Tagged: crime

Tessa Let Go of the Steering Wheel

  • k-avatargirlfriend and your sister
  • Well, do you want to follow their path?
  • We had a TV exactly like this
  • began to pick the dust and rocks off them
  • you should always have something baking

Tune In Next Time Part 15                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

Tessa let go of the steering wheel and said, “How are we going to do that? That’s a long con.”

Her exasperation seemed to have cured her hiccups, but even so I smiled. “John himself taught me this: you should always have something baking. I’ve had him ‘walking the poodle’ for over a year now.” I steadied the wheel to keep our huge, sparkling car on course in the parade. “Should be a piece of cake to get him over to the river, as it were.” I winked.

“Wait a second — I’m the poodle? This is as bad as the time you introduced me as both your girlfriend and your sister to the same relatives at your cousin’s wedding!”

“They weren’t my relatives, they were on the groom’s side. And you embarrassed me too, when you began to pick the dust and rocks off them.”

“I only did that to be polite.”

I took a deep breath. “Anyway, my poodle, this is the only way.” During our argument the parade had inched along until we were almost upon the Y-intersection at Circle Square. We’d be able to edge our way out on the right fork, onto Elliptical Avenue and out of the Macabre procession. “Well, do you want to follow their path?” I asked Tessa, gesturing ahead. With a shake of her head, she took the wheel again and diverted us to the right.

But we had to stop, not because of the crowd lining the route but because another float had pulled off before us and blocked the road. It was boxy thing the size of a house, bearing a convex window that took up the entire side facing us, through which we saw people dressed as ninjas bouncing on a trampoline inside.

We had a TV exactly like this,” Tessa remarked.

Suddenly the giant television screen flipped open and the ninjas bounded out. Michiko’s sworn enemies, Ninja-Vision, had found us!

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“I Don’t Trust Your Ideas”

  • by jenground patrol had proved ineffective
  • arrested in London
  • You think your great big husband will protect you?
  • Six hours after injection
  • you’re never going to win the lottery

Tune In Next Time Part 10                              Click Here for Earlier Installments

“I don’t trust your ideas,” Tessa spat. “Not after London.”

I winced, remembering how my idea for ground patrol had proved ineffective during the Barclay’s bank heist, leading to Tessa being arrested in London, and John and me in Birmingham. The charges hadn’t stuck, but it had been an unpleasant couple of weeks for the three of us and apparently Tessa held a grudge.

“Things are different now,” I said.

“I should have listened to John all those years ago when he tried to warn me about you. He was there at our wedding you know, trying to talk me out of it. He said, ‘You think your great big husband will protect you? That asshole only wants to get into your pants. You don’t believe me? Go ahead and marry him. Six hours after injection, or ejaculation, or whatever you want to call it, he’ll be out the door. Girls always want to be lucky in love, but you Tessa, you’re never going to win the lottery.'” She turned back to glare daggers at me. “And he was right.”

“That wasn’t a real wedding, babe. You know that! It was all part of the plan.”

“Your plans suck. This time it’s my turn to be in charge. Now here’s what we’ll do…”

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Who Are These People?

  • k-avatar“Revenge.”
  • Clayton and his wife simultaneously noticed
  • did not attempt to check her tears
  • She was alone.
  • visit him every weekend

Tune In Next Time Part 7                              Click Here for Earlier Installments

“Who are these people?” John shouted over the throbbing music. “This is supposed to be a law firm!”

I wagged my head and held up my empty palms, but I did have a faint notion what was going on. Officially, this place was the offices of Gallows-Clayton, Ltd., but when Clayton and his wife simultaneously noticed that they could make more money renting it out for parties, and that said parties would bring in droves of lithe, horny young people, they shifted their business model from corporate law to glowsticks and ketamine.

A stage had been constructed over the hidden floor panel. John searched along its lip for some way to get underneath, while I sought the improvised backstage area. Inside a corner office being used as some kind of dressing room, I discovered Tessa. She was alone. Looking up when I came in, she did not attempt to check her tears. In her lap was the giraffe-hide briefcase, so I knew she’d found a way to the hidden compartment.

“Tessa, why?”

“Revenge.”

I just stared at her, unable to conceive of what wrong would drive her to madness in the name of vengeance. With each turning of the diabolical wheel that was my business partnership with John, through all our betrayals and stupid macho games, we both had always looked out for this woman.

“You want the case,” she spat. “You want it before John finds us. That’s all you care about.”

She had me there. I had been edging forward, compelled by my desperation to control the destiny of the items in that case, to deprive John — and Tessa — of them.

She stood, and John burst in. He froze in the doorway and his eyes locked onto the briefcase. After a tense second he said, “Girl, you’re cornered. So just hand it over and we’ll all go join the party out there.”

Tears still flowing, Tessa began to laugh. “I’m in charge, now! I have the briefcase, and what I say goes unless you want me to open it.” I shook my head and saw John doing the same. “Good, then we understand each other. I’m afraid one of you will be taking the fall, but the other one can visit him every weekend.”

 

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Aren’t Ya Gonna Shoot Him?

  • Either way, I am quickly losing faith in the Deutschepost.k-avatar
  • wanted the reader to be kidnapped
  • “You appear to be astonished,”
  • I will deliver it by hand.
  • taken in by a pair of handsome con artists

Tune In Next Time Part 2                               Click Here for Earlier Installments

“Aren’t ya gonna shoot him?” Tessa asked.

John smirked harder, then turned a softer smile her way. “It’ll be more fun if I don’t, babe.” He kissed her.

I turned away, the sight of that smooch worse than my own imminent demise. I looked over at the old pilings, where the high-tide level was marked by the sudden absence of snaggletoothed masses of mussels and barnacles. That level was at least a foot over my head. Shit. Each lazy swell rode higher up my torso, soon they’d be lapping my chin like cold, fishy-smelling Saint Bernards.

“You appear to be astonished,” John said. “Didn’t you know what I was planning?”

“Tessa,” I said, “you don’t want to see this. Make him put you ashore.”

She shook her auburn head, smiling playfully and winking. Shit.

“John, this is stupid,” I tried. “It’s like sending a ransom note when you wanted the reader to be kidnapped. How are you going to pull this off without me?”

“I have the map, moron!” John called.

I shrugged. “Unless you don’t.” I always was the better poker player. “I knew you had the combination to that safe, so I took some precautions. Of course, now I don’t know if the original made it back to me, or if the phony was misdirected.” Another shrug. “Either way, I am quickly losing faith in the Deutschepost.

John laughed. “Nice try,” he said.

Tessa huffed and folded her arms, buoying her cleavage like the inflatable speedboat she sat in. “Why’d I hafta get taken in by a pair of handsome con artists? It’s gettin’ cold out here, John, just shoot him already.”

John grumbled, but to my horror he raised the harpoon gun and took careful aim.

Click. The weapon didn’t fire.

“Run for it!” Tessa yelled.

I started hauling myself backwards, dragging the blocks chained to my feet, fighting the undertow. John tried the gun two more times, then snarled coldly, “I will deliver it by hand.” He slid the long projectile from the barrel and started the zodiac’s motor.

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I Wanted To Punch John’s Smirking Face

  • by jenagainst the shimmering water
  • Karma? What a crock of shit.
  • I had almost forgotten the treasure
  • as hilarious as you would expect
  • Yeah, this story is going exactly where you were hoping it wasn’t

Tune In Next Time Part 1

I wanted to punch John’s smirking face. He winked and said, “Yeah, this story is going exactly where you were hoping it wasn’t, and it’s about as hilarious as you would expect.”

He’d been talking so long I had almost forgotten the treasure that was supposed to be buried somewhere near the boardwalk pilings that stood out against the shimmering water like stiff dead fingers. The boardwalk was long gone, of course, along with the partnership John and I formed so many years ago, before he betrayed me and ran off with both my woman and the treasure map, leaving me for dead.

Karma? What a crock of shit. If karma existed, I’d be the one sitting in the zodiac with Tessa and a harpoon gun, and it would be John standing in water up to his chest with cinderblocks chained to his ankles as the tide came in.

He was leaving me for dead again, and it looked like this time it would stick.

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Alimony, Acrimony

  • k-avatarTiffany didn’t deserve any more money
  • has not he the true build of a cuckold?
  • stopping of its own accord
  • rolled about in uncouth positions
  • I don’t know the solar systems, but

Alimony, acrimony. Can’t be coincidental those words are so alike.

I’m going to call my lawyer first thing Monday and get it knocked way back, maybe back to zero. Tiffany didn’t deserve any more money, especially not any more of mine. If she was buying pornographic orreries then she had clearly run out of legitimate expenses.

Yet, I’m captivated by the clockwork prurience on her nightstand. I wound it when I came in, and watched as the “planets” rolled about in uncouth positions. The mechanism ran down, stopping of its own accord, and I’m staring a while longer. Venus in particular holds my attention, appropriately enough.

I know I should be leaving Tiffany alone, but she started it. She said to her new lover, Antoine, “Has not he the true build of a cuckold?” If she’s going to make those kinds of comments, then she should send them via an email account I don’t know the password for. It’s like she’s rubbing my face in it. Antoine doesn’t have the foggiest idea what a cuckold is, and Tiff knows that.

I snap a picture of the orrery and send it to my new lover, Adrienne. I’ll show it to my lawyer in person, keeping the evidence of my break-in from bloodying his electronic hands. Adrienne already knows I’m here. She’s waiting in the car. Her reply is characteristically earthy.

I don’t know the solar systems, but it looks like something interesting is happening to Uranus.”

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Fletcher Made the Mistake

  • by jenexplosives placed inside
  • regarding the stranger as a harmless lunatic
  • within the system
  • “No grownups!”
  • the sacred lotus flower

Fletcher made the mistake of regarding the stranger as a harmless lunatic, one of those poor unfortunates who can’t really get along within the system of society, but pose no real danger. It was a mistake he would regret until the day he died, even after his mind atrophied and his once magnificent intellect devolved to a childlike state that compelled him to build forts out of couch cushions and yell, “No grownups!” any time a nurse or orderly approached with his medication. The stranger was definitely a lunatic, but he was anything but harmless. The sacred lotus flower he carried past Fletcher’s security post that fateful day had enough high-grade explosives placed inside to flatten a city block, so the circus tent stood no chance. No chance at all.

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“How Much Do You Drink?” She Asked.

  • by jenHow much do you drink?
  • on the Indonesian island of Flores
  • looks pretty cute in his mugshot
  • vital, sunburnt, carefree
  • dazed but not seriously injured

How much do you drink?” she asked.

“Like I’m on vacation on the Indonesian island of Flores,” he assured.

She eyed him with a smirk. “You look like a guy who looks pretty cute in his mugshot: vital, sunburnt, carefree. Like the bar fight you were arrested for left you dazed but not seriously injured.”

He shrugged and she admired his lazy smile. “But in any case, you have the right to remain silent.” She cuffed his wrists together behind his back. “I’ll have to ask the booking officer if I can have a copy of your mugshot to see if I’m right.”

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For Too Many Decades

  • by jen— now at last —
  • two jabs of a delicate needle
  • rollicking witch laughter
  • small nostrils wrinkled fastidiously
  • since life crawled from the sea
  • old Doctor Sour-apple
  • godawful Scotch porridge
  • dressed as others dressed

For too many decades I harbored this thirst for vengeance, this desperate drive to make old Doctor Sour-apple pay for his culinary crimes. The godawful Scotch porridge he served every day for breakfast is my only memory of a childhood spent studying and training at his wretched Institute. To go unnoticed on my mission of revenge I dressed as others dressed in the twisting halls of the Institute, the way apprentices have dressed since life crawled from the sea. I kept my small nostrils wrinkled fastidiously as if I could still smell the terrible stench coming from the kitchen, even though years ago, with two jabs of a delicate needle, I severed the nerves in my nose, rendering myself anosmic. In this way, apprentice-berobed and nostrils aquiver, I made my way unchallenged to Doctor Sour-apple’s chambers and peered through the keyhole. From inside I could hear the phonograph he always played, the gargling sounds of rollicking witch laughter that passed for music in his estimation. As the cacophony reached its crescendo, I flung the doors wide and somersaulted into the room, placing three bullets in Sour-apple’s chest.

“I’ve been — waiting for you — so long,” Doctor Sour-apple gasped with his dying breaths, “— now at last — I am — released.” He shuddered and went still, a smile on his gray lips.

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It Was a One-Way Window

  • k-avatar“Squint your eyes
  • but he’s a whizdang now!
  • noise made down here
  • It was a one-way window
  • felt a minor isolated quiver
  • A tourist in Glasgow!
  • They call me Smith
  • should keep it sharpened

It was a one-way window with a no-way view, because of all the green smoke in the interrogation room. Harold wondered if this was normal Scottish police procedure.

“Squint your eyes and you can just see the point of his hat!” proclaimed Harold’s new partner, Seamus MacCallahan. “Lafferty used to be a siphontopper, but he’s a whizdang now! Aye!”

Harold didn’t bother squinting, because he still remembered Lafferty’s tall, blue wizard’s hat, and the matching robes. He thought they should be more concerned with whether the suspect was still in the room, and no amount of squinting was going to help with that.

They call me Smith,” said a booming, gravelly voice from somewhere in the roiling smoke. Harold felt a minor isolated quiver in his left arm. Something about the Caledonian weather, no doubt. Just this morning he’d been a tourist. A tourist in Glasgow! But now he was a detective inspector in Edinburgh, and he was determined to do his best.

Lafferty didn’t ask any questions. The unseen Smith spoke, his voice like cumulonimbus fender-benders, like no noise made down here on terra firma. “One thing my teacher always told me about my pencil,” Smith droned, “I should keep it sharpened.”

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