Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Chrissie (Part 1)

     The flies keep landing on my hand.  They're drawn there by the blood that drips off of it, refusing to congeal.  They itch.  I shake them off and resume my position, leaning against the garbage bags.
     "Bekka!" I whisper.  "How you doing?"  I receive a psychotic giggle as a response.  I glance over to her and she is in position, frozen in place like a Franklin Mint statue, her hands holding her .38 on the railing like it was the most important thing in the world....
     .... And in our world, it is.  We continue with our vigil, covering the door.

Chrissie (Part 2)

     I called Vinny back first.  "What do you mean, where's your wife?"
     He yelled into the phone, "You scumbags carted her off four hours ago and she's still not back!  I mean what the hell did you do with her?  Where is she!?"
     "Hey, we gave her a ride to the Safeway and let her out.  She said she was gonna take a cab back to your place.  What, she's not there?  You haven't heard from her?"
     "No, she's not here!  I don't know what to do.  You say you took her to Safeway?"

Chrissie (Part 3)

     We arrived at Angel's house around 8:30 at night.  Angela answered the door, Angel being asleep on the sofa.
     "Did you need me to wake him?" she asked.
     "No, let him sleep," I replied.  "Really, we need to use the phone.  Any more faxes come through?"
     "No.  That second one is disturbing.  I'm praying for you guys.  I know you didn't have anything to do with her getting kidnapped.  The family could come up with the 200K they're asking for, but it's a matter of principle.  They want money, but we don't know how to get it to them."

Chrissie (Part 4)

     "What time is it?" asked Bekka.
     "Just about midnight," I replied.
     "Seems later."
     "That's just your body rebelling.  We've gone over a day and a half with no sleep, and we've been moving around almost all that time.  At least we were able to lie down for a few hours at Vinny and Chrissie's place."

Chrissie (Part 5)

     The sky was just starting to lighten as we pulled in Angel's driveway.  False dawn, I think they call it.  As we got out of the car a thought struck me.
     "Hey, anyone know what day of the week this is?" I asked.
     Angel said, "Yeah, it's Monday.  Why do you ask?"
     "Aren't we supposed to have a big bag or suitcase loaded with currency ready by ten this morning?  That was our instruction from the kidnapper.  Should we start working in that direction?"

Chrissie (Part 6)

     The fax came through while we were still on the road.  It gave instructions to leave the money bag in the men's room at the Yucca Street park.  As long as everything works out and all the money was there, Chrissie would be returned within twelve hours.  Await further instructions.
     Mikey was somewhat freaked out over me taking a bandanna off my boot and refolding it, then tying it over his  eyes.  He was happier when I gave instructions to Grant that he could start his day by going up and getting Mikey's beloved 280ZX back for him

Chrissie (Part 7)

     We rolled down Santa Monica Boulevard to our fate, cutting up Wilcox Ave. and doubling back on Fountain.  We anchored around the corner from Seward, just in time to have some obnoxious junkie type with a broken bottle in his hand accost us as we got out of the car.

Chrissie (Part 8)

     Bekka and I made an attempt at sleep around 1:30.  It was futile, between the drugs and the adrenaline we were stuck to the wall.  We drifted off around 4:30....
     .... Only to be awakened by the alarm at 5:55.  I felt like throwing it through a window, but grudgingly got up and pulled on some pants, then waking Bekka so she could dress.  I stumbled out into the living room and considered things, then went back to the room and got the speed out of my jacket.  I chopped two lines while humming "Master of Puppets" by Metallica in the back of my throat.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Ferrari (Part 1)

     Nationally, torches --- professional arsonists --- cost the insurance companies untold millions of dollars each year, and not by stealing calendars.  I will heave no great sobs of pity for the insurance companies, as I consider them to be burdensome pests.  Nonetheless, my friend and coworker Frankie was having a fun time of trying to collect on his burned-out Ferrari Tesstarossa.  Someone set fire to it in his driveway.

Ferrari (Part 2)

I arrived back at Olivehurst to find I couldn't park in  my space.  It was already occupied by a Ford Taurus.  I pondered this, then recognized the Taurus as camera guy Calm Steve's car.  I  still had no idea why Steve would be over, except to talk business, which would be strange.  Bekka hated it when work followed her home.

Ferrari (Part 3)

     Angel called around 3:30, sounding peeved because I was delaying his lunch.  "So what do you know, Lenny?  Found Todd yet?"
     "I found him, and there won't be any more trouble from him.  He's dead."

Ferrari (Part 4)

     It's noon Sunday and Bekka and I are seated with Vinny in a restaurant not six blocks from Angel's trattoria.  This place has the same air of exclusivity, for the same reasons.  This is Vinny's prize: a place with good food where you can talk about anything without worrying about the other diners.  There's a two month wait for Sunday brunch.  We walked in and were seated at once.

Ferrari (Part 5)

     The phone rang three times and Angel answered.  "Hey Angel, it's Lenny.  How ya doing?"
     "I'm fine.  You have some news for me?"
     "Yes sir.  The people you're looking for are in Chatsworth, at 6857 ______ Drive.  It's definitely the same people.  Oh, and I have three ounces of cut coke that I don't know what to do with.  You want 'em?  I don't."

Ferrari (Part 6)

     On Monday I was back at the Starlight Motel.  They were getting used to me.  The clerk asked me if I was doing business in the area.  I told him, "You might say that.  I'm a low-level soldier for the mafia, and if I don't solve that murder in Chatsworth in the next eleven days I'll probably be killed."
     He smiled and handed me my key.

Ferrari (Part 7)

     Now I really was at loose ends.  Eight days before my deadline with Don Ventimiglia and I had nothing to show except a list of Mexican fast food places in Chatsworth.  Angel was too busy sweating over his own hide to worry about me, and a third reading of the police reports gave me no new information.  Wait, one small possibility....

Ferrari (Part 8)

     Frankie and I sat at the bar in the Pink Panther.  I was midway through my third Johnnie Walker, Frankie nursing a soda.
     Frankie asked, "So you're firing Calm Steve?"
     "I can't.  First of all, this all happened away from the mansion and on personal time.  Second, replacing him would take some work.  You can't just call up a temp agency and tell them you need a cameraman.  And third, he'd be hard to replace, he's good at what he does.  I'm over a barrel so far as replacing Steve goes."

Ferrari (Part 9)

     I stepped in the door and called to Bekka in a low voice.  She'd said she was going to bed early, and I didn't want to startle her.
     "Lenny?  Is that you?" she called.  I assured her it was me, and could I come in the bedroom?  I had news I wanted to share with her.  She invited me in.  I limped to the side of the bed and sat down.