Short Stories

William Morrow ISBN 0-688-10875-X

==== Plot Line ====

Hawgs and hogs are Smokey’s venue after the discovery of a gruesomely destroyed corpse with no head, arms, or legs. Her suspicions lead into going undercover as a lingerie model and into a cult world of nefarious business scams and outlaw bikers.

==== Excerpts ====

Jolene and I found something to talk about but I was trying hard to listen to the men, when somewhere in their tapestry of talk about gas/air mixtures,engine displacement, and skimming the piston crowns, I heard Switchie say he had a Tec-9 he'd like to get rid of, and was Monty interested? An IntratecTec-9 is a nine-millimeter semiauto pistol banned in California because it can hold more than twenty rounds in the magazine and is therefore classified as an assault weapon.

"Does it have a body on it?" Monty asked.

"Shit no. My ex-ex-girlfriend sold it to me when she needed some bucks."

Jolene said, "What ex-ex-girlfriend? What's an ex-ex?"

"One I made a mistake twice on, okay?" he said, and turned his attention back to Monty, whose Western shirt stretched tightly across his shoulders as he reached for a black satchel over the workbench.

Monty said, "If I had a girlfriend who carried a Tec-9, I'd dump her too. What's wrong with it you don't want to keep it?"

"Nothing's wrong with it. I just don't like nines no more. I want a Glock forty." He took a sip from a beer he got somewhere, ignoring the Pepsi Jolene set down for him on the workbench. He still had his fingerless riding gloves on.

Jolene looked at me, raised an eyebrow. "Switchie, what the hell you all talking about?"

He ignored her and started telling Monty about how he was supercharging the Harley he left at home.

"It won't be streetable no more," Monty said.

"Bullshit," Switchie said.

"It'll seize in the bore, that ratio. You gotta get forged pistons then, with thicker crowns."

"Hell," Switchie said, laughing. "I already exploded the super and the manifold clean off the bike. "I fuckin' grenaded that sumbitch out of my garage. Scared the livin' shit outta me. It's set up soft right now, but I've still got some AV fuel. Give her some righteous octane boost, and then watch out, guy, I'll be racin' and chasin'. You'll be a gnat on a boar's ass in my rearview mirror." He shadow-boxed the side of Monty's shoulder. AV fuel. Joe's portable sniffer had detected aviation fuel in the Caddy, hadn't he said?

Jolene switched on a radio she found on the second workbench. It crackled alive with Eric Clapton singing from the Slowhand album. Monty said, "I didn't think that stinker worked. It's got paint dust in it." 

Then his eyes met mine because, I guessed, I'd told him before that I dug Clapton. And at the part where Eric's saying you look wonderful tonight, Monty
smiled at me through his dark beard and swaggered his upper body a little. I turned and went into the house. He hollered after me, "Hurry up, Miz
Brandon. The quicker you piss, the faster we ride."