Hardley a good read- Part IX


Once they met at Titus’ place, the quintet had six guns between them, as well as some of Marrakech’s finest in their lungs. Titus produced Visine and breath mints before they left for the Murchison house.

‘Gotta look and smell good for the money man,’ Titus said.

‘Somehow I think he’d join us with a hookah,’ Frank said. ‘If he hasn’t finished off his Scotch already.’

They arrived at the Murchison estate slightly after four o’clock. A lawn mower sounded from the back yard.

‘I guess Macmillan slept off his hangover,’ Pepe said, ringing the doorbell.

Sean answered the door, looking a little better than he had a few hours before. He led them down the hall as Frank introduced Skippy and Titus. Imelda, the housekeeper, met them in the living room with a rolling cart of ice-cold beer.

‘Thanks Imelda,’ Sean said, and passed around bottles of micro-brew. ‘Sweet!’ Titus said as he lifted the bottle to his lips.

‘The old man’s taking a siesta,’ Sean said. ‘But I can get Jed and Lucas to meet us out back.

They ventured to the patio and saw Jed Macmillan riding a lawn mower. Sean waved to him, and Jed switched off the motor and slowly walked towards them. He yelled towards the guesthouse and Lucas emerged, looking a bit embarrassed.

‘Well, let’s get down to it’, Sean said as they all sat down around the patio table. ‘Someone stole our shit. That much we know. All signs point to our friends the MacMillans here, but we trust them completely. They wouldn’t be here if they had something to do with this.’

‘Word,’ Titus said, lighting a cigarillo.

‘We have some new information,’ Frank said. ‘And we think you’ll appreciate it.’

‘ On our way here earlier,’ Joe started ‘We were nearly hit by a woman driving a black convertible.’ Christ almighty, he thought. I have to tell this fucking story again? He repeated the story for the newcomers, and Lucas squirmed uneasily in his chair.

‘Uh,’ Lucas said. ‘ A- a redhead, you said? Black convertible?’

‘Yeah,’ Pepe said. ‘And she looked hot.’

Lucas looked down in despair. ‘ I knew it was too good to be true,’ he murmured.

‘What is it, Lucas?’ his father asked.

‘Last night, I was out walking around the property listening to the new Gang of Foe CD when I saw headlights on the road.’

‘Between the tunes and the headlights- I don’t know what’s worse’ Skippy whispered to Frank.

‘The sun was setting and this woman pulled up. It must have been the same woman you saw. She said she was lost.’

‘Uh-huh,’ Joe said.

‘So we got to talking,’ Lucas continued. ‘And she said she had a bottle of bourbon and no one to drink it with.’

‘Dear Penthouse forum…’Titus said. ‘ I never thought it would happen to me-‘

‘Let him talk,’ Frank said. ‘Go on, Luke.’

‘So we go into my room- Dad you were asleep, or at least your lights were out. She breaks out the booze and then, uh, I guess, uh, she seduced me.’

‘Score!’ Pepe shouted.

Jed looked worried and hung his head for a moment. Finally he looked up and smiled proudly. ‘I guess I’m happy for you, son.’

Lucas still appeared crestfallen. ‘But I woke up in the morning and she wasn’t there. Her car was gone and there was no note or anything. I guess I should be happy. She was so sweet.’

‘Back to earth, Romeo,’ Titus said. ‘A fine-ass chick like that doesn’t just show up and give your gherkin a jerkin’ unless she wants something.’

‘But she was lost!’ Lucas stammered.

‘Did you get her name?’ Frank asked. ‘Or where she was going? ‘

‘ She said her name was Lisa. She needed help getting out of town. I gave her directions to the parkway before we went inside. I didn’t ask which way she was going.’

‘Neither would I,’ Pepe said. ‘I’d just be thinking about that booty and lick-‘

Frank cut him off.  ‘ Just a thought, Mr. Macmillan. Do you have the keys to the Murchison house?’

‘I always hang them up by the front door,’ Jed replied. ‘I don’t want to keep them on my keychain.’

‘You better go and check for them,’ Joe said, bumming one of Titus’ cigarillos. ‘ If they’re gone, the noose draws tighter around this so-called Lisa’s neck.’

‘Right!’ Jed shouted, and sprinted toward his house.

‘Sorry we burst your teenage fantasy,’ Skippy said to Lucas.

‘ Aw, that’s alright,’ Lucas answered. ‘ I had a feeling something wasn’t right. At least I had a box of condoms. I hope they weren’t too old. I went through six.’

‘Woo-ee!’ Titus whistled. ‘Sounds like you’ve been on the tantric yoga trip.’

Suddenly, he was interrupted by Jed Macmillan’s screaming voice.

‘The keys!’ he shouted. ‘They’re gone!’



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