- By Corey Brown - By Corey Brown

Severed the book

© 2017 Corey Brown

Midnight Run

Startled, I sat bolt upright and looked at the alarm clock on the nightstand. One-fifteen. I relaxed a bit, this was good. I still had five hours to sleep, so I lay back down, closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I thought about things. I wondered why I had awakened at such an odd hour. Had I been dreaming? And why was the sun shining at one in the morning? I began to drift off to sleep when I heard it again: a kind thumping, pounding sound followed by someone calling my name.

 

Speaking of names, mine is Spinner, Rick Spinner, I’m a consultant and I carry an ID badge. Some people call me a PC tech. Some people call me the space cowboy. Yeah, some people call me the gangster of love. But no one has ever called me Maurice. I’m not exactly sure why, but I think it’s because I am in no way related to Steve Miller or his band. Who knows? It’s just a hunch.

 

The thumping sound came again, like someone was knocking on my front door. A few seconds later it was a tapping sound, someone was rapping on my window.

“Rick, are you in there?”

The voice seemed familiar. It sounded a lot like my partner, Nacho Flaherty.

“Rick”, the voice said again. “It’s Nacho, are you all right, man?”

 

I opened my eyes again, tossed off the blanket and shuffled to the window. But I didn’t open the shade. As a hardened professional, I know the neighborhood punks can pull all kinds of stunts. I get it all the time. It’s the badge, always the badge.

 

“Show me some ID,” I said, trying to peek between the blinds.

“Oh, for crying out loud, Spinner. Open the door or I’ll spill the beans about the silk blouse.”

 

Hmm.…this could be trouble. I mean, hey, that deal with the blouse could’ve happened to anyone. And clothing stores need to have clear procedures about what to do with your garments while in the fitting room. Just because I thought the woman was handing me her silk blouse rather than hanging it over the door there was no reason involve the authorities. Of course, I did have a little trouble explaining why I was wearing the stupid thing when the police came to my house. But that’s old news.

 

At the same time, I was relieved. Only one person knew about that little misunderstanding with the blouse.

“Nacho,” I hissed, glancing at the clock. “Why are you here at one-twenty in the morning? You should be in bed.”

I heard Nacho groan. “You idiot,” he said. “It’s one-twenty in the afternoon. Don’t tell me you’ve been asleep all day. Tell me you brokered another squirt gun deal, tell me you’ve been making love to an exotic woman, say anything but don’t tell me you over-slept. Not today, it’s too important.”

 

Over-slept? In my entire career I have never over-slept. Well, not chronically. That is to say, I’ve had my moments and yeah, I might’ve stayed in bed longer than I should have, but not everyday. I yanked the blinds up. There was Nacho, orange hair and all, looking back at me. He didn’t seem happy. I opened the window.

“What’s so important about today?” I said, leaning out, looking skyward. “Is it really one in the afternoon? You sure it’s not the middle of the night?”

He turned to look at the mid-day sun, he squinted then he faced me. “Yeah, pretty sure. So, you not only over-slept, you forgot what day it is, too?”

 

I tried to give Nacho a hard stare, the kind I give the perps, but it wasn’t working. I was still half asleep. Or maybe half hung over, it was hard to tell. I waved a hand dismissively and said, “Okay, okay so I forgot what day it is. Now, you gonna tell me or not?”

 

“Of all the days,” Nacho said, shaking his head. “You forget this one. There was so much riding on this and now… Well, there’s nothing to be done about it. I’ll see you at the office. Better hurry, though. I hear the boss is stopping by later on.”

 

Nacho turned to leave. I reached out and grabbed his elbow. “Jeez,” I said. “I’m sorry about forgetting what day it was, what’s so important about today?”

He looked at me for a long moment then loosed my grip on his elbow. “Never mind,” Nacho said. “I’ll see you at the office.”

 

I hesitated. Clearly I’d let my partner down in a big way. I’d have to make up for it somehow. “Thanks for getting me out of bed. I owe you one.”

 

As Nacho walked away I thought I saw him grinning.

 

When I pulled into the empty parking lot at work, I knew he’d be laughing his head off. What made today so special? It was Sunday.