500 Word Short Story
Power Struggle
Scott A. Gese

500 Word Short Story

It was turning into an old fashioned power struggle and things were beginning to heat up.

Money and power. Men go to great lengths to achieve it and even greater lengths to keep it. For some, the compass of morality no longer applies. They answer to no one but expect obedience from all.

Alex Caldwell and Emmett Schmidt were partners. Caldwell & Schmidt Attorneys at Law. Representing the rich and famous. It was a lucrative clientele. Life was good, until the day she walked into the office. Her name was Hanna, Hanna May Levine. She was rich and wanted to keep it that way. She needed a first class law firm to represent her.

Hanna explained her situation. She was the wife of a second class aristocrat named Sir William Holt. He was a spoiled rich kid. A playboy with a bad temper. Hanna was his plaything. A kept woman for whenever the urge came upon him. She wanted out, but Sir William wasn't having any part of it. She was his for evermore as far as he was concerned.

“Seems like nothing more than a simple divorce case as far as I can tell,” commented Alex.

Hanna disagreed. “He owes me and I want every last cent I can get. I want to squeeze him dry and see him cry like a baby. Thing is, he'll go whine to his family and they'll fight for him. After all, it is their money.”

Alex and Emmett took the case. The publicity would be good for them.

They worked up a brief and sent a copy to the Holt family lawyers, then waited for a response. The Holt family lawyers came back at them with blind fury. They threatened to file paperwork against the two men that would reveal strong evidence of corruption. It would “put them behind bars for life”.

It was all a lie, but they had enough power and money to pull it off.

Caldwell and Schmidt never backed down from a fight. If corruption was the topic of choice, so be it. They dug deep, looking for incriminating dirt on the Holt family. It wasn't hard to find. They shot back with their findings and a few threats of their own.

It escalated from there. Becoming more brutal and personal with every volley. Not one paper had been formally filed and yet both sides were feeling the heat. This had evolved into more than just a simple divorce case.

The day Caldwell and Schmidt were to formally file, Hanna, flanked by two Holt family lawyers, paid them a surprise visit. She seemed... distraught. “William and I have settled our differences. I will no longer require your services.” She quickly turned and abruptly left the room.

“That's bullshit,” remarked Alex.

“Bullshit or not, we're done here,” replied one of the Holt lawyers. He handed Alex a check.

Alex passed the check to Emmett. “Yes, I believe we are,” he replied.

The check was for $500,000.

© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

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