Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle returning this week with Chapter Seven of my story. This week I received a bath. It was dreadful. The Maltese received one too which makes me feel better. Just the same I hate baths. They are the bane of my existence. I am also due for a spa day as alas my hair is overgrown in front of my eyes. I look like a steel wool scrubbing pad. I look fantastic post grooming as you know. Luckily for me my novelist could not get me an appointment for two weeks for which I will gloriously enjoy frolicking in the newly cut grass in my shaggy unkempt bohemian style. But as for my penning I shall keep you waiting no longer. Here is my seventh chapter of What I Found in the Trunk. Godere!
What I Found in the Trunk
Gigi the parti poodle
It was nine o’clock P.M. by the time Gary got to the dealership. He parked his car in his usual spot and hurried for the front door carrying the strongbox in his Hopper Shopper bag. Rusty the young slightly overweight security guard with the curly red hair was there patrolling the place when his boss came rushing up. “Hey there, Gary,” he said.
“Hey, Russ,” Gary replied eager to get inside.
“Whatcha doing here so late?”
“I just needed to check on one of the cars.”
“Oh, yeah? Which one?”
“A beige one.”
“Well, I’d better go get the key from the office.”
“Say, Gary there were these four college guys that came around looking for you right as I went on shift.”
“Said they had a friend who’d sold you a car this morning.”
“Wanted to know if you’d sold it yet.”
“Huh…yeah, well…they say anything else?”
“I don’t know. I had to get to work. I think they might have talked to your dad.”
Great, Gary thought. Now they know who my dad is. “Okay, well…thanks.”
“Sure. Say, I just wanted to mention the candy machine is broken.”
“What’s wrong with it?”
“It’s out of Snickers Bars.”
“Yeah. Well, the guy comes on Wednesday. He’ll stock it then.”
“Well…I’d better go check on that car.”
Gary hurried inside the office to look for a non-descript beige car. The fatigue of the day’s unexpected stress hit him. He set the Hopper Shopper bag on the desk, moved over to the espresso maker, made a latte, and sat with his java at the computer. A lot of cars dad had at the dealership were too conspicuous. Too many Cadillacs, Jaguars, and BMWs. “Don’t we have anything dull?” he asked out loud as he continued to search.
But after looking at cars for another fifteen minutes, he finally located a Buick LaCrosse in a Pepperdust Metallic. “That’ll do,” he said. “That’ll do just fine.”
He hurried over to the locked keys, retrieved the one for the Buick, grabbed the Hopper Shopper Bag and left the office.
“Found the one you needed?” Rusty asked when Gary got outside.
“Yup,” Gary replied jingling the key in his hand.
“Well, you have a good night, Gary.”
“You too, Rusty.”
Gary hurried towards the car lot. The Buick should be in the far back. No surprise it would be parked there. It wasn’t as expensive or glamourous as the other luxury cars his dad sold, and it had been sitting on the lot for at least six months and still no one had bought it. He unlocked the door and tossed the Hopper Shopper bag in the passenger’s seat.
He was about to start the engine when he heard voices yelling. He glanced into the rearview mirror and saw Rusty and three or four figures arguing. His heart started to pound. Was it Durwin and his posse? One of the men shove Rusty who stumbled back. Rusty charged straight at the guy and right away three men were on him. They knocked him to the ground and started punching him. What should he do? He could call the police, but he was already picked up for the black widow incident. With his heart pounding, Gary turned on the car, his hands sweating on the steering wheel and started backing out. Then he turned the car around, threw on his high beams and hit the gas.
One of the college thugs looked up and saw him coming. He jumped back and ran out of the way of the oncoming vehicle. The other three turned and saw the fast-approaching headlights and took off leaving the fallen Rusty.
Gary hit the brakes, stopped right beside his fallen nightwatchman, and threw open the passenger door. “Get in!” he yelled.
Rusty turned his head and saw the open door. He struggled to his feet.
Gary could hear the pounding tennis shoes of the four guys coming back towards the car.
Rusty limped over and dropped into the seat just as one of the guys lifted a tire iron to strike his legs. Gary hit the gas with Rusty both in and out of the car and pealed out just as the tire iron struck the door.
“Who were those guys?” Rusty asked as they sped off down the freeway.
“I don’t know. I just met them today,” Gary said.
“What did you do to get them so ticked off?”
“They think I stole something from them.”
“What did you steal?”
“I didn’t steal anything. But I think Rune did.”
“She’s their friend who sold me her car today and I found a strongbox in the trunk with three things in it: a housekey on a gargoyle keychain, a velvet box with what I think is a diamond engagement ring in it and a house address which is where these guys live. I found that out the hard way.”
“So, are you going to call the police?”
“I already did. Or rather I was hauled into the police station for letting a bunch of black widow spiders loose at a Kid Valley.”
Rusty’s eyes widened. “Why did you let a bunch of black widow spiders loose at a Kid Valley?”
“I didn’t know these guys stuck them in the strongbox.”
“Anyway, I’m driving us over to my friend Bennet’s cabin in Soap Lake. We can lay low there till I figure out how to get us out of this mess.”
“So, what was it this Rune girl stole from these guys?”
“See that’s the problem. I have no idea what they’re looking for.”
“Did you try calling her?”
“Her phone has a disconnected number.”
“What about surveillance video?”
Gary shook his head. “I didn’t even think of that.”
“Well…I could call into the system, try and pinpoint a good shot of her.”
“Can you do that?”
“Sure.” Rusty reached into his pocket and retrieved his phone. “What time do you think she came by?”
“Early. Like before nine.”
“Okay…was she the first customer of the day?”
“Yeah, she was.”
“So, when you find the picture, if you find a good one…”
“Say, she’s pretty…”
“…wait till we get to the rest stop so we can take a good look at her.”
“She sold you her car today…did she upgrade it to one on the lot?”
“No. She drove the car to the dealership then caught a bus.”
“Did you see which bus?”
Gary thought about this for a moment. “I think it might have been one heading to Bellevue. But I can’t be sure.”
“So, you have no idea what was supposed to be in that box besides the address, the key and the ring?”
“None at all. But there’s one more weird thing.”
“I found this in those guys’ basement.”
“What were you doing in their basement?”
“They put me there. Anyway, I found this.” Gary reached into his coat pocket and retrieved the small aluminum strong box. “It has Rune’s credit card in it.”
“Well, that’s going to help us a lot more than a picture.”
“Let’s just say I know things.”
You can check out my books Chicane and the first four installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!, Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!, Musicology: Volume Three, Twist! and Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!
STREAM OF THE WEEK: BETTER DAYS–Hulu
For twenty-seven years Hong Kong has not had a movie nominated for an Oscar for Best International Film…until now. And WOW what a film! The last Hong Kong film nominated was Fairwell My Concubine in 1993. There have only been three films from Hong Kong in history to ever receive an Oscar nomination in this category (the first of the three was Raise the Red Lantern in 1991). And Better Days should have also been nominated for Best Film, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Actress as well. It was banned by Chinese sensors for a nearly one year and was kept from being shown at the Berlin Film Festival. Despite that the film went on to earn 230 million dollars worldwide and was the highest grossing film upon its first weekend release. The screenplay is based on the young adult novel In His Youth, In Her Beauty (2016). It is not based on a true story just so there is no confusion when you watch the movie. The film begins with a tragedy and one might say a changing of the guard…but not in a good way. This horrific event centers around the Chinese gaokao which is an intense two-day college entrance exam that determines the fate of many students and their families. One of the fallouts of the exam is bullying. When a highly intelligent studious girl named Chen Nian (Zhou Dongyu) shows compassion for another girl who was bullied she becomes the new target of Wei Lei (Zhou Ye) a popular and wealthy female psychopath who manipulates her female gang to carry out violent and disturbing terror against those she deems unworthy or threatening to her power. After several harrowing incidents Chen stumbles across a street fight involving boys her own age who put her in a compromising position which she serendipitously uses her pluck to get out of. In the process she inadvertently rescues Xiao Bei (Jackson Yee), a would-be street thug who turns out to be more than meets the eye. The two form a pact which puts them on the path to their unexpected destiny.