Friday, September 23, 2011

Blood Trade: Chapter 2 Excerpt

Thanks to a very large sleeping pill and a slug of Jim Beam, Xochitl slept late into the next afternoon.  When she finally did get up, she put her clothes from the night before into the black plastic trash bag with the rest of her laundry.   She slipped into another t-shirt and a pair of jeans, and left out the back way to deliver the dirty clothes to the Chinese laundry on Gass Ave.  When she got back, she took Novelyne’s clothes from the day before and burned them in the barrel in the alley behind the office.  An hour later, she poured bleach over the ashes.

The night before had been grisly business: not only the killing, but the cleaning up afterwards.  On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, creatures of the night neatly burst into dust.  All one needed was a vacuum cleaner.  In real life, many undead had the unpleasant habit of coming back to life unless they were separated from their heads and then buried at an ancient crossroads.  In Las Vegas, the closest ancient crossroads was Third and Carson, and fortunately there was a manhole right there.  Lift the cover, slide the bodies out of the back of Sid’s truck, and put the cover back on.  She would have to double check that the tattoo artist had hosed out the truck bed.  It was grisly business but it had to be done.  Otherwise, some nice coroner would pick up the body and stick it in a nice cool freezer.  That was just a recipe for trouble.

Novelyne slept in too, not surprising.  Xochitl let her rest and instead took her position at reception.  Kicking her combat boots up onto the desk, she pressed the button next to the flashing light on the answering machine.

“This is Marathon Customer Service.  Your cell phone bill is sixteen days past due.  We’re sure it’s just an oversight.  You have two days in which to correct it or your service will be regrettably…”

Xochitl pressed the button and the next message began.

“My name is Howard Lank and um, I think my wife is cheating on me.  I need to hire you.  Call me back at…”

Xochitl typed in the number on her cell as Lank’s recorded voice spoke it.


“Hello, Mr. Lank.  This is Xochitl McKenna at the Sin City Detective Agency.  We’re interested to hear your story.”

“Oh, good.  I don’t really know what else to do.”

“Can you come by the office this evening, or would you like me to meet you somewhere?  Your wife isn’t suspicious is she?”

“She doesn’t seem to care what I do anymore.  I’ll come by your office.  What time?”

“Six o’clock?”
“Alright.  Six.”


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