DiscoverMystery & Crime




Greed and corruption in the energy industry have led to wild fires getting out of control in CA. This story depicts how those at the top operate in dodgy ways.

Linemen for Advance Cable Maintenance Equipment Company (ACME) begin their days before sunrise.

Joe Fitzgerald leaned in and kissed his wife on the forehead, heading out for his day in the dark hours before daybreak. “Love you, babe.”

 Traveling the twenty-minute commute into Gardenville, he reflected on his good fortune. Somehow he’d managed to land his sorry butt with an angel of the purest kind, quite the chef as well. A savory aroma wafted inside the cab of his F150. Lunch today would be the best split pea soup this side of the Mississippi.

First man in, Joe removed the industrial padlock from the yard gate. Swinging both sides open wide for business, he drove his truck around back of the building.

Parking in his usual space, he hopped down from the bench seat and opened the rear access door to grab his Igloo. Damn, I love that woman.

4 a.m. and still dark out, he used the glow from the truck interior light to be sure he held the right key. Whistling Dixie, his boots crunching across a gravel lot to the warehouse door, another day another dollar, he mused.

Joe slid the master into the keyhole, leaning his weight against the thick metal door. His eyes took a moment to adjust to the pitch black darkness. As he reached for the bank of light switches, BOOM! A loud electrical explosion blasted his body.

 He perished in an instant.

The surge burst his lunch box. Olive green pea soup splattered alongside his dead body resembling algae atop a pond.

Death by electrocution is barbaric.

Emblazoned above that same door for crews heading out as opposed to in, remained the words, “Expect the Unexpected.”

Henry Ashcroft, arriving at the same door thirty minutes later, noticed an odd scorched smell. Maybe burnt toast. Extending his right hand, he made contact with the knob, and two thousand volts of energy seared end to end through his body, exiting his left foot. The force rocketed him across the parking lot where he landed on a pile of wood pallets.

Fortunately, the voltage path missed his heart.

About the author

Currently residing in San Luis Obispo, CA, R Read is working on the screenplay version of SHE TOO for 2019, view profile

Published on November 07, 2018

Published by

50000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Mystery & Crime

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