Short Story
No Gold in the House
Scott A. Gese

A home invasion gone bad. He was told there was gold. All he found was lead.

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Max Cliff sat at his dining room table. He was topping off a late dinner with a bowl of French Vanilla ice cream smothered with fresh strawberries. It was turning into a bad habit. Ever since he kicked his drug addicted wife out of the house there was no one around to stop him. He was perfectly happy with that.

He did all he could to save the relationship but the woman was out of control. Ending it was one of the better things he had recently done.

As he savored the last bite of creamy goodness a sudden knock at the front door startled him.

“It’s darn near dark,” he thought. “Who the hell would be at my door this late in the day. It’s probably that good for nothing wife of mine needing money for another fix.”

Against his better judgment he decided to answer the door. As soon as he began to open it someone gave it a mighty shove knocking Max off balance. A young man entered brandishing a handgun. He ordered Max over to the couch and sat him down.

With the handgun pointed directly at his head, he spoke up. “OK mister, where is it?”

Not knowing what the kid was talking about, Max returned the question. “Where’s what?”

“Don’t play stupid with me old man. I got no time and less patience for this. I know you have a stash somewhere around here. Where is it?”

Max played dumb. “A stash? I’m no damn druggy. You got the wrong man. Whatever might have been here went out the door along with my ex-wife.”

“I’m not talking about drugs old man. I know you have gold and silver bars… and some money stashed away. I want it.”

“You’re sadly mistaken, son. I’ve got no gold unless you count what I have in my back teeth. The only money I’ve got is in my wallet. You can have that if you like.”

The kid let off a round into the couch next to Max. “The next one goes into your gut. If you don’t cough up the goods you’ll be coughing up blood.”

Max pulled what money he had out his wallet and offered it to the kid. “I’m not lying to you. Take it. It’s all I got.”

The kid grabbed it and threw it back in his face. “Bullshit. You have a safe in the hall closet. I want you to open it for me.”

“How the hell do you know that? My damn ex put you up to this, didn’t she? I never trusted her with the combo. That’s why you can’t open it yourself, right?”

“Stop asking so many questions and just open the damn safe,” replied the kid.

Max walked over to the closet, pulled out a couple of boxes and uncovered the safe. He then opened it up.

The kid shoved Max out of the way to get a look at what was inside. It was empty except for a single passport.

“Where’s the gold? I was told it was in the safe.”

“The only person who could have told you that is my wife. My ex-wife to be exact. I expected something like this from her. Any gold I had, I sold. The money went into my personal bank account where she can’t get at it… and neither can you. Go back and tell that bitch to go to hell.”

The kid was pissed. He took a swing at Max and caught him in the side of the head knocking him to the floor. He was about to pull the trigger on him when the doorbell rang.


Jim Catlin was Max’s next door neighbor and a good friend. He was also the head of the areas neighborhood watch group. He noticed the suspicious car out front and he could see something going on in Max’s house through the window. Something wasn’t right. He could feel it.

Being an ex-cop he was trained to notice and question things he thought to be out of the ordinary. He had a good hunch there was something nefarious going on at his neighbors house. He slipped his old .357 service revolver into his jacket pocket and walked next door. When he knocked, no one answered. He knocked again and called out. “Come on Max, open the door. I know you’re in there. You’re not trying to back out of our card game are you?”

The kid hadn’t anticipated company. Since the person at the door knew Max was inside, he decided to invite him in.

The door opened, but it wasn’t max. It was a kid with a handgun. He pointed it at Jim and ordered him inside.

Jim stepped in and quickly assessed the situation. Max was sitting on a dining room chair. His face looked swollen. Jim asked him if he was alright.

“I’m fine. This punk thinks I have gold hidden here. I tried to tell him I didn’t, but he’s not buying it.”

Jim looked over at the kid. “Gold? What makes you think ol’ Max here has gold?”

“I was tipped off by a reliable source. Said he had a stash of hidden gold and silver… and money,” he added.

“That source would be my ex-wife. I’m sure of it,” Max interjected.

“Well I think your source was wrong, son. There ain’t no gold hidden here.” Jim replied to the kid.

“How the hell would you know. You don’t live here.”

“No I don’t, but Max is a good friend and I know he doesn’t have any gold in the house, other than what might be in his mouth.” Jim chuckled at his own joke.

“I already heard that one mister and it ain’t funny. I have it on good authority. There’s gold here and I want it, now.”

“My ex-wife is a junky and not a good authority about anything. She lied to you,” replied Max.

“Shut up!,” the kid shouted as he pointed his gun toward Max.

“OK, ok,” replied Jim. “Just settle down. Max, I don’t want either if us getting shot. I’m going to show this kid where the lead is hidden.”

“That’s gold, not lead,” replied the kid.

“Maybe so, but lead is what you’re gonna’ get.” Jim surprised the kid by shooting the revolver from his pocket and hitting him in the leg.

The kid dropped his gun as he fell to the floor in front of Max.

Max kicked the gun out of his reach.

“I told you. There’s no gold in this house, you bastard,” shouted Max. He kicked the kid in his wounded leg and was pleased to hear him scream out in pain.

Jim called the cops. They called an ambulance and hauled him off.

“How did the kid know you had gold in the house?” Asked Jim.

“I don’t. When I kicked my wife out I figured she’d try something so I took it outside and buried it. I wasn’t lying. There really isn’t any gold in the house.”

“Good move,” replied Jim.

“Thanks for pulling my butt out of the fire, Jim. If it weren’t for you I might be dead by now.”

“No problem. It was nice to know retirement hadn’t dulled my intuition or my reaction time. Oh, by the way. You owe me a new jacket. Mine seems to have developed a hole in the pocket.”

© Copyright 2023 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

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