Work in Progress Excerpt 8-28-2020


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Finally got some mojo back and am doing a bit of writing, but I’d better hurry, because the deadline for this one is just a week away and I’m still halfway through my first draft. Here’s an excerpt. Tell me what you think of it.

“A wise man once said, it ain’t over til it’s over. I got lucky enough to get a seat at the highest stakes poker game in the west coast underworld with who, a drug kingpin, a racketeer…” he winked at Harris as the butt suspending her three-hundred pound frame shifted, threatening to turn the ancient wood chair into kindling. “…an assassin…,” he nodded at Elias Swan, who looked more the part of a balding, frail accountant. He only spoke from behind his surgical mask when the game necessitated it, “…and the man who runs the unions and the docks from here to San Diego. Tell us why do they call you Daddy?”

Miller knew he was pushing them all, especially Cooke, but that had always his point. Still grinning like an all too visible Cheshire cat, he slapped his hand on the peeling varnish of the pine tabletop. “Read ‘em and weep. Straight flush in diamonds, six through ten.”

“I’m impressed Miller, but not impressed enough. Still can’t beat a…”

Cooke had just enough time to start tipping his hand downward revealing a royal flush in spades when Al Miller exploded out of his seat, violently shoving the table into the other three to his left. As if by magic, a Colt M1911 appeared in his right hand. He lunged at Daddy, whose…

…chair had been thrown behind him. Stumbling, his cards scattering through the air like drunken butterflies, he grabbed at the holster at his ankle. Miller’s free hand whisked the .32 snub nose revolver away like a wizard, flinging it to the room’s only exit at his right. He deftly disposed of the switchblade out of Daddy’s waistband, somehow freeing it from the intervening bulk. Then Daddy was on his back soaking the concrete with sweat and piss, with Al’s knee on his chest and the semi-automatic’s barrel pressed against his forehead.

“Put ‘em away. I got good reason, and before you ask, yes, he was cheating, but that’s not what this is about. Al’s pale blue eyes never stopped staring into Daddy’s muddy brown ones, but he knew that the other three people in the room had drawn down on him.

He reached into his jacket’s inner pocket and could feel the rest of them stiffen. Daddy tried to shift out from under Miller but he smacked the barrel’s tip hard between his eyes. “Don’t.”

His left hand tossed an open envelope, sending it skidding across the floor among the litter of cards and cash. The contents spilled out among them. “That’s the reason.”

Al could hear Latisha Harris grunt as she leaned over and picked a few of them off the floor. She ran the hookers in L.A. and there wasn’t much that shocked or disgusted her, but Al figured these pictures just might.

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