Saturday, January 22, 2011

YOU DIRTY RATS ~ Epic*sode 2 . . . By Absolutely*Kate ~ #FlashFiction

~   E P I C  *  S O D E   2   ~

( Or put that in your pied pipe and smoke it )

 Down and dirty, by ~


"Hey Sis, you reckon Piper's gonna figger the skinny on Sammy?", Trudy Zambowser lamented, fingering stringy bangs out of sooty eyes with one scrawny hand while fishing along the sides to the bottom of her straw handbag past old kleenex and empty mascara tubes for more quarters. "There! Gotcha!" Score. She was 75-cents ahead, on a bead for the old Juke.

"Ol' Jake ain't gonna find out nuttin', nowhere, no-how, regarding Sammy," interjected the no-longer-minding-only-his-own-business bartender/proprietor of Hooligans of Hamelin. His chest puffed up practically as broad as his puffery, brawny George Ramsey Hooligan slicked back his contrary cowlick and checked again the dazzle potency of his grin in the Dewar's mirror above the microbrew taps. "Let's just say he's been taken care of good, real good. So good matter o'fact it's almost a shame how bad." A proud guffaw pronounced the jut of his jaw, on the alert just how alert that news flash volted a startle into Trudy's sister Frieda's usually cagey peepers. Feeling generous, feeling more the urge to feel lucky, George jiggled a double jigger of rum 'round the rim of the rotund lady's slender gimlet glass. He pushed the dainty stemware within easy reach of her chipped mauve manicure with pudgy fingers strumming the scuffed bar, attuned to her sister's sentimental tunes:

You were the start of the dreamin' in my heart
and now I can't stop dreaming of you
"Whatchoo tokkin' about Georgie?" Frieda glared up into a slow wink sliding down the way a slow wink was intended to be slow-mo, (heavy on the mojo), slid. Definitely meaning more than its vision hid. 

Brazen bravado led timbre rather than hush to Hooligan's low-down whisper, leaning closer and more personal towards the crusty broad he wouldn't mind rolypolying 'round with one day. Women with pork to their bellies were soft in the sack. Emboldening his move, George took advantage of her slithery sister still fiddling coins across the room. Came a swagger of sweet, funky oldies:
I'm waiting for my life to begin
          I'm waiting for that train to come in 
George generated his best Rick's Cafe accent, all the better to charm Frieda la femme, "Ya see kid, it's like dis -- Me and my accomplice, we rolled the barrel better than, uh, better than they do the Pennsylvania Polka in Perryopolis. Well, let's call it a steel drum barrel, so's youse gets da big picture in your peepers dollface  --  and man oh man, did it make some deep kerplunk!"

"Holy Hannah, George! You mean -- "
As if on cue, Hannah Zambowser, swathed in a trim suit of gabardine blue, not lookin' bad at all for her age, bustled grim gumption from the backroom, bellying it up to the bar. "You swappin' trade secrets Georgie Porgie?",  she said sweet as clenched teeth can emit. "Lotta fish swim funny in the river who bubble their blabbering outta turn. Just for the halibut, I heartily suggest you keep your piehole zipper-zilched. You got that, pal?" She stared him, his ebullience and his cowlick down, tipped a perfunctory nod to the short hunkered mass o'lass guzzling her gimlet, with a curt, "Freida," then hooted a jaunty "Hallllo!" to the beanstalk bending over the worn Wurlitzer, "You findin' anything good on that old jalopy of a nicklelodeon honey?" 

"Machine don't take no cottonpickin' nickels, Ma. This one's eatin' all my quarters, but I took dibs on a tip I reckon was over lingered at table 3, so I'm crankin' 'em out. There's a lotta oldies here. I kinda like that."

In a little honkytonk village in Texas
there's a guy who plays the best piano bar.
And when he plays out with the base and guitar,
they all yell out, "Oh give me Daddy, 8 to the bar!"

He plays the boogie, the funky boogie
and when he plays that rhythm 
he puts them all in a trance
~ ~

MEANWHILE . . . aboard the good party ship Whammy Zammy, the jazzed audience was slurping up a goodtime, lollygagging spellbound at the smooth dazzling antics of the main act, the man with the grin behind the silver sparkle of the Sweet Harmony Harmonica. No shit, Jake Piper on the poop deck, wowing them in wave after mesmerizing wave of music to somnambulance. Winding, weaving, wavering his way this way, that way, all the way around the floating pleasure palace, room after stateroom. 

Piper took in details of decor and more. He'd started slow and easy, the hypnotic heritage mouthharp zinging vibes of Rhinestone Cowboy, which hopped up the minion nymphs of the jolly mean giant like grits on a sizzler. Scantily clad, if that, they pranced fancy two-steps and bootie scooted their boogie to the obvious ogle of their southern captain's magnanimous delight. "Big Daddy! Big Daddy!", they called out in pretty squeals, arms all akimbo, "Come dance with me. Come dance with me." And they sang along, all but one, when Jake Piper led them in song:
I've been walkin' these streets so long
Singin' the same old song
I know every crack in these dirty sidewalks of Broadway
Where hustle's the name of the game
And nice guys get washed away like the snow and the rain
There's been a load of compromisin'
On the road to my horizon
But I'm gonna be where the lights are shinin' on me
The keener of the temptatious twins from Miami, Pammy, seemed to be following where his eyes were eyeballing. He noticed she'd noticed his notice of the ship's layout, but had she seen the way that gawdy red chandelier's pendants dangled? Something about the sheen was akilter, he'd bet his bottom GW. An 80-watt smile sought to distract her eyes. Focusing his hocusing, he came to realize her earbuds were attuned to  iTunes instead of his tunes, thus blocking his penchant to mesmerize.

The no account debauched crowd went down for the count to an 8-count of the Sweet Harmony Harmonica's bluesy drowsy rendition of Good Night Irene. Last goodtimes gal standing was Pammy from Miami, ironically not sorry to see the party she'd been part of, now over and out. "If you snooze, you lose," she whispered, as BigDaddy and his preponderance of pretty playmates drifted down a lazy river.

Piper arched his left brow.

Pammy fetchingly motioned her exquisitely tapered right index finger.

"You just gonna stand there looking gorgeous and beckon, or is there destination to your reckon?"

"You gonna follow me or just whistle Dixie with that dinky mouth harp?"

Lady had a point. Size mattered. He was behind her sashay all the way. All the way to the Captain's quarters where the swanky skirt showed she had predilection to her direction and was still several steps ahead. Pammy tiptoed with no teetering on teal Jimmy Choos, pulling from the back of an upper teak cabinet a creased sheaf of heavy papers, with a paperclipped newsclipping along for the ride.

Waving provocatively both the papers and her stance, "This what you came aboard lookin' for?"

"Could be. Why do you wonder?"

"Was wonderin' what's in it for me."

"You anglin'?"

"Y'know wise guy, I used to be Snow White, but I drifted, and drifting along, running this show how Big Daddy wanted it to go, got irksome. Let's just say I'm bored and I'm the kinda gal who likes action. Matter o'fact, I'd like a bigger piece of bigger action. Do you hold that attraction -- Big Boy? And --  50/50, that'll do nice to even the score for what I cipher you're in for."

Piper couldn't hold back his amused grin. "Nice Mae West to your zest, and -- 60-40, if, and that's a big IF, your presentation yields something good, then Kid -- you're in".

"If's a pretty big word for two little letters. Nevertheless, I indeed have what you need to succeed so no negotiations necessary Mr Piper. Y'all Jake with that?"

"As Jake as the day my mother named me. Alright Miss perplexing Pammy from Miami, you've got style, you've got wit, now let's see you make the split worth both our whiles."

Pammy smiled, the kind of smile that stokes kindered wood in the gut to flame a slow burn. She was sure selling the sizzle for her stake. She got right down to business though, spreading the papers flat on the marble charts table. "Just twain us, says here, this ship belongs lock, stock and barrels to one Samuel Marx, signed over by his grandparents Clem and Clementine Marx. Ship's then duly registered and notarized in the great state of Texas as the Samuel Clems, and was charted for a coastal cruise. Big Daddy was the hook to hook up this ship with a river casino cartel in Baton Rouge. 

Piper followed her line-by-line finger pointings steady. Her delivery was no nonsense, not so her perfume. That fair Windsong was wafting his mind to following sees.

She noticed his notice. She continued, a little softer this time, "Now this recent newspaper clipping caught the eye of Big Daddy the day we refueled our Chris Craft comin' up the Gulf. He'd sent Tammy in to town for provisions and a smattering of the local post gazettes. This captioned photo shows Mr Marx with his arm 'round the waist of one Hannah Zambowser, toasting bubbly. It seems they were embarking upon a new partnership voyage which steered clear of the deal that was supposed to come down. The article mentions, here, in the fourth paragraph down, that Mr Marx had returned fit and flush from a recent junket to South Africa. Big Daddy, you see, is as good at simple math as he is complex power structures, so he put those two and two and two together last week, when one of his crew's trawlers scooped a soggy Sammy from the sea on Saturday, saturated in a steel oil drum --"

"Oils not well that ends well?", cut in Jake, between two low long Piper whistles. Thinking doubletime about doubledealers he swiftly tallied his own summary,  "So then he bluffed hard-hearted Hannah with surmisal blackmail?" 

"Jackpot Dick Tracy! But once I met her when we overtook the Clems, then took over the Clems, I didn't figure that grim bitch too gone for too long. Big Daddy's people pulled enough on her priors to scare her off awhile, while the painter signed off on the new christened bow name, but -- well, call it woman's intuition, she didn't seem the type to be a bygone, closing curtains on a full disappearing act."

"They do this transacting alone? You remember?"

"Got perfect recall here Piper. Nope, she had a lurking grizzled fellow who kept just a shoulder's length to her shadows, patting his head a lot, a scrawny scrappy squawky gal, plus a quieter dumpy dame who distinctly seemed the only one of the lot with a full faculty of wits about her. As they were being unceremoniously escorted down the gang plank, Hannah got hepped up, and swiveled 'round about a sudden sentimental attachment to that tawdry red chandelier I saw you gaping at and turned back to the starboard side. Big Daddy bellowed they should get while their gettin' was good, and Biff or maybe Jed held high a Glock.44 to echo his bellow the more. When the scrawny one screeched to see such a gun, the dish ran away from the goon. She latched on to Big Daddy's arm with no conceivable charm, and it was the rounder one who pulled her off and quickened some sort of half-curtsy about how they'd be moseying off now and not causing any trouble since decisions made were plans best played."

"That's how she said it?"

"Exactly. My story, and I'm stickin' to it. Though her eyes didn't look beat. They fired glint. Lucky for all of them that my sister Tammy chose just that moment to approach Big Daddy with a squooshed tube of Ban de Soleil, turning her other cheek for assistance. Those rats scurried their sinking hopes off this ship, but as I said, I expected someone to come back. So, you with them?"

"Not exactly. But for the moment, I'm going to play this out nice and copacetic. Pick up the ransom, so to speak and get outta Dodge."

"You mean Hamelin."

"More fun to say 'Dodge'."
She smirked.
He smiled.
(c) 2011 ~ Author Absolutely*Kate

C L I F F H A N G E R !

MESMERIZING ~ pic ala KTylerConk
Please return for next weekend's final wrap-up of "YOU DIRTY RATS" crimetime matinee AT THE BIJOU. We're investigating the Zambowsers and shenanigans in the sands of times in Miami. THEN YOU'LL FIND OUT just where we're goin' wit'this snazzy tune.

Eyeball the gritty slew of bombastic crime'tales outta fairytales right here, at THINGS I'D RATHER BE DOING.

You all sleep swell. 
Check the doors, will'ya?

~ ~ ~

Absolutely*Kate runs this here AT THE BIJOU joint of distinction as theatre for the mind, and shall be sailing Harbinger*33 (no relation to the WhammyZammy). She believes in believers, the depth of the shadows of noir and has moxie. World needs more moxie.
Lookin' forward to
seeing you down and dirty,
next week -- same crime time,
same crime channel.

Photo credits: KTylerConk on harmonica
and WoodleyWonderWorks on the waterfront

Lyric snippets: all as inspired, emanating from college indie station KCEA in Menlo Park
Rhinestone Cowboy stanza by Larry Weiss and Scott English for goodtime Glen Campbell 

It'd be a crime outta sequence
if you forgot to read ~



You may even pick up the harmonica yourself 
by next week . . . We'll see.


Harry said...

Holy Hannah hit's Hooligans of Hamelin, Pammy from Miami cuts herself off from the Harmony harmonica and in on Jake's deal with appeal. Barrels have been rolled out and popped back up, and what's up with that red chandelier?

You've set up the intrigue, looking for ward to the conclusion!

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

Lookin' forward to a full boat ... wit' you in it Cowboy sleuth. So whatcha dig up in Miami? You got the goods?

(and *blush*, thankya right kindly for my solo run while you researched the crime scene of your Floridian glean. Shhhh, I'll keep it under my prized brown felt fedora if you keep it under your ten-gallon) ~ Absolutely*Kate

KjM said...

Where to start???

This is poetry, plain (and not plain at all) and simple. Once I started reading, stopping was not an option.

I love your use of language, and envy what you make it do.

And this..."When the scrawny one screeched to see such a gun, the dish ran away from the goon..." had me laughing out loud.

Delicious, Kate. Just delicious.

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

That tippety-tap-tap percussioning your shoulder blades is me, Mr Kevin J Mackey. Yep, turn'around, will'ya? Big Smackarino for what ya said and how ya said it. Words are my dearest friends and to dance and twirl and play'em the way they whisper and even startle me into their rhythms and reasons sometimes is what humbles and greatens (new word) us all up as authors in this here scribin' world worth lettin' things be best described.

I "aw shucks" ya, and even scuff my teal heels with the big *blush* you gave me, for "gettin'it". You're one class act and I'm sure glad you ambled yourself in, AT THE BIJOU for this Epic*sode 2 performance. Thankyou right kindly.

~ Absolutely*Kate (who laughed out loud like you when that same line up and showed itself by switchin' 'round this word and that - rat'a'tat'tat)