Saturday, August 14, 2010

Oak Cliff Confidential: Chapter 15

  Alejandro gently nudged the car to the side of the road. He started to reach for his shirt, but Sharon stopped him. “No, leave that off. We don’t have time for this and we want him to let us go. April, pop a knocker out, we don’t know which way this door swings.”

  April happily obliged, because it took far less motivation than police intervention for her to run wild and free. She immediately yanked her shirt around until very little was left to the imagination.

  Hexom cleared his throat, gazing in the passenger rearview mirror. “Looks like there might be another way to this man’s heart. Take a gander.”

  The three other heads in the car swiveled and looked out the back window at the officer. He was finishing up what looked like it might be a fried pie of some kind, licking his fingers so that no drippings were wasted.

  “I see,” said Sharon. “Food it is, then. April, give him that turkey when he finally comes up here.”

  April looked at Sharon with absolute horror. “You have got to be out of your mind. I am NOT giving him this turkey. I’ll have sex with him, but no bird. And why are you being so bossy with me? You ain’t all that.”

  Sharon sighed. “I am NOT being bossy. I’m just taking charge. I don’t want Alejandro to get a ticket.”

  Now April sighed. “Who cares if he gets a ticket? You can afford it. You have panties that cost more than my house.”

  Sharon shook her head. “Alejandro can’t afford it. He’s sort of on probation right now.”

  This greatly intrigued April. “Really? What did he do? Did anybody die?”

  Sharon glanced briefly out the back window again before continuing. “Let’s just say that the last time we got pulled over, well, we’d been to Ojeda’s, and you know they have those deadly margaritas, and, well…. Anyway, apparently it’s against the law to drive a car naked in this town. Who knew, right? I’m sure they do it all the time in Europe.”

  “Well,” said April, “that’s none of my mess. You need to fix your own problems. I don’t need to suffer because you get drunk and act stupid.”

  “Look, we’re being nice to you and giving you a ride, despite your bitterness. Don’t you think it’s only appropriate-”

  Hexom interrupted. “Knock if off, Bill and Hillary, here come da law.”

  A shadow traveled down the length of the car, then the officer leaned over and shoved his face toward Alejandro’s window. There was a small speck of matter on his chin, clarifying that the pie had apparently been apple. “Howdy, folks.”

  The entire car greeted him with an exuberant enthusiasm usually reserved for Sunday School classes and family reunions before they break out the beer. April did a shimmy, just in case.

  The officer took a short break to suck at something caught in his teeth, then seemed to be taking a closer look at the occupants of the car. “Is there a Sharon Horizons in this here vehicle?”

  Sharon scooted forward a bit. “I’m Sharon. Why are you asking?”

  Sucking at another tooth, the officer’s eyes drifted across the back of the car. “Say, is that a Grumby’s fried turkey I smell?”

  April clutched the greasy box tighter. “No.”

  “Says ‘Grumby’s’ right there on the side.”

  Even tighter. “I don’t care. That’s not what it is. And you can’t have it.”

  Sharon smiled sweetly. “April, dear. If this nice man wants your turkey, don’t you think you should give it to him?”

  “Look, I ain’t done nothing’ wrong up in this grill. I’m just sittin’ here. YOU give him something’.”

  The officer chuckled. “I don’t want your turkey, m’am. I was just askin’. I miss the smell of meat.” (Hexom shifted uncomfortably in the front seat.) “Can’t have no more meat since the missus joined that cult. She won’t allow it to touch my lips, even when I buy her somethin’ pretty.” He straightened back up. “Miss Sharon, would you be so kind as to join me behind the car.”

  Sharon, surprised, reached for the door handle and popped it open. She slipped out of the car.

  “Good,” muttered April. “See how you like it when someone wants something of yours.”

  Sharon joined the pie-eater near the trunk. “What’s this all about, officer?”

  He stretched his back, popping it in a few places. “Oh, not all that much, I reckon. Sarge just asked me to give you this.” He reached into a pants pocket and pulled out a shiny key. “Says it belongs to you?”

  Mystified, Sharon took the key. Generic, brand new. “I don’t understand. Did he say what it was for?”

  The officer shook his head. “She. She’s a she. Women can do a lot of things these days.”

  This irked Sharon just a tad. “They always could. Anyway, she didn’t tell you what I was supposed to do with it?”

  “Nope. Didn’t say, didn’t ask. I was just to find this car and give it to you. Said you should be driving along any minute and she was right. Now, then.” He stretched again, more popping. “Guess I’ll be headin’ on. You have a fine day, Miss Horizons.

  He turned and walked away.

  Sharon got back in the car and waved the key at Hexom. “What the hell is this?

  He studied it briefly. “It looks like a padlock key. Let me guess. He didn’t know anything, just that he was to give it to you.”

  Sharon nodded, then slumped back into her seat, glancing out the window as the officer drove past them, throwing a small wave their way. “How are the police involved in this, Hexom? Are they going to be stopping me a lot?”

  Hexom nodded. “Maybe. At least a few times. It depends on how long it takes you to find all the stones.”

  Sharon sighed. “The damn stones. I don’t really know what they mean, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with them, and I haven’t even found a single one.”

  “It’s just the first day, Sharon. There’s a long way to go.”

  Alejandro started the car. “The princess needs another drink.”

  Sharon smiled. “You know me so well, Allie. What would I do without you?”

  He smirked. “Never get out of bed.”

  Alejandro pulled away from the curb and drove down the street.

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