This Week's Ten Word Challenge is: ghastly, excrement, bill of sale, vague, thicket, precarious, life long ambition, gunnery sergeant, posthumous, bellowed
And for the Mini Challenge: lap of luxury, yellow-bellied sapsucker, quinine, generalization, abnormality
If you don't know how this works please go to the Raven's Nest. There you can find links to all the other stories. If you have time check out the continuing adventures of McCool and the Gang.
Karma baby, karma
Juan's life was going great, or so he thought. His cocaine and ecstasy sales were up and he was living the high life. The girls just kept coming to Miami for the South Beach scene and the pickings were getting easier and easier as he perfected his pitch. These little twits from the sticks were looking to live in the lap of luxury and he knew how to dangle the bait.
In fact, things were so good that he had just purchased this 2006 Saleen S7. At $68,000 it was a bargain and the bill of sale showed the actual mileage at just 3700, so it was really like a new car. How some dumbass gunnery sergeant ever got hold of the car was a mystery, but the numbers checked out and the car had a good title. The gunny had been pretty vague about the car’s pedigree, but what did Juan care, he had his Saleen and it was sweet. It had been a life long ambition of Juan’s to own one of these super-fast and super sexy cars. Now that he had it he was going to push it to the edge.
He was on the way north up I95 to take a side road trip that promised plenty of turns, switchbacks and just plain all out driving fun. The nice thing about his business was the ability to let his flunkies take the risks and he took the profits. Here was his exit now. Juan downshifted from 5th at 80mph and hit the ramp. He knew this back country well and when he turned on to the two lane blacktop headed into the swamp country he hammered it. What a dream this car was to drive; so much torque and it held the corners like it was on rails.
As he hit the hairpin at the drop-off he heard a loud pop, simultaneously he lost steering control and the car headed straight instead of making the corner. Juan bellowed a curse as he and his Saleen sailed over a thicket and down a hundred feet to the swamp. Just when he thought he might actually survive the impact into the water the gas tank blew up like a small IED and immolated him as he sat in the driver’s seat. The smoking remains sank into the swamp and the gators went to work on the cooked remains of Juan.
Claude put away the small transmitter and field glasses he had brought with him for this job. The timing had been critical, a little too late and the car might have missed this deep portion of the swamp. A little too early and the car might have crashed into the opposite side of the road. Claude thought the timing had been just about perfect and the bonus of the exploding gas tank had been wonderful. If anyone ever found this scene and the chances of that were very slim indeed, they still would never know who or what it was. Claude started up the airboat and headed back into the Okefenokee. He needed to return this rental and get back to town. This little side job had been for Justine. She would never know about it, but she would never, ever have to see or worry about Juan again! There would be no posthumous fame for that piece of excrement. Merde; that was what he had been. Though somewhat ghastly, the demise of Juan Carbarello was a good thing.
Back outside Atlanta Paul and Thomas were reviewing the detail on Debaucherrie and the “Alley Cat Murders.” As it turned out there was no other forensic evidence at previous murder scenes that lead to Claude, but the evidence at Eminem’s murder in Miami was pretty solid. As far as Sgt Johnson was concerned Claude was still the number 1 suspect. McCool asked what was next and Sgt Johnson said it was back to Miami to look for any abnormality at the last crime scene. They joined Zan and Jean on the veranda for breakfast. As the Innkeepers served pancakes with blueberries, the couples watched a yellow-bellied sapsucker drumming away on a nearby tree. "Noisy little booger isn't he?" quipped Jean. "It may be a gross generalization, but most woodpeckers are pretty noisy" answered McCool. "Remember that one up in the mountains that pecked at the street lamp?" he continued. "Yes I do and it sounded like a tiny, tinny little jackhammer, if I remember right" Jean answered.
The group decided on getting an early start. Paul and Zan's flight back to Miami was at 10:30 and the Atlanta airport was always busy on Sundays. After breakfast they put their luggage in the Cool van and headed to the airport. "This will be our last trip in the van" McCool stated. "The business is getting a little precarious and I have other things I want to do with the rest of my life" he continued. "Can you take some time to come down to Miami with me for a while?" Paul asked. "I can put on the FBI payroll for a while as a consultant." "I know it's not big-time AC money, but it's a job and I think you can help me on this one if you're up for it."
"Jean and I will talk it over when we get home; I'll let you know in a couple of days” McCool answered. "Jean and I hadn't thought about me returning to investigations, except as a hobby." "That works for me" Sgt Johnson replied. "You know I'll be calling you on this one anyway, so it's just a choice of how you want to be involved." They let it stand at that till the plane loaded. The couples said their goodbyes and promised to stay in touch. And with these two couples they really would.
Claude took his last quinine tablet as he sat in the driver’s seat. The cramps in his legs subsided and he started the car. Time to get back to finding who was framing him for the idiotic "Alley Cat Murders." And he needed to give Gunny Henderson a call and see if he had come up with anything on his end. The $68,000 should buy a lot of information.