Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Part II: Kevin and Franklin's First Adventure

 This is a serial mystery thriller. Look for a new installment every Wednesday! Enjoy.   

Part I is here

Part III is here

Part II
Chapters 5-8

This is the second installment in the Retro Diary Serial. Enjoy and be Horrified.

Chapter 5
Barbara Bain’s Rough night

She was happy. She was slightly dizzy from a warm cocoon of liquor, good food, great friends and beautiful surroundings. It all made her feel like she belonged in this pretty, clean world. For a girl who was once so poor that she made her own toys to a 6,000 square foot home, two beautiful children and a husband who was a university big shot, she had reached the big time. She worked and slept her way through college and graduate school, graduated with a mountain of debt from financial aid and was about to go into the diplomatic corps when she met the love of her life.
He swept her off her feet and had her pregnant before she could mail her applications. The happy, debt free couple eloped and then confirmed their marriage with a big show that his insanely wealthy family could appreciate. Her family consisted of a brother in the Army and stationed in Italy. Her sister-in-law was more like a best friend. A third brother practiced medicine with Doctors Without Borders. He was married to a gorgeous Italian princess. She was a struggling clothing designer.
The three siblings had escaped poverty and entered into the good life, away from broken down rooms that could never be cleaned and away from the incessant fears that could swallow a poor person whole. Barbara’s parents were comfortable in a new house trailer that they vowed never to leave for the rest of their lives.
Her only vice was men. Her husband traveled so frequently that she started to feel like a single mother. When she found out that her husband was having affairs on two continents, she decided to do the same. She sought a man’s touch, but only found quick and sometimes satisfying sex in Los Angeles where no one knew her.
 "I don't pick up men like I pick up toilet paper at the grocery store, that's for sure. You won't see me doing it with the handyman or the landscaper. I want a man of quality who makes me feel special.  I want to make a man feel special. Oh, who am I kidding? There’s no better snob than a snob who started with nothing. I just don't want to think about it any more." 
She shut the negative thoughts from her mind and paid attention to her friends. They were still snickering over a dirty joke that one of them told a good five minutes earlier. One by one, a member of the group would add an embellishment or a new interpretation. Cherisse had obtained some killer pot, meaning that judgment was low and spirits were high.
"You're awfully quiet," Brittany said, poking her left boob. "Are you missing the hubby?"
"No, and why are you poking my boob? Why did you do that?” After the laughter died down, she said, “I was just thinking about getting myself a dream hubby who would cancel his flight out of here and sweep me off to Hawaii for a romantic weekend!" 
"Why don't you go with him next time?" 
"Oh, I tried that. It's lonely being in a strange country with no context. He's got his mistress and his work.” She stopped and thought for a second, “Hey! If you all came, we would really have a blast. Why don't we go? We get along just fine!"
That brought a new round of laughter. "That's not a bad idea!" Tiffany yelled. "We leave the kids with the hubbys and go to Europe!"
"I want an Amex and three nights in Paris!" 
"I want a theater night in London!"
"I want a gigolo! A big, honking GIGOLO!"
That comment caused a wave of laughter to roll through the entire bar. A man yelled from across the room,
"I'm a gigolo! Take me!" He was adorable. His wife yelled,
"Yes! Take him! With the money you pay him, I can come to Europe and party with you!"
The bartender wiped his tears and jokingly told everyone to settle down. He was watching a newcomer he had seen a few times before. The man looked familiar but he was not a regular. This meant he stopped in when he was traveling some kind of regular route. This time, the man was eying the regulars and the bartender did not like the look in his eyes.
“Those women come here on Friday nights to have some fun. They don’t need that kind of stranger hitting on them, especially when that fellow likes the kind of relationship that goes on for days down in a basement.” He completed an order and continued his thoughts, “I may be new in town, but I've been bartending for long enough to know when someone is not right and this guy is sending off all kinds of signals."
While the bartender was busy thinking, Deputy Brandson stalked into the bar and took a barstool. He was in civilian clothes and was obvious about seating himself where he and the bartender could talk. He looked like he was ready to buy absolutely nothing. 
"Hey, Jason. See anything hinky in here tonight? I’m making the rounds tonight." The Deputy kept his voice low and regular.
"Yeah, it’s a ‘don't look now’ kind of thing, but he's at ten o'clock over your left shoulder. I got nothing to back myself up, but there’s something wrong with that guy. You need to keep an eye on that guy."
"Good job. Hey! I got a budget tonight! No alcohol, but I'll have an Irish coffee without the Irish. You even get a tip!"
"Hey, man, you're moving up in the world."
"Ha! How are our girls doing tonight?"
"They’re high. They’re having fun. They might not want to go through the drunk check at Waterston so I’m going to make sure they’re on the Buddy Program tonight. I'm not letting any of those girls out of here without an escort. I just have a bad feeling and I can't shake it."
"I know how you feel man. After that crazy theater group killing, we're all on edge. 
"Whoa! Here he comes. He's got the moves tonight."
"Wait. I’ve seen that guy before. He looks like Honey Barton’s cousin, but Honey’s cousin... hmm... anyway, I'll take care of it. Fire up the Karaoke, my friend and watch my drink."
Deputy Brandson left his seat and called Kevin. "He's here at the Blue Lagoon! I don’t know for sure, but he sure looks like one of the Barton clan. Get over here, please." He pretended that everything was normal when he walked over to the tiny stage, picked up the mike and yelled, "Hey! Are we ready for some groovy tunes, some rock and roll, some smooth grooves?"
The entire bar erupted in groans. "Not you again!" they yelled in unison.
"Heck yeah, it's me again! I got the moooves tooonight!" 
 Deputy Branson made a near fatal mistake that night. He did not keep his attention focused on the irregular bar regular.