Fiction Saturday — “Boxer” — Part Five
Fiction Saturday — “Boxer” — Part Five
by John Kraft
“I’ll let you in, but I don’t have to like it.” –Gloria Dumbaugh
Gloria was pissed.
“I don’t know what else I can do, Hon. He’s my Boss. Look, he’s out cold. I got something I gotta do. Just a few minutes. He won’t be any trouble, I promise. Just keep him on the bed.”
“Our bed you mean.”
OK, on the couch then. I gotta go. It’s important.”
“Terry, he’s been shot. What if he dies on me? What then?”
Terry ran his bandaged fingers through his hair. He wanted to run away. “He won’t die. Doc patched him up. See all that tape? He’ll be good as new in no time.” He set the shirtless, unconscious man on her couch. “Hon, I really gotta go. I’ll bring you back some ice cream.”
“Terry, No, you can’t…” She stopped. She knew it was useless. “Butter Pecan.”
Terry took the Cadillac. He wished it was his. Maybe someday. He parked in the alley behind Walker’s office, right back where it had been before all this mess started.
Inside Walker’s office nothing had changed. The dead guy hit with the shotgun was still dead and was going to stay that way. The Fat Guy by the door was…where was he? Terry started to sweat again and talk to himself.
“When I left he was by the door with his head all busted in. I thought he was dead too.”
The office door was still open.
Terry picked up the baseball bat. It was right where he dropped it. He walked into the Receptionist’s office and there was the fat man crawling toward the front door. He was leaving a bloody slime trail.
“Oh, Buddy. No. No, I can’t let you…I thought you were dead. I can’t let you leave. Oh, Lord I’m sorry for this. I never hurt anybody who couldn’t hit me back, defend themselves, but I can’t let you go.”
Standing in front of the Fat Snail on the floor Terry lined himself up like he was teeing up on the tenth hole at the Country Club.
“I’m sorry guy. I don’t know what else to do with you.”
With one swing, with all his frightened might, he heard the fat guy’s skull crunch like snow on an icy morning. The man was definitely dead this time.
The Cadillac was a good size car and had a big trunk. Both the corpses fit with room to spare. That done, the mess inside needed cleaning up. A mop and bucket. Paper towels.
A quick trip to the Super Dollar Store got the needed supplies and Terry Jarosz; former Middleweight Champion of the World spent the next three hours mopping the floors trying to get up the blood and whatever else that was.
There was blood on Walker’s leather chair and on the floor by his desk. That cleaned up easy, but gathering up what used to be the dead guy’s face took time.
There wasn’t much he could do about the blood that had seeped into the floorboards. There was no getting that back. The Super Dollar Store also had Area Rugs on sale. Terry’d picked up a 3 ft by 5 ft rug that looked like something made in Arizona. He laid that over the blood-stained wood. It would have to do.
“I hope this helps, Mr. Walker. I’ve done what I could.”
He looked at the clock. He needed to get back to Gloria’s place. He had to do something with Walker. Something. There was something else too.
“This is Dollar Store ice cream,” said Gloria. “You couldn’t stop and get some real Butter Pecan?”
“I’m sorry, Gloria, it was all I could get. The ice cream place wasn’t open yet,” he lied. “How’s Mr. Walker? Is he asleep?”
“Him? No, he’s awake. He won’t shut up. He keeps asking me where you are. ‘Where’s Terry? Where’s Terry?’ I tell him I don’t know. He starts yelling at me. I tell you, Terry, I almost slapped him. I don’t like him, I don’t trust him.. I want him out of here.”
“Let me talk to him. I’ll talk with him. I’ll take care of it, I promise.”
Terry Jarosz, the fighter who knocked out more than 40 men in The Ring, was feeling cornered and couldn’t see who to swing at to get free. As soon as he walked into the Living Room Walker started pressing him.
“Where have you been? Where? And where am I? This isn’t Wycoff’s place. And that woman. She wouldn’t tell me anything.”
There was a half empty gin bottle on the table next to the sofa.
“Hey, Mr. Walker, how are you feeling? You’re looking better. You got some color in your cheeks.” He tried to look happy.
“Where in the hell am I?” Walker did not look happy. Terry felt like he was back in High School standing in the Principal’s Office. He was looking at the floor.
“Uh, this is my girl’s place. I guess you’ve met Gloria. I didn’t know where else to go, Boss. I don’t know where you live. I didn’t know where else to go, Boss. That Wycoff guy? Doc said he’s just a horse doctor and a drunk.”
“Slow down, Champ, you’re talking so fast I can barely understand you.” Walker could see that Terry was nervous, scared. He’d never seen him like that before – not ever. Not even when he was getting his face pounded in by some ringer from the West Coast. “Calm down, Champ. Just tell me where you went when you left me here with that woman.”
“Gloria. OK, where did you go? Sit down. Talk to me.”
Terry sat down on the ottoman by the sofa. He took a couple of deep breaths to try to calm down. He knew that his Boss wasn’t going to like what he had to say next.
“Well, Boss, after I left here I went back to the office, your office. Oh, it was a mess. So, I went to the Dollar Store down the street a few blocks – you know the place.” He paused to take a breath. Walker nodded trying to urge him to get to the chase.
“I got a mop, some other stuff and I tried to clean up the office.”
“What about…” He looked at Gloria who had walked into the room and was standing by the kitchen door with her arms crossed. “Our two – visitors?”
Next week. .. The Conclusion!