to her place in San Diego?

Uriah
I could get them.

Unknown
Well. I have it on good authority that she keeps a fair amount of cash literally under her mattress.

Uriah
So?

Unknown
She's in Europe at the moment. I'm thinking that you should go and get all that cash for me.

Uriah
Break into her home and steal from her?

Unknown
Oh yeah.

Uriah
What if I don't?

Unknown
That would be very bad for you. Probably a lot worse than just losing your carry license.

Uriah
How do you know about that?

Unknown
I do my homework.

Unknown
Just to be clear I'll spell it out for you. Do the job and you get your gun back.

Uriah
And if I don't?

Unknown
Then I might just shoot a few random people, cover the gun in their blood and then mail it to the cops.

Unknown
Think you got problems now? Just wait and see what Five-0 will do to you.

Uriah
FFS. How long do I have?

Unknown
Until 6pm today.  Put everything you grab into a green rubbish bag and throw it in the dumpster behind your apartment block.

Uriah
That's not much time.

Unknown
Tick Tock. Tick Tock. I don't know about you but I'm looking at the clock.

Uriah
How will I get the gun?

Unknown
Currently I have it pointed at your girlfriend Helen. If I get the money she'll return it to you. If I see any cops Uriah she dies.

Uriah
This is some kind of sick joke isn't it?

Unknown
This is no joke. Get my money.


6.35pm

Uriah
Jonas. You about?

Jonas
I am indeed. Did you find your gun?

Uriah
God I'm in trouble.

Jonas
What have you done?

Uriah
Some nut job has the Glock, and he's threatening to shoot people and frame me for it.

Jonas
You have got to be kidding.

Uriah
Hell no. Long story short I've had to steal from one of the clients.

Jonas
What?

Uriah
Jonas. He has Helen. If I didn't do it he was going to kill her.

Jonas
You gotta call the cops. There's no way you can control this.

Uriah
I know. No matter what happens I'm screwed. Its Helen I'm worried about. Nut job said he'll let her go once he's got the money.

Jonas
Did you get what he wanted?

Uriah
All of it. Client had almost a 100K stacked under her bed.

Jonas
For Christ sake. Where is it now?

Uriah
In a dumpster behind the apartment block. Just waiting for a text saying she's coming home.

Jonas
How can you be sure he'll keep his word?

Uriah
I can't be sure but if he sees any cops he'll kill her.

Jonas
OK. Calm down. When are you expecting the text?

Uriah
Any minute.

Unknown
Sorry to push in on your nice conversation but me and Uriah have business.

Jonas
Who are you?

Unknown
Just someone in need of a dollar or two. Jonas, why don't you go and call the police.

Uriah
Did you get the money?

Unknown
Sure. A bit more than I expected but these little boons do fall upon the deserving.

Uriah
Where's Helen?

Unknown
She's on her way. Still got those CCTV cams on the front of the building?

Uriah
Yes.

Unknown
Click into the feed and you should see her.

Jonas
Is she there?

Unknown
Shouldn't you be calling the police?

Jonas
STFU. Asshole.

Uriah
Oh Christ. She's walking up to the front foyer.

Jonas
You should go get her. And for Christ sake hurry.

Uriah
Will do.

Uriah
Hold on. The cops are already here.

Jonas
How? I only just called them.

Jonas
Outside. They're piling up against the front hedges. Shit. They've pulled guns on Helen.

Jonas
What the hell?

Uriah
I don't understand. She's got a gun in her hand. Raising it towards the police.

Jonas
Shit.

Uriah
Oh God. They've shot her down.

Jonas
What?

Unknown
LOL. Jesus that was good.

Uriah
You bastard. What have you done?

Unknown
Reality is perception Uriah. Your gun was used in a double homicide this afternoon.

Unknown
Poor smucks didn't know what hit them. Fortunately for the coppers the gun was left at the scene. Your fingerprints all over it.

Uriah
But, Helen.

Unknown
Talk about a two for one deal. Cops'll be discovering just about now that the gun she had was a plastice toy glued into her hand.

Unknown
Imagine my surprise when they turned up just as I let her go. Bam, Bam, Bam. Too sweet.

Unknown
They might have shot Helen but they're coming for you Uriah. You'd better give yourself up.

Uriah
But I haven't done anything.

Unknown
Hell. Why should that matter. You're going to be a perfect fit for theft and murder. Enjoy the next 40 years in prison.

Uriah
But why?

Unknown
Why?

Uriah
Have I done something to you?

Unknown
Hell no. Picked your name out of the phone book. Already got the next patsy on the hook.

Unknown
Don't beat yourself up Uriah. You did nothing to deserve what's coming your way. Some people collect stamps. My hobby is ruining lives and I'm very good at it.

Uriah
You're sick.

Unknown
Maybe, but I don't care. I do have one bit of parting advice though.

Uriah
And what's that?

Unknown
Get yourself a good lawyer. You're going to need it.

THE END

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