Good morning, everyone!
I’ve messed with the space/time continuum once again this week, morphing Free Fiction Thursday into Free Fiction Friday. Evil me. 😉
Last week, the Reno area was inundated with classic cars for Hot August Nights, an annual bragging-rights festival for classic car owners and eye candy overload for classic car enthusiasts. So what better story to feature this week than “Night of the Cruisers,” a disturbing tale about a whole different kind of wannabe classic car that just won’t leave a former hitman for the mob alone. Enjoy!
Night of the Cruisers
Published by Thunder Valley Press
Copyright 2011 by Annie Reed
Cover Design by Thunder Valley Press
Vince saw the first Cruiser on the way home after a grueling day flipping burgers at the DQ on West Fourth.
He didn’t normally notice cars. He noticed the people in the cars, a longtime habit leftover from his former occupation. But cars? They were nothing more than a way to get from here to there that wasn’t a truck. Then again, Vince was a product of the city. Out here in the west, everybody had a car. Or a big-ass truck. In his old neighborhood back east, only the rich could afford to own a car. Working stiffs like Vince took the subway. The only time he drove himself was when the boss sent Vince on a job and Vince had to steal some wheels to get the job done. The only criteria then was a big trunk.
P.T. Cruisers, now them Vince noticed. Little Tommy, one of JoJo’s boys, used to say Cruisers were the yuppie version of an old-fashioned gangster car. Like Little Tommy would know what an old-fashioned gangster car looked like even if one came up and bit him on the ass. But you hang around a guy like Little Tommy long enough, some of what he said was bound to sink in. Vince half expected Little Tommy to keep right on yammering about gangster cars even after Vince popped him one in the middle of his forehead.
Bullets tended to shut a guy’s mouth up good. Vince should know. He’d popped so many guys over the years he’d lost count. Then one day the boss started looking at him funny, like the boss thought maybe Vince had run his mouth too much around the wrong people. Vince decided the wise thing to do was make a deal before someone popped him for knowing stuff he shouldn’t.
He might not have made the deal if he’d known he’d be stuck behind a grill in a Dairy Queen in goddamn Reno eight hours a day. Some wiseass in the Witness Protection Program must have had a sick sense of humor, or maybe they were just tired of guys like Vince using the system to keep their own butts out of prison. Why else would they stick a shooter like him in Nevada? At least it wasn’t Vegas. He would have been made in Vegas within a week. In Reno it might take a month, six weeks tops. Vince had been flipping burgers at DQ going on five weeks. The only thing keeping his ass in place was knowing that no self-respecting wiseguy would walk around sucking on an ice cream cone that had a little curlicue on top, so Vince felt pretty safe.
Right up until the Cruisers started tailing him.
(read the rest of the story here)