Co-written with my cousin Sandra Boree at age 11 and 12, this untitled novel is seeing it's first light of day.
Mr. Francisco looked at his cards and slyly grinned. He had been on a tremendous winning streak ever since met Cynthia. He first met her three months ago at the Crown Royal casino. She had been standing next to the table he was playing on. Her silky black hair was up in a bun, and her brown eyes sparkled at the hand he was playing. He noticed she was getting closer to him, and he could feel her intense stare. She made him all the more nervous, because it was his turn, and he only needed to turn in an extra jack to have a royal strait.
He stared at his cards in deep thought, “Should I keep the jack and stay with a pair, or should I trade in the jack and hope for a queen. If I do keep the jack, I’ll probably lose. Even Lenny looks like he’s got better than a pair. But what are the chances the next card I pull will be a queen?” After much contemplation, he pulled up the jack, and just as he was about to place it on the table, a shatter of glass diverted his attention. He looked over, and there the girl stood, so close to him, that he could smell her faint perfume. She bent down to pick up the distorted wineglass. He turned his attention back to the game, when he felt a slight tugging on his right pant leg. He looked down to find the girl still collecting the broken glass. Then, she spoke in a whisper just loud enough for him to hear. “Keep the jack.”
“Huh?” Her eyes widened as she repeated herself. Mr. Francisco sat up, and looked at the other guys at the table. They were talking about last Saturday’s football game, and weren’t paying attention. Joe then noticed him. “Are ya gonna draw or what?” He looked at his cards, and back at the girl. “No.” he said, “I got what I want.”
Mr. Francisco was last at putting his cards down. He was holding his cards like a lottery ticket because he then knew that every one was bluffing, and that he won the game. He smiled back at the girl in greed. Mr. Francisco was short, plump, and balding, yet, he had bushy eye brows. He had sharp vampire like teeth that sort off matched his cruel and bitter personality. If there were anything in the world he loved the most it was gambling. And that is why Cynthia became his full time partner in the gambling business.
Three months later, there they sat across from each other at another poker game. To the right of Cynthia sat Mr. Vandervoort. He had a quiet confidence, like some one who knew important things and just stood in the background waiting for you to catch up. Lenny on the other hand, who sat to the left of Cynthia, was more silly looking. It looked like his right ear was lower than his left. He was tall, thin, easily about six feet four, and had curly graying brown hair. His face was long and had a narrow chin so far below his lip, that it looked like it was lowly dripping away with age. He had delicate lips that were tucked down in the corners of his mouth, and his eyes sat deeply in his skull.
He was also a very suspicious character. He looked at Cynthia as if he knew her scheme. Of course, no one knew Cynthia’s scheme. Even Mr. Francisco was unsure. She told him she was a psychic. And as gullible as he is, he believed her. Not only was he gullible, he was blind.
No matter what casino they went too, the same waitress would come and leave the table constantly. Some times, even without a tray. She would walk slowly around the table and look at their cards. Nobody noticed her giving signs to Cynthia, because they were just casual movements. It could be anything from rubbing an eyebrow, to fondling with her necklace.
She looked as though she could be in her early twenties. She would be attractive if it weren’t for a large dark mole on the side of her cheek, or her elbow length frizzy brown hair. At that moment, she was carrying a tray of cocktails to the group.
“Thank you,” said Mr. Francisco before he abruptly turned back to the game. “Alright boys, let’s see what ya got.” Every one turned over their cards. “Ah…I win again!”
“You’re cheating!” Lenny suddenly yelled, throwing his cards across the table making every one jump. “I know you are! I just don’t know how! But she has something to do with it!” He said pointing at Cynthia. Mr. Francisco stood up.
“Calm down man! Nobody is cheating! And you’re disturbing the peace.” From the other playing tables, several people were looking over at them whispering to each other. “I just have good skill,” he added.
“Screw skill! It’s only 20% of the game. The rest is luck! And no way can you be that lucky!”
“Excuse me,” came a soft voice from behind him. “Your room is ready.” The waitress had returned looking visibly shaken.
“Thank you miss,” Mr. Francisco replied. “Come on Lenny. Let’s not argue any longer. We need to work on business instead.”
The men stood up from the table and prepared to leave. Mr. Francisco gathered his large suitcase, and signaled for Cynthia to follow. The four of them walked along the red carpet past the slot machines, and up to a lone door by the bar with a clerk standing in front of it.
“Our room is waiting,” Mr. Francisco told the clerk.
“Yes Sir Mr. Francisco. Hold on a moment please,” he said as he slid in the card key. “Its room 107 like usual. Have a nice visit.” Through the door, was a long, narrow hallway painted moss green. The lighting was dim, and cased faint shadows under their eyes, making them appear tired. After a few turns, they reached a dark wooden door. Mr. Francisco inserted a key and turned the knob. Inside was a small, dimly lit room. It looked like a cheap room meant only for private affairs. The walls where beige, and what covered most of the floor was a throw over Oriental rug in rich color with vines in pastel shades. It was furnished with a long oak table seated for four. There was a cheep replica of a mountain landscape on the farthest wall. All but Mr. Francisco took their seats. He locked the door, then laid his briefcase on the table facing Mr. Vandervoort.
“Let’s get down to business,” he said folding his hands.
“Are you sure it’s all here?” Mr. Vandervoort said hastily.
“To the last ounce.” Mr. Francisco replied reassuringly as he unlocked the briefcase and passed it slowly across the table. Cynthia was paying close attention and getting excited, but her face did not show it. Mr. Vandervoort clasped his greedy hands on the briefcase, and quickly peered in. A sly smile donned on his face, causing wrinkles to show, then faded. He slammed the top down.
“I thought you said it was all here!” he exclaimed.
“Do you think I am so stupid, that I would bring it all here?” Mr. Francisco cried.
“That was the deal was it not?”
“It wouldn’t even fit in the briefcase. Not to mention how risky it would be to try to bring all of it here. What if some one asked to search the briefcase! Then we would be in a hell of a lot a trouble!”
“Then where is it?” He asked finally in exasperation. Mr. Francisco paused a moment. His eyes flickered over to the door, lingered on Lenny, who was nodding to sleep with a string of drool dripping onto his shirt. And finally, it rested on Cynthia, who smiled encouragely.
“Okay,” he started nervously; “You’ll find the whole load at the Westmoore’s Warehouses. It’s at 3016 Westbridge Av. number 12. I’ll meet you there Saturday at midnight. You’ll pay me the rest of the money there.” He looked over at Cynthia who was applying a deep crimson lipstick. Then began to nudge Lenny to wake him up.
“Oops!” Cynthia exclaimed. She had dropped her lipstick on the floor. She laughed, “Clumsy me,” and bent down to pick it up. They rose from the table and made way for the door when suddenly Mr. Francisco gasped. Cynthia had risen quickly and was now pressing a glock 16 to his head. Her other arm was rapped tightly around his neck.
“You two away from the door!” she ordered in a voice much unlike her own. “I need back up!” She spoke loudly into her angel pin. “Hey!” She yelled at Lenny, who was creeping around the table. “Stay where you are!” But Lenny darted behind her fast as lightning, with a switchblade open in hand.
Before Cynthia could react, he grabbed a wad of her thick black hair, pulling it back to seize her throat. But instead, her hair came off and fell to the floor revealing a tight blonde bun wrapped in netting. Lenny quickly recovered his shock, and grabbed the small bun tightly in his hand, pulling it back and pressing the blade closely to her neck almost breaking the skin.
“Drop the gun,” he breathed into her face. “And don’t try anything tricky.” Cynthia slowly removed the gun from Mr. Francisco’s head, holding it out at arm length, and dropping it to the floor with a thump. Mr. Francisco easily removed her tight grip from his neck, and walked over to the table.
“This is what you get Adam,” Lenny started, “This is what you get for trusting some one you didn’t even know just to win a few games.”
Mr. Francisco, who was still rubbing his neck, looked at Cynthia with utter loathing. “I suppose you’re right Lenny. I was suspicious of her from the beginning.” He sighed, “But now she knows to much, and we must dispose of her.”
A diabolical gleam came into Lenny’s eyes. He moved the knife closer to her neck and began to pierce the skin. Cynthia screamed, but Lenny covered her mouth with his hand. She swung her legs and tried to loosen his grip on the knife. Blood was dripping from the cut, but Lenny couldn’t go for another stab.
“STOP!” Mr. Francisco roared, “Not in here you fool! You will leave evidence. Take her around back or something.
Ryan!” he said suddenly to Mr. Vandervoort, who was in the corner clutching the brief case like it was a shield. “You go down the hall first to make sure the coast is clear. We will wait till you come back, then we’ll take the exit. Don’t even think about splitting!”
Mr. Vandervoort scampered over to the door, hastily turned the handle, and walked out leaving the briefcase behind. Mr. Francisco turned back to Cynthia.
“Now Cynthia, if that is your real name, was it worth it? Was it worth your life to come and spy on me?” Cynthia’s head hung low and her eyes glared up at him. He could tell she wasn’t going to answer. He smiled and looked over at Lenny. “Cat seems to have gotten her tongue, eh?” Lenny chuckled. “Well, we should probably go around back and leave now.”
Lenny gaped, “but shouldn’t we wait for-”
“For Ryan? You mean that coward that ran out of there like a small child looking for mommy? He is long gone.”
“Maybe your right. I can’t imagine that roach coming back here.” Lenny backed up, still tightly gripping Cynthia. He reached for the doorknob just as it suddenly swung open, knocking him in the back of the head causing him to stumble. He barely got a glimpse of the waitress who stood in the doorway, before Cynthia crushed his foot with her high-heeled boots. The shocking pain caused him to release his hold on her and grasp his fractured foot. The waitress high kicked him in the back so that he fell over. By that time Cynthia grabbed her gun off the floor, and she and the waitress had them subdued.
“This is the C.I.A! You have the right to remain silent!” said the waitress removing her wig and fake mole. “Anything you say or do may be held against you in the court of law. So don’t move!”
Mr. Francisco’s eyes widened in astonishment, then he broke into a smile. “Really? On what charges?” He said as he leaned leisurely against the table.
“On the charges of illegal drug possession! And the dealing, storing, and managing of…uh…illegal drugs. Wait!” She faltered, “Is that right Alexandra?” She addressed Cynthia. Alexandra shrugged.
“So you have seen these drugs?” He asked seeming interested.
“No, but we know its location!” Alexandra replied irritated, “and we know you have a sample bit in that briefcase.”
“So why don’t you open it up and show every one your little discovery.”
The girls looked at each other. They didn’t know what to do. So Alexandra jolted her head back signaling the waitress toward the table. The waitress lowered her gun off of Lenny, and walked over to the table. “See,” she said as she opened the lid, “All the evidence we need is right-EECK!”
Lenny suddenly jumped up and dashed to the door. “Get him!” The waitress screamed! Alexandra left her hold on Mr. Francisco and darted after him. He was far ahead and already near the exit to the casino. She tried catch up with him, but it was useless. BANG!!! A bullet shot out of Alexandra’s gun, and hit Lenny’s left shoulder. He lunged forward hitting the floor face first. There, he didn’t move. A dark puddle quickly grew underneath him.
“Oh my god,” Alexandra whispered holding her hands to her mouth. The gun clunked to the floor.
“What happened?” the waitress yelled from the room “Alexandra what happened!” She stuck her head out the door and her face turned pale.
“Alyssa,” Alexandra whimpered still clutching her face, “I didn’t mean to-I-I had no other choice-I-”
But her words were interrupted by a loud thundering sound. It echoed across the hall. Before they saw it, they knew what it was. The swat team pounded around the corner kicking up dust. There were about a dozen men dressed in black uniforms, all armed with AK47s. They didn’t pay attention to Lenny, or Cynthia. They just marched past them into the room.