Egg was loading the rest of the luggage into the back seat of the beige, severely dented Buick Skylark, when he heard the approaching footsteps. Frau frowned as he took one last drag off his slim and tossed it weakly into the shrubs at the side of the house.
“Seriously darling…you cant fit anything else into that trunk?”
Egg silently cursed him.
Frau continued: “ If you fill the back seat up then where am I going to sleep? You cant possibly expect me to stay awake listening to you sing Les Mis for like twenty something hours straight.”
Egg waved his hands like a conductor and motioned toward the open trunk.
“Be my guest, if you think you can do better.”
Frau rolled his eyes. “Always so much drama…”
Frau sauntered around the side of the car and peered into the trunk.
“Look here you silly boy. If you move the legs up, into the midsection, you can totally fit in a few more things.”
“You just try and move those stiff legs. GO ahead…see if you can.” Egg said with his normal authority. Then realizing it was going to be an awfully long ride if Frau decided to give him the silent treatment, he softened his tone a bit: “Besides Sweetheart…We don’t want our clothes smelling like death now do we?”
Frau grimaced. Of course he didn’t.
Egg finished loading up the back seat.
Car packed, they began their one thousand two hundred mile journey.
Just out of the Tampa city limits Egg set the cruise control at 75 and lit up a fat joint.
Frau, feigning disgust, opened the Pink Flamingo Folder that they removed from the briefcase of the man in the trunk and once again began to look through it, trying to make sense of its contents.
There were five Polaroid photographs. Each with writing scrawled on them in black sharpie.
One: Picture of a yellow folder with a ‘Hello Kitty’ head on its cover. Written on the back of the picture it said: Egg and Frau’s surveillance folder. for Wright
Frau swallowed hard and snuck a glance at Egg. He was focused on the road.
Frau didn’t like the idea that they would ever encounter Wright. The maniac had tried to kill Egg once. Of course, Egg got away…and with a lot of Wrights money too. This story always made Frau smile…however it was short lived. He knew that Wright would never stop at trying to kill Egg.
Two: Picture of a brunette with unspeakably fake ****. Scrawled on the bottom: Mastermind!
Three: Picture of a goofy looking guy in a Guns and Roses T-shirt. Written on the bottom: Toby. (Hes next)
Four: Picture of a Green folder. Written on the back: Crack the code in the BJH news clippings. Provides coordinates!
Five: Picture of a skyscraper. Written on the bottom: Broderick Tower. Motown. Written on the back: 22 floor. Use key. Be careful. Guarded and dangerous.
The only other thing in the folder was a key.
So that’s where they were headed. Detroit.
Egg looked up Broderick, Detroit on google and came across the Broderick Towers. It was a skyscraper in the downtown area that was currently vacant and under a massive renovation. Work wouldn’t be completed for years. Obviously there was still some activity taking place inside though. Particularly on the 22 floor. Egg called up an old prison pal named Skeeter, (he swears they weren’t lovers), who now lives in the Detroit area and set them up with someplace to stay.
Frau considered it all very intriguing. It seemed like just yesterday he was working the streets. Hustling crack. Dressing up like a whore on the weekends. Turning tricks for rent.
Then he met Egbert. His Egg. And his world changed forever.
Egg had a long rap sheet. Even did a stint at Starke back in the mid 90’s.
Now that was big time!
He was able to teach Frau how to be a real criminal.
And now…well, the guy in the trunk. He had two thousand bucks on him. Two thousand bucks that now resided in Frau’s pocket.
Would have taken him weeks of blowing saggy old queens to make that much on the street.
Frau didn’t completely understand the reasons why they had to do the man like they did, what with severing the head and all…but he assumed it had something to do with the file. Even so…he didn’t like to really concern himself with the little details.
He looked at the pictures again. The one with the goofy guy named Toby stuck out. He wasn’t that bad looking really. Unruly blond hair, needed a cut. A tuft of ratty looking scruff adorned his chin. His eyes were really blue. But he looked sort of beaten…like he had no confidence left. Maybe it was the aging rock band t-shirt.
He held the photo out to Egg.
“Who do you think this is Babe?”
Egg was stoned and driving with both hands on the wheel. He was obviously engrossed in the song that was blaring out of the speakers. Something from ‘Rent’ Frau thought. So clique.
“How the **** should I know." Egg barked. "Now put that stuff away before you lose something.”
“Your such an **** when you get high.”
Egg didn’t respond. He went back to his song. Frau knew that was the end of the conversation.
He tilted the seat back, bunched a sweater up to use as a pillow and rested his head back to try and get some sleep.
Egg fired up another joint to clear his mind. He was fed up with answering Frau’s relentless questions. He had already told him so many lies it was even hard for him to keep track anymore. He had half a mind to reach over, pop the door open and push his **** out. But he still needed him. At least until after Detroit.
He was also fed up with the games. If that **** Wright McClain wanted him so badly then why didn’t he come and get him. Instead, he would just send his minions to do his dirty work. Either that or some poor sap off the street, hard up for a gig. Egg knew it only too well. He had been that sap before. He had been one of Wrights minions.
And what was up with the crazy folders? Just what sort of games was he playing this time? And what were the stakes?
Most important though…what was the prize?
He wondered again about the contents of the folder. The pictures.
He understood the woman. Shirley. And he understood the Mastermind comment. She was diabolical.
He assumed the dork in the other picture, the one named Toby, was just another patsy. Wright was most likely just setting him up for a big fall. Like the loser in the trunk.
Which brought him to the picture of the yellow ‘Hello Kitty’ folder. Egg had seen the guy carrying it around a few nights ago when they were in South Tampa. Hard not to notice a grown man walking around with a bright yellow folder in his arms that has a picture of a cartoon cat on it. Right?
When he first saw him he noticed the guy was staring at him. He just figured the guy was checking him out. Not unusual.
But then he kept seeing him again and again…just out of his line of sight. Your peripheral vision tends to get pretty good when your in prison. So he was being followed.
He considered killing the **** right there, in good ol' rich Hyde Park Village. But he decided it would be best to follow him, turn the hunter into the hunted and find out who he was working for.
Naturally it had been Wright.
He hadn’t even known Wright was back in town. Last he heard he was keeping a low profile out in Simi Valley CA. Gambling debts or something.
Anyway, he had hoped to retrieve the folder from the slug Wright had hired to follow him around but no such luck. He had already given it to him and exchanged it for this pink one.
That pissed Egg off.
He looked over at his childish lover, sound asleep there with his head against the window…and he quickly jerked the steering wheel hard left…then back even harder right. This achieved the desired effect as Frau’s head whiplashed and smacked back hard against the window.
“Oh sorry. Just a squirrel in the road. Go on back to sleep.”
Frau knew better.
“You’re such a prick when you’re high.”
Laughing, Egg focused his attention back on the road. He didn’t want to get pulled over. That happened and they would wind up with two bodies in that trunk.
His thoughts also returned to the folder…specifically, the picture of the green folder.
BJH news clippings. The only thing he could think of with those initials was the Hyde Park rapist. He had been in the news recently.
Egg had a cellmate once who knew him. Said he was a pretty sick ****.
He decided that without the actual clippings he would just have to let it go for now. Instead, he would focus all his attention on Detroit. It was going to be a long boring drive.
But if what he found on the 22nd floor of the Broderick Tower was what he thought he was going to find there…then screw Wright, his devious wife and all their silly little games, screw the dead guy in the trunk, screw the new Toby character…and screw the dead weight sleeping next to him…because it would all be so worth it.