Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Great Casino

   I ran into the brightly lit casino. My insides trembled after more than two hours on the highway being chased by J.T., but thank God for those bikers who had apparently seen what was happening and jumped to my defense. I found a restroom, put my purse down on the sink and looked at my haggard face in the mirror.
   Lordy, how the hell had I gotten into all this? Standing there, I washed the mascara from my tear-stained face and worried, had J.T. still been somewhere close behind me on the freeway and did he see me turn into the entrance to the casino?  If he had followed me, would I see him in time to get away through a side door?
   The Great Casino was jammed as I stepped out of the restroom and cautiously made my way through the aisles of slot machines and black-jack tables. Bells shrilled as bleary eyed patrons joyfully collected their winnings from the brilliantly lit machines.
   As I moved through the crowded room of milling people, my heart jumped in my chest when I heard someone call out my name. I quickly counted the steps to the nearest exit, but then curiousity got the best of me, and I searched the faces of the people sitting at the nearby gaming tables. Thank God, I didn't see J.T.,  but then my frightened glance fell on a man I had known years ago. He had been in law school while I was studying for my degree in business. We had, had a torrid love affair. 
   Now, my heart began to spin as I looked into the steely blue eyes of Reed Conners!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tanner Burk

   He stood outside the motel, one foot  propped up on a rock lying by the sidewalk. Beads of sweat glistened on his forehead. Now in his middle forties, Tanner Burk had learned to trust his instincts as he warily scanned the quiet streets of his home town. He took one last drag of his cigarette and impatiently flipped the butt into the street and watched it hit the ground sending sparks flying.
   Just then a shiny black BMW roared up to the stop sign and a woman sat at the wheel clutching it for dear life. As he stood just a few feet from her car as she hesitated at the sign, he recognized Lindy Lewis, his friend, Reed Conner's girl-friend from their college days. And he saw the raw fear shadowed on her face as if she was racing for her life as she flew on by.  And, he wondered, had Sierra been chased by someone and forced off the road to her death?

   A block away, J.T. slumped down in Jones's red car. He'd been outsmarted by Lindy and the bikers and he was pissed. The Lincolm slowed down then as they approached a stop sign in a small town. As they neared the street corner, his breath hissed and he bolted upright in the car seat and yelled, "Jesus, that man standing there is Tanner Burk, my ex-old lady's attorney. Spittle flew in the air as he went on, "That son of a bitch sent me to jail!" He reached for his gun then and aimed. "By God, now I'll make him dance!" And in that instant as their eyes met in recognition an ear-splitting shot rang out and Tanner hit the ground.
   Christ, he'd been right all along and the wait was over, Tanner knew. Another shot blasted through the air, closer this time and the smell of gunpowder and dust hung in the air.
   Then there it was-- in a split second disclosure! John Thomas was in that car. The man whom he had sent to prison and now it all fit. And for revenge, John Thomas had to have been Sierra's killer!
   More shots peppered the air and time stood still as Tanner lay there hugging the earth, the pavement, and the sudden stillness brought a crackling reality, he was going to die!
   J.T.'s gun pointed directly at him and another bullet cut through the air with a scream. Then it was too late--too late to run. There wasn't any time, time had run out and the air vibrated as the weight of death hung suspended.
   Then with a deafening burst of force, his world shattered into a blur of nothingness and his life flowed across the cement in rivers of red. Tanner Burk lay dead in a pile of twisted humanity as a train whistle, from miles away, sent out lonely calls of departure.
   And adrendlin pumped through  J.T.'s veins as he and Jones flew through the rest of the small town. He laughed and said, "Fuck man that felt great! Lets stop at the casino up ahead,  my luck has just changed!"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

   I put my powerful BMW in drive and raced down through the dark hotel ramp. Then my breath froze in my throat as I met a red car and glimpsed the familiar face of J.T. sitting in the passenger seat.
  Dear God, help me, I whispered as I flew out to the freeway. With my eyes glued to the road and my hands in a viselike grip on the wheel, I prayed he hadn't seen me.

  However, a short distance behind her J.T. yelled, "That was her! Okay pal, let's see what this pussy car can do!"

  Traffic was heavy even though it was late at night, and likely everyone was going north too to get an early start on the long July holiday weekend.  A steady stream of cars, bikers, vans, and pickups with campers were all traveling at break-neck speed as the urgency to get away snaked its way along the pavment and covered  the faces of the drivers and passengers.
   Jones gunned the motor in his red car and recklessly weaved in and out amongst the traffic, then caught up with me and rammed right into the back bumper of my car.
   Oh God, I prayed again and fought for control coming dangerously close to a deep ravine.
   "Hit her again, push her over," J.T. yelled, then curiously twisted around and checked the back window as the air suddenly reverbrated with an ear-deafening roar. He gaped at the scene unfolding behind them and his voice cracked as he said, "Fuck, you won't believe this man; the whole fucking town is behind us on their Harleys!"
   He watched bug-eyed then as they were surrounded by black leather and exhaust fumes closing them in. As a sea of black helmets with goggles looking like an army of faceless monsters on thundering bikes slowed them down. 
   "Goddamn she's getting away," he growled as the tailights of Lindy's powerful black BMW sailed out of sight in the late night traffic. "Fuck, we lost her, pull off on the next exit," and J.T.slammed his fist on the dash.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


   Edges of danger crawled up and down Tanner's spine as he stood on the corner of Broadway and 8th in the early dawn.
   What the hell is it? He mumbled under his breath. A whiff of fried bacon from his Aunt Juia's cafe mingled with the fumes of the dry cleaners up the block as the small businesses prepared for opening at sunrise.

   In Minneapolis, J.T. stood clenching the phone to his ear.  His piercing brown eyes ready to kill after finding the bag of groceries Lindy had promised to bring for their special night scattered there on the ground by his vehicle. And all the incriminationg papers and the disguises he had used there too, where he must have dropped them when he got out of the car.
   "The bitch will have figured it out," he roared to his buddy and punched the wall. Then bellowed, "Pick me up!" And a few minutes later he jumped into Jones's red car and they sped off.

   I sat on the bed in my hotel room stunned, after finding those papers and disguises J.T. had used to trick me. Painful tears ran down my face. Why hadn't I left town right away after getting my insurance money when I had those sudden niggling feelings of doubt about staying longer.
   Why hadn't I paid attention and especially not gotten involved with this man. For God's sake, he didn't want me, he just wanted my money!
   I jumped up and caught my breath. As soon as he discovers his papers, the wig and his glasses, and sees the champagne and strawberries I dropped, he'll know that I was there and realized just exactly what he was doing. My heart jammed wildly in my chest as I tossed clothes in a bag, thenran down the hotel stairway to the underground parking garage and jumped into my black BMW.

   Across town, J.T. climbed into Jones's red car and said, "Go by that broads hotel and then take me straight out to the airport!"
   "What the hell are you going by the hotel for, she's probably got the cops waiting for you,"  Jones's deep voice vibrated.
   "Fuck, I just need five minutes to settle a score with that bitch before I split this goddamn town." He inhaled hard on his cigearette. And just as they came off the parkway and turned into the hotel entrance, Lindy's car shot past them.
   "There she is, in that black BMW,"  J.T. yelled.  "Follow that bitch," and the red Lincoln flew into the Saturday night traffic as if it had wings!