Though Doc is actually the one who tagged me. This story is distinctly lacking the feminine touch so far...
The story begins:
I had been shuffling around the house for a few hours and already felt tired. The doorbell rang. I opened the front door and saw a figure striding away from the house, quickly and purposefully. I looked down and saw a bulky envelope. I picked it up. The handwriting was smudged and cramped, and I could only make out a few words.
In the capable hands of Bubs, we continue:
I looked up and down the street but didn’t see any delivery truck, or any car for that matter. No FedEx, no UPS , no creepy-looking porno'd-out conversion van with a half-assed delivery service sign taped to its side. Nothing. It's like delivery man just disappeared. I stepped back inside, re-set the deadbolts and took a closer look at the envelope.
Mentally I ran through the checklist of letter bomb warning signs. The handwriting on the envelope, smudged and cramped as it was, was laid out in a tiny, obsessively neat block lettering. It practically screamed recently-de-institutionalized loner with time on his hands. No ticking or whirring sounds, that’s good. No odd smells, no leaks or stains on the package. Check. Weight seemed evenly distributed, that’s good too. I decided to open it.
Inside I found a plane ticket to Pensacola, a business card for a lawyer in Niceville, five crisp $100 bills and a four page handwritten note. Well. This was different. I poured a cup of coffee, threw some meat to the dogs to stop 'em barking, and sat down to read.
From there we pick up with Skyler's Dad and his own unique brand of humor:
As I sat down to go over the contents of the letter, I noticed snapping and grinding noises coming from the dogs. I made a mental note to myself to de-bone the Yak hips before I give them to Cujo and Sampson next time. Since losing my job as a stunt penis in adult films, I was running awfully short on cash. I ran my hands over the five Benjamins and felt a stirring in my loins and thought to myself, "Great, now you start to cooperate!" But the 500 bucks was only a start on trying to get rid of my bills and stay one step ahead of Guido and the boys. I needed a break, a good run of luck. Maybe lady luck was waiting in Pensacola, cause I sure hope I didn't have to go to Niceville. I spent a week there one afternoon...The first paragraph of the letter read like an email from a nice man in Nigeria, with the promise of a ton of money. Before I read on, I picked up the card and dialed the number.
From there, the narration is picked up by Flannery Alden's own Doc:
A fast talking squeaky voice answered with a mouthful of marbles and garbled out the name Melvin Fishbine, Attorney At Law. I gave him my name and he starts babbling on about some dead Uncle Jack S. Foggbound, a haunted Manson, family treasure, the Civil War, nude photos of Bobby Kennedy, and something or other about clam divers. He spoke so quickly it was hard to take it all in. I arranged to meet him at the Bearded Clam in Niceville in three days so I could sign the papers to get my hands on the money of Jack S.
I never heard the blast of the shotgun that cut the hit man in half, I just remember the jolt of it in my hands as I leveled it at his belly button. What had happened in the three days between hanging up the phone and finding myself in a third rate strip club gunning down professional killers? Where had this shotgun come from? Why was my lawyer contact lying on the floor gasping his last breathe through a hole in his neck?
I bent over him and he gurgled his last words: "squirrel spunk" and died a quivering death. Oh well, I had time enough for one more beer, and it was going on his tab.
So I pick up with:
I went back into the club. The dark was a striking contrast to the overwhelmingly bright Florida sun, which, at 3:00 on a Monday in May, hasn't even thought about setting yet. The ridiculously cold air-conditioning, so pervasive in Florida, felt really good after the 85 humid degrees I'd been feeling outside; I was a bit surprised steam wasn't rising off my clothes. I strode to the bar and ordered another Rolling Rock. What the hell, it was better than Bud. You don't get great beer at a place like the Dusty Diamond. You don't get great strippers, either, but if you don't mind bottle blondes with fake boobs, you'll be happy enough. To be fair, why would the good strippers be working at 3:00 on a Monday? For that matter, why would they be working in Niceville?
"Jack," called a voice behind me, "I'll have one of mine."
The barkeep produced a bottle of Three Olives grape from the freezer, poured two fingers over ice, squeezed in lime, and handed it to the owner of the voice. Oh. Well, now. The vodka turned out to belong to a stunner in a denim halter-top minidress and a pair of black suede boots with a ridiculous amount of fringe that somehow worked on the stunner. Classic Irish beauty - creamy skin, thick, straight, dark brown hair and big, cornflower blue eyes framed by thick lashes. Her attention was focused on her vodka, her face pensive. I stood up and stood behind her until her eyes met mine in the mirror over the bar.
"What's a looker like you doing in a dump like this?" I asked.
Her lips pursed in a mildly dour expression and she regarded me with one raised eyebrow. "I own 'a dump like this.' This one, to be precise."
Okay, now I have to tag five. This is a challenge, because some of the people I would tag have already contributed and/or been tagged by others, and the other people I can think of might not join in our reindeer games. Here we go, though. Cross your fingers:
Pistols at Dawn (who has a rare gift for fiction, even when it's autobiographical)
GETkristiLOVE (who has a bit of said gift herself, if you haven't seen her wedding posts)
Lulu (who reads a lot, and therefore almost certainly writes better than I do)
Falwless (who is hysterical, though she may be too cool for this)
and last but not least...
Evil Genius (who is not so much blogging right now, but might enjoy catching the story earlier on)