|by Mark Finn|
Chapter Forty: Thieves in the Night
Otto paid the driver and he and Stacy bolted out of the back of the taxi, their meager overnight bags in hand. The taxi drove away. They were alone at the Gamesmen warehouse.
"I'm kinda excited to get back on the road again," confessed Stacy.
"Now you're thinking," said Otto. "We'll get out of this lame, bad vibe town, and get back to the mountains."
"And we'll miss rush hour," Stacy pointed out.
They walked to their respective vehicles. "Okay, so, I guess this is it," said Otto.
"Anything else before we resort to the CB?" asked Stacy.
"Oh, yeah, almost forgot," said Otto. He dug around in his duffel and came up with a small baggie of reds. "Here, take these only when you need to." He handed the baggie to Stacy.
"Whoo hoo, drugs, I'm all set." Stacy climbed up to his cab and the truck roared to life. Otto followed suit.
As Otto's truck started, he turned on the CB. Stacy was already fiddling with his, too. Otto held up five fingers, and then turned to channel five on his radio. "You there?" crackled Stacy.
Otto thumbed the receiver. "Gotcha. You know something?" he said, his face introspective. "Lesbian jokes are way funnier over the CB."
"No shit," said Stacy.
Otto led them out of the parking lot, and down the road, retracing the cab's steps to highway 89.
The guys heard the voices before they actually saw Otto and Stacy. "Drop!" hissed Larry.
They all jumped into the various holes they had been working on, crouched down, and watched in silent horror as their brilliant shield from the road started up and chugged away.
"Well, shit," said D.J.
Larry jumped out of the hole. He had been trying to excavate the remains of the boxes they had already found by digging another hole straight down. "This doesn't change anything," he said. "We just have to dig faster."
"Yeah, I need to set my shovel on fire," said D.J.
Everyone got back to frantic work.
Dale was too far gone to hear the taxi, but he couldn't help but hear the two large trucks as they roared past him. His eyes snapped open just in time to watch the two battered trucks drive by, a spectral apparition in the soft moonlight. Oh my god, he thought. It's a heist!
He climbed out of his car, the Scorpions momentarily forgotten, and trotted back down the road to the next lot over, a flashlight in hand. At the very least, he had to check and see if there were signs of a break-in. As he walked, he started working on his cover story.
"They must have been experts, sir, because they waited until I was at the far end of the street. I'd say they had hot-wired the trucks in thirty seconds or so, because as I was coming back from the far lot, they came tearing out of the gate, here. See? See those markings?"
Yeah, that would work, he decided. It sounded plausible enough. He turned the corner and stopped dead in his tracks.
Out past the warehouse, in the vacant lot, he could see four flashlight beams and the indistinct outlines of people. And voices. Stage whispers. Son of a bitch! They were still here.
Dale's mind raced with possibilities as he ran back to his car. Left behind in a dispute over money? Most likely. But what if they weren't thieves? For that matter, what if the trucks weren't stolen, but driven out by the people who were supposed to take them?
Fuck it, thought Dale, it was too confusing. He would simply call it all in, and let the chips fall. He'd rather make the mistake of bringing cops when he shouldn't than be accused (and fired) of not bringing cops at all. He picked up the company-issued cell phone and dialed 911.
Chapter One: The Navel Adventures of Larry Croft
Chapter Two: 1123 Miles to Tempe
Chapter Three: Enter the String
Chapter Four: The Waiting is the Hardest Part
Chapter Five: Rutlege's Story
Chapter Six: The Plot Thickens
Chapter Seven: The Fifth Man is Revealed
Chapter Eight: It's a DRY Heat
Chapter Nine: Preparing to Lam
Chapter Ten: The Mislaid Plans of Mouse and Man
Chapter Eleven: The Danger of Talking to God
Chapter Twelve: Anchors Aweigh, Let's Go Men
Chapter Thirteen: The End is Near
Chapter Fourteen: Roll to Hit
Chapter Fifteen: Six Feet of Beef Stick for the Soul
Chapter Sixteen: Hello, My Name is Indio, California
Chapter Seventeen: Threadgill Takes Charge
Chapter Eighteen: The Players on the Other Side
Chapter Nineteen: On the Road to Perdition
Chapter Twenty: Welcome to Tempe
Chapter Twenty-One: The Game is Afoot
Chapter Twenty-Two: Should Have Known Better
Chapter Twenty-Three: Test-Run at the Waffle House
Chapter Twenty-Four: The Supply Run
Chapter Twenty-Five: The Backhoe
Chapter Twenty-Six: A Frank Discussion
Chapter Twenty-Seven: A Brief History of Larry's Van
Chapter Twenty-Eight: Go Speed Racer, Go
Chapter Twenty-Nine: The Owner of the Thumbscrews
Chapter Thirty: Brain Teasers
Chapter Thirty-One: Frick and Frack Check In
Chapter Thirty-Two: Scouting
Chapter Thirty-Three: The Stakeout
Chapter Thirty-Four: The Food Fight
Chapter Thirty-Five: Time to Dig
Chapter Thirty-Six: Deep in the Night
Chapter Thirty-Seven: Paydirt
Chapter Thirty-Eight: The Phallus of Ebon Keep
Chapter Thirty-Nine: Otto and Stacy Make Good
Chapter Forty: Thieves in the Night
Chapter Forty-One: Critical Failure
Chapter Forty-Two: Downtown
Chapter Forty-Three: The Hoosegow
Chapter Forty-Four: An Emergency Breakfast
Chapter Forty-Five: Two Early Phone Calls
Chapter Forty-Six: Threadgill Meets the Gang
Chapter Forty-Seven: Back to the Van
Chapter Forty-Eight: Five Days Later
Table of Contents