1% … The motor was whirring. Sand flew everywhere. He wouldn’t have it any other way.
He loved his dune buggy. He loved his beachfront home, with its private beach. He loved being in the top 1%.
He had stepped on people his entire life. He was one of the most ruthless takeover experts in the world of finance.
His trophy wife was barely twenty and her already gorgeous body had been surgically altered to match his tastes perfectly. It had been the same with the previous four wives. Once they hit twenty-five or so, he lost interest. The punitive pre-nups had meant none of them had gotten more than a pittance in the divorce. Only twice had he needed to trump up adultery charges.
He hit the accelerator. The buggy picked up speed. Then, from out of nowhere, there was something in the way. He barely had time to register it before the collision.
He regained consciousness in incredible pain. As he opened his eyes, he realized his leg was pinned under the flipped over vehicle. Worse, the buggy had caught fire. He pulled hard, and couldn’t budge.
“Well, this is better than I expected,” came a familiar voice. He turned to see Jill, his first wife, standing ten feet back from the fire.
“What are you-“ the question died on his lips as a far more important one arose. “Can you get me out of here?”
“Get you out?” came a second voice. “Why would we do that?”
He turned to see Melanie, his third wife. Beside her, Amy, his fourth.
“Yes,” said Amy with a wicked smile, “Why would you save the person you just tried to kill?”
“What?” he exclaimed.
“We all got together at Carrie’s funeral. You know? The one you skipped?” asked Melanie.
“That’s what’s got you butthurt? That I skipped a funeral?”
“No,” said Jill. “Did you even bother asking what Carried died of?”
“I never heard.”
“Suicide,” said Melanie coldly.
“We came to a decision,” continued Jill. “You’ve done enough damage for more than one lifetime.”
“Now,” added Amy, “your lifetime is over.”
“You can’t do this,” he pleaded. “Please!”
“Oh now you say please!” growled Melanie. “You never meant a kind word you’ve ever said.”
The flames were building. The smoke was black and he was beginning to choke on it.
“Ok, so I’m a bad person,” he said, “But none of you are. You’re not murders.”
“You are,” said Jill. “You may not have put a gun to Carrie’s head, but you ruined her life. After you said she was cheating on you, her family disowned her. She was left with nothing.”
“You never wanted any of us to learn any real skills,” said Amy. “And we were all kids, taken in by your false charms and the easy life.”
“But losing that isn’t nearly as bad as the betrayal,” Melanie added. “We figured we’d just throw something big in front of you and your speed addiction. We hoped you’d die.”
“This is even better. We get to watch you die. I’m almost giddy with anticipation,” smiled Jill.
He was coughing now, and the heat was becoming painful.
“What do you want? Money? You can have it.”
“They’ll get it,” came a fourth voice. This one, he recognized immediately. It was his current wife, Barbara.
“Pre-nup or no,” she said happily, “if you die, it all goes to me.”
“You won’t get away with it,” he said.
“We’ll see,” said Barbara. “Now, ladies, let’s back up a bit; when this thing explodes, it’s going to be loud.”
“You can’t do this!” he cried, “You can’t just let me die.” He knew, in his heart, they were going to.
At that moment, he hated his dune buggy. He hated his private beach. And he wished like hell, he’d never been a one-percenter.
And that, was his dying thought.