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Union Candy (part 16)

 
Joe Spivey's picture
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The ‘little boss’ meanwhile was steadily putting one foot in front of the other and making her way diagonally across Verde street to Joe’s lockup. Two thoughts were keeping her shaking legs moving; ‘Please don’t let me die.’ And ‘Gotta get back before bed check time’. Surprisingly, it was the second one that added the most urgency to her steps.

Keeping to the darker shadows of the deepening darkness, Kru kept pace with Finny, never letting the little girl out of her sight but still trying to see far enough ahead in case Finny was walking into anything unpleasant.

Her thoughts turned to the Union guard who had given them the all clear. Why had he been in the alley next to Joe’s place? The guards were supposed to be setting up a perimeter. Maybe he had been there specifically to meet them? Then why had he gone back down the alley? There was nothing that way except open field and windmills, and both of them were well protected by giant hermit crabs. And, she thought with a chill, she hadn’t seen him since. Shit.

Meanwhile, the object of her earlier unwelcome sexual suggestions, was stealthily moving his big, fat British ass across a roof way down the other end of the street.

Besides his brown duster, Joe Spivey’s other trademark clothing item were his blue high-tops. A middle-aged man wearing high-tops was the cause of many a smile from those who didn’t know him. That didn’t bother Joe one bit, he wouldn’t swop his high-tops for the fanciest of fancy cowboy boots, something Kirsten had tried to get him to do on more than several occasions. You can’t sneak across a roof towards a crouching sniper in cowboy boots.

“That’s right girly. Come on, nearly there. Nearly…”

Just then, a well-used billy club put an end to the sniper’s murmured thoughts.

“Prick.” Joe said, sliding the club back into its pocket. He pulled the rifle from the unconscious man’s fingers and looked through the scope. Already zeroed in, the image of Finny just arriving at the door to the lockup snapped into focus. He smirked and watched for a few moments as Finny unrolled the professional set of lock picking gear he had bought for her. “That’s mah girl.”

Leaving Finny examining the various locks that kept his more precious goods safe, Joe slowly scanned the street through the sniper scope. He saw Kru edging along the wall of the building directly across Verde street from the lockup. She paused for a moment, turning her head both ways like a kid checking for cars and she darted across the road and into the alley on the far side of the lock up. Joe scanned the immediate area.

“Now what’s she up to?” He muttered, wondering what it was that had made Kru cross the road like that. Just then, a low groan at his feet distracted Joe.

The sniper opened his eyes just in time to see the butt of the rifle put him straight back to sleep.

Finny’s tongue protruded from the side of her mouth as she worked on the first, and most difficult of the locks.

Finny had been to the lockup several times with Joe and each time she had surreptitiously, or so she thought, examined the locks on the door. She had long since familiarised herself with the various locks on the factory door, even the thing called a DNA lock that Joe had installed.  It was Joe, himself who had tried to explain how the DNA lock worked. What Finny got from the explanation, however, was that it somehow knew who you were by the bits of you that were left on the big round flat bit when you touched it. Apparently, these tiny little bits of ‘you’ were in your sweat, in your blood and even in your spit and wee.

Consequently, Finny had spent a couple of weeks filching Joe’s freshly discarded cigar butts from the ashtray whenever Joe took her anywhere in his car. One of the sample phials in her kit now contained the mashed-up residue of the very ends of Joe’s well chewed cigars. She had never had chance to try it out on the factory’s DNA lock, but she didn’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work on this one.

Not knowing how much of the Joe stuff it would need, Finny smeared the whole contents of the little plastic phial all over the big round bit. She knew from experience that when Joe put his hand on it, the lock took several seconds before it glowed green and the tumblers clicked back. This time, she didn’t have Joe mumbling impatient cuss words to amuse her and it started to take so long that Finny doubted it was going to work. But then the white plastic under the grungy cigar residue turned a dim green and three meaty clunks told Finny that all her work mushing up Joe’s saliva-soaked cigar ends had paid off.

Her confidence boosted, the danger Finny was in receded from her mind as concentration took over. Fiddly though they were, the three remaining locks quickly fell to her deft fingers and the minute movements of just the right pick for the job. The only delay was in having to wait between each lock for the strength to return to the fingers of the hand that kept pressure on the tension wrench as she manipulated the tumblers.

Kru edged her way down the narrow, and much darker, alley. Even so, it took her by surprise when her booted toe nudged against something solidly unyielding, yet familiarly soft. It was a body, and her nose was telling her that there was blood involved. Without the light to make sure, Kru guessed that the body belonged to a Union security guard. Which unfortunately meant that the man who had given her the all clear, wasn’t.

Very quietly, she edged her way to the corner. The phony guard was there all right, He was at one of the heavily barred and whitewashed windows with his gun poised, poking through a hole he had probably made. Kru’s lips tightened. Oh, very clever, you bastard. Wait for the kid to open the door before you shoot her, then it’s all yours.

They guy’s attention was concentrated on watching through the hole he had made. Suddenly, Kru saw his body tense. Shit, Kru realised, She’s opened the fucking door. With the bat poised above her shoulder, Kru ran the few metres straight at the gunman.

Even if the phony guard spotted her and turned the gun on her, Finny would be warned. But he didn’t. Instead he just died with a pair of four-inch nails jammed in his head, the bits of rat still stuck to them, mixing with his disintegrating brain. Kru prised the bat away from the corpse accompanied by unpleasant sounds of splitting skull bones. She peeked through the window and saw Finny, already through the door and now looking back out into the street.

The little girl's high pitched voice piped loudly in the sweet night air.

“Kru?! Hey Kru! I done it, I’m in! Come an’ see! Kru?! Kruuuu!”

Kru swung the bloody bat over her shoulder.

“I’m coming!” Under her breath she added. “Jeez, boss, gimme a break.”



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