Chapter 6: Even Further Tales of the Plumber

Further Tales of the Plumber #5

Kodek was back in the driver’s seat, most literally. He had the Sedan clipping along the forest-lined and dangerously curvy road at well over eighty, heightening both the danger factor and the adrenalin circulating in his veins. He could feel it in his teeth.

Behind him, far back behind him, all the way in the trunk, in fact, there was a dead guy in a tuxedo with a pocket full of poker chips and the busted stem of a martini glass protruding from his bloody fucked-up eyeball, the jagged edge of that glass-stem lodged somewhere in the soft tissue of his brain, which had started leaking out of his ears when Kodek threw and locked him in the trunk.

Yes, The Hit had certainly gone well, score one more for the Morimoto Corp and score one for Kodek for figuring out The Game this round. And so quickly, too. The martini glass was kind of a no-brainer, though. No pun intended.

Everything was certainly going swimmingly until Kodek rounded the last curb and was forced to come to a dead halt behind the twenty-twp cars in front of him. His heart sank into his stomach. Trapped.

Fuck.

There was a group of cops twenty-one cars ahead searching though each vehicle and questioning the occupants. Must be some kind of prison break. Or armed robber.

Murder?

Kodek quickly flipped the dial of his tape-deck/radio and spun through a blaring cut of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” (deja vu) until he hit the local middle-of-buttfuck-nowhere news. Prison break. Damn. He spun his head around to the backseat before remembering that he didn’t actually have x-ray vision and was therefor unable to peer into the truck to check over the contents. No matter, he knew damn well the corpse wasn’t concealed enough to fool four armed police officers on a man hunt. Scratch that, make it six officers. He hadn’t noticed the other two flanking the road, obscured in the trees (and the darkness!), rifles pointed and roving along the line of cars.

I could back away.

No I can’t too suspicious. His eyes went to the review mirror. And now there’s another car behind me, anyhow. Double-fuck. He looked straight through the windshield. Nineteen cars in front of him. Are they really searching that fast are are the just being perfunctory? If it’s the second, then may I’d have a chance…

Fifteen cars.

Poo.

Suddenly, Kodek realized, the darkness was on his side. The moonlight had faded far behind that winding forest road, blocked by the thick trees and the lateness of the hour. Twilight was long gone. As long as he kept the light from coming on inside the car, nobody would be able to see inside! His hand clamored for the glove box and he twisted the lock, the drawer falling open, and the little automatic bulb clicking on. Damn it! His hand quickly grabbed the box cutter (deja-fucking-vu!) and slammed the glove box shut.

(This isn’t how it’s supposed to go)

Darkness again. Kodek finally let out his breath, he unclipped his seatbelt and twisted into the backseat. He used the box cutter to slice through the backseat upholstery.

Thirteen cars.

And then through the cheap cardboard backing around the metal frame of the backseat

Six cars

Glancing up through the back window and seeing that one of the rifle-cops had his attention on one of the ten cars now lining the road behind his. Kodek was continually being interrupted by the need to coast his car one car length forward for every vehicle the cops cleared from down the line, and he was starting to have a panic attack.

Remember to breathe!

When he was a kid he had seen one of his mom’s Jane Fonda’s Workout videos in which Jane Fonda was instructing her audience: “Don’t forget to breathe!” Don’t forget to breathe? He thought that was the most hilarious thing he’d ever heard. Until now.

Not so funny anymore, tough guy.

He was facing (was practically IN) the backseat again, the cops busy with that car four ahead of him, and he’s somehow managed by the grace of god to pull the corpse from the trunk, through the back of the back seat and have him sitting in an upright (if somewhat stiff – pun unintended) position by locking him/it behind the seatbelt. He wrapped the corpse in a blanky he’d yanked from the trunk before concealing the gaping hold in the backseat with the corpse sitting-up and pushed (cracked) the stiff’s head back so it looked like he was napping. Kodek quickly re-seated himself in the driver’s seat and faced forward, vaguely aware that he had no idea where the fuck that box cutter had gone… and wasn’t it supposed to be the local new on the radio? What the hell was–

Last car, the cop shined a light right in his face and he knew they weren’t going to buy it, not for a fucking second and then the corpse started leaking blood and brains (I forgot to wipe the brains off the side of his face!) and the sheer stink of death and what-the-hell-happened but a bullet form one of the cop rifles was crashing through the driver’s window (how did it get around that cop-with-a-flashlight standing there!?!) complete panic and-

It’s a THRILL-ERRRRRR, thrill of/the night…” Kodek sat bolt upright, suddenly awake with his MJ tape blasting away in the tape deck.

What the fuck?

MJ tape. Deck of cards. Martini glass.

Oh, yeah.

Dead guy in the trunk, dressed in a tux, poker chips in his pocket, the glass stem of a martini glass stabbing him in the brain.

Oh, yeah.

Dead brains. As soon as Kodek awoke, he got the car back under control and steered it away from the tree he was about to hit, back along the curve of the road, and he let up on the accelerator.

Shit, how long was I out? Ten minutes? Ten seconds? Holy god damn. He stared cursing Morimoto and his games when took the final curve and abruptly came to a dead halt.

Sixteen cars ahead, there were a group of uniformed cops searching cars. Holy fuck. Kodek really started to wonder if he’d been set up. This time…

At least he was a man who knew his strengths, and one of those strengths was being able to face any suddenly kink that might arise, be it a speed bump or four cops looking for a fugitive. He hit the STOP button on the Phillips retro-fitted tape deck. He needed quiet. It was about to get busy. He clicked his back teeth.

Fifteen cars.

Kodek grinned.

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