Friday, January 20, 2012

A Man, A Musket, And A Murder Vol 6

 Vic Musket stood in the shadow of the Renaissance Tower in downtown Dallas.  He was awkwardly dropped off by a big rig in the middle of the morning traffic rush at the heart of the city, and was now faced with the task of tracking down a powerful businessman that once vowed his life to a filthy teenage alcoholic.  A teenage alcoholic that grew into a middle-aged alcoholic and now stood accused of a murder he didn't commit.  But even with this weighing in on him the only desire in his mind was to wash his face, and as soon as he reached the gutter he eagerly splashed the putrid water onto his chin and scrub away with his jacket sleeve.  Visions of the lady trucker's legs parting replayed in his mind, reminiscent of someone pulling open a hot grilled cheese sandwich.  Only less tasty.

Satisfied that his beard smelled more like the putrid water and less like trucker snatch, Vic marched over to the massive tower and entered into the lobby.  This wasn't going to be easy.  Vic knew the man's name was Bertram Stokely, but was positive that the man himself would recognize him only by sight, not by name.  And he was going to have a hard time explaining their relation to the likes of a receptionist.

Twenty years prior the two men met here in Dallas.  Bert was a slacker college student away from home for the first time in his life, and Vic Musket was a 17 year old hustler and gambler that called the streets home.  They both happened to be in a seedy bar in the wrong part of town, Bert was there pursuing a prostitute, and Vic practically lived in the men's room at the time.

Over the course of the night Vic watched the college kid get more and more aggressive with the whore they called "Candy", but was really named "Mildred" as he progressed to increasing stages of drunkenness.  The two were dancing in a way that looked like it required contraception when suddenly Candy started shouting.

"You motherfucker!  You just jizzed all over my favorite stockings!  That's gonna cost you." She started pulling visibly stained nylons from her ample legs while the embarrassed Bert sheepishly looked on.

It turned out he was trying to lose his virginity, and couldn't control himself.  Now he had Candy AND Sweet Teddy the pimp demanding he pay double the going rate for the pop and the cleanup. They kinda had a point, and Bert would have gladly paid.  But when he announced that he only brought $43.76 to cover drinks, a few games of pool, and a lay...  Sweet Teddy pulled a knife.

These days Vic Musket would have sat and gladly watched as Sweet Teddy gutted the rich kid in front of him.  But twenty years ago Vic still had some humanity left in him, and quickly rose to the helpless boy's aid.  Drunkenly stumbling between the two men, Vic grabbed Bert by the collar and managed to drag him out of the front door onto the sidewalk.  Once Vic looked around and saw that Sweet Teddy hadn't followed them outside he looked and was surprised to see that Bert appeared to be unharmed.  Unharmed but appearing to be in shock, staring at Vic's chest.  Vic traced his gaze to the area just below his collar bone, which now had a large switchblade handle sticking out of it.  As Vic slumped to the ground Bert snapped out of his daze, and proclaimed that he would go to get help, and frantically thanked him for saving his life.  As Vic passed out he felt Bert stuff something into his pocket.  He said something, but it was lost to Vic's fading consciousness.

After awakening in a hospital room the next day, Vic was told about how they had received an emergency call from an anonymous young man that saved his life, and he required a blood transfusion.  Vic raised hell until they gave him his stuff back, and angrily checked himself out of the hospital against the urgings of hospital staff, and before the police arrived.  When he stuffed his hand into the pocket he pulled out a card.  A student ID with the name "Bertram Stokely" on it.

Twenty years later Vic stood in front of the receptionist at the head office of a multi million dollar corporation and held out that very ID card.  "Take this to Mr. Stokely and tell him an old friend is here to meet with him." Vic said it forcefully enough to draw no complaints from the 19 year old temp behind the desk.  She ushered off to deliver the message without uttering a response.  Vic waited.

To be continued...

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