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Authors: Tom Pitts

Piggyback

BOOK: Piggyback
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Piggyback

Tom Pitts

Piggyback by Tom Pitts

Published by Snubnose Press at Amazon

The copyright belongs to the authors unless otherwise noted. 2012. All rights reserved.

Amazon Edition

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author

s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locations is entirely coincidental.

First Amazon Original Edition, 2012

Cover Design: Eric Beetner

Amazon Edition, License Notes

All rights reserved. This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you

re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Amazon.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author

 

San Francisco

 

 

He woke up early, crawled out of bed, and made his way into the bathroom. He stood staring at the shadows that were once his eyes. He was gaunt and his skin looked yellow in the bright light. He couldn

t decide if he hated himself or not. He

d been at this job for years now and it was starting to show. He had a talent, he knew that, but the job was eating it up, eating him up. He squinted, exaggerating the wrinkles around his eyes, turning his face into a scowl. He looked old, like a stranger.  He was someone else, someone whom he could easily hate.

He lifted up his head just a little, letting the light fall onto his eyes. He looked into them, cold and blue. The eyes he trusted. He recognized himself again, could feel himself in his own skin. He pissed, flushed, flicked off the light and went back to bed.

It was the light that woke him up again. It cut through the venetian blinds in clean, hot lines, heating up the room. He had a headache, his shirt was wet, his sheets damp. He wondered what the dreams had done to him this time. It was past noon. Even when he managed to sleep long enough he still felt exhausted.

Drug dealer, drug courier, mule, wholesaler, runner. He wouldn

t know what you

d call him; he was a go-between, a bottom-feeder. He

d never get called a kingpin, that

s for sure.  He was good at it; he was all-business in a business full of fools. Working his way up from a trunk full of pot from Humboldt County to the kilos of blow and ounces of heroin he moved now. It was all the same to him; it was product. It paid the bills and it kept him from having a real job. 

There were fringe benefits, too. Good blow on the rare occasion he had a female over to the apartment. Good friends, for when the going got rough. And good scotch. When there was too much of that, he still had the endless supply of good blow. And of course there was the violence. It was no secret he loved the violence. That

s what made him good at his job: the underlying fear that his associates had, hearing the stories, the rumors. It was his edge. He never bragged, didn

t have to, gossip did the work for him. 

As for job security, the future, there was none. There was something about that he liked too.  The only thing he hated about his job were the dreams. The dreams and having to look at himself in the mirror.

There was a knock at the door. It wasn

t a cop knock, it was small nervous knock. Three quick and quiet ones. He lay there wondering how someone had gotten into his building. Three more, a little louder this time. He sat up and pulled a snub-nosed .38 from the drawer in his nightstand. He approached the door, wearing only a t-shirt, socks, and boxers, holding the gun behind his back. Five more quick knocks, a little harder this time. It had to be someone he knew.

He swung the door open quickly and saw Paul standing in front of him. Short, sweaty, worrywart Paul.


Jimmy, thank God you

re here. Can I come in?

He pulled the gun out from behind his back and motioned with it for Paul to enter. Paul entered, sat down on the couch and stood back up again.


Thanks, man. You got anything to drink?

Jimmy pointed to the half finished bottle of scotch on the kitchen counter.


Little early. You got any beer?

Jimmy nodded at the fridge. Paul went straight for it, opened the door, grabbed a beer, popped the top, and began to guzzle. 


Make yourself at home.


Shit, Jimmy, I

m fucked.

Jimmy turned the slats on the venetian blinds to cut the light and sat down.


I lost a load. I mean, I think I did, pretty sure. Oh fuck, Jimmy, this is fucked.


How the fuck did you get in here?

Paul looked at him for a second, eyes blank, not understanding the question.


I

ve been outside for a half-an-hour. A neighbor finally left and I grabbed the door.


You don

t have a phone?


I didn

t wanna use it, I

m afraid to, I didn

t wanna wake you. Fuck, Jimmy, I don

t know.


Whose load?


What?


Whose load did you lose?


Jose
, man. It was from fucking Jose.

Jimmy had worked for Jose before. Neither of them knew his real name. Most of these Mexicans didn

t give the gringos their real name, but Jimmy knew exactly which Jose that Paul was so worried about.


How much?


Five kilos, five fucking kilos of blow. I

m fucked, I

m really fucked, man. Just saying it out loud, I feel sick. What am I gonna do, Jimmy?


Let me put some pants on.

Jimmy picked up his gun and started walking back to the bedroom.


I changed my mind,

said Paul.


Excuse me?


I changed my mind, can I have a little of that scotch, too?

 

 

Jimmy walked out of the bedroom buttoning up his jeans. He pulled a pouch of coffee from the freezer and poured out yesterday

s pot.


So what happened?

he said without turning around.


It was in with a load of smoke from the hill. These two girls were supposed to drive it to Utah, drop it with Kevin the Freak, and he was gonna pull out the blow for Dusty. I haven

t heard from these girls in three days.


What Kevin? Kevin the rose guy?


Yeah, that

s the guy.


He

s a fucking idiot. What did he say?


They never showed.


I

m starting to think that you

re the fucking idiot. Why the hell would you give property of Jose

s to a couple of girls?


They

re good girls. They

ve worked with us before. Kinda hippie chicks. They

re all right; I don

t think they would fuck me over.


You don

t, huh? Did they know what they had?


No way, just the weed. That

s all they thought they were carrying.


How much?


How much weed? About seventy pounds, individually packaged. Shrink wrapped twice. I don

t think they knew about the piggyback, I really don

t.


The load is gone.

Paul looked like he

d been shot in the gut. He winced and doubled over, pushing his face into a couch pillow.


Aw, Jimmy, don

t tell me that. It can

t happen, it can

t,

he said into the pillow.

Jimmy stood there, looking at his friend feigning tears onto the pillow and listening to the water bubble its way through the coffee maker.


What do you want me to do about it?


Help, Jimmy, I need help. I need to get this shit back. I need to find those bitches; I need to figure out who fucking burned me.


You want some coffee?


No, but can I have another beer?

 

 

They were in Jimmy

s car moving across San Francisco at a determined clip. Paul fiddled with the stereo and Jimmy stayed silent.


Mind if I smoke?

Jimmy hit the button and cracked the window on Paul

s side. Paul lit up.


Shit, Jimmy, why don

t you get a new car? Something a little more stylish.

Jimmy

s car was an old Toyota Camry. It was the color you got when you squished all the play-dough together, somewhere unsettled between green and brown.

I

m not about style,

answered Jimmy. He kept that car for a reason. It didn

t draw the heat.


Or at least a new stereo,

said Paul.

Jimmy reached over and flipped the stereo off.


What did Jose say?


Jesus, Jimmy, a little music would be nice, it relaxes you.


I don

t need relaxing, you do. What did Jose say?


I haven

t told him.

Jimmy already knew this. Paul was scrambling. He wanted to gauge his reaction.  Jose would assume the worst, rightly so. Paul was desperate or he wouldn

t have shown up at his door.

BOOK: Piggyback
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