Many of you know that I enjoy creative writing. While I wait on my nonfiction book of patient stories, I thought I would try my hand for fun on a fictional piece, tentatively entitled “A Glint In Time”. Below is the first chapter of an adventure/mystery book mostly set in the Hill Country of Texas.
I would appreciate your feedback. Is the chapter attention getting? Does the dialogue sound convincing. Does the story move along at a good pace? Does the story encourage you to read more? Any thoughts you have are welcome.
Warning: This chapter is R-rated!
I hope you enjoy it.
February 12, 1989
Leaving the mainland behind, Vic Maletta cruised across the Causeway onto Galveston Island. He glanced at the lights of an active dry dock — one of the few signs at that hour of life in Galveston. In the distance twinkled the lights of ships headed toward the Houston Ship Channel.
All of them bypassing Galveston. Houston Ship Channel destroyed Galveston’s docks and our rich profits- almost as bad for business as those goddamned lawmen, the Texas Rangers.
Earlier that day a confederate had dropped Vic off in downtown Houston near a car rental agency where he had leased a nondescript black Ford sedan. The rental agency had been more anxious to move rentals than ask a bunch of nosey questions. Vic had liked their way of operating. But he had still given a false name, matching driver’s license, and incorrect insurance information. As he drove off the rental lot, Vic thought, this is one vehicle they’ll never be seeing again.
As he had expected, the streets on the island carried little traffic at 2:00 am. Under a heavy sky, Vic drove down Broadway toward his middle-of-the-night rendezvous, but took a circuitous route to reach it. He checked his rearview mirror repeatedly, making sure he was not being followed. Satisfied he had no tail, Vic made his way back up the island and turned on Avenue O in the direction of Kempner Park.
This goes good, big bonus in this for me. Will get out of town, till the heat blows over. Visit the flesh parlors in Amsterdam or maybe Manila. Those girls are hot and offer services can’t get around here.
Soon Vic was approaching the landmark building called the Garten Verein located in a quiet, unassuming part of town. Just to his north lay this historical octagonal and tiered dance pavilion replete with ornate gingerbread. At that hour, its beauty lay deeply shrouded in shadows, but during the day its restored beauty attracted numerous tourists and proved a popular venue for large parties and weddings.
Vic had heard that German businessmen in 1880 had built the Garten Verein. He suspected the Germans had felt socially isolated or else lacked sufficient opportunities to quaff big, fancy mugs of beer. With its elegant name and architecture, Vic assumed it provided them a nice cover to get hammered and opportunities for illegal activities, if those square head, kraut-eaters were ever smart enough to cash in.
One aspect of the place had always irritated Vic, as he was ever loyal to his own. The original criteria for membership in the Garten Verein required prospective members either to be German or German speaking. Had his own ancestors from the boot of Italy arrived on the island during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they could not have joined. Recalling such Teutonic arrogance did not upset Vic, as even minor irritants often did. Tonight he had far more serious matters on his mind.
Vic knew that the Garten Verein amazingly had survived the devastating 1900 hurricane, although it had required extensive repair and rebuilding. Its restoration had included adding a new cupola on the roof where a flagpole, lost to the hurricane, had once stood. The Galveston storm had been the worst natural disaster to hit the U.S.A., killing over 6000 persons and devastating the island community. While Maletta was familiar with this storm’s history and admired the gutsiness of the island dwellers, tonight he was not visiting it because of any historical interest, nor could he have given a tinker’s damn about the locals’ struggles.
Through thin leather gloves, he stroked his Glock model 29 10mm that lay on the car seat next to him. He stroked it gently and sensitively with his fingertips, as if it were a woman’s sensitive inner thigh. Vic then inserted his hand into the box on the seat beside it that held the silencer. He liked this weapon. It was beautiful, cold, hard, and elegant. Reassured his weapons were nearby, he sensed an inner calm. He knew they were untraceable.
Vic’s confidence also sprang from his prior experience in such capers and from his careful planning. He was generally considered to be the best in the business at his craft. Like the Glock, he was reputed to be cold, deadly, and mercilessly effective.
Vic knew of his growing reputation that stemmed largely from work carried out around the country. Such special jobs had occurred, he knew, only when his boss had agreed to barter his skills to other families.
Only a very limited number of people held knowledge of his capabilities, but he enjoyed his little known but growing reputation. He would never admit publically to being held in such high regard, fearing overconfidence and more importantly, overexposure. Vic, however, did allow himself a brief sense of satisfaction before steeling himself for his riskiest venture yet.
He picked an isolated spot in Kempner Park to hide the Ford. Vic scanned his location for any late night lovers who spooned on blankets or silly insomniac dog walkers who wandered about. Seeing none, he lowered his head and screwed on the silencer on the LWD gun barrel. The Glock ten-shot autoloader employed plenty of stopping power sufficient to drop any human adversary. He trusted this weapon- the perfect selection of a gun for the important assignment that lay ahead.
Vic had chosen dark clothing; black shirt and slacks, black tennis shoes, and a black baseball hat absent a logo. Vic had bought the items at an out-of-the-way used clothing store in a down-and-out area of Houston. The clothes did not appeal to his personal taste that was substantially more stylish, but for this job nondescript clothing fit the bill. For two weeks he had not shaved, darkening his face and partially obscuring his prominent facial features.
When getting out of the car, he slipped the Glock pistol down the back of his waistband and again scanned the park for unwelcome intruders. He grabbed a thick cloth satchel from the backseat and quietly closed the car door. He then stole farther into the park.
Vic moved ghost-like through the darkness toward an isolated bandstand that he had identified during his prior surveillance. He had arrived earlier than necessary to assess the area one more time. After a final look around, he satisfied himself that all was quiet and he was entirely alone. He sidled back into his hiding place behind a clump of bushes ten strides from the bandstand and sank into its protective shadows. At critical times like this, he enjoyed absolute mental clarity. He loved this feeling for how good it made him feel, and knew full well that a very different one would later replace this sensation.
He tried his Trijicon night site and found it quite satisfactory. Amazing how this lights up objects. Almost like daylight! Vic heard the sounds of a few night birds and the light wind’s rustling of leaves. He heard nothing that was worrisome or out of order.
The night air was heavy and dank. Nearby flowers provided a pleasing scent. All his senses tingled and stood at full alert. The night was chilly, more so because of the dampness than from the temperature. Vic waited and thought, replaying his plan over and over in his mind. He knew his scheme was a good one- very simple and virtually foolproof.
As Vic waited, his mind began to wander. He began to envisage a recurring sexual fantasy that had replayed repeatedly in his mind ever since his youth. The familiar scenario was compelling, motivating, and terribly arousing. It was as intense for Vic as any of his basic drives of thirst or hunger, only much less socially acceptable. As always in his fantasy Vic maintained absolute control of his conquest. The infliction of emotional or physical pain had always recruited such pleasure in Vic and with it an intensely gratifying sexual release.
Around 3 am the boisterous voices of two men interrupted his erotic imagination. He shook his head and re-focused his attention from his nearly overpowering fantasy to the important job that lay ahead of him. Vic could sense the men moved down the pathway toward him. He recognized the gruff, deep baritone voice of his boss. As they approached nearer, Vic heard both men slurring their speech. He suspected that shortly before they must have left one of the local all-night bars. He soon spotted his boss who was wearing a dark raincoat and broad hat. His boss swerved slightly, as he maneuvered down the meandering pathway. Vic also viewed a shorter-striding man. This one, he thought, was undoubtedly the object of his vindictive interest.
“Those damned feds on me like stink on shit. This here’s the one spot can’t track me with their goddamned directional listening devices,” said the Boss brusquely.
“Sure is dark here. Doubt I could even find my dick to take a piss,” said the other man laughingly in a higher pitched voice. “You sure, this’s a good place to talk?”
“Not a safer place on the island for a private talk, Joey.” Vic knew that Joey was not the name selected by the man’s parents. Joey was not even the name listed on his employment forms deep within a filing cabinet in the Department of Public Safety at the State Capital in Austin. Instead it served, as an alias for an undercover Texas Ranger. Joey had been snooping around the family businesses for over nine months, trying to insinuate himself into the family. Some less wary members of the family had used him on small jobs and might have revealed some family secrets.
A paid snitch on the Galveston police force had eventually spilled Joey’s true identity and by so doing, sealed his fate. On hearing of Joey’s treachery, Vic’s boss had determined the Ranger needed to disappear, and quite permanently. “No witnesses make for real short trials,” the Boss had said to Vic with a malevolent sounding chuckle basting his surly voice. “ Besides, he knows too much.” And that is where Vic came in.
“I trust you to do this hit,” the Boss had said to Vic. “Can count on you– do it right and keep it damned quiet. No blowback from this and no goddamned publicity.” The words still echoed in Vic’s ears. High praise, Vic knew coming from the Boss, but also high expectations for an especially tough job.
For several years Vic had served as the enforcer for the family. This allowed him to carry out important hits and also to run special projects, Vic developed skills at persuading goodie -two-shoes, god-fearing politicians to see it the Boss’ way. Nevertheless, Vic had never before popped a cop of any stripe. Killing a Ranger made him hesitate, but an order from the Boss must be followed. Cop or not, he would disappear. Vic knew the assignment was important. This blot on the family would never have the chance to rat it out. The family was everything to Vic, and he shouldered his responsibility with pride.
“Hey Joey, before discussing our deal, got a flask here with some really good Scotch. Gonna pour drinks to our new business. Put us in the mood to discuss our future plans.”
Vic recognized his signal to leave his secluded spot. On cushioned rubber shoes, he stole out from behind the clump of bushes and skulked toward the bandstand. By their pre-arranged plan, he knew his boss would have Joey facing away from his approach.
“Here’s to you Joey.”
“And to our partnership,” slurred the mark.
Vic could see Joey had focused on the pouring of the expensive Scotch. Vic saw his boss subtly cut his eyes toward him and give an almost imperceptible nod of his head. Vic could easily make out the shorter man with his back to him. After placing a silver colored cup to his mouth, the man arched his neck backward. This positioned the stiff’s head at the perfect angle, Vic thought. He raised the Glock, aimed it from less than two feet at the man’s head, and slowly squeezed the trigger. He heard the muffled pop, as the gun discharged. He felt the recoil and thought of it as the gun’s ejaculation.
The exceptionally good Scotch never reached the Ranger’s stomach. Before it could burn his mouth, descend down his throat, warm his stomach, or lubricate any social interaction, a bullet from the silenced Glock exploded violently into his head, shredding his brain and ending his life.
Moving with cat-like reflexes, Vic pulled a large towel from the satchel. He encircled the snoop’s head with it. After removing a second towel and a spray bottle, he pushed the dead man’s head into the satchel. Vic then tied it in place with a piece of cotton rope.
Vic then grabbed the second towel and a bottle of cleanser. He wiped down the area of any spray that might have resulted from the shot. Vic had specially selected hollow point ammo He knew it would do maximal damage inside the Ranger’s head but would not exit from the skull.
This made the cleanup faster and the forensics more difficult. The Boss would never have told the Ranger where he was taking him that night. This meant the bandstand would never be connected with the Ranger’s disappearance.
Vic nodded to his boss and then strode rapidly down the pathway toward his parked Ford. Without turning on its headlights, he then drove the car over the curb and snaked it back down the winding pathway to the bandstand. Vic and his boss then lifted the lifeless body and deposited it into the car’s large trunk. Vic dropped the cleanser bottle and cleanup towel on top the body.
Vic silently closed the trunk lid. His boss who just then gestured for him to leave, holding his index finger to his lips in the universal sign of silence. Vic got into the car and deftly proceeded back down the pathway and soundlessly slid over the curb into the street.
He then turned down Avenue O and made a turn onto 27th in the direction of the docks. After driving for several blocks, Vic turned on the car lights. Vic knew a boat waited at the dock onto which the rental car and its contents would be loaded for a one-way, nonstop trip far out into the Gulf of Mexico. He whipped out his cell phone and punched in a memorized number.
“Package on the way.” With the cryptic message delivered to his associate, Vic flipped shut his cell phone and allowed himself a few moments to revel in his success.
Payback for you high and mighty Rangers for messin’ with our business. Good riddance. Vic also had sensed he was becoming sexually aroused in addition to the heart-pumping exhilaration that accompanied his tension-filled job.
Minutes later the Ford crossed over a series of railroad tracks and arrived at a darkened dock. He drove up a ramp onto the waiting ship. Seeing the Ford being secured by his confederate, he finally began to relax. Vic waited until the ship had cast off and was headed out into the bay. After it had disappeared into the misty darkness and only then did he exhale a deep, purging sigh of relief.
Vic ambled off the dock and quickly located the car he had stashed earlier. At this point the tension was beginning to roll off him like water from a rain slicker. Vic sensed his adrenalin high ebbing, but in its place he felt an increasing sexual urgency. He pushed at his engorged penis to relieve the uncomfortable pressure it exerted against his unforgiving pant leg. Strange, he thought, how popping someone or even screwing up someone’s life always made for such great hard-ons. He thought, probably most guys didn’t get ‘em, but he couldn’t have cared less about what other guys experienced.
Never too late to call one of the girls from the Center. Think I’ll hold an impromptu middle-of-the-night talent evaluation. For the first time that night, Vic heartily laughed out loud.