I have nothing to say. I haven’t felt like writing or reading the last couple of days so I havent worked on my book and I haven’t posted here. I took a look at the site that monitors this blog though and noticed the visitors have dropped from an average of 50 a day to just 16 for today and figured the lack of posts probably has something to do with it. So first, let me thank everyone who has taken the time to come by and read or say hi. I can’t believe an AVERAGE of 50 people stop by every day. Some days it’s been as high as 150 (Thanks Dave!). Anyway, I thought I’d post some of writing to fill the void and was going to post a short short I wrote about a hitman but then I realized I’d already sent it to Jen Jordan at Crimespree and she hasn’t gotten back to me on it yet so I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot on that. Instead I thought I’d post something from the opening of my new book. So far I like what I have and thought you guys might enjoy it as well. Let me know what you think.
MR. SATURDAY MORNING
“Damn college kids,” Saul Hudson said to me.
Saul Hudson is a bail bondsman in Flint, Michigan and my boss. My name is Kenny Shepard and I’m a college student and an apprentice PI. Saul dropped a file folder on my desk and flipped it open for me.
“I don’t care if they skip class, but when they skip court I gotta pay for it. Damn college kids.”
“I’m a college kid, why don’t I try and find him,” I said.
“Her. And you think I dropped the file on you desk as a present. Of course you’re going to find her.”
“Your faith in me is very reassuring,” I said, flipping through the pages in the folder.
There was a glossy color picture at the back of the folder. It had the surreal formal appearance that only comes with senior pictures, or possibly boudoir photography. The name on the file was Lacy Dalton.
“I know her. She’s in my—”
“Then go find her, I’m not here to listen,” Saul said.
It was Monday and I didn’t have class with Lacy until Tuesday so I was thinking maybe I should hit her house for info. The address listed under Lacy’s name was in a smallish neighborhood of tract homes in Burton, on the outskirts of Flint’s city limits. The house was situated sideways on a small plot of land.
There was a rusty and dented red Cadillac up on blocks in the driveway with a newer gold Toyota behind it. As I approached the door, I heard thumping. A black guy in his early 50s weighing close to 300 pounds answered the door wearing a white silk shirt and leather pants. He had a red bass guitar hanging from his neck.
“I’m sorry, I think I’ve got the wrong house,” I said.
The man looked me up and down and cleared his throat.
“Looking for Lacy are ya?”
“Oh, uh, yeah. Lacy Dalton.”
“She’s my daughter.”
I had Lacy’s file in my hand and I tried to casually consult it to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind. Lacy Dalton was white.
“Adopted daughter,” the man said.
“I’m sorry sir. I must—”
“Call me Al, and come on in.”
I followed Al into his house as he pulled a huge remote control from his back pocket and turned off the thumping. The inside of the house looked like a Sharper Image store decorated by Frederick’s of Hollywood. All of the electronics were silver and included several stacks of stereo equipment, a large screen plasma TV and a full size electronic keyboard. The furniture was black leather accented with silky animal print pillows and blankets and the art on the wall would have looked tacky at Graceland.
“You screwing her?” Al said, sitting down on the floor near a tower of silver amplifiers.
“I’ve got a class with her. There’s sex in it.”
I regretted saying it before it was off my lips, but Al continued to plug in his guitar and fiddle with the shiny silver knobs.
“Sex in the class?” He asked.
“No, I mean the class…the class is called Sex, Drugs, and Politics. It’s about—”
“Then you know she ain’t been around. She ain’t been here so I assume she ain’t been to class. You bring her
homework or something?”
“Well not really, I’m kind of looking for her,” I said.
“So you wanna screw her then?”
“I work for a bailbondsman. She’s—”
“How much does she owe?”
I again tried to look at the folder without drawing attention, but Al took the folder from me and thumbed through it. He nodded and made noises with his lips as he read the file, but he didn’t say anything.
“If I can get her to court to reschedule her appearance she shouldn’t be in too much trouble,” I said.
Al still didn’t say anything and, to avoid saying something stupid, I let my gaze wander around the living room taking in more of the details. There was a stack of cds next to one of the silver towers and I could see an Earth, Wind and Fire disc on top.
“That’s the way of the world,” I said.
“I don’t care how bad the world is getting, I wish I could have been a better father.”
“No, I meant the cd. Earth, Wind and Fire.”
“Oh, right. Good album.”
“I like more of their disco albums but I’m strange.”
“So does Lacy have any places she hangs out? Any friends or people I could talk to?”
“As a matter of fact, there is this girl. Goth little freak lives just up the road. She should be home right now, only
goes out at night far as I know.”
“Thanks, do you have an address for—”
“I’ll drive you over there. I should probably be around for this.”
“As long as I can get her to court if we find her. That’s the only way I get paid,” I said.
Al took his guitar off and grabbed a red leather jacket with a tiger painted on the back from behind the couch.
When he threw the jacket across his back to put it on, I was pretty sure I saw the butt of a revolver sticking out of his inside pocket. I had a gun too but it was back at the office locked in Saul’s desk. I had to ask him before I could take it with me. I didn’t think I’d need it to visit a girl from my class, or her dad. Maybe it was just part of his business.
“So what do you do?” I asked as Al shut and locked the door behind us. He laughed at me and opened the
Toyota with a button on his key chain.
“This is Lacy car?” I asked.
“You think every black guy has a fat Caddy? We don’t buy reliable foreign cars?”
“That’s not what I—”
“Lacy has a Blazer. Just like good white girls should have,” Al said.
“I wasn’t trying to—”
“Follow me over there in your car.”
MR. SATURDAY MORNING–Word Count 7,500 Page Count 25
Excerpt Copyright Bryon Quertermous 2004