June 1, 2018



A Wild Night:

             This was not a good night to be out but I’d just got some money, and get Betty out of the shop - she had more bullet holes in her than a soap strainer.  She looked great - with her new paint job, she was running like a champ. As I turned off Third onto Mickle Lane there on the corner under the streetlight, I saw her.

            From the minute I laid eyes on her, I knew this was going to be a wild night. You can tell a lot from a quick look. Her clothes were not the style of a lady who frequented Third and Mickle Lane at two in the morning. No, not on this side of town.

            Good thing the rain had slow down or I might not have seen her. This girl was wet from head to toe. You would have thought she'd been tossed off the ferry and she'd had to swim to shore. Her hair was as black as the night and clinging to her. Her white silk blouse was doing some clinging of its own. Like a new puppy in an orphanage full of kids.

            Her face said she was older than her body said she was; also, she wasn't from this side of the world; and she was scared.

            I pulled up and rolled down the window to see if she needed help. From the look she gave me you would have thought I shot her with Baby Sue, the thirty-eight I keep in my pocket. I could tell it was a good thing I had baby with me tonight. This girl was in trouble and going to need my help and I was going to need my baby.

            Before I could say she was safe, she saw the other set of lights coming our way fast, she jumped in my car and, with a wave of her hand, was telling me to "Go."

            I was thinking how she was getting my new seats wet yet that was better than last week when Two Tooth Jack pulled a twenty-five auto out and tried to pop me. After what seemed like a thirty minute fight I had to shoot Two Tooth in the leg. Man all that blood on Betty’s set, now try adding that to his wife’s bill with him bleeding all over her place. 

            That’s when I heard the first shot - a popping noise outside the car. When I looked to my left I realized the side mirror was gone and all that remained was a hole the size of my fist.

            She did not have to tell me again as I popped the clutch and Betty was out of there. I don't know what they had but Betty was doing all she could.

            Good thing I had another thing going for me in that I knew this side of town like the back of my hand and I hoped they were from the other side of the bay.

            With the rain and me not getting Betty four new shoes, I took out three light posts and a big blue mail box. I hoped old Uncle Sam didn't find out it was me. I owed him too much already.

            By the time they got around the mail box, I had just the time I needed to do a one-eighty on the slick road and we were now face to face. I’d hoped they were not up for a game of chicken.

            I looked over to tell the girl to buckle up, but all I saw were two eyes peeking from the back seat at me. I pushed her head down and reached for Baby Sue.

            I got off four rounds when they passed me.

            All I saw was their headlights going off the road to my left and their car hit a big tree.

            I never looked back again.

            I knew a place out of town, a little dive coffee shop. They have some of the best apple pie you could put a fork into. 

            As I pulled up, she jumped from the car and started running. I yelled at her “I have your purse”. She stopped, turned around and came back.

            We sat there sipping coffee, I was tring to make some sense of it when Melly comes over and starts on me about paying my tab. You know how it is - a guy gets down on his luck and they never stop hounding him.

            What do you know, this girl pulls out a C note and gave it to Melly then waved her away.

            With my luck, in walks a flat foot. He pulled up a chair and sat at the end of the booth, he took a sip of my coffee and told me I still used too much sugar.

            Officer Chuck, his name was Chuckerlon but don’t try saying that with a mouthful of coffee.  Anyway, he starts telling us about two guys they found in a wreck. The driver was dead from what looked like a thirty-eight bullet hole and the other was shot up bad. Well the guy that’s not dead (it works best that way) told the cops about some hit they had on a banker and his daughter. They had been trying to make it a double hit all in one night and some nut in a big black car snatched the girl and shot them up then drove off west.

            After seening my car outside, Officer Chuck said he was going to take the lady in to identify her father and the two shooters.

            As they started heading towards the door, she turns and blew me a kiss.

            Great, now Betty is going to need at least two C notes to fix her back up and all I get was my tab paid!

            "Hey, Melly, pour me another cup and bring me some apple pie. Oh, and by the way, put it on my tab." 

W.C. 1000

One Dark and Stormy Night which I liked better and it's on my web blog, was the first one I wrote for this Unraveled Yarn. Yet do to some things that happen I wrote this one and posted it.


Denise Covey said...

Hi Ellis. I've DL'd you and skimmed your entry. Not many will come by until around June 20, which is posting date.

Snaggle Tooth said...

I didn't get out last week at all- hurt my foot. this week ok tho.

You Gangsta! Whew- I laughed at the owing Uncle Sam joke.
Poor Betty, but fun story!

I liked the way it was told!

Elephant's Child said...

I know that some post early, so I am here cheering you on (mine will go up later). Lucky/unlucky teetering in the balance. It could indeed have been better - but also much worse.
Even in this short tale I am hoping for better things for him. And Betty.

Pat Garcia said...

Yes, I enjoyed reading this story. I like how you had specific names for the car, for the gun, even for the woman that you saved. Your descriptions were right on and they moved the story well.
Excellent job.
Shalom aleichem,
Pat G

Yolanda Renée said...

Fast moving and a definite change from your usual, but I liked it! A bit of noir! Nice change. Great story, Ellis.

desk49 said...

I'm guessing this is not a comment on this story.

Sorry about the foot I hope it is feeling better.
Thanks about the story telling way.

Elephant's Child:
Then on my blog. One Dark and Stormy Night
might be more to your liking for a yarn.
Thank you for dropping in.

My truck is baby
my house a tomb
what I do out back
hides the gloom

Yes a yarn I spread
for the readers that night
Yet the dark and Stormy
was more a delight

Denise Covey said...

No, Ellis, my earlier comment was just to let you know I've been by. I did give it a quick read, but just now came back for a slower read. Fast-moving with some references unknown to an Australian but I got the gist.
I especially loved: 'You would have thought she'd been tossed off the ferry and she'd had to swim to shore.' Great imagery.

Thanks for coming up with a story for WEP, Ellis. A change from your poetic take on past prompts.


dolorah said...

That was a fun read, lol. Quick pacing, well developed. I love hard boiled gum-shoes!

Nilanjana Bose said...

This was a fun flash and I like seeing this new and different side to your writing. Great yarn, well unravelled.

Olga Godim said...

Love this story. It's a classic noir, and I enjoyed every word.

Pat Hatt said...

When helping, one can sure get into a whole lot of trouble. Poor Betty can't catch a break haha

Snaggle Tooth said...

Once I had a Raleigh bike without breaks named "Mergatroid." I also had a little, blue car which shuddered alot named "R2D2".
I almost forgot about the 5-different primer colored Buick named "Spot". That car cost $300 n lasted me 6 years, driven all over New England, but was butt ugly!

Adura Ojo said...

Love your POV's voice. 'Betty' has a crackling personality too.

Adura Ojo said...