Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sleeping on the Job

For fans of Fiends in Low Places, wondering where the hell the rest of that story is, when you're going to get it, etc. I've decided to break the ice a bit. The novel, which is in progress at the moment, is tentatively titled Sleeping on the Job

Here's a teaser, enjoy!

 Sleeping on the Job
I first met Gabriel Sheppard when I was a punk kid still boosting jewelry stores to piss off my father. We had an unconventional first meeting, I’ll grant you that. Far be it from me to ever be conventional. It was the first time I ever woke up handcuffed to a couch. I was seventeen-years-old, and I’d just broken the law.

            “You know there’s a kid asleep, handcuffed, on your couch—to your couch? Right?”
            “My fine deductive powers did deduce that fact, yes.”
            “Why is there a sleeping kid handcuffed to your couch?”
            “Remember the job at Margot’s?”
            “That’s our thief.”
            “Why is he asleep?”
            “He has narcolepsy.”
            “Really really.”
            I took a deep breath, eyes still closed. The handcuff was cold against my left wrist, and the arm was a bit stiff from the angle it was being held at—as the metal arm of the couch was a bit higher than my head. I licked my lips. They’d taken my lock-picks. The empty feeling along my leg, and the sticky residue from the tape sticking to the fabric of my shirt just under my arm told me that. I could still feel the cold of a pin against my scalp though.
            I cracked open an eye to take a look at the two guys talking. One was on the tall side, slender and wearing a cheap black suit—hair cut by a barber just down the street from his house I’d bet. His watch was new;his shoes were wearing thin but well taken care of. The dust on his shoes and the water on the cuff of his pants—added to the slight odor of garbage around him meant he was Agent number one.
            The other man was shorter, stockier and dressed better. He looked like his nose had been broken a couple times. I got the feeling he wasn’t much of a lady’s man. By the thickness of his right wrist against his left I’d call him a chronic masturbator. Gross. His lips were too thin.
            The first man was the sort of guy a girl would coo over. He had a bit of a lost puppy air, and his eyes were just the right shade of blue. Mussed hair and the hint of stubble on his chin gave a touch of devil-may-care and his job made him exciting, but safe. The perfect boyfriend I bet. He and the other one weren’t friends, but one probably invited two to social gatherings because that was just the kind of guy he was.
            “Well, in any case, Spinelli wants a word with you.”
            “All right, I’ll be there in five minutes.”
            The masturbator left the room and the puppy turned to look at me. “I know you’re awake, kid.”
            I opened my eyes and gathered myself into a sitting position on the incredibly uncomfortable grey upholstered couch. “Good morning…” I glanced at the name placard. “Agent Sheppard.”Really? That made the dog analogy more apt. “Gabriel Sheppard?”
            “And you are Simon Murphy.”
            “You got a fetish I don’t know about Agent Sheppard? Cause, handcuffing me to your couch…that’s kind of kinky.”
            He frowned, “You need to be less smart ass and more cooperative. Where are the jewels?”
            “What do I get if I tell you?”
            “A pat on the head.”
            “Come on Agent, throw me a bone here.”
            He scowled. “Where are the jewels?”
            “I don’t do well in high stress environments. They trigger the narcolepsy.”
            “You robbed four jewelry stores—you can survive me asking you a few questions.” He glanced at his watch. “I’ll be back in ten minutes.”
            “So, what? Sit, stay, and you’ll give me a treat if I behave?”
            “I know you think you’re funny.”
            “But I have a gun.” He raised an eyebrow, and headed out of the office, shutting the door behind him. At least there were no glass walls or anything. That meant I had plenty of alone time. I pulled the pick from my hair and snapped open the cuffs in a flash.
            The single door led out to the bull pen, no help there. The desk held a phone, a computer and papers. The bookshelf next to the desk looked more sentimental, although the law books looked like they’d never been touched. A window had a small ledge, and a long way down.
            I took another deep breath, and opted for the phone.

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