Wednesday, December 1, 2010

POP15: “The Girl”


Sal the Hood was given the task to set-up Big Boy. For Sal it was a chance to jump up the ranks. Little did he realize he was a pawn being used in a plan to set up his boss: Fake Face!

Unaware of this, Sal went ahead with his plan. He knew that the Face employed several attorneys and accountants. They helped in financial schemes of the outfit, but would be useless to combat the nascent Big Boy empire. Big Boy had the legal authorities already in his pocket, as police occurrences across the city made obvious. Needed was that most reliable of devices to lure Big Boy from the protection of the Green Club. A woman.

That was Sal’s covered ace. He had the means to trap Big Boy—wouldn’t have made the suggestion to the inscrutable and dangerous Face otherwise.

A few weeks ago he’d stopped late one night with Jake Pol at a garishly designed punk coffeeshop.The coffeeshop sat in what might be considered neutral territory, uncontrolled by Fake Face or Big Boy. Or by the police, for that matter. It was a decrepit no man’s land filled with dives and squats; vagabonds, fugitives, and low-rent artists. An insane local character named Carny held some influence, but otherwise the scene was anarchic.

The barista at the indy coffeeshop was a fascinating young woman named Merrily. Merrily wore the usual piercings and tats, was small and fragile looking, but fascinating, with large eyes and an intense personality. Tensile strength, Sal thought. Merrily took an interest in him. The intensity of her eyes when she looked at him was overwhelming. Later he realized she was like that with everything new to her, a part of her curiosity at life. She had the innocent freshness of a child. He enjoyed the attention all the same.

“Let’s go,” Jake said, because there was no attention given to him. Sal noted the quirky venue’s location and a few days later returned on his own.

During his second visit Sal learned that Merrily knew Big Boy, whose real name was Maxwell.

“It was a dark and stormy night.” Sal was her only customer. There was time to talk.

“I left my phone in the car,” he told her. “Let me grab it in case my, er, friends call.”

“You mean Jake?” she innocently asked.

“Yeah,” Sal said, as innocent.

Thunder rumbled within thick blue clouds in the sky outside as Sal resumed his seat. He placed the phone on the counter, its recording device turned on. Merrily had bangs of pink-dyed hair, the rest of her head shaven. Sal studied the bangs, her freckled face, and her blue eyes as she told the story of her and Max.

“Here it is, Boss,” Sal told Fake Face a day later. “I have it on cd.”

“Play it,” the smiling face ordered.

The creepy eyes within the mask studied Sal as the recording began.

NEXT: “The Recording”

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