Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Baltimore Drive-by, Part III: Femme fatale, my ass!

Fictional characters John McFetridge and Declan Burke set out from Toronto to Baltimore for Bouchercon. Why not pull a few armed robberies to pass the time? Then they meet up with Peter Rozovsky and a whole lot of folks with crime on their minds.

It took discipline to punch like that: upper arms still, forearms whirling like a Wankel rotary as she danced lightly on the balls of her feet. All the power came from her elbows and the deadly backhand flick of her wrists. I didn't know why I was there, but I liked watching her work.

"Femme fatale?" Thwack. "Femme-effing fatale?" Thwack. Thwack. "You know what a femme fatale does? She brings the world crashing down on any man who comes near her." Thwack. Thwack. Thwack. "Sometimes she brings it down on herself, but let me tell you: I'm not bringing it down on anybody. You want to save yourself trouble? Look in that box you ripped off from Burke and McFetridge." Thwack. Thwack.

Burke wore a red T-shirt and blue jeans. He hunched forward, hands jammed in his pockets, moving fast. McFetridge held the rolled-up Leafs jacket in the crook of his elbow, the Tim Hortons bag half falling out of one pocket. He ambled and shambled but still kept up with his friend somehow. He put a hand on Burke's shoulder, and they stopped.

McFetridge indicated a door, and Burke shook his head. McFetridge held up one finger and ducked into the doorway. Burke shrugged, leaned against a pillar, and lit a cigarette.

(Read all of "The Baltimore Drive-by" so far here. And remember: This is fiction. Almost none of it really happened.)

© Peter Rozovsky 2008

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