Archive | April, 2013

Chapter Five: The Mother

27 Apr
BTW when you are done reading this chapter. If you think thinking is fun; if you think philosophy should be for everyone try reading  TheMapThinker.com

BTW when you are done reading this chapter. If you think thinking is fun; if you think philosophy should be for everyone try reading TheMapThinker.com

When L C looked toward the front of the store she saw Raymond Stanhouser standing, elbows aggressively akimbo, watching everything. He looked handsome and protective standing there. She wondered what he might do were she to be arrested for kidnapping as the nanny hoped.

Mother could be right. Maybe she should go out with him. He had some good points. Unlike her father, he liked dogs. Daddy hated dogs. Never let her have one as a child and after seeing movies like Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Legally Blonde she decided to own one.

She lived with her mother which was fine, she loved her mother. She loved her father too, but since the divorce, her father lived with one bimbo after another. It was painful when she was a teenager and custody was a question. Now she was twenty she did not have to put up with it. She told her father, “You want to see me? Make a date for dinner. I’ll be there.” That was not likely to happen. He would tell her to leave the damn chihuahua at home and she would tell him she never left home without it. Not true, but she had a stubborn streak.

At least her mother found another man and stuck with him. Her stepfather, who never seemed to be able to say a full sentence without throwing in a word about how good he was to her.

Lately she began to think about moving out and living under a bridge. A person can take just so much of being reminded that every bite of food you eat was purchased by someone else’s hard earned dollar.

She did bookwork for “Just Bain Me” where her aunt worked. It was the most prestigious beauty salon in town and busy all the time, but did not require a full time book keeper. It wasn’t a lot, but it was money.

Mrs. Langlin drove up in a car so new it looked like it was still parked on the showroom floor. Guinevere was giggling happily in L C’s embrace. Seeing her mother, Guinevere sprang out of L C’s arms so fast she seemed to fly.

The policeman spoke quietly to Mrs. Langlin who nodded. She told her daughter, “Honey I’m going to have to talk business, okay?”

Guinevere looked around at her nanny, who held her arms out with a huge, loving smile on her face. L C, in a spiteful mood, silently mouthed the name “Zena.” Guinevere smiled and reached for L C and Mrs. Langlin passed her over. As she did so she gave one speculative look from L C to the nanny and back again.

The policeman took Mrs Langlin aside. They spoke softly for several minutes. The nanny acted nervous. L C wondered why they chatted so intently for so long.

When they returned L C looked at Judy Langlin. She had been in the middle of getting her hair done, her hair was blotched as though the color had only half taken. It was a testament to how much she valued her daughter that a woman in her social position would step outside looking like that. Operating on instinct L C said, “You may know my Aunt Emerald. She works for Jessica Bain.”

Mrs. Langlin smiled broadly. “She is the only person besides Jessica I ever allow to touch my hair. And she has that adorable parakeet.” She turned to Guinevere, looking intently into the child’s face, “Why were you running, Honey?”

She pointed to her nanny. “She hates me.” She said quietly.

Within a half hour L C had the job of nanny, was scheduled to take CPR classes, get a passport, and was riding little Guinevere on her shoulders across the parking lot.

 

 

© 2013 All Rights Reserved

 

Chapter Four: Cody

20 Apr
BTW when you are done reading this chapter. If you think thinking is fun; if you think philosophy should be for everyone try reading  TheMapThinker.com

BTW when you are done reading this chapter. If you think reason should make sense go to TheMapThinker.com

 

 

 

Cody was thin, as many drug users are. He was also a reader. What he liked to read was true stories about people who broke the law and got caught. If Cody had a talent it was not getting caught. The police knew he used, everyone knew he used. But no one could catch him with anything on him. Everyone knew he never worked, but he always had money. Not a lot of money, but he always had just enough.

One thing Cody never did was to go around bragging to people. But Lonnie wasn’t people. Lonnie worshipped Cody. A worship Cody basked in. He enjoyed impressing Lonnie with all of his knowledge and skills.

He taught Lonnie how to steal cars. He taught him where to sell the cars after he stole them.

But you don’t keep stealing cars. Pretty soon someone will be watching for you. So he taught Lonnie how to disable burglar alarms by deactivating them at the phone lines. Taught him how to enter houses, not by windows or doors, but through shafts where the swamp coolers were.

The beauty of it was, once the burglary was accomplished, the swamp cooler replaced, the phone line reconnected, there was no evidence of forced entry.

People invariably blamed the theft on a family member. Often the crime was never reported to the police.

Still you did not want to keep doing it too long.

Drugs was a third way to profit. Dealers got caught because it was their business. They did it all the time. Sooner or later they sold it to the wrong person, or one of their buyers got in a bind and rolled over on them. Cody got in and out quick. Buy a bunch. Roll it over to known buyers. Get rid of it. By the time the cops got on to you, if they ever did, you were clean. No evidence of anything.

And once your stock was gone deny, deny, deny.

Cody, who made a point of never revealing anything to anyone, loved to impress Lonnie. And today he had something to impress him with.

Lonnie was a special case. He did everything Cody told him to do. He did it just the way Cody told him to do it. He did it when Cody said to do it. When Lonnie was around Cody felt like a God who could walk on water. And he knew that if belief alone could make it so, Lonnie’s belief would have enabled him to do it.

Cody was thin. Lonnie was thinner. Cody was tall. Lonnie was taller. Cody had dirty blonde hair. Lonnie had dark brown, almost black hair. To an observer they could have been brothers.

Guess who gave me a call today?”

“Somebody with some good stuff?”

“Better.”

Lonnie thought hard. “That chick you were hoping to get?”

“Almost as good as that.”

“I’m out. I dunno.”

“Remember Mr. Penn?”

“The CIA agent?”

“Lonnie. Don’t be blatting that around. You know he can’t confirm or deny any association with The Company.”

Lonnie was impressed. Cody basked like a seal in the sunlight.

“Special electronics job. Gonna get at least five hundred dollars out of it. And it will only take me a couple of hours.” Cody let the amounts sift in to Lonnie so he could get his full admiration before continuing. “He is going to take me up to the safe house to do it in a day or two.”

“Wow.” Lonnie only dreamed that one day he could be as over the top as Cody.

 

 

(c) 2013 All Rights Reserved

 

Chapter Three: The Policeman

13 Apr
BTW when you are done reading this chapter. If you think thinking is fun; if you think philosophy should be for everyone try reading  TheMapThinker.com

BTW when you are done reading this chapter. If you think thinking is fun; if you think philosophy should be for everyone try reading TheMapThinker.com

 

 

 

L C was relieved to see Trevor, who worked for Sternhouser’s market, go up to the man in the dented car and talk to him. Trevor began picking up the groceries and reinstalling them in the cart. While he did so the man stomped toward the women.

The policeman told the driver of the SUV he could go on about his business, thanking  him for his quick reactions. The man looked glad to be gone. L C did not blame him. He drove away slowly, somewhat nervously.

“Who’s gonna pay for the damage to my car?” the man from the dented car growled menacingly as he joined them.

The policeman looked at him. “I believe that is a matter for your insurance company.” He pointed to a sign that listed several things Stanhouser’s market refused to be responsible for. Among them was listed damage from shopping carts.

“The store may not be responsible for the damage but she is. She shoved her basket right into the trunk of my car.”

“You can file a report to that effect but I have to tell you I was a witness to the episode.” He pointed at L C. The little girl wrinkled her nose at him.

“And just who are you?”

The policeman showed them his badge with a quick, practiced movement.

The man left, cussing. “I might have known. A cops wife. She can get away with anything. The law in this town is so crooked. Something needs to be done about it.”

The policeman ignored the man, “What may I do for you ladies?”

Letting go of the girl the woman said, “Tell this woman to give the child to me. I am her nanny. I am her guardian.”

L C shook her head. “Just let her calm down. She’s scared.” To the girl she asked, “What is your name, honey?”

“Zena.”

The nanny snapped, “No. Your name is Guinevere.” To the adults she said, “Her last nanny let her watch that show. I do not.” To L C, “Now give her to me.”

“What did you say the name of your employer was?” The policeman was polite but firm.

“Langlin. Kenneth and Judy Langlin.”

He nodded his head. “They are very important people in this town.” He took out his cell phone, punched in a single number and stepped away a few paces for privacy, then began speaking softly into the phone.

Mom? I need the Langlin’s phone number.”

He stepped further away and L C could no longer hear. He returned a few minutes later saying, “Mrs Langlin will be here in a few minutes.”

The girl looked up. “Mommy?”

His smile was suddenly genuine. “Your mommy is coming.

L C had heard the name Langlin before. Newspapers? Yes. Where else. Not her mother. Her aunt Emmy. L C’s mother enjoyed listening to her sister divulge gossip of the town’s hoity-toity class. Gossip she gleaned while arraigning unruly strands of hair. L C never saw any point in it, but now she found it comforting to know she had a connection with the child’s mother, no matter how tenuous.

The nanny’s voice was soft and gentle. “Come to nanny,” The sweet, concerned caretaker of a small child. She cooed gently to Guinevere, who quickly buried her face in L C’s neck. She turned to the policeman. “Are you just going to stand there like that? She is refusing to give me the child. I am her paid guardian. What she is doing amounts to kidnapping.”

“Let’s wait for Mrs. Langlin. In the mean time, let me get some information.” Turning to L C he asked for her name and identification.

Her name was Lindsey Carol Davenport. She never felt like a Lindsey; a Lindsey would be much skinnier than she and a Carol would be much shorter. She never felt like a Davenport, that was a piece of furniture, a sofa that converted into a bed or a desk. What kind of a girl wanted to be either? The only time she “felt” like a Davenport was in high school when a girl used her back to write a boy’s phone number. “Okay,” she thought, “Now I’m a davenport.” The initials though, L C, fit her.

She was undaunted when people called her Elsie, the name of the cow on a milk carton. Her response was quick and simple, “She’s famous and people love her. What more do you want? Nobody ever heard of Lindsey the Llama or Carol the Camel.”

She did not bother to tell all of that to the policeman. She simply handed him her driver’s license.

(c) 2013 All Rights Reserved

Chapter Two: The Friend

6 Apr
BTW when you are done reading this chapter. If you think thinking is fun; if you think philosophy should be for everyone try reading  TheMapThinker.com

.

BTW when you are done reading this chapter: If you think thinking is fun; if you think philosophy should be for everyone, try reading TheMapThinker.com

Second week, second chapter, as promised

Chapter Two:  The Friend

Peter Johnson was relieved to see his friend Billy walk in the front door of the restaurant. Why he was relieved he wasn’t quite sure. There was never any question in his mind about Billy showing up. Billy had always been there for him, just as he had always been there for Billy, although Billy had not always been aware of exactly what Peter had done for him. Or even that Peter had done anything at all. For some things the less Billy knew the better. The restaurant was long and dark, built of thick, rich wood with spacious booths padded with green stuffed leather cushions. There was just a hint of ribeye steak and eggs being cooked to perfection coming from the kitchen. It was the perfect place for quiet business conversations that were not meant to be overheard. The waitress was unassuming and intruded as little as possible.

Billy slid his briefcase in the seat first, then sat next to it.

They were dressed as they were expected to be dressed. Expensive black suits meant to impress and intimidate. Men who worked for corporations that produced nothing but controlled the companies that did. Men who told those that were involved in the actual production of real things what had to be done to meet corporate goals and  achieve the profit margins. Men who could quell the complaints of plant managers with a single glance if the manger complained, “But it can’t be done.” Because if the plant manager didn’t do what he knew could not be done he would be replaced with someone who would do it anyway.

The two men had been friends since high school football. Peter was considered uncle by Billy’s daughter, and Billy was the favorite uncle of both Peter’s children. In college they had backed each other, cheated on tests together, and helped bring the team to state victory. Billy was the one person Peter could count on without any need for persuasion. Right now that was what he needed.

“What is happening?” Billy asked, a worried frown on his face. He knew there was a problem or his friend would never have asked to see him on his way to work in the morning. The waitress came up, Billy glanced at her, “Coffee for now.” And she disappeared.

Peter shoved his own cup of coffee to the side, clasped his hands with the two index fingers extended, much like the position a policeman uses to fire a pistol. “When I went home last Friday I had a nice job, a cushy retirement fund, a huge house with a payment I could easily afford on my salary, a good chance of a promotion in about six months, and not a single worry in the world.”Billy accepted a cup of coffee from the waitress. When she left Peter resumed. Billy did  not like the way the conversation was starting out.

“I made one stop. By the time I arrived home forty five minutes had passed. As I entered the foyer the phone was ringing for me.” Peter stopped. Took a deep breath. “I was informed the company was no longer owned by Crisptech, Stoddard, and Scrates. It is now owned by somebody else, I was so shocked I didn’t get the name of the new owners. I was further informed my services are no longer needed. Very sorry, nothing personal. I was told to stop in at security Monday morning where I was escorted to my desk and allowed to pick up my personal belongings. I wasn’t even allowed to check the computer for emails.”

There was a long silence as Billy absorbed that. Unfortunately Billy could see himself facing the same position, if not today, then tomorrow or next week.

“Why you?”

“Not just me. If it were, I could do something. I’ve called everyone I have any influence over. They were all let go plus a bunch more. As near as  I can tell it is a clean sweep.” Peter did not mention that “everyone he had influence over” meant everyone he had something on. He normally used the J. Edgar Hoover approach to friendship. He believed that the more he had on someone the more he trusted them. Except in the case of Billy. Billy had always been the one person he could count on without so much as a hint of blackmail.

“That is horrible. What are you going to do. Surely with your experience you can get another job in your field.”

That would be simple. Billy would get him a job with his company. It wouldn’t matter how menial. With a little applied research Peter would move up in the company. Soon he would pass Billy and he would take Billy right up to the top with him. Of course he would never tell Billy just exactly how it had happened. Billy did not need to know everything.

“I tried. Nobody is hiring. Everybody is cutting back. The only job openings are ones I’m overqualified to do.”

“That is unbelievable.”

“I figure you can get me on where you work. Doesn’t matter what. You can push past the ‘over qualified’ part. Once I get a foot in the door I’ll make a spot for myself.”

“That’s bad. There aren’t any jobs where I’m at. I was actually thinking if I got cut I would come to you. But if you are out we are both out. Other than that the only thing I can do is front you a couple of thousand till something comes through for you.”

Peter felt a cold shock pass over him, like getting hit by cold water in a shower where you expected comfortable warmth. “Couple of thousand dollars isn’t going to help right now. If I get to that I’ll have to unload a boat or the cabin or something else. I’ve got a few stocks. What I need isn’t a hand, it is an income.”

“The cabin?” The memories of so many things, mentioned and unmentioned, that had happened there entered his mind. “That would be a shame. You’ve had it forever.”

“What I need is a job. What about your wife. Where she works.”

“They put her to looking into cutbacks and laying people off. Layoffs there mean fired. They just won’t say it outright.” Billy looked into his coffee cup as though it were the dark future itself.

“So nothing?”

“Nothing. I’ll keep looking for you. I’ll have my wife keep an eye out too. Right now I think it is a good thing we put a big chunk away for Peaches’ college fund or she might not get to go.”

Peter nodded.

There was not much left to say and after some small talk Billy went back to his job.

Peter stayed for a long time, thinking.

The one time he really needed Billy, the only time it had been a matter of real life and death, Billy let him down. Flat. And then have the nerve to brag about his daughter’s college fund. Peter had never set one up for his children. It had never dawned on him he wouldn’t be able to pay for it out of pocket when the time came.

That was okay. Billy would pay for this betrayal. Peter would see to it.

 

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ultimatemindsettoday

A great WordPress.com site

Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma

War By Other Means

Politics & Philosophy

this is... The Neighborhood

the Story within the Story

stillness of heart

MUSINGS : CRITICISM : HISTORY : PASSION

The Guilty Preacher Man

abandoned illustrations

matchtall

A tall women amazon model WordPress.com sit

Three Wise Guys

Best not to think about it

Mister G Kids

A daily comic about real stuff little kids say in school. By Matt Gajdoš

Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas

** OFFICIAL Site of Artist Ray Ferrer **

The Judy-Jodie and Kelli Memorial Blog

A great WordPress.com site

A Financial Life Coach

Your Financial Life Coach

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

Dysfunctional Literacy

Just because you CAN read Moby Dick doesn't mean you should.

Top 10 of Anything and Everything - The Fun Top Ten Blog

Animals, Gift Ideas, Travel, Books, Recycling Ideas and Many, Many More

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Thoughts

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