Friday, June 24, 2011

Calling All Angels

Sappy’s cowering whimper ended with the dual report of Jeanette’s derringer pistol. Click…Click. “Damn it!” Jeanette broke Virginia open to stare in disbelief at the two empty chambers staring back. Sappy uncoiled from his fetal position still reeking of urine and cowardice and never once thought of counting his blessings.  He swept a leg catching Jeanette off guard and sent her sprawling. He leapt upon her and seized her by the throat. Jeanette hammered with her fists and bicycled her legs but the fall had knocked the wind out of her and she hadn’t drawn a good breath. Her vision was growing dark at the edges and she knew she was leaving. She hated going at the hands of such a pussy. She did not close her eyes. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. If looks could kill, she meant to stare this son of a bitch straight into hell.

Over Sappy’s shoulder, an angel appeared. Oh please, what’s next trumpets? she thought. How utterly cliché. Then, the angel clobbered Sappy with an enormous nickel plated pistol and sent the bastard tumbling. The angel went on to kick and stomp the living shit out of the once again cowering sap and with each gasp of sweet oxygen Jeanette's angel came more fully into focus. “Harry!”

“Harry, thank Christian Dior! How on earth did you ever find me?” Jeanette exhaled.

“You just wait until my uncle hears about this Harry,” Sappy whined sitting up now and holding his ear.

“Who the hell do you think sent me Eugene? You had one simple thing to do. If you had a brain in that punching bag on your shoulders you’d know to steer clear of your uncle right now.”

“Wait, Eugene? Harry, you two know each other?” Jeanette’s jubilation was taking a turn she was becoming all too familiar with.

“I’m sorry, Jeanette meet Eugene. Eugene is just leaving,” Harry said hauling the man to his feet. Harry whispered in the ear the man was not holding. The man struggled to pull away like a petulant boy who doesn’t like being told what to do. Harry clamped a hand on Eugene’s throat and finished what he had to say. Releasing him, Harry said loud enough for Jeanette to hear, “Leave the keys to the T-Bird in the ignition. Catch a bus or hitch-hike, I don’t care but get some real gone between you and the boss.” Then he shoved the shaking, bleeding and stinking man in the direction of the door.

“Just a damn minute here Harry, that man’s not going anywhere. I’m calling the police!” Jeanette said, brandishing her phone.

“Go!” Harry ordered and Eugene actually ran down the hall.

“I’m sorry Jeanette. I really am, but I’m going to need for you to give me that phone,” Harry said raising the 45.

“What the hell are you into here Harry? Who is that boy’s uncle?”

“You already know Jeanette,” Harry said with a sad smile. “He’s The Boss’s sister’s boy, 215 pounds of total fuckup. Eugene Gabardine.”

“Avery? You’re saying Avery had me abducted? My God Harry, I have to say I’m surprised and more than a little disappointed to find you've fallen in with that bastard.”

“I haven’t fallen in with that bastard Jeanette, and nobody calls him Avery.”

“I’ll see that he’s called a hell of a lot worse before this is over Harry and I’ll think up a few things to call you too.”

“Sticks and stones Jay C, but for right now you must be able to see our predicament,” Harry waggled the gun and shrugged, what can I say?  

“Why are you doing this Harry, what the hell does he have on you? It’s not exactly like you are hurting for money.”

It was true, Harry had always been lucky. He’d been lucky in business, lucky with the ladies and more often than not, lucky picking the ponies. Anyone would say his life was charmed. That is at least, until Boss Gabardine set him up.  

“Jeanette, you’ve been out of the loop, so let me fill you in. Eugene was just supposed to keep you company long enough for the city council to ok breaking ground on The Boss’s proposed sports park and gaming facility. It passed without your vote yesterday, by the way. I had no part in any of that. I was called after the fact. You can believe that or not but so far, one person is dead and the Professor's wound up in the hospital. I was on my way there to ask him about something he’d said when I got the call to check up on Eugene. I think you have to admit things were not going all that well for you when I got here," Harry meant to be sarcastic but when she touched her throat he felt ashamed. "Look Jay, you’re just going to have to trust me when I tell you that it’s not a very good idea for you to be popping to the surface right now.”

“Who…who is dead? Is the Professor ok?” Jeanette had to sit down.

“Spangler or Spackler, the new projectionist At The Bijou, anyway. Word is he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was Chester Hanks they really wanted. Do you believe that, Hookem Hanks? Some kind of bloody mess in the ladies room there too. I don’t know about that or just how Chester fits into all this but what I do know is The Boss very clearly wants you out of the picture.  As far as everyone knows, you are missing. I aim to keep it that way and I think I know someone who can help.”


Eugene Gabardine was a sulky, spoiled, boy and never one given to following orders. He did not leave the keys in the T-Bird as Harry had instructed. With the warehouse door barely closed between him and any immediate consequences, he exorcised a small tantrum that had been building in his chest by kicking the side mirror off of Harry’s Charger. “You aren’t the boss of me!” he screamed with huffy school-girl conviction. Then he hopped in the T-Bird and backed it straight into the Harry’s car. There was a satisfying crunch as the Charger’s plastic tail light puzzled, and Eugene found he felt much better. He shifted into drive and blasted Harry’s car with a spray of gravel before schweeling out of parking lot. Foresight was not a characteristic that would ever be associated with Eugene but he was not one to dwell on the past (or learn from it) either. As his spinning tires barked onto the asphalt of the county road, Harry and Jeanette ceased to be of concern.

Jeanette's troubles all started right here:


Friday, June 17, 2011

Meet Virginia

Ringing brought Jeanette out of her trance, probably saving the man’s life. Still straddling the sap she could now see was sapped, she released him allowing him to slump back unconscious and fished the source of ringing from his shirt pocket. Another damn Iphone, the german cockroach of electronics. She was fingering the talk button when she noticed her formerly subdued sap had not only roused but had the actual audacity to be eyeballing her inner thighs where her skirt had hiked over. Looking down where he had drawn a bead she said, “Enjoying the view? Well, how about a nice close look?” She reached down between her legs, slid her fingers along her left thigh and holding Sappy's rapt attention, retrieved the silver derringer from her garter and poked the muzzle in his face. “Meet Virginia. You got about one second to start talkin’ Buster. Who’s on the other end of this phone?”

“Careful with that pea-shooter Ma’am, I’m just following orders. I was supposed to keep you in the dark for a spell and that’s all. I never meant you no harm, I was just coming to see if you needed some juice, I swear.”

Jeanette wasn’t buying it and Sappy’s sniveling only repulsed her. The phone had stopped ringing. She drew Virginia back keeping the gun aimed between his eyes and held the cell out. “Call them back. Tell them you were in the bathroom. Tell them everything is ok and make it convincing.”

The man began to blubber and Jeanette realized he feared making the call more than he feared being shot. Who the hell are these guys, she wondered. She had an idea of course. But, would he really go to these lengths?  She felt suddenly hot-and worse-wet! She jumped up standing over the pathetic whimpering excuse for a man who had just quite literally pissed himself.  Enough is enough, she thought and squeezed the trigger.

Jeanette's troubles all started right here:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Jeanette Unravels

Jeanette sawed on the ropes with the emory board that was now nothing more than limp cardboard. She kept at it though, working her wrist raw straining against her bindings. In the dark as she was, it was easy to focus on this task alone. In her mind’s eye she saw each individual fiber as it snapped relinquishing its hold and knew she was closer to escaping. Her diligence paid off. She could not pull her hand free altogether but she had loosened it enough to push her arm through further. Straining her fingers to their most outstretched they slid first over the edge of her pocket. She curled her fingers back finding the edge again, this time slipping them inside and touching the smooth plastic surface of salvation. Fingertips stretching deeper into her pocket, she visualized the Iphone. Thankful to find it business side up, she began working a series of maneuvers she was a little surprised to find her hand knew quite well. Soon she heard faint ringing followed by her friend Kate’s voice answering in the distance. The joy and triumph in this moment was so tremendous that it needed to be expressed but of course high fives were out of the question. The height of Jeanette’s joy quickly plummeted to the equal depth of her despair when her whole body burst with laughter that only muffled into her forgotten gag.

Jeanette might have sat there and cried were she not fit to be tied and the fact that she already was, only served to make her madder. She wanted to scream but she knew it would do her no good. So she focused her fury on her confines. She no longer felt the pain when she yanked her arms against the ropes. She pumped back and forth, lunging forward then pulling back like a girl on a swing pumping to go higher. She felt the chair rock and she built a rhythm with each tug. The front legs cleared. She now understood the exhilaration a foolish schoolboy feels balancing his desk for attention. Upon settling back she leaned forward bringing the back legs up. She was rocking now and when she arced backwards again she twisted with all her might, balancing briefly on one rear leg before toppling over sideways. The crash slapped her head to the floor and dazed her a bit. It also loosened the arm of her wooden prison. The ropes had gone slack and she was able to work her hand free. Triumph may have been postponed but it was only sweeter for the delay. Before even freeing her other hand she yanked the gag from her mouth and pushed the blindfold up from her eyes. Even without the blindfold it was too dark to make sense of her surroundings, the only illumination a horizontal slit of light below what she knew must be a door. As she struggled to free herself completely, she focused on this sliver of light. Her passage out. Her escape.

As Jeanette untied the last rope from her ankle, her beacon blinked out, only to be replaced by a new vertical and widening strip of light. This time Jeanette did scream.

Jeanette’s scream was not one of fear but more a release of pent up rage, only further exasperated by this ill-timed reappearance of her tormenter. A body could take only so much disappointment before snapping. There was no crying in her war-cry and no hesitation in her actions when she seized the wooden chair by the arm and hurled it at the figure silhouetted in the doorway. There was no weeping and there was to be no mercy when she charged and tackled her stunned and stumbling jailer. She scrambled on top of him and grabbing an ear in each hand, began bashing his head on the cold concrete floor. Each time she pulled his head up she hammered her knee home between his legs. She was fighting for her life, and once again she'd found her rhythm.