Friday, February 15, 2008

BIG MONEY, Chapter 29

I am so pissed at Mr. Vick, I can’t sleep. That son-of-a-bitch con man might as well have stenciled bulls eyes on my children’s backs.

Plus, I have to question my choice of business partners. First Walter, now Mr. Vick. And that’s not even mentioning wacky Rags. I couldn’t have done any worse choosing business associates if I’d used the Seaside County criminal detention center as a source pool.

Hard to believe my golfing-jerk-buddy boss, Vick Bonacelli, would do this. Except, thinking semi-objectively for unbroken hours, enough moonlight to see only gray through Bluefish’s second-story window, I figure putting my family up as a target must have been the only way Mr. Vick could think of to protect his children.

Not that I forgive the dick-wad.

My body heaves and pitches, my molars grind all night, imagining what I’m going to do next time I see him. Scream in his face? Punch his classic Roman nose? Use a Barry Bonds, thirty-four-ounce baseball bat to adjust the worst golf swing in Seaside County?

Just before dawn, I’m glad for the Vick-hating insomnia. As the north eastern New Jersey sky finally lightens to blue-steel in the bedroom window, the crunch of automobile tires on dirt announces someone’s arrival.

The approaching tire-sounds roll me off Bluefish’s California king. I know Branchtown’s Godfather Wannabe sleeps here because, on a plaque above this swimming pool-size feather-soft bed, a twenty-three pound specimen of his namesake fish smiles back at me.

I slept--no--rested on top of the blue satin bedcovers because I didn’t want to worry how clean his sheets were, what dried body fluids or particulate remnants I might be touching. Yuk. I can’t believe I even thought of that.

Two long strides put me at the window. This is the only bedroom with a view of the driveway and front-door parking area.

Crows squawk somewhere close as I carefully slide back the curtain. A Lincoln Town Car skids to a soil-pushing stop. The driver-door pops open. Creeper squeezes out like toothpaste.

Oh, joy. The sight of him kicks my heart rate. My legs want to flee down the stairs, race out the back, run through the forest till I’m safe and hidden.

Instead, I remain frozen by the window while Creeper thunders up the steps and rattles keys unlocking the split-log front door. Doesn’t he have to huff and puff or something? Blow my house down?

Creeper’s sure making a lot of noise, though. Maybe that means he doesn’t know I’m here.

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