Burnt Bridges – Part Seven

Warning:  This story contains harsh and vulgar language, disturbing descriptions, and adult situations.  This story is not for children and they should not be allowed to read it.   Consider it rated “R”.

“I’m not sure I’d do that if I was you.”  The bartender said as he eyed Frank.  “Most people go avoiding Teddy Bear, not looking for him.”

Frank slammed down the expensive shot of cheap whiskey and looked around the place.  Half stoned, half naked women pretended to dance to fully stoned men who pretended to be on business.

He snorted in response.  “I didn’t ask for your advice.  Where’s Teddy Bear?”

The bartender jerked his head left.  “Down there.  By the VIP doors.”

Frank got off his stool and tossed down a dollar.  “Thanks.”

The bartender whipped the note off the bar with his towel and scrubbed the area vigorously as Frank strolled down the aisle.

Two men were at the table Frank headed to. One stood tall while the other sat comfortably.  Both were large and imposing.  A distant crash of Frank’s shot glass hitting the trash can set the tone.

“Maybe you didn’t hear the receptionist right.”  Said the standing man, “The Bear is in a meeting and doesn’t want to be disturbed.”

Frank looked up at the bald, muscular man with his handlebar mustache and chrome chain suspenders.  “Well maybe what I have to say is too important to leave with the receptionist.”

Teddy Bear didn’t bother to look up from his chair, but puffed nonchalantly from his cigar.  The smoke danced lazily over the brim of his bowler.

The muscle man leaned into Frank’s face.  “Why don’t you leave it with his assistant then?”

Frank studied the man’s menacing sneer before responding.  “Tell him that Candy Land has burned to the ground and her trail leads right to here.”

Chains jingled as the bodyguard leaned back and folded his arms.  “So?  Candy hasn’t been here for over a year.  Ain’t none of our concern.”

Frank leaned in towards the bodyguard.  “Good.  You make sure to tell Robocop.  He should be coming here any day now.”

Teddy Bear looked up from under his bowler to Frank before signaling his “assistant”.

“Time’s up.”  The muscular man said as he palmed Frank’s shirt and clenched.

“Hey! Hey! Hey!”  Frank yelled rapidly as he held his hands up.  “I know the way!  I know the way.”

The man shoved Frank back violently.  “Then see your way out and don’t ever come back.”

Frank moved hastily across the room and out the door.

The loud slam behind him gave Frank the ok to breathe and compose himself.

“That was a dumb thing to do.”  A voice said flatly.

Frank turned to see a scantily clad woman covered in a cheap coat light a cigarette.

He stepped towards her and said, “It was the card I had to play.”

“You need a new dealer then.”  The stripper replied as she exhaled.  “You wanna know about Candy?”

Frank took another step closer.  “Yeah.  I do.”

The stripper took another drag.  “A hundred dollars.”

“What?”  Frank said, incredulously.  “I could get laid for less!”

“You’re getting the pity discount then.”  She answered.  “A hundred dollars.  Do you want the info or not?”

Frank hesitated.

“Fine.”  The stripper said as she stomped out her cigarette and turned towards the door.

“Wait a minute!”  Frank called, grabbing the woman’s arm.

She made a point to stare at his hand holding her bicep.

“Shit!”  Frank said, letting go as if he was holding on to fire.  “Ok. Ok. One hundred dollars.”

Frank pulled out his wallet and fumbled through it.

“Fuck.” He quietly protested as he pulled out the bills.  “Here.”

The stripper counted the money before folding it up and sticking it in front of her G-String.

“Ok.” She said, looking around.  “Candy got caught hooking on the side.  That’s why she got fired.  Last I heard she was working for a guy named Dave.  They were makin’ meth.  Doin’ good business too, from what I heard.”

“Where can I find him?”  Frank asked.

“Fuck if I know!”  Protested the stripper.  “Ask the junkies.  You’re the P.I.  You figure it out”

She turned and entered the building before Frank could ask another question.

Frank shrugged his shoulders and headed towards his car.  Just then his phone rang.

“Yeah?  You got the results?  Arson?  Great!  E-mail me a copy of the report.”

Frank entered his car with a huge grin.  “Slam dunk!  Easy money.”

He turned the key and glanced in his rear view mirror.

Tow brown eyes surrounded by a horribly burned head and torso stared silently back.

3 thoughts on “Burnt Bridges – Part Seven

  1. Well done! Can’t wait for more.

    And I can’t get over the line: “Half stoned, half naked women pretended to dance to fully stoned men who pretended to be on business”

    Priceless!

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