Patrick Robert's background in police work has added fuel to the collection of stories in It's Criminal. I have written many fiction crime stories and The Crew is his favorite.
She cuddled up in the wood bed of the Santa Fe boxcar, the splinters
digging into her skin and ripping an already worn pair of bib
overalls; a twenty-something vagrant on the run from the feds. She
figured on blending in with the hobos in the camps until she could get
to California and a stash of money waiting in a Grey Hound Bus depot.
The moonlight glanced across the open door of the Santa Fe, where
Martina Lovett was saying Hail Mary's, and dancing in and out of
slumber. She was a giving soul who took a wrong turn in her early
years; years that meant orphanages and juvenile hall, until her
eighteenth birthday, a day to remember for the slight built and busty
She had hooked up with a sorry ass crew from California, whose
reputation was liquor stores, and going in hot. It was obvious with
Martina's education in the Catholic orphanage that she would become
the brains of the outfit. With some small-time success, the crew
decided to rob a bank. But going in hot cost a bank guard a bullet in
the chest. The crew got better at it, a consequence of sleepless
nights on planning their next heist.
She drifted in and out of sleep, just dreaming about Jackie and the
crew; dangerous little fucks, with an appetite for suspense. She
prayed the old telephone number was operative, and fell back asleep,
cradled in the splinters of the wood bed. Tomorrow Martina would
search out the day camps for a break from the Santa Fe and make the
phone calls. A downpour seeped in and dribbling down the cheeks of the
homeless bank robber.
The hobo camp was cold and damp, set under an overpass near the train
tracks outside Denver, Colorado. There was a lumberjack size man,
squeezing the neck and life from a chicken and hurling it like a big
leaguer, breaking the neck and boiling it in a kettle of water.
Martina approached the man with her last ten dollars, tucked in a torn
sole of her shoe that mama would have cursed, if she had a mama. The
dark stranger smelled worse than she did, standing there with a stupid
look on his face, but she learned in the hobo camps to pick out the
biggest and make friends right away. He accepted the gratuity and led
her to his small and humble abandoned boxcar.
“Stop gawking so much, Fred, if you want to fuck me, that's fine, but
let’s do it and get it over with.”
Martina was hedging her bets, and praying her forward behavior would
throw him off; it worked, so they slept in each other arms for the
rest of the night. It was something else she had learned, that if
you're going to have to give some head, give it to the toughest man in
She was using him up; a jar of jam, right down to the jelly spread,
she was smothering him with kindness and cigarettes she stole in town.
The boxcar was starting to look like an apartment in the avenues.
Martina was getting big ideas from the hobo. She wanted to rob a bank
in town and use Fred for a frontman, dressed uglier than he already
was, some real Freddy Kruger shit. She'd, telephoned the old crew in
California with no success; hell, she thought, they were probably
Her duffle bag held clothes she needed for work with marks or tricks,
and the lady was good at it. Martina needed a thousand dollars for
weapons and another 500 for a car; an older model with a solid engine.
When she dressed for the dinner house in town, it stirred Fred’s
imagination, so she gave him a hand job, kissed him, and put him to
bed. She was on a mission.
The club was dimly lit with candlelight and soaked in champagne, a
setting befitting upper crust business types. The twenty-four-year-old
walked in the eatery like she owned the place and sat down at the bar;
a player's move that only a pro can make. Bathing along the river
banks had cleansed her body but not her mind. Martina was hell-bent on
getting filthy with an admirer whose eyes were glued to her size 40
bust line. In less time than a barrage of gunfire, she had his bank
statement, Rolex, and 2500 dollars in cash.
“Wake up, sleepy head, we’re leaving this dump.”
Martina was going to clean him up for the bank job next week, so she
got them a room at the Holiday Inn in Denver, a king size.
She was getting used to the hand jobs and keeping Freddy in check;
it’s all the big oaf wanted. He would do anything she said, and more,
if she asked. He looked like Freddy Kruger, all 6 foot 7 inches of
him, looming, and towering over the rest, holding a 12 Gauge Browning
shotgun he filled the bank with his foul disposition. It was enough to
scare the living daylights out of the bank executive and tellers, so
they scrambled in the corners of Chase. Martina pointed a 9mm pistol
in the direction of the executive while he opened the safe. The man
got cute, so she fired over his head. He pissed himself and turned the
dial on the safe.
“You said you could count, honey, so count the damned take.” She drove
like a Sunday school outing, as cool as a cucumber and just as smooth,
never looking back or even thinking of what could go wrong. Martina
finally got it right, it was her fifth job, and Freddy was the Key;
the looming menace. He answered her question.
“Seventy-five thousand, baby, and I'm still counting.”
He would have liked being in charge, but the little shit from the
Southside of nowhere, thrilled him. This wasn't Freddy's first rodeo,
and he sure the fuck wasn't a lumberjack; he was reserved muscle for a
crew out of Chicago. He was also hiding out in the hobo camps, and on
the run for his life after gunplay in the Midwest.
Freddy Boy Jones was a huge man, the size of a Texas lineman, also
raised in an orphanage by nuns. He favored working in close with the
infamous handle grip 12 gauge, a shotgun that blasts pellets 6 to 12
feet in all directions, a weapon used to scare its adversary. Freddy’s
parents abandoned him before his tenth birthday, so he did what every
boy at the orphanage did; learn to fight. He ran the schoolyard,
neighborhood, and his own crew out of Chicago before his twenty-fifth
She started looking at the man in a different way, he was talking more
and making sense, maybe a late bloomer, or just quiet and reserved.
“Do you want to drive for a while?”
She pulled to the side of the highway and got out of the rental job.
The false identification cost them plenty, but mandatory when you’re
on the run. Freddy got behind the wheel of the rental job, kissed her
for luck and drove west.
It was Wednesday when they arrived in Los Angles, 78 degrees along the
coast, so the couple walked along the sands of Hermosa Beach and
checked into a bungalow. He signed for both of them, while she waited
in the lounge, listening to the afternoon news channels talking
weather and better weather to come. But things would take a turn on
the road, like an out of control race car, bent on crashing into
something. Martina couldn't wait to telephone her crew again, just to
see if anything had changed, and it had changed. Jackie answered the
“Don't you trust me, Freddy? Wasn’t it my idea to clean up and get the
hell out of the dump we were in? We need to see this man.”
Martina was making sense, she liked the hunk of meat, and forgave his
easy manner. She was used to Jackie, and his hands-on behavior with
ladies, a man’s man with a flair for danger. But making contact with
Jackie meant one thing; her money and key to the bus depot locker.
That was more important than getting back with a man she knew was a
womanizer; always sported more than one lady on his arms. When they
met at the Greyhound the out of shape wise guy couldn’t believe his
eyes. He saw the size of the man standing beside Martina and smiling
like he owned tomorrow; something out of a hero’s magazine.
He approached them. “How are you, baby, and who the fuck is this?"
Jackie was packing weight, a 45-browning handgun, gilded to his side,
so the size of the man he was facing, meant nothing to the former
mobster. He handed Martina the bag of money from a heist in Oklahoma
where only one of the crew got away. It amounted to fifty thousand
dollars, one thing Jackie wasn't was a cheat or rip off artist. He
almost demanded, with his flair for the unsuspected, a meet in the
coffee house to talk over a business proposal. Freddy hadn’t spoken
yet, having been instructed to play it safe and stay cool under the
collar. He listened to the wise guy.
“It child's play, maybe a quarter of a million for a bank job in
Frisco, an inside job, the kind every little criminal dreams about.”
Jackie looked at Freddy, while he placed his piece on the table in
front of him.
"Do I make you nervous, big guy?"
Freddy picked up the pistol, removed the bullets and gave Jackie the
finger with his other hand; a pissing contest. “I don't scare easy,
pal, and brandishing a weapon without using it isn't smart."
The two rough-around-the-edges bad guys, shook hands on a deal that
included Martina. She also agreed on limiting herself to driving the
“If you two idiots are through dancing, I'm hungry.”
It was obvious she chose Freddy, especially after he manned up. But
her ex ol' man, Jackie Valentine wasn't anyone to fool with. She knew
it was just a matter of time before she ended up with one of them, or
The drive north proved as interesting a trip as expected for the
criminals. Martina’s brown hair rested on Jackie’s shoulder as he
smoked a cigarette in the backseat of the sedan. Freddy drove with the
confidence of a wheelman, while Martina slept. The quiet was
maddening, and each player gave a glimpse into the past. Freddy would
retire his squeeze but didn't know how long he and Martina would last.
Jackie couldn't wait to get back in the mud. He secretly missed his ex
but figured on making his play for her after the bank job.
Martina couldn't help but remember his touch; the feel of a starving
animal eating a morsel of food. Taking and giving nothing in return,
it’s how she felt around Jackie Valentine. She closed her eyes, asleep
and listened subconsciously to the sound of the wheels grinding in her
head. The choice would be simple, the last man standing.
She met Jackie in Golden Gate Park, a setting of trees and shrubs
sculptured and well kept for the city that speaks high society. Her
name was Betty Ann, a real looker with a degree in business, and a
sense of fair play. But she loved his bad boy image and couldn't take
her hands away; a naughty little hypocrite who cursed but didn't say
cuss words. She gave Jackie the specs on the job in the financial
district. She'd been with the bank for six years and opened on
Fridays, the biggest day of the week for deposits. Jackie began
schooling the young lady on getting into the safe deposit boxes. She’d
noticed at least five boxes with crazy amounts of cash and jewelry.
She drove back to Nob Hill after meeting with her boyfriend, Jackie
The crew kept going over the specs at the Bank of America in the
financial district. It was estimated that a half a million could be
stolen from deposit boxes and cash, nothing would get in the way of a
smooth operation; a driver, and two men going in hot. No one slept the
night before the bank job. Martina had purchased a muscle car for the
getaway, something with enough horsepower to get out of Dodge.
Martina pulled to the curb and parked the Camaro, lit a smoke, and
bided her time; knowing well that in ten minutes, all hell could break
loose. She could feel the nun’s ruler across her hands. Her hands were
trembling, so she lit another Pall Mall. The criminals were already
inside the bank and brandishing weapons.
Jackie let one fly in the direction of a teller, ceiling high, just
for scare tactics. The two men let themselves into the safety deposit
boxes. They held Betty at gunpoint, her, and another teller. The
security guard was tied up, tight as a grip on a child when the window
is down. Ten minutes and counting; time became a factor in the play
that spoke dividends about curtain calls.
Martina screeched from the curb, while they fumbled like school kids
in the backseat; a clean getaway with as many goods as the fucking
Vatican; close to a million in jewels and cash. The split would be
even because she'd earned her keep. There was a cop car following
close behind, so Martina put on the breaks and turned the wheel at the
same time, a turnaround, enough to get a shot off. The men in the
backseat were firing their weapons at the police unit, until it rolled
over on its hood, and crashed broadside into a fireplug. The crew
changed cars in Golden Gate Park, where out of shape cops on horseback
suck in too much coffee and not enough donuts. It went as smooth as
possible, but Martina prayed she wouldn't get a manslaughter beef. The
last thing she saw in her rear-view mirror was havoc from the getaway.
“I think we left a dead cop back there.”
But the boys were adding up dollars in the new Ford Ranger as they
drove south as fast as the limit would take them. It was a federal
beef, and outwitting the feds is what they did best.
It was uncanny the way the two guys were getting along. They liked
working together and didn't suck in one another's oxygen. Daylight
hadn’t even passed, and Jackie was talking about putting his squeeze
inside another bank for future references.
It had been years since Freddy had a solid partner to work with. His
expertise was muscle jobs, so he mentioned it to Jackie. The men
agreed to look into Las Vegas money and poker runs, where Freddy did
his last job.
The turn off at the junction leading to highway 215 was a few miles
ahead. Vegas bound, where money never sleeps, and every creep in the
hood was waiting for a shot at the big time.
She was offered a piece of the pie, and in for the thrill of a
lifetime. Martina figured she did a better job than she thought, after
leaving a dead cop on the highway. The newspapers were calling it a
hit and run job, but with no descriptions. The crew was as hot as
cakes on the griddle, and it was everyman for himself, especially when
Freddy caught the two playing footsy in the back seat of the Ranger.
He didn't say a word and chocked it up to old times. He was bigger
than his size suggested, and knew well her unsavory reputation. He
would be happy with scores, now that he'd found a good crew. Freddy
drove while they slept most the day, until they hit Vegas square in
There hadn't been a crew like this since his Chicago years, and Freddy
was loving it, sporting Dan Post boots and Stetson hats, a man’s, man,
again, including a hooker from the parlor downstairs from their suite.
He’d given up on Martina and was happy to play the field. He felt good
about himself and thanked her for that. She did bring him out of his
shell, and away from the broken-necked chickens he hurled like
baseballs. Besides, the mobster and Martina was a match made in
heaven; she still believed in Hail Mary's.
The poker run meant getting on the inside, so Martina would be turning
tricks, again, but without a rip off. Someone had done their homework,
like grade school, the smartest kid is the one holding an apple, and
Martina was sitting on a Houston Texas billionaire. He would be
playing Texas Hold‘em on the poker run on Tuesday. She met him in the
lounge of the old Sahara Hotel, where old money speaks the loudest.
The crew would play this one close to the vest. But muscle was
imperative, so Freddy came up to bat swinging for the fences, hell, he
could bunt a ball and muscle it over left field.
It was an invitational and understood that a million dollars buys a
player into the game. It meant Freddy was getting inside that
transport; the vehicle used for the poker run. He devised a plan and
set up, where the billionaire used a facility in the lounge area of
the Casino. When it was time to go, Freddy would follow them in. He
kept an eye on Martina and the mark, lounging like big cats on the
Sahara Desert. The gentleman stood up, kissed Martina on the cheek and
motioned to his bodyguard that he'd be going to the men's room. The
giant of a man followed both men into the bathroom. Freddy attacked
the bodyguard and broke four bones in his body. The billionaire came
out of the stall with a surprised look on his face. Freddy responded.
“Sorry mister, he didn't like my hat, and I love everything about Texas.”
Freddy Boy was in, a simple statement about Texas to the oilman and he
was inside the transport and taking the bodyguard’s place. That left
Jackie, and his marksmanship, before they see daylight on Wednesday;
he'd be using his 45 Browning. The crew went over the game plan.
Gunplay was inevitable; Freddy would be packing a 9mm Glock. The idea
was to put the muscle on the billionaire and play him for his
briefcase. Martina had already witnessed the man exchange dollars in
one briefcase with a million in it. There were the other two players
It was game day, and the nation's playground, Vegas, would witness one
of the better heist jobs that had been conceived. The transport would
include two Asians, one of them a bodyguard. So, three players were
geared up for the ride of their sorry ass lives; according to the crew
and their sleepless nights. They dressed for the part; Freddy in a
flat liner day suit, modest but assuming, while Martina wore a Prada
gown and necklace. Jackie would hit the driver of the transport when
the timing was right.
The players and their bodyguards, including Martina, sat at their
appropriate stations at the poker table. It was a beautiful setting
for a transport casino on wheels. The owner and maître d’ gave some
insights on the casino and play began. Martina was allowed to sit at
the table, but the bodyguards positioned themselves against the walls.
The buy-in was a million dollars, so the take would be at least three
million, and counting; a billionaire always stands a head above the
rest, and his briefcase was holding five million and change.
Jackie followed close behind, allowing traffic to compensate his
search for the proper opening. He was waiting for the phone call from
Martina, the only one who could slip off to the ladies’ room without
being noticed. She was sitting by the oilman's side with a hand on his
leg, and every now and then, he'd pass her a black chip. The black
chips were a thousand dollars each. Martina laughed under her breath
at the ludicrous tip, especially when the crew was figuring on three
Freddy stood there with his back to the wall inside the transport and
held his breath. It had been a while since his last job, and he
thought he recognized one of the bodyguards, but probably not. He was
nervous. So, he lit a smoke and made small talk with the two
bodyguards. The third player was a businessman also from Houston,
Texas. He'd been losing big the last three hours and called for a
break in the action. It was good timing, and Martina excused herself
for the powder room.
Jackie got his phone call, stayed close behind the transport, and
watched the driver pull into a parking lot. He got out of the
automobile, held his weapon high in the air with both hands, and got
the drop on the driver, taking a piss in front of the transport.
Jackie knocked him unconscious, tied him up.
Jackie was in a good position to open the two-way door inside the
casino, so he did; came in blasting anything that moved and put three
shots in a bodyguard brandishing his weapon. By then, Freddy had
placed a piece in the ribs of the second bodyguard, and Martina held
three players at gunpoint. The crew had done their homework and left
the transport on foot; no one had ever hit a transport casino in the
history of Las Vegas, but the take they were holding proved otherwise.
Ten million dollars.
The crew headed back to Sanctuary City, where they planned on holding
up at Jackie's girlfriends flat in the Avenues. She was the girl that
gave them the inside information on the bank job. Freddy drove the
second getaway car, a mom-and-pop's special, the kind that waves to
you on the freeway with shit-eating grins on the passenger’s faces.
“I told you I'd be in touch, soon, baby, so expect another call in a
couple of days.”
Jackie made contact with the only person he could trust for a hideout.
Betty Ann held her mud, didn't give a description or say anything to
the feds about knowing any of the crew. So, she hung up the landline
“How can you trust this bitch?”
Martina was questioning the sincerity of Betty, a square head and
thrill seeker at best. The gutsy gun mall had proved herself under
gunplay and was advising the crew to flee to Mexico, where they could
live like kings. But Jackie and Freddy Jones felt differently, they
trusted the blond bombshell. The crew stayed on highway 5 to Frisco.
He sported a pair of binoculars and keened in on Betty’s flat. She was
standing on a balcony and waving in the direction of Denny's eatery.
Jackie also peered in that direction and noticed some men in suits,
sitting at an operative position in the restaurant. They were probably
federal agents, so Betty did turn out to be trustworthy. She was
warning the crew of their presence. It made the former mobster stir in
his gut. He wanted his girl back, sure there was Martina to consider,
but no one made him feel like Betty Ann. They drove off in the station
wagon and made plans.
He could see her in the dark of night, creeping like a thief and
holding a bag of garbage for the morning pick up.
“It's me, baby, I told you I’d come back.” Jackie held her close to
him, the pistol jamming in her side from is topcoat; she didn't care,
it could have been his big dick, she didn't care.
“The federal agents are inside, Jackie.”
She didn't hesitate to leave with him, then and there, in front of God
and everybody else. Betty Ann cradle hopped inside the waiting sedan
he stole and lived a life that only comes true in fairy tales. Martina
felt like a pair of dice, being tossed back and forth in an alley
someplace behind a garbage bin. She sat with Freddy in the backseat
and placed her hands in his.
“Looks like you and me, again, bud.” It didn't bother Freddy that
Martina was making advances again, sure, she gave the best head in the
hood, but that's not why she came running back. He sure as hell didn't
trust Jackie, now, especially, because the blonde bitch just wasn't
that cute. Jackie simply liked two women on his arms and told Freddy
The two men faced off, one holding a 45 caliber Browning, and the
other the 12-gauge handle grip.
“You want the wild thing, pal, but you can’t hold on to her.” Jackie
was making sense, but before he could squeeze off a shot, Martina ran
to Freddy's side.
“Stop this gunplay, I’m with Freddy now, so both of you count your
“And you, you cunt, I’ll plug you right here.” The crew was pointing
their weapons at each other and blurting obscenities until Jackie put
his hands down to his sides. He laughed until he cried.
“What a crew this is,” he shouted, then he motioned Betty to climb in
the backseat of the wagon.
The crew drove north, of all places, headed for Canada, where the
black chips in the transport casinos in Vancouver are blacker than
night. Nightfall found Jackie and his squeeze holding hands in the
back seat, while Martina drove, her and Freddy mad with possibilities.
“You know I don't love you Freddy, but I respect you more than any man
I've ever known.”
THE DOLLAR A DAY
It was called the dollar a day room, a job site for low life's parading the streets for drugs, Johns or gutter trash on a score. The stain on the curtain in Joan's room was dried blood, remnants of a bad John. But the teenager was moving up in the sorry ass neighborhood and had met a guy from The Heights. His leather hoodie, Justin boots and hat smelled as good as a client who bathed before sex. Joan placed her toiletries and condoms in a Safeway shopping bag, left a small statue of Saint Nicholas on the three-legged dresser and went in search of a better life.
The room in The Heights cost more than she could afford, but she needed to make a good impression on her new client, the cowboy from Bakersfield, a guy who
could take her places, maybe dine with the little fork for a change; a restaurant without prices on the menu. She'd been living on Doritos, cigarettes, and bad plumbing. A life inherited by an abusive father, an alcoholic with a heavy hand. It wasn't the lack of an education that sent the kid running, she was smart, but needed to distance herself from the leather belt and nightly beatings.
The thing that distinguished her on the streets, was the will to better herself, she'd witnessed the Jane Does at the county morgue. Joan refused to end up as just another statistic.
Her dark skin, eyes, and long brown hair resembled the famous actress Eva Longoria. The woman was beautiful and cleaned up well. She moved into the flat on Western Avenue and waited for Elwood to phone; the bronco rider from Bakersfield who'd paid the price in Joan's cat piss motel room. The big as sin cowboy loved the girl from Long Beach; she took him places his parents couldn't even spell. But it wasn't the screaming sex that he enjoyed, as much as her desire for change. He'd groom the young girl, pretty her up some and teach her to steer rednecks to the tables.
The gentleman was a gambler, closer to a dice cup than his mom’s tit; a reputation that included a 12 gauge hand grip shotgun, harnessed at his side under a range coat, reminiscent of the James Gang.
Elwood rang the buzzer of her flat, noticing right away a cleaner smelling hallway, front desk and lobby. It would be a nice change for both of them and fun
teaching her how to drink, drive his truck, and use her head for more than giving blowjobs. The men he worked with weren't looking for sex; they were cruising; open for excitement and some laughs. Joan liked the idea, besides, she was leaving the life she inherited at The Dollar A Day motel. The underworld of gambling was cleaner, more of a con, and more sophisticated than washing dicks in a sink. The cowboys were gentleman, used to treating women with respect — other
than a few fistfights, steering them was easy. Joan was sexy, smart and willing to allow drunks to get touchy, feely, but prostitution was out of the question.
She was learning the gambling game, driving the flatbed, and leading
men to the trough like sheep just waiting to be fleeced by the gambler from the Midwest.
He supporting her new lifestyle and sending the lady to finishing school. They hadn't been Intimate since their business arrangement, but Elwood had ulterior motives, so he placed the sexual relationship on hold and focused on the cowboy she was steering to the alleyway in back of Mar’s Liquor Store. It wasn't the kind of setting seasoned players were used to, but Joan found the man drenched in hundred dollar bills; a fleecing that took place in a pool of rain water, splashing on the cowboy’s Justin boots. The couple drove the drunk and stupid Texan home — light ten thousand dollars.
He placed Joan in a better position; a hostess for a poker game held by a Judge from Frisco.
His honor wanted someone pretty, but smart, to greet his guests. It paid a thousand a night on the weekends, plus tips. Joan liked the move, she could showcase the etiquette she'd learned, besides, she did most everything Elwood said. The alluring youngster missed their sexual encounters at The Dollar A Day motel.
"You don't touch me anymore. Why?" Joan placed her arms around him. He
had a bulge in his Wrangler Jeans.
"Trust me, baby doll, it’s not because I don't think about it, but business always comes before pleasure."
She didn't question it again, knowing well that if she wanted the man, she'd just jump his bones. They sat on the balcony, flirted, and went over her work assignment at the Judge’s estate.
The Judge was pleased with his new hostess, a good-looking young woman
with class; the last one he hired was caught giving a blowjob to one of the guests.
The girl must have been pretty good at it, because the Judge didn't fire her until the following week. He paid a week’s wages up front, so that Joan could start work that evening, having shown them around the parlor room and gambling suites. It was a perfect opportunity to feature her manners and the deportment she learned
in finishing school. She kissed Elwood on the cheek and got ready for work in the mansion, a place that distanced itself from the cat pissed Dollar A Day. The
Midwesterner thanked his honor, retrieved his Stetson hat from the butler, and drove to the racetrack.
The week’s pay was begging to be placed on a nag named Slow and Slower.
Joan was about to secure her position in the gambling world. She began
greeting guests arriving in limousines. Joan curtsied, a fresh look for the ladies
stepping out of their luxury cars.
Some complimented the Judge on his new hostess, as she escorted them
inside, removed the women's fur coats and handed the butler the gentleman's snap-brim hats.
The well-to-do were tossing black chips on the tables like a penny pitch booth at a carnival, stacking chips and tipping Joan after every rake. She was serving
Cristal champagne and caviar, escorting socialites to the ladies’ room, and lighting the husband’s Cuban cigars, until a twenty five hundred dollar Dunhill came up missing. Some businessman saturated in wealth and jewels was missing an expensive lighter, but before he motioned for the Judge, Joan found it under a stack of black chips. Her fate in the gambling world was sealed, an honest
and trustworthy employee.
The mogul tipped her three bills and complimented his honor on his new
hostess. Joan couldn't wait to tell her man about the excitement at work, it was time to jump His bones, or whatever else he was serving up.
The girl entered their flat, placed twelve large bills on a coffee table, and poured them a drink, a gesture that overwhelmed him. It showed in the bulge
stretching his silk pajamas; a hunk with looks to die for, staring at the whore from The Dollar A Day, until he couldn't stand it any longer. Elwood tore at her dress, and ripped at the size 36C brassiere. Her pink and flush nipples hardened in his mouth, so he sucked her off, placed her on her stomach, and fucked her in the ass; an ass the size of a quarter. Things hadn't changed. The screams and cries for more lasted all night, until they lay silent in each other’s arms, in love and saying as much
over coffee and donuts. It was 6:00 a.m. and Joan walked to Main Street — they'd run out of Folgers.
He'd taken her off the streets to work high society, a far cry from The Dollar A Day motel room, but Joan didn't forget where she came from. She prayed for the
working girls on Main Street, where dinner meant a cold pizza before the next John, or watching a stranger approach in a dimly lit alleyway hoping that it’s a client and not someone else. Joan was thankful for the changes in her life. The skank from Long Beach was moving up and nothing would stand in her way, but something was standing in Joan's way, all six feet of him; he was heavy set.
It may have been a coincidence, but someone at the poker game was asking questions about the new hostess. The Judge pointed the man out and Joan did the rest. He was an old client of hers from The Dollar A Day; a client that preferred slumming under an assumed name, but he wasn't really sure who she was or where they had met. Joan shook his hand and actually curtsied, so they spoke about Starbucks on the Avenue, maybe they had met there.
Elwood was hot under the collar. The arrangement with the Judge had taken months.
"Did he recognize you from The Dollar A Day?" He was aware of Joan's emotional state.
"No, I don't think so."
Elwood agreed, but he did confront the Judge concerning Joan's past. It wa S the wise thing to do; gamblers always hedge their bets, besides the Judge liked his new hostess. She was good for business — a real people person. They agreed to let Joan handle it, after all, no one knew how to steer men better than she did. The Judge was more than willing to drop Joan’s former client as a guest at the poker games.
He knew from first glance, Joan was a street whore from the sleazy motel in Long Beach, a far cry from sanctuary city, but the kinky mogul got around. He confronted her with the truth just outside the coffee shop; a place she frequented most mornings.
"We played the game the other night, isn't that so, honey?" The former client was pleading for a date, he'd have said something at the mansion, but was willing
to follow her instead. Joan secretly new as well; she spoke in a whisper. "I've missed our love making, and now is as good as it gets." She was buying time, and arranging a meeting, but sex wasn't on the young lady’s mind; she boarded a flight to Long Beach; informed the mogul client, and waited.
The Dollar A Day hadn't changed much, it still smelled of piss and the head clerk’s bulldog; she walked in, grabbed some bed sheets, and swam through the cash in
her leather bag. The clerk didn't recognize her; he stuffed the large bills in his pocket and promised she'd be left alone. He was told to steer the gentleman caller to her room; he did so, with a smile on his dirty face, just watching the fool holding a bouquet of flowers, enter the elevator.
There was a knock on the door, she could hear him, muttering dirty words and rubbing his pencil shaped penis. Joan raised an eyebrow to the splintered peephole. Some things never change, she thought. The man took perversion and slumming to the next level, but the ex pro was waiting, what she had in mind would certainly level him, all right. She placed the roses in a cracked vase and guided him to the bed. She went to work — a fucking that would find him on his knees, naked as sin, and begging.
The large bag in the closet held her tools and torrid past, like a driver in a car accident, who can't wait to get back in the driver’s seat. She removed the blades, saw and torn sheets. His body lay on the bed, facedown, so cutting it in pieces was easy. The leg bones took more time, and sawing them off spurt blood. She wiped it on her breasts, she was naked, an asset she seen in a television crime scene; bloody clothes meant forensics. The girl from The Dollar A Day was getting way too good at murder. She placed the bag of body parts and bone fragments in the hallway. She'd pay for the old man downstairs to dump it. The Dollar A Day sounded like a cheap operation, but the price of murder was expensive at the motel; it was more expensive at the racetrack for Elwood, the following day.
The gambler was being touted on the 5th horse in the next race; a turf club membership and gift from Joan. They sipped margaritas and discussed business.
"Where were you, yesterday?" He made small talk over reading the racing form.
"I caught a flight, went to The Dollar A Day, it's up for sale. You said to make some sound investments." Joan opened the racing program to the 7th race coming up.
"Oh, look, honey. There's a horse named Dead and Stinkin’ in the next race. I think I'll put a saw buck on him."
They joked about horses’ names, dead president pictures and their past.
"By the way, what happened to the business guy that spotted you the
other night?" He lowered the racing form; the old client was a problem for Elwood.
Joan sipped her margarita. "Oh, he's history, just like the racehorse honey, dead and