Johnny grimaced as he fished a half-eaten burger out of the dumpster, muttering, “Same old junk!” However, his luck took an unexpected turn when he stumbled upon a mysterious black trash bag buried beneath the rubbish. Hoping to find more food, Johnny cautiously pulled it out, but to his horror, it contained bundles of untouched $100 banknotes.
Overwhelmed by the sight of the money, Johnny looked around anxiously to make sure no one had witnessed him. Seeking privacy, he hurried to a secluded underpass where he discreetly counted the bills. Astonished, he realized the sum was an incredible $5 million.
Eager to share his newfound fortune, Johnny sought out his old friend, Billy, who had once experienced homelessness but was now working as a janitor at a café. With excitement, he showed Billy the money and explained that he had unexpectedly inherited it from a long-lost grandparent.
Overwhelmed by the revelation, Billy asked, “Are you telling me you got a $5 million inheritance?”
“Yeah, man. I had no idea my grandpa left me all this money,” replied Johnny with a mix of disbelief and joy. “But Billy, listen, this is life-changing for me. I’m no longer homeless. I can finally have a future! I need your help with something.”
Intrigued, Billy inquired, “What kind of help do you need?”
Johnny explained, “I want to buy a house and a car, but I don’t have any identification or documents. Can you help me out? If you register the house under your name, I’ll give you $100,000 in cash. Just think about how it can also benefit Ellie!”
Billy’s 15-year-old daughter, Ellie, lived with her foster parents as Billy had lost his parental rights years ago due to his difficult living conditions and homelessness. Determined to make amends and provide a better future for Ellie, Billy saw the unexpected money as an opportunity to change their lives.
“Alright,” Billy agreed, “I know a realtor who can handle the paperwork for some extra bucks.”
“Perfect, man! Thanks!” Johnny beamed at his friend.
The following day, Billy and Johnny met the realtor, and soon Johnny became the owner of a magnificent mansion. The realtor efficiently completed the paperwork while Johnny generously tipped him. Excited about his newfound wealth, they headed to an automobile showroom to buy Johnny’s dream car.
“Look at this beast on wheels!” Johnny’s laughter echoed through the open car window as he took the driver’s seat and zoomed down the street.
“Hey, how about celebrating tonight?” Johnny suggested as they parked outside his luxurious mansion.
“Well, I have a graveyard shift tomorrow. Let’s do it some other time, alright? And don’t try to convince me again, I really have to go,” Billy replied, stepping out of the car. “Thanks for the $100,000.”
“You earned it, buddy!” Johnny shouted with enthusiasm as Billy walked away.
That night, Johnny had a few too many beers and dozed off in his bed. He was suddenly awakened by loud banging on his door. Confused and groggy, he wrapped his robe around himself and rushed to open the door.
On his doorstep stood a menacing group of six men, all dressed in black with tattoos and piercings covering their bodies. Johnny knew they were dangerous thugs, and fear gripped him as he faced their wrath.
“You thought you could get away with stealing five million and roaming the streets unnoticed?” growled the gang leader, sending shivers down Johnny’s spine.
“I swear, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” stammered Johnny, taking a step back.
“You’ll know soon enough,” the man threatened, brandishing a Bowie knife, and forcefully entered Johnny’s mansion with his gang. “Sell your mansion and car, and hand over every penny from the sale to us. And, as a little bonus for messing with our plans, you’ll give us an additional 10 percent. Oh, and don’t forget the stash of cash you have hidden somewhere here… We want that money too!”
Completely terrified, Johnny rushed upstairs to gather the money. As he filled his bag with the remaining cash, he made a split-second decision. He couldn’t face the consequences of dealing with these dangerous criminals.
Without a second thought, Johnny made a daring escape through the window and sprinted out of the gate as fast as he could. Determined to evade the gang, he quickly bought new clothes from a thrift store to change his appearance. Then, he sought refuge in an old motel located along the highway, hoping to lay low and wait out the night in safety.
Desperate for a place to stay, Johnny approached the motel clerk, breathing heavily. “Need a room. Uh, I have no ID on me, but I can give you a good tip, alright?”
The clerk hesitated, explaining that it went against their policy. But Johnny swiftly revealed a wad of cash, quickly changing the man’s mind.
“OK, alright, sir. Room 206. Second on your left upstairs,” the clerk relented.
Johnny spent the night at the motel, but the encounter with the thugs continued to haunt his thoughts. He knew he had to escape the town, but without an ID, it seemed impossible.
“There’s a car junkyard not far from here,” he suddenly realized. “Yes, that might be the solution!”
The following day, Johnny first visited a salon to drastically change his appearance, shaving his head and beard to avoid recognition. Then he made his way to the car scrapyard.
“Got anything in decent shape, pal?” he asked a garage worker. “I need it urgently.”
“Well, uh, I might have something for you. Follow me,” said the man, leading Johnny to a cheap, worn-out Mustang. “$500, and this old beauty’s yours.”
“Great, yes. But the thing is, I need to leave this state quickly, and dealing with paperwork is not really my thing. If you catch my drift,” Johnny hinted.
“Look, sir, it’s technically illegal to make a deal like that, but $5000 in cash might make things work,” the worker proposed.
“Perfect!” Johnny handed the man the cash and drove away in his newly acquired car. However, as he approached the US-Mexico border, his phone rang, and he pulled over to answer.
“Hey, Billy. So much has happened. Look, I have some news…” he began, but his words were interrupted by a menacing voice on the other end.
“Looks like Billy couldn’t make it to the phone, Johnny,” laughed the thug. “Did you really think you could run away with the money? Just so you know, your friend is no longer with us. Poor fella. He stopped breathing when we pointed the gun at his temple. But hey, he saved us a bullet… and some time.”
Johnny’s heart sank. “You… you took Billy’s life? He didn’t do anything wrong!”
“Well, well, it seems like someone played a little trick with their property ownership. Listen, Johnny, we’ll track you down no matter where you go. And when we find you, you’ll meet the same fate as your friend did that day.”
After the thug hung up, Johnny slammed his hand against the steering wheel and cursed. He knew there was no escape from these ruthless thugs, which led him to make a life-altering decision.
He turned the car around and headed back to town. Stopping by a novelty shop, Johnny approached the vendor, asking, “Do you have a dozen packs of fake $100 bills?”
“Well, well,” grinned the vendor. “Looks like you’ve got a dozen packs of Benjamin Franklins right here! But remember, kid, these fake bills are only for fun and games.”
“Perfect! Yes, I’ll take a dozen packs.”
Johnny purchased the counterfeit money, left the store, and drove to Ellie’s foster home to meet her. He couldn’t find the strength to tell her about Billy’s death, but he had no other choice.
“Johnny?” Ellie asked, opening the door. “What brings you here? And where’s Dad?”
“I need to talk to you, Ellie,” he said, entering the house. “I’m sorry to say this, but Billy has passed away. He… he suffered a heart attack. He cared about you deeply, Ellie. He wanted to give you the best.”
“Oh my god!” Ellie gasped, tears streaming down her cheeks. “He was all I had, Johnny. Please tell me this is a lie! He can’t be… he can’t just leave me like that!”
“I know this is tough, but you have to be strong,” Johnny consoled her. “Billy wanted me to give you something.” Johnny handed her a note and a key. “The note contains the code to a locker in a nearby shopping plaza. And this is the key to it. Billy worked hard to bring you back home, and he had saved money for you. Please take care.”
Johnny left Ellie’s foster home and drove to Billy’s house, where the gangsters awaited him.
Parking his car far from the house, Johnny approached the building, clutching a bag filled with fake money soaked in gasoline.
With a deep breath, he ignited the bag with his lighter, the flame casting an eerie glow on his face. Within seconds, the bag burst into flames, filling the air with the smell of burning paper. Approximately 20 seconds later, the door swung open.
The mafia boss’s face contorted with shock and rage as he saw the burning bag of money on the doorstep.
“GET HIM!” he roared at his gangsters. Johnny grinned wickedly, knowing they would never recover their “stolen” money.