The Pick-up

Jerry sat in the car parked outside the warehouse, engine idling, struggling to keep his eyes open. He was sure he fell asleep at some point each night but, he could barely tell. He would be laying in bed  each evening in, his alarm  sounded and it was morning again. The time between just gone, blank, devoid of either rest or dreams. What he really found draining right now, however, was how monumentally boring the waiting was. He began to think the reason why Maslow’s guys all smoked was just to pass the time.

He reached down to the console for his coffee, the cup now half empty and cold. This was supposed to be a simple pick up. Something in a shipment, something hidden from customs, was delivered to the warehouse. Jerry didn’t know what it was but it had to be small enough for Victor and Joseph to carry it out themselves. Drugs, jewels, art, the people who dealt with Maslow had diverse tastes. Somewhere, high up, Jacob would be looking at the car, just in case something went wrong. In case Jerry couldn’t be trusted. He was fairly certain there was a rifle involved. It didn’t worry him, just more of Peter’s over zealousness when it came to planing. Betrayal wasn’t part of his job at the moment.

The more he thought about it the less sure what is job actually was in all this. He began to wonder what was taking the other two so long. This thing should be pretty straight forward. The warehouse was friendly. Peter said he got the call confirming the package was delivered earlier today. What if someone else had gotten turned? Working for someone else? One of the warehouse employees, one of Maslow’s people?

Suddenly Jerry could feel the cross hairs weighing on him. He wanted to throw the car in gear and take off. He knew that was the worst decision. If he wanted to get through this he had to ride it out. He just had to wait. He breathed out slowly.

Glancing into the rear view he saw the door to the warehouse open. Joseph stepped out and walked to the rear passenger side door of the sedan. He just stood there. He didn’t say anything. He didn’t look at Jerry he just watched the door he had just come out of.

A long minute later Victor emerged. He held the door for an older woman in a business suit and dark green sunglasses; hair graying probably in her fifties. Victor took her arm as the door closed behind them. They walked towards the car. Every step she took seemed thought out, purposeful.

Joseph opened the door of the car and the woman entered the vehicle. Victor stepped around to the other side and got in. Joseph closed the door behind the woman then stepped into the front passenger side. They sat for a moment in silence.

The others began to have a quick paced conversation in Russian. Jerry struggled to understand at the speed they talked. He was able to figure out they were discussing his credentials. He just stared forward and pretended not to listen.

“Your name is Jerry?” the woman asked with a slight accent.

“That’s right ma’am.” Jerry looked at her in the mirror, his gaze reflected in her sunglasses. His head began to ache slightly.

“Do you know who I am?”

“No ma’am.” The dull ache in his head seemed sharper now, almost piercing.

“I am Liliya. They,” she waved her hand around the car indicating the two other men, “they call me Baba. For you, ma’am will do for now.”

“Yes ma’am.”

“Good, you will take me to see my nephew Peter now.”

She turned her head away from him. He felt the pain begin to ease.

Jerry put the car in drive, and headed back to the office.

This scene is 14th in a story currently known as “The Untitled Thing”. The rest of the series is indexed here

The Untitled Thing

Dear Readers,

So I have this policy concerning writing about specific things. Once is a lark, twice is coincidence, three times and it’s a pattern. When I write about the same thing four times, it tends to become a Thing.

Those of you who have been following me for the past couple of months may have noticed a slowly growing collection of fictional shorts involving two characters, Jerry and Mr. Davis. I have now written about them five times so they are with out a doubt a Thing.

So far these scenes have all been written in response to a writing prompt or challenge. Reading them it seems that there is a larger story taking shape, one that I do have a few details worked out in my head, and have started doing some research for it. Still, I am not sure if I want to commit to a project that big.

We’ll just play along for now and see what happens, and if nothing else the two of them make for nice and interesting constructs for working on my writing skills in the mean time.

For those of you who are new to my blog, or may have missed a story here are links to those pages in the order in which they were written. I’m not sure they are all in the order they happen in, but it’ll do for now.

One day when I’m not being so lazy, or feeling quite so sick, or there are more of them I may make them their own page to feature them. I hope you find them entertaining.

The Untitled Thing.

  • Street Credit - “Reputation, it’s all about reputation,” Mr. Davis began, “And that, my friend, is just a matter of perception. You can spend years and years trying to build a reputation but if no one buys into it you are screwed. That’s where we come in.” He took a long pull of his bourbon, draining. The ice…Read more Street Credit
  • Smell the Witch - PREVIOUS He woke slowly, letting the pain going on inside his skull take its own sweet time to register. The aromas of cigarette smoke and scotch hung in the air, while the smell of sweat clung to the sheets of the empty bed.  I can still smell the witch, Jerry thought grimly as the perfumes of last night…Read more Smell the Witch
  • Getting to Know Him - PREVIOUS Photos and scraps of paper peeked out from folders scattered across every surface of the small, dimly lit office. Jerry paced the room flipping through the file he was handed shortly after he arrived. “What am I supposed to do with this?” He asked the heavy-set man. “Peter Maslow, that’s our guy’s name. That’s…Read more Getting to Know Him
  • Conversational Russian - PREVIOUS The door opened and Mr. Davis stepped into the apartment. In one hand was a plastic bag from the deli on the corner,  over his shoulder was the shabby, brown, leather briefcase he always carried when he left his office. He strode towards the kitchen and set the to go bag on the counter. After…Read more Conversational Russian
  • The Toolkit - PREVIOUS The alarm clock went off and Davis snorted awake in his chair. A few moments of fumbling around managed to resolve the noise and he slid his feet off the crowded desk, taking a pile of papers with them. He stood and reached his arms out and upwards and then rotated them in a…Read more The Toolkit
  • The Diner Scene - PREVIOUS Walking in the front door of Lily’s his eyes were assaulted by stainless steel, and boomerang patterned formica basking in the glare of fluorescent lights. Jerry squinted through his headache and fatigue to find his partner standing and waving at him from the far booth of crowded the diner.  He hurriedly walked toward him past…Read more The Diner Scene
  • Eyes and the Mirror - PREVIOUS He stared through the smoke and noise at the blurred reflection in the mirror on the wall, the short distance between where he sat and where he looked seemed to shrink and grow as he thought, as he tried to remember. There was something in that gap, there had to be something. *** He was…Read more Eyes and the Mirror
  • Interdepartmental Meeting - PREVIOUS Zoos, thought Janice, are testament to the fortitude of  human will. It is no small feat of courage to spend the day watching these magnificent beasts mope around the far corners of their little enclosures, trying to ignore all the noisy assholes with cameras, and not finish the afternoon by going home and hanging yourself. The…Read more Interdepartmental Meeting
  • Memory Lapse - This is ninth in a collection of scenes that I lazily refer to as “The Untitled Thing”. If this is your first time reading the exchanges between Jerry and Mr. Davis, it would probably be best if you started at the beginning. If you think you might have missed an installment, the complete collection can be found here.…Read more Memory Lapse
  • The Watchman - This is the tenth scene in the serial“The Untitled Thing.” The previous installment is here.  You can get up to date on the rest by checking out its index page. The door of the hotel room was open by muscular,  grey-faced man wearing  a black wife beater and an annoyed look. He stared for a hard moment at…Read more The Watchman
  • Making Connections - The rain was coming down hard as he ran from the cab to the awning over the bar, he tried shielding himself with a folded newspaper. It always seemed so much more effective when he saw it done in the movies. In real life not only did you still ended up with wet hair, only…Read more Making Connections
  • Status Update - Ellis Durant entered the suite and walked along the only path not cluttered by the entropy that had taken over in the two weeks since he had last visited. He looked around at the empty take-out boxes, stacks of photographs and reports that he had sent over, the random placement of magazines most of them laying…Read more Status Update
  • Day Planner - He sat slumped on the office couch, staring out at space, slightly trembling hands shaking lightly clasping at a half-drank Redbull. “Jerry? Jesus Jerry, you still with us?” “What?” He shook himself back to the world, “Yeah sorry Pete must’ve just drifted off for a minute.” “You look like shit man. You feeling ok? You…Read more Day Planner
  • Coffee Talk - The cafe was situated on a quiet side street, away from the noise and smoke of heavy traffic. Its outdoor seating area was a large plaza surrounded by small little boutiques filled with mid-scale clothing and jewelry. There was of course a head shop operating under the label of a tobacconist. They weren’t fooling anyone, no…Read more Coffee Talk
  • The Pick-up - Jerry sat in the car parked outside the warehouse, engine idling, struggling to keep his eyes open. He was sure he fell asleep at some point each night but, he could barely tell. He would be laying in bed  each evening in, his alarm  sounded and it was morning again. The time between just gone,…Read more The Pick-up
  • Sentinal - Ellis Durant was crouched on the ledge, looking down at the dark blue sedan parked in front of the warehouse.. It was a slightly older model Taurus, kept clean. It was in good repair. He could barely tell the engine was running. He knew Jerry was behind the wheel, waiting. A few floors below him,…Read more Sentinal

Thanks for your time and interest,

Doug