Sunday, September 20, 2015


Copyright (c) 2015 by Randall R. Peterson ALL RIGHTS RESERVED This is a work of fiction. All persons, locations and actions are from the author's imagination or have been used in a fictitious manner.

Ride you to the bone without a saddle-blanket …
By R. Peterson

Doris was at the safe-from-dings end of the Red Rooster’s parking lot, scratching dirty-words all over Renny Wilson’s new Dodge Ram. The screech of her belt buckle as it dug through lacquer paint filled her ears, almost blotting out the sloppy bar-band playing a cover of Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party. But then gravel splattered across her shoes as a familiar jeep skidded to a stop inches from Renny's truck, and raucous laughter rang out. The cavalry had arrived in the shape of Doris's three friends.
“Hey Lady! You misspelled cheater,” Gwen laughed as she jumped from Sarah’s Chevy Pickup.
“No she didn’t,” Sarah argued as their friend stretched to write I CAN’T GET IT UP! across the hood of the shiny truck. Sarah pointed to block letters scratched in the driver’s door: CHATEHER! “Every time she c’s them together she hates her.”
“Then why not scratch a few words in Boom Boom’s car?” Euphoria said as she climbed carefully from the Silverado.
“Becca Branson wouldn’t notice if you scratched a whole erotic novel on the side of that beat-to-hell Ford Fiesta she drives,” Gwen declared as she twisted the truck’s custom radio antenna into a pretzel shape.

Sarah used a pair of broken nail-clippers on the truck’s front tires and smiled as air hissed out. “I wonder if Renny’s little whore grew them big-boobs herself, or if she bought them from that plastic surgeon in Butte?”
            “Doctor Water-Wings must have sewed a spring made of silicone inside each one,” Gwen snickered, “The way they bounce off the walls when she’s on the dance floor.”
Doris’s belt-buckle broke in half. She tossed it, belt and all into some tall weeds and began to cry. “That was the buckle I won for barrel-racing at the Comanche County Rodeo,’ she sobbed.
Sarah handed Doris her nail clippers and then began to break the truck glass with the post-hole digger she kept behind the Chevy’s driver’s seat. “Renny told me his mother was sick,” Doris bawled as she continued her scratching, “and that he’d call from Missoula when he got there.”
            “More likely he’ll call you from that Motel-6 just outside of town,” Sarah said and then wished she hadn’t. It took three blows to break out the windshield.
            “Renny and Becca are headed for the bar’s exit!” Charisa’s brown eyes (a legacy from her Sioux Indian mother) had a far-away look as she gazed toward the bar. “We have about three minutes.”
            “Do you want to ask him how his mother’s doing while we’re here, or do you want to get the hell out of Dodge before the cops show up?” Gwen looked at the forty-thousand dollar truck … it was a wreck.
            “Let’s get this thing started,” Doris told them wiping her eyes, “so it’ll be over quicker.”
The music got louder as the door to the bar banged open. Renny Wilson staggered out dragging Becca Branson. She fell to the ground when he released her from under his arm and began to run. “What the hell are you doing to my truck?” Renny screamed. Three-hundred and twenty pounds of fury wearing a cowboy hat, thundered across the gravel parking lot blowing steam like a locomotive.
Doris stood defiantly in front of the truck with tears still rolling from her eyes. “How is your momma, Renny? How is your momma?” she bawled.
            “She ain’t dead, but you’re gonna be!” Renny raised both ham-sized fists over his head.
Gwen had the good sense to stick out her leg and trip the runaway freight train. Renny went sprawling in the gravel. Sarah clobbered him with the post-hole digger just as he started to get up. A crowd was spilling from the bar most were holding drinks, a few were still dancing. In the far-off distance a siren could be heard.
            “Boom Boom’s brother called the sheriff,” Euphoria stared toward the lights of Cloverdale.
            “You want to kiss him goodbye, or do we just leave?” Gwen addressed Doris.
            “I think I’ll go for the kiss,” Doris said. Renny was rising to his knees when she kicked him hard with the toe of her boot. He slumped back in the gravel, moaned and then a moment later began to snore.

Gwen and Euphoria helped Sarah stuff Doris into her truck. The Chevy Silverado spun three circles in the center of the lot, spraying gravel at the throngs of onlookers moving in to watch a fight that was over before it began. Sarah headed south away from town. Doris was still hysterical; Sarah tried to comfort her. “The worst is over Doris. You’re a whole lot better off without that man in your life.”
“Renny isn’t the worst of my problems right now,” Doris sobbed. “I’m pregnant.”
“She was pregnant,” Gwen pointed to the pool of blood spreading from between Doris’s legs.
Sarah hit the brakes and the pickup skidded sideways before she turned around and headed back toward town. “Where are you going?” Gwen said in a quiet voice … she knew the answer.
            “Cloverdale General Hospital,” Sarah said. “There’s still a chance we can stop the miscarriage.”
            “You know if we go back into town Sheriff Walker will arrest us for sure don’t you?”  Gwen told her.
            “I’ve heard those county cells are cold,” Euphoria said. “Looks like we’re gonna find out.”
Flashing red and blue lights in the rear-view mirror made all the women except Doris look behind; Doris was bent over in pain.
“Let the sheriff chase us to the hospital,” Sarah said as she stomped on the gas pedal. “Sheriff Walker can help carry Doris inside.”


Euphoria and Sarah were playing cards in the cell, while Gwen pounded a tattooed woman’s head against the solid concrete. “No, I won’t give you my shoes and no I don’t want my throat cut!” Gwen punctuated each no with a bang against the wall and succeeded in making the woman drop a crudely-sharpened butter-knife on the floor. Gwen kicked the illegal dinnerware clattering under the iron-rod doors and into the hallway just as Sheriff Walker appeared with a set of keys.
“How is Doris, John?” Sarah dropped a three-of-a-kind poker hand on the thin mattress and stood up. Gwen released the tattooed woman and tried to look innocent.
“She’ll be fine,” Sheriff Walker said. “She lost the baby though.” John Walker looked at the three women and smiled. “Doris signed over her ranch to Alfonzo Hicks at the Gold Strike Bank and got enough equity to pay Renny Wilson’s restitution and hospital bills and also to make all of your bail.” The sheriff unlocked the cell. “That looks good enough for Judge Carson. As long as you ladies don’t beat the hell out of any more Dodge pickups … I think we’ll part company.”
“That ranch was all Doris had,” Sarah lamented.
“Wrong! She has us …” Gwen said.
Sheriff Walker held the door wide while the three exited the cell, but put a hand out to stop the tattooed woman when she tried to slip through, then deftly relocked the cell door. “Where are you ladies headed?” the sheriff asked.
            “We’re gonna pick up Doris and then we’re leaving Cloverdale,” Euphoria said with a smirk. “Crime doesn’t pay in this town.”
            “But I hear it does in New York,” Sarah laughed. “Are we really going there?”
“We all know Euphoria’s psychic Indian powers are never wrong,” Gwen said. “If she says something will be, then it will be.”
 “Then I guess we’ll find out,” Sarah said.
            “Good luck,” the sheriff said as he shook his head. “God help New York City!”


Sarah rolled-down her window and yelled at the heavy traffic, honking her horn and trying to blend-in with the natives. They had just crossed Coster Street going the wrong way on East Bay Avenue, when the radiator exploded and blew hissing steam from all sides of the hood. The engine died and the battered pickup rolled to a stop in front of the Bronx Junk Car Depot.
            “Three hundred bucks,” the man wiping his hands on a dirty rag said, “and only because scrap metal is up to fifteen cents a pound.”
Twenty minutes later, the ladies were walking north on Bryant Avenue headed for a restaurant. Euphoria was a half a block ahead complaining about how hungry she was. A man driving a sleek black BMW pulled to the curb and unrolled his window. “How much?” he asked a startled Euphoria. Instinct told her this was a rich man with lots of secrets.
            “How much for what?” she stammered.
            “To show me a wild ride,” the man blurted. His leering eyes were already undressing her.
The guy was cheating on his wife and owed $200,000 to the mob in gambling debt.
            “I’m real hungry, so it’s gonna be five-hundred dollars and real quick,” Euphoria said. She blinked three times and became irresistible.
The man hesitated, but for only a moment, thinking Euphoria had to be the most gorgeous woman he’d ever seen. “You got it Baby! Hop in,” he ordered.
Euphoria was barely inside the expensive car and he’d just pulled away from the curb when she entwined one long leg over his and forced the gas-pedal all the way to the floor. “What are you doing? Are you crazy?” The richly dressed gentleman struggled to fight her off and steer at the same time as the car began to accelerate.
“Giving you your money’s worth, Baby!” Euphoria told him. The black BMW slid sideways through a red light at Oak Point Avenue and nearly collided with two careening taxis.
“Stop right now before you kill us both! You bitch!” the furious man screamed.
The expensive German built car was going over ninety when Euphoria stomped on the brake so hard the man banged his head on the dashboard as the car spun three times before it skidded to a stop on the sidewalk in front of a seafood store called The Lobster Place. Euphoria slipped the man’s wallet from the pocket of his Armani trousers as he did a dazed backstroke against the bench-seat.
            “Two-hundred and twenty bucks!” Euphoria screamed as she emptied out elven twenties and a few ones. “What were you looking to do … screw me?”
            “That was my plan,” the man moaned.
Euphoria opened the driver’s and kicked the man onto the cement. “You’ll get your car back when I get the rest of my money,” Euphoria told him.
            “You bitch!” the man screamed. “I’m C. P. Wentwood and I’m running for congress in District Eleven. I have lots of powerful friends in this city.”
            “I’m sorry but I’m from out of town and I don’t know who you are,” Euphoria told him. “Call one of those friends and ask if they’ll give you a ride.” She slid behind the wheel, closed the door and sped away.
Clarence “Charley” Wentwood stomped both feet on the sidewalk threw his hands in the air and screamed like a spoiled child.


            Gwen, Sarah and Doris were just about ready to go inside the Oak Restaurant and Grill when Euphoria pulled up driving the BMW. She unrolled the window and held up the two-hundred she’d gotten from Wentwood. “How about we go for a ride and find a classier place to eat?” she said. “This place looks like it warms TV dinners in a microwave.”

A block away the Eleventh District Congressional candidate was furious; as he watched three more women climb into his car and drive away. He started to call the police and then quickly shut off his cell phone. Wentwood didn’t know how he could explain getting robbed by a prostitute to the voters of New York. If the press ever got wind of what happened, his run for office would be over before it started. He punched in the number for someone more discreet instead.
            Louis Costalano answered on the second ring. The tough Italian was nothing if not focused. “We got a problem, Lou!”
Wentwood told Costalano how he’d lost his expensive car, his guap and his identification. He was manic when he heard his campaign manager laughing. “We don’t have a problem,” Louis reassured him. “I’ve got a dozen fists who’d love nothing better than to spaz a few Hoowahs into the East River … after they’ve had some fun with them.”
Clarence Wentwood smiled as his slid his cellphone back into his pocket. A car would be by to pick him up in ten minutes. Costalano had men who could fix anything. If these women from out of town wanted to take it there he would be more than willing to oblige.


            Euphoria spotted a policewoman writing a parking-ticket so she pulled the BMW to the curb to ask for directions. The meter-maid looked at the expensive car and told them. “If money is no object, I’d go to Le Bernardin. I love sea food … that’s on 155 W. 51st. St.”
Sarah was already punching the address into the GPS.
            “She said if money is no object,” Doris mused as they drove into the center of the city. “How expensive is this place?”
            “Who cares?” Sarah had been rummaging through Wentwood’s wallet and held up an American Express platinum card. “Men are only good for one thing …” She looked at Doris and laughed. “Well … two things!”


            Four burly men who worked for Costalano were cruising the streets of the Bronx in a non-descript Ford looking for Wentwood’s BMW when they got a call from their boss. “I put a watch on Westwood’s credit cards and the bank just called,” he sounded furious. “The bitches are stuffing their faces at Le Bernardin’s that sea-food place that charges the same amount NASA does for a space launch for just a lobster tail and a slice of lemon!
            “How do you want to handle this?” Jerry “Lucky” Lestroni asked the man driving.
Butch Costner opened his window and blew a mouth-full of sunflower seeds into oncoming traffic. “We take it real easy on the sluts until we get them back to Micky’s … then the fun starts!”
Micky “The Moose” Mastronadi sat in the back seat sliding a pair of brass knuckles on and off of his pudgy fingers. “There ain’t a rachet in the world who won’t start begging once the pain starts,” he giggled.


            “This place has some nerve,” Doris complained. “Asking for our credit card before we even ordered!” They all sat on a long beige couch against which small individual round-tables had been placed. Sarah stared at the artfully decorated dining area and at the exquisitely dressed French waiters rushing from table to table. “Maybe the figured we couldn’t afford to eat in this place. This isn’t exactly Skippers Fish ‘n Chips.”
            “They serve the fish here three ways,” Gwen laughed slapping down her menu. “Almost Raw, Barely Touched or Lightly Cooked.”
            “I’ll have the Striped Bass and make sure that stripe is charred-off before you bring him to the table,” Gwen told the waiter who magically appeared beside her table.
            “Il y aura autre chose, Madame ?” The waiter raised one eyebrow as Gwen tapped her finger on the photograph and shook her head.
            “We’ll all have the same,” Sarah said.
Très bon, je vais devoir le chef préparer votre déjeuner plus fabuleux.” The waiter told them. He picked up the menus and walked away with a sneer on his face.
            “Danger approaches us,” Euphoria mumbled. Her dark eyes stared at the dining room wall looking at nothing.
            “You mean the next waiter to approach our table will be speaking Chinese?” Gwen muttered.
            “She talks about danger coming our way, but she’s smiling!” Doris looked at her clairvoyant friend and shook her head.
            “It’s a Lakota Sioux warrior thing,” Sarah said. “Euphoria believes like her ancestors did that you are only as strong as your enemies.”
            “That’s right,” Gwen said, slopping their glasses full from a bottle of Chateau Leoville Las Cases St. Julien the waiter had just placed reverently on their table. “That’s why she was so hip to get out of Montana … she figured nobody there is worth fighting since Custer bit the dust in 1876.”

They were on their second bottle of wine when a waiter appeared balancing all four plates in his two upraised hands.
            “Good God!” Gwen said as the waiter placed the plate before her. “Borrow me your fork, Sarah; I swear this striped-bass is still flopping!”
Doris handed the plates back to the waiter. “Take these plates back to the cook and tell him to turn up the heat,” she said. “We want them almost burned, barely burned and lightly burned.”
            “That won’t be necessary,” a voice behind the waiter said. “These ladies have another appointment.”
Gwen, Sarah, Doris and Euphoria stared at the bulky men surrounding their table.
            “You wanted strong enemies,” Gwen stared at the scowling men and then at Euphoria. “Let’s just hope we’re as tough as they are!”


Butch Costner slammed down the phone inside Micky Mastronadi’s Brooklyn hotel room and glanced at the four women sitting on the floor together in the corner. “Costalano says not to touch them … and he don’t want no guns in case the cops show. You can’t trust anybody in this town. I told him we brought them up here unarmed just like he wanted. He wants to find out who sent them and how much they know before we take a ride to the river.”
            “Until our friend gets here, maybe you girls would like to entertain us?” Jerry Lestroni nudged Euphoria with the point of his shoe.
            “And just how are we supposed to entertain you?” Gwen said with a grimace.
            “By dancing!” Lestroni giggled.
            “Sorry but I left my dancing shoes home.” Doris sneered.
            “You won’t need shoes,” Lestroni told her. ‘In fact you won’t need any clothes!” He grabbed Euphoria by the hair and began to pull her to her feet.
            “You can’t do this … you have a phone call,” Euphoria told him seconds before the cell phone in his coat played the opening notes from the movie The Godfather.
Lestroni dropped her to the floor and took the call.
 “Costalano says he’s going to be late.” Lestroni grumbled. “Until then, the girls aren’t to be touched!”  He looked at Euphoria warily. “How come you knows I was getting a phone call?”
“Our friend has clairvoyant powers beyond anything you big rotten apples have ever seen,” Sarah said checking her fingernails for cracks.
Lestroni laughed. “I’ve heard that knows the future crap before,” he sneered. “You got to do better than that baby!”
            “The beer you ordered has just arrived,” Euphoria said as she pointed toward the locked hotel room door. A minute later, a delivery man pushing a cart loaded with a pizza and two cases of Michelob Light arrived and knocked loudly.
            “This is getting kind of spooky,” Micky Mastronadi said. “How did she know about the phone call … and the delivery man?”
            “It’s all lucky guessing,” Lestroni said as she tugged a large slice of pizza from the box.
            “I wouldn’t eat that if I were you,” Euphoria told him.
            “Why the hell not?” Lestroni stopped just before he took a bite.
            “The kid kneading the dough lost an earring just before he popped your New York Deluxe in the oven,” Euphoria told him. “Look there under the cheese.”

Lestroni poked a fat finger into the pizza slice and pulled out two silver wires bent and soldered into the shape of a smiling face.
            “I’ll kill that punk!” Lestroni thundered. “I could have broken a tooth.”
            ‘You’ll be dead long before you get a chance,” Euphoria told him. “That phone call you just got from Costalano? That was him making sure you boys were sitting here un-armed. He’s sending up a few men to reward you for all the skimming you guys have done with the Dock Workers Union.”
            “Costalano’s rewards are all made of lead instead of gold!” Micky Mastronadi shrieked. “How did he know we were playing the Micks?”
            “I don’t care how he found out, I’m getting out of here!” All four men headed toward the door.
            “Costalano’s men are already inside the building,” Euphoria said. “They have the elevator and the stairs covered.”
            “We’ll be shot like monkeys in a barrel!” Jerry Lestroni blubbered.
            “Quick,” Euphoria told the men. “Out the window and onto the ledge. You can edge your way around the building and into another room. I’ll tell Costalano you left an hour ago.”
Micky Mastronadi moaned as the four men stepped out onto the ledge. “Pigeons!” he wailed. “The ledge is covered with pigeons and we’re nine floors up!”
            “Just don’t make em fly!” Gwen yelled as she stood up to close the window. “That many wings flapping at the same time could beat a man to death.”
The old wood-cased window frame came down with a bang. Hundreds of birds taking to the air followed by four screams, sounded from outside.
            “How long before Costalano’s men get here?” Sarah asked Euphoria.
            “They won’t,” Euphoria said with a smile. “I lied!”
            “Honest Indian?” Sarah stammered with wide eyes.
            “Honest Indian,” Euphoria told her. “About the only thing Indians learned from the white-man … was how to lie.”


Sarah, Euphoria, Doris and Gwen all stood on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Thirty-Eight Street. “I think you came up with a pretty good idea about how to make money in the Big Apple,” Sarah told Euphoria as several cars drove by; the male occupants gaping at the four attractive women.  “Do you think we’ve seen the last of Louis Costalano and that sorry piece of work he’s trying to put in Congress?” Sarah asked Euphoria.
            “Costalano doesn’t know how four of his best men ended up splattered all over a hotel sidewalk … and he’s praying he’ll never see us again,” Euphoria said. “So I’m still looking for that strong enemy.”

A moment later a big pink Cadillac skidded to a stop with two wheels up on the sidewalk. Tupac rappin’ an extra filthy version of All Eyes on Me blasted from huge car speakers as the door was flung open. A skinny black man wearing enough gold chains to ransom a king leaped from the vehicle spouting four-letter gibberish and strutting like a rooster with extra-long legs. “Wha’s dis? Unescorted white womans movin’ the #@%$ in on Little Jim’s territory? No way … No how this here #%!& be goin down … not on my slice o’ the #%&@$! Big Apple!”
The four women from Montana looked at each other and laughed. “Men!” Doris chortled. “They never learn do they?”


1 comment:

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