Monday, April 24, 2006
MB Campfire Story Part V (for Vendetta... or... uh... Fivetta)
Harry was still fuming, a few blocks from his office, when an old but very familiar sensation prompted him to quickly cut into the alley he was passing. He was a little rusty moving his hand up to the small of his back, removing the item there, and raising it to its accustomed position; shoulder height and steady as a rock.
The man who rushed around the corner was not, as Harry expected, thickset, greasy, and wearing a cheap suit. The thin man was well groomed and wearing something normally found on Seville Row. Thin Man smiled as he stared down the barrel of the revolver. “Looks like not all the skills have faded, eh Harry? It is Harry now, right?”
Harry simply cocked the hammer back in reply.
“We could have killed you twenty times between your front door and this alley this morning, Harry.” continued Thin Man.
Harry hissed his response through clenched teeth. “Should have taken your shot then, Gino.”
Thin Man smiled. “Actually, its Walter. Walter Johnston. I’m a cousin. By marriage. And we waited until now so the civilian down at the end of the alley with the camera could get this all on tape. The video, at least. So when the Fibbies get a copy, it’ll look like maybe you saw a guy who might recognize you, panicked, and murdered him in cold blood. So if our guys don’t get you first, you’ll wind up strapped to a table waiting for the potassium chloride.”
“You’re making a piss-poor case for your own survival here, Walt. I don’t imagine surrendering to you will improve my chances any.”
The thin man shrugged. “They’d improve the chances for that little lady you’ve taken up with. Anne?”
Harry’s lip curled. “Anika.”
“There are six guys in the hallway outside your apartment right now. If this goes badly, before she winds up working as a nickel whore in a heroin shooting gallery somewhere in the ghettos of Detroit, or L.A., or Shy-Town, or New York, they and every Family man will know her as intimately as her best friend, priest, and gynecologist put together. Capishe?”
The gun didn’t move. “Like I believe you’d go easy on her if I decide to play nice.”
Another shrug. “She doesn’t know who you are. Lord knows we offered enough money to anyone who could get us a line on you. Turns out one of your co-workers likes to vacation in Atlantic City. Also turns out he doesn’t really read the percentages very well. And once his money was gone, he started using some of ours. After that, you know how it is. He would have sold his own mother into that shooting gallery to get out from under. Turns out someone had one of your old clippings on the wall of his… office. Your boy Bob sees it, spills, and is allowed to go on his merry way. Unlike you.
Bob, thought Harry. Bob is now the top of my list. “What, I give up, you take me back to your uncle, a quick Moe Green through the eye, and all is well?”
Thin man shook his head. “No Moe Green for you, Harry. Unc, he’s got a fricken theme park of pain and unpleasantness set up for you. But the girl lives. And who knows? Maybe you’ll get lucky. Get your hands on a gun, kill us all, and escape to South America with the girl.”
Harry’s teeth clenched again, and his eyes squinted down. He felt a bead of sweat run down his wrist as he made his decision. “Does this appear to be a lucky day to you?”
Tune in next time as Tracy Lynn answers the question: Does Walt feel lucky?