Jack of All Trades –
Jack Hallard was the best of the best at age twenty-seven. When it came to grifting, he could con the uniform off the silent and stoic guards of Buckingham Palace while on duty. There was no doubt that when it came to scams, Jack could bilk a mark for all they were worth and have them convinced they had lost nothing until he was long gone. All of this was made more remarkable by his ordinary stature and prosaic appearance. He was thin and about five-foot-seven. Long blond hair and blue eyes consistent with his dutch ancestry. A good con man should not stand out in a crowd but be able to be winsome and charismatic at the same time. He could do both. The mark had to be all into him when played and not to be able to see him when he would slide from view. He liked to do the later part as a woman.
“Hello, I have a work order to install this ATM here.” Some men Jack hired handed a clipboard to the sergeant on the desk of NYC’s newest precinct, the 130th.
“About time, everyone else has an ATM, and we don’t yet. You know where to install it?”
The three men exchanged pleasantries and then installed the ATM in the main break room. The cops on the beat were thrilled. They didn’t like to use credit cards on the beat because they could be cloned. So, it got heavy use in no time at all. All the two hundred cops assigned to this new patrol duty were thrilled. Being a nice part of town, they were all pretty senior too making this one of the highest paid precincts in the borough.
Up in an apartment around the corner from the 130th sat Jack. He was looking at all the data the ATM was collecting coming in on the computer. Jack picked up the VOIP phone and dialed a number. His computer spoofed the number he was calling from. He turned on the female voice impersonator. “Hello, Mr. Simmons. Yes, this is Doctor Travis’ office. Yes, just letting you know that because of a conflict, we have rescheduled you for two weeks from tomorrow, the 18th for your surgery. We have called your HR department too and adjusted your time off accordingly. I know. We are sorry, but there was a death in the family. I think you can understand that we are working hard to make it easy for Dr. Travis to be with family. You certainly wouldn’t want him to do surgery on you after his favorite uncle died. Yes. We think your plastic surgery will be all you expect. Thank you.”
Jack then wrote out an email. “Tess, scam working perfectly. Arrangements for surgery you set up confirmed. Expect to have the best pay day ever. Am retiring after this one. See you in White Settlement in a couple of months. I know you won’t recognize me. I won’t even recognize me. Luv ya, Jack. P.S. I like it that you set it up so some idiot is paying for my surgery, but he don’t know it yet. Nice job!”
Jack began to clear the apartment of all finger prints. He then sat down to watch a movie. About ten thirty at night, he began to finish up. He didn’t want to leave anything to chance. He went over to the sink where he had mercuric acid in solution with a few other chemicals. He placed his hands on a special glass sheet and held them there for about ten second. He then quickly inserted them into a bath of fixer used for black and white film development. He then ran them in the sink.
All of his finger prints had been temporarily removed. He washed his hair and body in a special chlorine shower which would containment all of his DNA. He then went into the bathroom and proceeded to apply a special gel to his arms and legs for the same reason. His body had already had all the hair from it removed. The only thing he had was eyebrows and long hair. He applied a special mustache and did some makeup to make him look burly. He then put on overalls and headed downstairs to a clean van.
Ringing the precinct’s door bell, he said, “Yeah, I am here to service the ATM. You guys ran out of money in it already. I will be back with more tomorrow, but I gotta service it first. We need to give you a bigger one it seems.” He was led down the hallway and retrieved the ATM. “I’ll be back about six with the new ATM. You guys won’t even notice it is gone.” The officers helped him load it in the van.
Jack drove down the street and parked briefly in a fast food place's parking lot. From his phone, he pressed a few buttons. Up on the screen the numbers began to fly. Inside of ten minutes, the figures on the Samsung Galaxy 4 said $1.5 million already had been transferred overseas. He then clicked a few more buttons and said, “Try to find that money coppers!” He grinned like a Chesire Cat and headed down the road. Passing out of New Jersey, he turned onto a dirt road in Stroudsburg which led down to a farmhouse he had rented. He got out and went inside. He hadn’t really used the place. He slipped out of his clothes and put them into a bag. He then picked up a brand new set and put them on. He opened a wallet and saw the ID. It said Oscar Simmons of Pittsburgh, PA. Everything was in order. Credit Cards, etc. He placed in a different bag, his other ID. He would leave dressed as a woman so they wouldn’t be able to identify him. He grabbed the suitcases and put them in a late model blue Mazda 3. He then placed the clothes and everything else he owned and used into the van.
Jack then reached into a sealed box after he placed it in the van and deployed some thermite bombs. They would burn quickly and efficiently destroying the van making it a melted heap of metal. Fast enough that neighbors wouldn’t discover it for weeks. Nor would the owners of the house. He put special thermite on the VIN numbers and the tags. Nothing, he was determined, would be left of the van. They might eventually track it down, but he would be long gone. He set off the thermite and left.
Jack took it easy driving down I-80. It didn’t take him long to get to Pittsburgh and the Plastic Surgery Clinic. Dr. Travis met him in the exam room. “Oscar, this is the first time we have met. I am sorry I was out of town, the substitute surgeon met with you and set everything up. Are you sure you wish to go through with this surgery?”
“Yes, I have wanted it my whole life. I want to look like Terry, just like my file says.”
“Okay, sign these consent forms and we will get to it. You will be out of here in a week. Did you bring clothes for when you leave”
“Oh yes, they are in the suitcase over there. Just leave them be until I am ready to go.” Jack smiled and quickly signed the forms and was prepped and wheeled into the surgery. He was getting a new face and plastic surgery as someone else. In a week, the real Oscar would show up and they wouldn’t know who was really here. He laughed thinking about how hard it would be to track him down. About now, he knew the cops would be figuring out that all their savings accounts, checking accounts, and IRAs had been cleared out. He had checked the final tally. The offshore bank said he had $15 million now and it was untraceable the way it was done. Someone would be taking the check from the bank and moving it one last time so it would be available to him in two weeks.
The nurse came in and put him on the gurney. “You are very brave. I admire what you are doing.”
Strange, but he played along. “Oh, it is nothing. I have wanted this surgery my whole life.” She smiled and patted him on the arm. He went out quickly. When he woke up in the recovery room, his eyes were bandaged and his head wrapped, “Don’t speak Jackie. He did a little work on your voice too. You got the full package. You don’t even need to get up to pee. The catheter will do it for you.” He was too groggy to ask her why she called him by his real name or even notice.
During the next forty-eight hours, they lifted his head and he drank smoothies which soothed his throat.
Soon, they had him sit up in the bed. “Okay Jackie,” said the nurse, “are we ready?” He nodded yes.
When they removed his bandages and he could see again. They handed him a mirror. To his horror, they had made his face look more like a woman than a man. He didn’t say anything. The nurse said, “I hope you don’t mind. I got out some of the clothes you brought. They are really pretty. You are leaving here looking like are a real lady, Jackie.” Jack bit his tongue. What had happened to him?
He looked down and softly whispered, “What about the catheter?”
“Oh yes, are you ready?” The nurse pulled back the sheet and to his horror, removed it from a bandaged groin. He began to feel around his chest. He reached up and felt breasts.
The nurse said, “The doctor gave you a little more than a B cup. Hormones will give you a bigger size down the road. They look real nice and pert. The guys at the office are going to love you!” Jack hid his panic. He thought, how had this gone wrong?
A nurse came in with chocolate and flowers and then handed him a sealed card. It said,
Jackie of all trades,
mister of none now
P.S. Just so you know, there is some honor among us. I have sent you a ten per cent bonus on what you got me so you can live a nice life. But it won’t be as nice as the one you arranged for me. Thanks so much!
In the envelope was a computer printed picture of her on a Caribbean beach enjoying a drink with an umbrella in it.
The nurse looked at him and grinned, “Who was the nice person who sent you the flowers. Boyfriend? Isn't that sweet.”
All Jackie could do was cry and nod yes with a vacant look in her eyes. The 'man' got conned.
Copyright © 2017 by AuP reviner
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