Just One More

The day it rained pearls in Chicago was not the day of merriment anyone expected it would be. Not that anyone had actually expected it, of course. Least of all Joshua Lane.

The damage caused by his legendary collection of bowling-ball-sized pearls spilling into the streets from his apartment balcony was valued higher than the collection itself: crushed cars, an injured motorcyclist, an armored truck smashed and looted. The pearls themselves were smuggled away before Joshua could blink and he was still trying to figure out what had happened when the volley of court summons came.

Twenty enormous pearls ought to be enough for anyone. He’d set himself this limit years ago. And yet here he was, staring down from the 45th floor, looking thunderstruck for pearl number sixty-one. The pearl of calamity. The one that finally broke the emasculated display shelf when Joshua’s obsession went too far and sent the whole lot rolling toward the terrace.

“Just one more,” he had said. “What’s the worst that could happen?”

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