I would like to introduce you to my friend, Carol Radka, a young intern at my office who has a knack for writing. We decided to write a story together on my blog alternating paragraphs. It’s not exactly an original idea but it’s not an ‘exquisite corpse’ as there are no rules (e.g. like you can only see the last sentence of the previous paragraph). In case one of us wants to write more than 1 paragraph, I will be in regular font and Carol will be in bold font. We had no idea what to write about so we solicited a theme idea from a colleague saying we wanted to write about something random. Her nickname is Left-Eye (because she got slammed in the left eye accidentally and got harassed by her friends for the size of the resulting shiner) so it’s not exactly surprising that she suggested ‘left’ and, for reasons unknown, the number 3.
So, here goes: a story about ‘left’ and ‘three’:
The three masked men hurtled out of the bank, all carrying heavily laden hockey bags on their backs and one of them toting an M16 assault rifle. A police car careened around the corner, siren screaming, as the men jumped into the waiting getaway car. The one with the M16 shouted at the blond-haired woman in the driver’s seat: “Go Three Tits – GO!!!!! And remember bear LEFT”. As the car squealed away from the curb, he leaned out the back seat window and opened fire on the steadily advancing police car. The M16 thundered, spraying shell casings on the terrified, scattering pedestrians. The policemen were periodically returning fire when suddenly their car flipped up over the curb and smashed down on a fire hydrant which exploded plumes of water 20 feet into the air.
“Yes! Got the bastards”! he declared triumphantly, hauling himself back into his seat. “I…” he stopped abruptly, realizing he was looking at a gaping hole in the back of the man’s head slumped over in the passenger seat. A piece of blown off skull was embedded in the dashboard and blood and bits of brain were dripping down Three Tits’s face, neck and double cleavage. She glared at him darkly through the rear view as she accelerated down the street.
“Don’t look at me like that, Three Tits. First off, now we only have to split the money three ways. Second, maybe this wouldn’t have happened if you’d turned LEFT like I told you”!!!
Without taking her eyes off the road, Three Tits reached behind her and grabbed Lip’s hand. He was surprised as she shoved it down the front of her shirt; he’d always wondered what it would have felt like to run a hand down one of her breasts to find another one where cleavage should normally have been. Only then did he notice the pulpy red matter she was wiping from her chest with his hand. Satisfied she dropped it in his lap like the dead animal it now resembled. He hated working with her.
“We have to do something with Andrew” Three Tits grimaced and nodded at the body in the seat to her left.
“Well don’t worry about turning left any more. Since there are only three of us now it doesn’t make any bloody sense” the other man in the back seat spoke for the first time since they’d left the bank. Three Tits nodded then stepped on the gas, causing the body to roll against the passenger window. They drove a few more blocks before suddenly pulling up in front of an ice cream shop.
“Let me understand this. We’re parading around with a guy with half his face missing in the passenger seat and all of a sudden you’re tickled with the fancy to stop and get ice cream?” Lip demanded.
“We’re at my brother’s” Three Tits replied darkly opening her door. The two men glanced at each other then hurried to follow her out of the car.
“Let me guess”, said Three Tits’s brother. “Judging by the blood all over your three tits, you have yet another goddamn body you want me to put on ice”.
“Well… yes”, sighed Three Tits heavily. “But this time it’s Andrew”.
Three Tits’s brother’s eyes widened in surprise. “That commie, leftie prick you always hang out with is dead”?
“Does this shit look fake”? she demanded, gesturing at her three tits. “I’m wearing half the contents of his head, for Christ’s sake”.
“Father, Son and Holy Ghost”!!!
“Invoking the trinity doesn’t help us. I need Andrew’s body iced… like right fucking now”!
“What flavor shall I call him”?
“Hmmmmm – call it ‘Left-Eye’ to keep people curious so he’s eaten as soon as possible”.
“What’s my take”?
“Wait a minute”! intervened Lip. “We’re splitting the money three-ways, NOT four-ways. You want to share your third with your, brother, Three Tits – that’s up to you”.
With these remarks, Three Tits’s brother pulled out an ice-cream scoop, slammed Lips’s head to the freezer counter and shouted: “I’ll carve another eye out for you, asshole! You just have to decide if it’s going to be to the right or to the LEFT of that big mouth of yours”!
His empty hand rested on the counter of the ice cream refrigerator. The glass door had been pushed up and his index and middle fingers curled inside over the counter’s ledge, inches away from a soft cotton candy colored ice cream labeled “Strawberry Slutcake”. With a sudden explosive WHAM the glass door came crashing down.
“Pezzo di mierda” he roared charging towards his sister. She bolted down the stairs leading to the store’s basement, slamming the door shut behind her and locking it.
“Open the door Jenny! You bitch!!”
“Ice Andrew, or you’re losing all your disgusting ice cream. I’m cutting the power to this place”
He stiffened, the last time she had melted his entire inventory had resulted in a knee deep, three day cleaning process. Just rotting cream alone goes rank in a day or two. Lip had returned from the car with his M16. With Lip’s rifle trained on him, her brother began to drag the body towards the basement.
“Three-Tits let’s go” Lip snapped. Leaving her brother with the body and a small stack of bills, the two men exited the shop.
“If you figure out how to stop being such an animal over the next two hours you can meet us here.” Three-Tits passed him a napkin with writing scrawled across it. She stuck her index finger into a purple colored sorbet whose plaque read “divine”.
“Mmmmm” she exclaimed sauntering out of the shop.
He looked down at the two words on the napkin; “Pearly Gates”.
The trio pulled up in front of the ‘Pearly Gates’ which, to the general public, was listed as ‘Nick’s Auto Body Repair Shop’. There were three garage doors, the middle and right ones were for people needing work done on their cars; the one to the far left was only for ‘friends of Nick’.
Three Tits rolled down her window and pushed a red button below a drive-thru like intercom.
“Who the hell is it”? demanded a furious sounding voice.
“It… it’s Three Tits. I’m here with Lip and English”, said Three Tits, nervously, leaning out into the intercom.
“Jesus Christ, get your asses in here NOW”!!!
The garage door groaned open slowly and then slammed down violently behind them, as they passed through, as if it would never be opening again. They got out of the car and stared at the office door in front of them, wondering how long it would take Nick to come out. He always made his ‘friends’ wait when he was angry. Three minutes went by… thirteen… twenty-three… thirty… and then, precisely thirty three minutes after they had been waiting in anxious silence, Nick crashed through the office door so heavily it came clean off of its hinges.
He stomped over towards them, the spurs on his snake-skin cowboy boots jingling non-too merrily with each ominous step. Clouds of cigarette smoke swirled in his wake. He looked more frightening than ever as he stood, trembling with rage in front of them. He wore a studded black leather vest, with nothing under it but a chest as heavily tattooed as it was muscled. This complimented his black leather pants which had tassels dangling from the beltline ending in little pearls embossed with the skull-and-cross-bones. His greasy shoulder-length hair fell in front of his unshaven face which had been horribly scarred from a shotgun blast that had also blinded him in the right eye, the orbit of which now contained a blood-red glass marble. The left eye was lazy and irksomely swivelled around in its socket periodically. He looked a demented cross between a biker and a pirate.
“You stupid, crazy sons of bitches”, he screamed. “Do you know what you have done”!!!
“We got the money”, interjected Lip, jerking his thumb at the hockey bags that lay on the ground beside them.
“Well, aren’t you brilliant now”, spluttered Nick turning to face Lip, his left eye swivelling wildly. “Do you realize you idiots killed the three cops that were chasing you in that car? It’s all over the fucking Channel 3 fucking news. There is a huge manhunt on for you guys which means there’s a huge manhunt on for me! Assholes”!!!
“English, at least show him the money”, said Three Tits tearily.
“I don’t need to see the goddamn money, English”, roared Nick, “I have never… Wait, why the fuck are you called English anyway? It’s always really bugged me”.
“He’s never gotten his driver’s license because he always drives down the left-hand side of the street”, explained Lip dryly.
“Well, fuck me”, growled Nick, “it’s the stupidest gangster name I’ve ever heard. Better to have a boring old regular name like me or Andrew. Hey, where is Andrew”?
“He didn’t make it”, they said, almost in unison, bowing their heads.
“Whhaaaaaaaaat”? hollered Nick as the intercom buzzer suddenly blared. “Now who the hell is that”?
“It’s probably my brother”, said Three Tits. “I said he could come over to the Pearly Gates after he iced Andrew”.
“Lip, give me that goddamn M16”, hissed Nick.
Nick had seen just about everything but Gianni’s gelato business still made him uneasy. Nick was a mobster; a businessman and businessmen have images to cultivate and reputations to uphold. All this makes their behavior predictable to a certain degree. Even with a face so terrifying that it was often joked that the devil wouldn’t let him in to hell, Nick still had certain principles he adhered to. Gianni was a different animal. What he lacked in street cred he made up for with pure dementia and unpredictability. Something was wrong with that family anyway, his sister had three tits after all.
“ANDREW HAS BEEN ICED” he boomed entering the office.
“Jesus!” Nick exclaimed tightening his grip on the rifle.
“Left Eye is a nice red color.”
Nick’s good eye swiveled towards him sharply.
“The fuck did you just say?” he demanded.
“Not your eye” he cackled.
“We decided to call what was left of Andrew “Left Eye”. Jenny did anyway. Get that toy out of my face.” he pushed the M16 aside as he strode over to a stained and cigarette burnt sofa putting his feet on the coffee table. Any vulnerability he had shown earlier at the threat of losing his ice cream was now gone. Nick cleared his throat in a slow growl.
“Give me the cash.”
“But… you said you were only taking ten percent from each of us remember?” Three-Tits ventured cautiously.
“Ha! You think I need this change?” he laughed kicking the bulging hockey bags.
“No, I’m keeping these until you deliver because it’s becoming damn clear that I can’t trust any one of you for shit.” He waved the M16 in front of them. Lip slid the bags over. He was sweating.
“Good now all of you need to-“ Nick suddenly cocked the rifle aiming it at the doorway behind the trio.
Lip watched English dive to the floor bringing Three Tits down with him.
“Surrender your weapons. This is the police. You are surrounded.” was the last thing he heard before everything went black.
“They’ve cut the power”!!!
“Shut up. Stay calm and let me handle this”, whispered Nick before he cleared his voice and yelled towards the doorway: “Stay back! We have hostages in here! We’ll start killing them if you try anything! Call the number out front if you don’t want anyone to get hurt”.
“I said shut up, Three Tits. This will buy us some time. Now, let me find that backup generator… I think it’s to the left of the breaker box… ah, there”! said Nick, a dim light sputtering into life and rendering the five of them wraith-like in the shadows. Before anyone could say anything, the phone jangled in its cradle beside the couch.
“Yeah”, snarled nick into the mouthpiece. “Yeah… yeah… oh, is that so”? he spat viciously, slamming down the phone so hard it shattered the rickety table it was perched upon. “They don’t believe we have any hostages and say we have one minute to surrender”.
“Jesus Christ, we DON’T have any fucking hostages, you freak”!! cried Gianni, getting to his feet.
“What in the name of your Godless, whore-mother did you just call me”? demanded Nick, hoisting up the M16, the marble in his left eye spinning like a top. “Lip, pat this asshole down and give me his gun”.
Obeying, Lip handed him the Glock he pulled from the crotch of Gianni’s pants.
“Outstanding. Silencer on it and all”, said Nick portentously as, in one fluid motion, he tossed the M16 to Lip, cocked the Glock and fired a single shot straight through the middle of Gianni’s forehead.
Three Tits, who had been standing behind Gianni, stared in speechless disbelief as blood and bits of brain, this time her brother’s, were once again dripping down her face, neck and double cleavage.
“Lip”, barked Nick. “Haul this piece of shit upstairs. You’ll know when to throw him out the window. Make sure it’s the one to the far left. The others are bullet-proofed and sealed shut”.
“Uh, yeah. Sure”, said Lip, uncharacteristically shaken. “I swear, you better know what the fuck you’re doing, Nick” he said, as he grabbed Gianni’s corpse by the ankles and hauled him up the stairs, Gianni’s head banging on each step, leaving a pulpy slick of blood in its wake.
“Okay. I’m ready”, Lip called.
“Hey cops”! shouted Nick. “You think we have no hostages?!! Here’s the first one we just executed”!!!
There was the immediate sound of shattering glass from above, followed quickly by the sickening thud of Gianni’s body hitting the pavement. “We have three more in here so back the fuck off. NOW”!!!
“Now what”? asked English softly, as Three Tits sobbed on the couch and Lip re-joined the group.
“Check this out”, said Nick, pulling a lever on the wall. “Stand back”! he ordered as the floor started to open up revealing an enormous elevator shaft. As they peered down, they were stunned to see an M1 Abrams battle tank rising up through the shaft towards them.
“People thought I was crazy when I got this thing”, said Nick smugly, “but I knew this day could come and English here knows how to work it from his Iraq days. Come on boys, get those bags in there and let’s go. And for Christ’s sake, Three Tits, get up off that couch and quit crying! Your brother was a pig and you know it. I think-”. That was the last word he said before his head exploded all over Three Tits, Lip standing over him with the barrel of the M16 billowing smoke.
“How can this happen to one person three times in the same day”?! screamed Three Tits, hysterically, Nick’s marble eye glaring out eerily from her left cleavage.
“Who needs Nick?” shouted Lip as the police opened fire from outside. “He was going to take all the money, we’ve got his tank and we’ve got English to drive it. Now let’s go. They’re coming”!!!
The group, a trio once more, climbed up and into the tank, English settling into the driver’s seat and Lip manning the guns.
“I guess it doesn’t matter a whole lot if you drive down the left-hand side of the street this time, English! Punch it”!!!