a fire inside theater presents: Blogger Noir
a fire inside theater presents: Blogger Noir
(all work herein is purely ummm..fictional. any resemblance to bloggers living, dead or in jail remains purely coincidental)
I knew they were trouble the second I spotted them. Miss B. and Space sauntered down the steps of the train station, dressed to kill and looking like they already did. I could sense the danger that swirled around them like poison.
The said on the phone there would be three of them, but I only spotted the two. Maybe he was lurking. Maybe he had gone on ahead to case the joint. I approached them and asked.
"Where's the third?" They looked at me and then at each other, secrets passing between them like the misty breath of winter. Miss B. threw her cigarette on the ground and stomped it out with her high heel.
"He'll get here eventually. If not now, then later. Time's nothing to a man like him." She spat out these words like tainted food. Space looked at me with scorn in his eyes. "Never trust a man named MG," he said. "Might as well stand for Murderous Guy."
We started walking towards the greasy food joint and the crowd of people milling around the station parted before us as we came near them. They could practically smell the danger that hovered around us. No one would look us in the eye. Could you blame them? We were dark and deadly and ready to meet mayhem head on.
The joint was hopping with all kinds of low-lifes and desperados. I led my compadres over to my usual spot, back in the corner where no one could hear us talk. We were in the business of keeping things quiet. One overheard word and we would all be dead for the rest of our lives.
Our waiter came over and I could see the fear in Space's eyes as he looked the young man over. Space trusts no one, and who could blame him? Bad luck follows him around like a clingy woman. I nodded to Space, letting him know our waiter was ok. Too dumb to be any danger. Sometimes...sometimes they just play dumb to get the goods on you. But not this guy. He had a run in with some Russians at a laundromat in Brooklyn not too long ago, and he's been two bricks shy of a load ever since. Miss B. lit a cigarette and blew a long puff of smoke into Laundry Boy's face. "Bring us drinks. Something hard and large." Laundry Boy turned red and walked away, leaving us alone in our dark corner.
Two minutes later we heard some noise from the rest of the riff-raff in the bar. Maybe we heard a gunshot, maybe we didn't. I just know that right after the ruckus, MG was seated next to me, excitement in his eyes.
Miss B. eyed him suspiciously. "You made it. Congratulations. It's not like you to show up somewhere you say you're gonna be."
"Sayin' and doin' are two different things, darling."
We sat in silence for a few minutes until Laundry Boy appeared with our drinks. Tall drinks of dark beer, foaming at the top like a combusting volcano were put in front of us. "Hard and large," said Laundry Boy. "Just like you asked." He stood there, looking at us as if expecting a reward for doing what he was told.
"Is there something else you need or are your feet just stuck to the ground?" I glared at him. He should know better. Dumb and ignorant are two different things.
He didn't even reply. He knew that those few extra seconds he lingered could mean trouble for him.
We sat at the table for a few hours, blowing smoke and throwing back beer. We talked business, we talked pleasure. But never the two at the same time.
When they finally found the corpse in the bathroom, we knew our welcome had been worn out. We slipped out the back door, leaving some cash and a Polaroid of Miss B. on the table for Laundry Boy.
The cold island air hit us like a bullet when we got outside. We needed somewhere else to go, somewhere where we could conduct business and seek out some pleasure. A place for people like us, people who lived for the dark of night and the dark side of life. We walked back to the train station, and it was Space who saw it first. The soft glow of neon beckoning us into the back alley. No fancy name for this place, just sign telling it like it was. Drinks and Tattoos. We had hit the midnight jackpot.
MG went in first, as always, making sure there wasn't anyone in the place who would want to impede our quest for a night of amusement. Then again, there's no amusement like dead bodies flying around a tattoo parlor.
He motioned that the place was clean and we went in and took seats at the bar. The barmaid, a gal with hard eyes and a soft smile leaned over the bar towards us, giving Space and MG a free show of her goods. "What will it be, guys? Drinks, tattoos or both?" She spoke in a throaty whisper and her words said more than they let on. I realized then that it wasn't Space or MG she was throwing that look at. It was Miss B. I took a long, healthy drag from my cigarette and as I blew out the smoke in the busty barmaid's face, I flicked my ashes down the front of her shirt. They landed in her cleavage, and when she looked up at me to complain, she must have seen the look of a cold-blooded murderer in my eyes because she shut her trap real quick.
"Tattoos," Miss B. said. "Tattoos and shots of your hardest whisky." Busty motioned towards the back room. A hand written sign proclaimed that tattoos were that way. We made our way towards the room and Busty followed with our shot glasses.
Two hours and three bottles of whisky later, we were all marked by the needle and too drunk to care. There may have been more than tattoos done. All I remember is that Busty turned out be real sweet, sweet like a cake full of poison. And she's one cake who won't be making it to the next birthday party. I'm not going to say who it was that cut that cake, but I think Miss B. has one more notch on her lipstick holster today.
As for the tattoos, I'd like to say they were small and tasteful. But no, nothing is every small and tasteful when you're dealing with the likes of Space and MG. I just hope that years from now, they don't regret those "BlogLife" markings on their biceps. But regret....regret is for soft boiled. My night with Miss B. and her cronies proved them to be anything but.