Eddie in over his head

Dietrich Kalteis

A pocketful of cash sent from the heavens. The Olds whipped around the corner of Third, late model and dark, headlights like searchlights going all over the place.

Eddie snagged Garrett's sleeve, pulling him back, the Olds crossing the oncoming lane, swaying on jelly springs, engine howling like a frightened beast.

They jumped for the curb, nobody else leaving the Odeon, nobody into Burt Reynolds anymore. The driver cranked the wheel, a siren wailing, the red-and-blue light-show coming, the donut boys on the job.

The driver oversteered, losing control, hopping the curb, slamming against the light standard. The lamp dropped like a meteor, stamping the hood, shards and sparks shooting. The screaming siren, the flashing lights. The driver put his foot down and raced away, the cops on his heels.

The racing engines faded, the siren faded. The bumper of the Olds hung wrapped around the light standard.

Garrett got to his feet, Eddie going to the pretzeled bumper, taking out his all-in-one. A few twists of the tiny Phillips and he had the plate off.

"What the fuck you doing?" Garret wanted to split.

"Gonna return it to its owner."

"You crazy?"

"The cops find it, they'd have those guys cold."

"Yeah?"

"So I want to know what it's worth if they don't."

"You nuts? You don't know these guys."

"That's the beauty, see. It's an anonymous type thing."

"You talking about a payoff?"

"I make the call, leave the plate someplace, late night, they put the dough in a paper bag, something like that."

"You're nuts."

"Nuts is passing this up."

"This'll bite you on the ass, man. Mark it down."

"Beats shit out of a nine-to-fiver, man. You know you ...ah..." Eddie pointed at Garrett's pants.

"Fucking jumbo drink." Laughing, red-faced, Garret looked at the piss-stain on his pants, covered it with his hand, glad he wasn't with Angie tonight. "How much you figure?"

"Got to be worth five bills easy."

"People kick the shit out of other people for a lot less."

"I said anonymous, right?"

"Whatever. Count me out," Garret said.

"Don't come crying when my pocket's bulging with cash."

"You gonna be crying when your head's bulging from a good beating."

"Come on, that's the cops coming back," Eddie said, slipping the plate under his windbreaker.


About the Author

Dietrich Kalteis is a writer living in West Vancouver, Canada. His work has appeared in Foundling ReviewTrystVerdadOne cool wordLowestoft Chronicle, and others. His screenplay MILKIN' DILLARD has been optioned to Bella Fe Films/Los Angeles.