“As far from the east from the west has He distanced your transgressions from you, she said. If your sins are frozen like the snows on Kilimanjaro, I will melt your heart like the wings of Icarus, she said. Ha! The best of times, the worst of times and brother, this is the worst of times.”
“Quit your bitching Milo and put your back into it.” The prison guard waved his shotgun vaguely in the young convict’s direction to emphasize the point.
He held up his pickaxe momentarily entertaining murderous thoughts, but even if he could bury the business end of it in that fat pig’s chest before he could react, the others would cut him down in a New York minute. Not worth it. Milo brought his tool down on hard, merciless rock, as hard as his stoney heart.
How had he ended up here? Oh yeah. Her.
Milo Schumacher needed a place to lay low after his last heist. He happened to spot those Holy Rollers or whatever they were preaching on the corner of Market and Castro hoping to get the gays to repent or something. Fat chance.
But they were naive enough to be his way out of this mess, especially with the cops looking for him. He’d convinced that chubby blonde babe with the big tits, what was her name? Oh yeah, Lindsey, that he wanted to go straight, as in giving up guys for girls, although Milo had always been a switch hitter.
Come sundown, he was safely tucked away in her bed, soft pasty flesh keeping him warm after he’d given her the high hard one. She figured one evening of sinful humping was worth “curing” Milo of the spirit of homosexuality or whatever those Fundy freaks called it.
He started going to their meetings, listening to sermons, learning those boring old hymns (he had a pretty good singing voice), and even standing on street corners handing out pamphlets about Jesus and sin, letting himself be yelled at by everyone who thought they were either pests or bigots.
It was the perfect cover. Even when the cops saw him, they passed right by. He might as well have been wearing a pair of wings and a halo.
Then one Sunday after services, they all packed up in a couple of vans and drove over to Jasper Blankenship’s place off of El Camino Del Mar in Sea Cliff. He was bankrolling the whole deal. Who knew? Not only was he loaded, he had a lot of his loot stashed in his house. Gave the religious nut jobs free run of the place. It took Milo about fifteen seconds to figure out where the wall safe was.
It was a terrific set up. With his Christian cover, he could rob Blankenship blind and then march right back out with the rest of the prayer warriors and no one would be the wiser. The old man was a dinosaur, so he was in the living room talking football with some of the guys while all of the gals were cleaning up in the kitchen after dinner.
Milo slipped away (everybody’s got to use the can sometime, right?) and made for the library. Typical wall safe behind portrait over mantle. The alarm system was hooked into the mains for the house, so until Blankenship left the place and set the house system, the safe was practically wide open.
Professional combo lock but nothing he hadn’t handled before. Sure, he had enough dough from the bank job to set him up for a while, but he couldn’t touch it because it was stashed in a parking garage in the Mission, his old hangout, and the cops would be all over the place.
His fingers danced left, right, left and then there was the click. He pulled the handle and as quick as you can say “Bob’s your uncle,” he was staring at a load of cash, jewels, bearer bonds, and oh wow, look at all that cocaine! The old man wasn’t the saint he was supposed to be. Fine and dandy.
“Hold it. Let’s see those hands. Turn around slowly.”
For a second he thought it was the cops or maybe Blankenship but then he recognized the voice. He did what he was told. No one talked like that unless they were packing.
“This is a surprise, Lindsey. Nice 9mm. Is that a Glock 42?” He was smiling trying to sound jovial to put her off guard.
“I’ll give you a personal introduction to the round in the chamber if you want to find out. Now step away from the safe.”
He saw the Glock pointed right at his chest, he saw the look of determination on her face, and then he saw the large handbag. His little chubby cherub turned out to be a devil in disguise. No wonder she was so hot in bed.
With her free hand she tossed the bag at him. “Fill it.”
“If you shoot me, they’ll hear. How will you explain it?”
“You’ll be too dead to care. Do it.”
His thoughts were scrambling trying to figure a way out of this. Maybe he could fill the bag, get the gun away from her and escape somehow. Nah, she was standing too far away to grab but not far enough to miss.
In it went, the cash, the bonds, jewels (his missus died years back but he kept the best of her stuff), the coke, all of it.
“You want me to toss it back?” This might be his chance. He couldn’t just throw it, everything would spill. He’d have to hand it to her.
“You did that already. I’m great, aren’t I?”
“Look over there.” To her left and his right were some French doors.
“I made sure they were unlocked when I came in earlier. They lead out into the garden. Hop the fence and run. Maybe you’ll get away.”
“If I don’t, you’ll shoot me, right?” He called her bluff and took a step toward her.
Then she screamed bloody murder, louder and shriller than those Wilhelm screams in the movies.
Milo dashed for the doors, opened them, ran into the garden, and in a single motion was up and over the ivy covered fence and then pounding pavement as fast as his legs would scurry.
He was a two-time loser so at the trial no one believed him, not even his shyster. He couldn’t confess to where he’d hidden the loot because he didn’t steal it. Lindsey put on a real show on the stand, sobbing, saying how scared she was when she caught him breaking in.
Dumb idiot, he didn’t even use gloves figuring he’d wipe his prints off later. It was an open and shut case. He dropped dime on where the take from the bank heist was but he was still sentenced to five-to-ten in the joint.
Rumor mill had it his lay had a nervous breakdown after the trial and had to visit a sanitarium in Arizona. Milo figured no one would ever hear from her again.
“Keep breaking rocks, Schumacher.”
“Yeah, yeah. Don’t get your panties in a wad.”
Every time he brought the pickaxe down, he imagined it smashing into Lindsey’s chubby cheeks and shattering that ivory white grin of hers she’d flashed as she aimed the Glock at his heart.
“Never trust a woman Milo, especially the goody-goody ones. They’re murder.”
I wrote this for the Saturday Mix – Opposing Forces, 3 March 2018 hosted at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The idea today is to use two opposing word pairs as the inspiration for writing a poem, short story, or other creative work. The pairs are:
East and West
melt and freeze
I got the first one by paraphrasing Psalm 103:12 and polished both pairs off in a single paragraph and from there I kept writing, making up the story as I went along. I based the “chain gang” scene on one from the 1982 movie 48 Hrs starring Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy (with appearances by Annette “Smallville” O’Toole and Denise “Star Trek: The Next Generation” Crosby). I also got the hiding place for Milo’s bank heist loot from that film.
I had a lot of fun pulling the wool over Milo’s eyes and the reversal of Lindsey’s role, an opposite of angel and devil.