For Sale: Brand New “For Sale” Sign

…and it’s on sale!


The next few Doclopedia entries are short snippets from fiction pieces I have in the works. Some are short stories and others are much longer. A couple will be recognizable to long time readers of this blog. Enjoy, and please do comment.


The Doclopedia #744

Fiction Snippets: The Hot Job

Spider had just turned on the TV and was about to settle into watching the Giants play the Dodgers when the phone rang. Before he could even get a “hello” out, he heard Billie saying, “He’s bored. Totally Sherlocked out. No fun from him. You need to get over there fast.”

As the cold knot of fear filled up his stomach, he asked a couple of questions and found out that Billie was not going to stick around and, thankfully, the Kid had not turned to any of his usual forms of boredom relief…yet. Thank goodness for that. Last time this had happened, the Kid had walked halfway to another city and had gotten in at least three fights along the way.

For the average driver, it was a 20 minute trip from Spider’s house to the California Kid’s apartment, but Spider was highly motivated and so made it there in 11 minutes flat. The black door of the Kid’s apartment stood there like a warning. “Do Not Enter! Madness, Danger and Temptation Await.” It was the danger that had Spider’s guts frozen and the temptation that had some insane part of his brain waking up. The madness he was used to by now. The Kid was, by his own admission, pretty much incapable of thinking about things like an ordinary person might. Normally, this was cool and made him fun to hang with, but when he got bored, his brain went to all sorts of dangerous places. At those times, he came up with plans that could easily lead to a long stretch of incarceration for a professional thief like Spider.

He didn’t bother to knock as he stepped through the door. Oh yeah, the Kid was in deep this time. The apartment was spotless, which means that he had gone through at least one fit of manic cleaning. Christ, you could eat off that floor and Spider noticed that the extensive spice rack had been alphabetized. Of course, that frenzy of activity had passed hours or days ago and now it was Moping Time.

The California Kid was sprawled out in his big overstuffed armchair, his feet propped up on a ottoman that was upholstered in a zebra striped pattern. His eyes were fixed on the television across the room, on which a classic horror film played. His hair was unwashed and Spider guessed he hadn’t bathed in a few days. He had on cutoff jeans and a Grateful Dead concert t-shirt. As was the case 90% of the time, the Kid wore no shoes. The Kid hated to wear shoes.

Billie called you. Knew she would. I need tea.” He never even looked towards Spider.

Spider went to the fridge and reached for a gallon of the herbal tea that the Kid drank constantly when these moods hit him. When he wasn’t bored, he drank regular tea, but when “his nemesis” hit him, drinking enormous quantities of caffeine was counterproductive to his thinking process. Alcohol was out of the question as were drugs, a point at which the Kid diverged from his fictional hero. Not that the Kid didn’t use the odd recreational drug now and then, but only when he was clear headed and in good spirits.

Handing over the gallon jug and noticing the six empties on the kitchen table, Spider watched at the Kid hooked the jug up to his “tea IV”, a long bit of flexible tubing that allowed him to drink his tea at a steady rate from anywhere in the room. Not that he had probably moved for hours. Spider had once watched the Kid as he sat thinking through the plan for a third story apartment job. Aside from swallowing every few seconds, the Kid had not so much as twitched in two hours. Guy must have a bladder the size of Detroit.

Well, best to get this ball rolling”, Spider thought as he moved Herbie the cat off the other chair in the room. Being a pretty mellow cat, Herbie just jumped up on Couch #1 (the Kid had three) and laid down next to Velma, the other cat. Across the room on Couch #2, Leon & Joe, the house rabbits, were asleep.

As Spider sat down, the Kid spoke again.

I’m bored and it is entirely your fault. The jobs you’ve chosen to do these last three months have been textbook examples of timidity. My talents were wasted even thinking about them.” He took a long pull of tea and gave Spider a withering stare. “Tonight, we’ll discuss how best we can remedy this injustice.”

Who the fuck talks like that, Spider thought. Oh, yeah, the California Kid does when he’s channeling Sherlock Holmes. “As I recall,” Spider said, “we hauled in an average of ten grand per job…”

Ten six, actually.”, the Kid interjected.

…of which you got ten percent each time.” Spider ignored the interruption. It was par for the course.

The Kid barked a humorless laugh. “Money! Fuck money! I have just over twenty grand right here in this room! What difference does money make when I…AM…FUCKING…BORED? “

Spider knew better than to argue with him when he was this bad. Hell, the Kid, always a big fan of sexual congress with willing ladies, had not even bothered to speak to Billie, who had come over to see him primarily to get seriously laid. No, best to just come out and say it, even though his guts screamed no and that evil part of his brain was trying to get him to lay his neck on a chopping block.

So,” he asked, “what the fuck do you want ME to do about YOUR boredom, Holmes?”

The Kid stared at him for a couple of seconds and then that mad twinkle came into his eyes and he smiled. “I want you to look at this.”

He placed a notebook on the coffee table in front of Spider. On the cover was written “The Jervison Job”. Spider felt the war between brain and guts ratchet up to a nuclear standoff. He had not yet opened the notebook.

As in Walter Jervison? U.S. Senator Walter motherfucking Jervison? Senator “Best Friend The Police Ever Had” Jervison? Oh fuck no, Kid! Not a motherfucking chance in hell! You’ve gone off the deep end at last. NO. FUCKING. WAY!”

The Kid looked at him and smiled. Spider hated it when he smiled like that, because it meant that the Kid had thought about it for enough time to have many of the hitches ironed out. Please, please, don’t let him have any good intel to go with it.

But Spider, I have a most excellent plan and I have juicy intel from Tony. It will be highly profitable…six figures easily…and incredibly fun.” The Kid looked like a hungry dog whose owner had gone outside without putting away the pot roast.

Inside Spider, his guts were at Absolute Zero, but his brain was getting a boner just thinking of a six figure job. Truth to tell, the Kid was right about the recent burglaries and thefts the crew had pulled. They had all been dead easy. Hell, that last warehouse might as well have been unlocked with a big red carpet. He sighed, knowing he was about to screw himself in some way.

Ok, Kid, tell me all about it”, he half whispered. “But if it’s too risky…and ripping off the home of a fucking U.S. Senator will be…we drop it and come up with something else, ok?”

The Kid’s smile moved up a few notches to that of a wolf finding a flock of sleeping sheep. He leaned back in his chair and his previous tension slipped away. From a box next to the chair, he grabbed a handful of malted milk balls and popped one into his mouth.

Of course, old friend. If you say no, the idea will melt away and be forgotten. We’ll think up some nice little heist on a rich yuppie who lives way out in the country. Now, two important facts about the Jervison job: The haul will be right around 400 grand and the job will be a hot one, during the good Senator’s annual Christmas party.”

As his paralyzing fear left the room with his common sense, Spider knew he was being totally screwed by his greed and his love of a challenge. Score: California Kid 1, Spider 0.

Go on, tell me more, Kid.”


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