Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Untitled - Part 12

A recap:


"What's in this?" he asked.

"Nothing. Eggs. Salt. Pepper."

"Is it good?"

"It’s fine. It’s eggs."

He took a bite. "Not bad."

"I told you."



"What do you think?"

"I don't know."

"Is it safe?"

"I don't know. Probably not."

"We have to do it."

"Yes. We do."


They’d talked about it for weeks. Risks, rewards. It was like a business to them. It was a business. Not the way most people thought about business, maybe, but a business still. It took planning and investment and sweat and if things went well there was profit to be made.


The radio played while they ate. The window was open and the music carried in the still, heavy morning heat, a song that wasn’t good and wasn’t bad. A year from now nobody would remember it. Mike smiled to himself and pushed his toast around the plate, drank some coffee.


Ray finished his eggs. “Those were good,” he said.

“Glad you liked them,” said Mike. “Ready to make the call?”

Ray shrugged. “You’re sure this is the right number?”

“I checked it. Three times. He’ll be there.”

“What if he’s not?”

“He will be.”

Ray dialed.

Somewhere the phone rang.


Nobody answered. It rang and kept ringing.

Ray hung up. “You said this was the right number.”

“It is. I checked it. Twice.”

“You said three times.”

“It doesn’t matter, I checked it. It’s his.”

“Why didn’t he answer?”

“He’s not there.”

“Or he doesn’t want to talk to us.”


She picked up the phone and listened to the dial tone for a moment.

“Who was that?” asked her son.

“Nobody,” she answered. “A wrong number.”

“Was it Dad?”


“Where is he?”

“He’ll be home soon.” She began putting away groceries. Soup. Oreos. Green peppers. A bottle of wine.


Ray swore and poured more coffee. Bourbon was better but that was for later. When they had the money. When they were gone, nothing left behind but some dirty dishes.

Mike dried the frying pan. “What are we going to do?” he asked. “I’m counting on this. I have plans.”


“We all have plans,” said Ray.

“What are we going to do?” Mike asked again.

“We’re going to find him.”

“It’s a big city.”

“He’s a big man. We’ll find him.”

“What if we can’t?”

“He’ll find us,” said Ray.


“He’s got a wife. A kid.”

Mike grinned. “Right.”


“What are we going to do today?” Tyler asked his mother.

“We’ll see,” she answered.

“Can we go to the zoo?”

“We’ll see,” she repeated.

“Where's Dad?”

“I don’t know.”

“Is he late?”

“A little.”

“Call him.”

“Not yet," she said. "In a few minutes. If he isn't home soon.”


“Where does he live?” asked Mike.

“In the suburbs,” said Ray.

“That figures,” said Mike. He jammed the pistol in his belt.

“You going to use that?” asked Ray.

“Maybe. If I have to.”

Ray shrugged. “Let’s go. I’ll drive.”

“You always drive.”

“Someone has to.”

“Why you?”

“Why not?”


Jeffrey pulled into the driveway. His wife and son were at the door.

“Where were you?” Linda called. “We were getting worried.”

“I stopped for donuts,” Jeffrey replied. “Chocolate.” He held up a bag. “There was a line.”

“You’re sweet,” said Linda. “Coffee?”

He gave her a kiss. “Yes. Thanks.”


“Can we go to the zoo?” Tyler asked his father.

“We’ll see.”

“That’s what Mom said."

"Your mother's a smart lady."



“That means no.”

“That means maybe.”

“The zoo would be fun,” said Linda. She smiled.

He smiled back. “Let me wash the car first. Then we’ll go.”


Jennifer said...

There are eggs at the zoo, aren't there!

Anonymous said...


Snag said...

Or Pinko might just have indigestion.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

You bring the action and delay the bourbon because of CAR WASHING?

Brando said...

But why does he have to wash the car? That's the MYSTERY!