by LJ Frank
Steamy. It was 95 degrees but felt like a 105. A shower of dirty rain would be a relief from the dreariness of red dust filtered gray clouds. I felt like a refugee at the Humane Society pacing back and forth, except, the cage wasn’t metal.
I paced. My tiny apartment with its paltry, eclectic furnishings was owned by my girlfriend’s stepmother. I tried not to bump into the walls. The air-conditioning was broke. Maintenance was downsized. I could taste particles of pollution as sweat dripped from my eyebrows and slid down to my mouth. The refrigerator was empty. We were nearing the end. Stay positive was my mantra. My girlfriend and I devised a scheme.
As I glanced out the window I felt her presence. “Do you know how to get in and out without being suspect?” Her approaching voice asked.
“Just shy of 100%,” I said turning to her. “Are we good to go?”
She nodded. “I had your car filled with gas. The odometer read 200,000 miles. I guess the car is your nod to experiencing motorized art?” She then kissed me biting my lower lip. She knew me.
“Will your intimate friend be inside and available at the appointed time?”
“He said he would. I found a safety deposit box key for you to hand him. Oh, he has a thick mustache.”
“I guess it’s easier to abscond in full view when your father is high priest of the local financial temple of capitalism.” I observed.
“My family knows little of you.”
“Minimal interface and a minimum of luggage?”
“It’ll all fit in your car. We can celebrate after?” She said in a sultry voice.
“Did you always have…?”
“I use the weather to my advantage.”
I didn’t look back. While she drove I asked, “do you think other species of humans on other planets have miserly dwellings and greedy landlords?”
“They probably have their priorities.”
Arriving we noticed her father getting into a limousine just in front of us.
“Timing. He doesn’t know your car. I’ll drive around. Meet you back here in fifteen minutes. Oh, a sailboat is waiting for us. It’s about a two-hour drive.”
“What? How …?”
“It’s okay. Your’e with me. Do you have the cloth bag and medical latex gloves?”
I opened my suit coat to display the bag and gloves tucked in an inside pocket, got out of my car, walked into the bank, strode to the vault and handed the mustachioed man the key, scribbled my name illegibly on a piece of paper and followed him in the vault. He retrieved the box. I entered a small room, put on the gloves and examined the contents then filled the bag, wiped the box, along with an unexpected item, returned the box and key when I noticed the mustachioed man make the sign of the cross on his chest. I ambled out of the bank as she drove up to the curb. I half-smiled getting in.
Outside of the city we stopped at a rest area where I exited my car and tossed an item into a waste container.
“What’s that all about? There was no problem?” She asked.
“No. We’re good. But…”
“Was that your father’s or your step-mother’s safety deposit box or ?”
Her eyebrows rose. “Why?”
“I found a Glock 43 pistol in the box. It’s still there, minus the loaded magazine I just tossed.”
She shrugged, “We should be able to get there in time.”
“Was there a change in our plan?” I asked.
“Life is textured with the non-linear.”