Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Drive-by fiction

John McFetridge is writing a piece of online fiction about his ramble from Toronto to Baltimore for Bouchercon with Declan Burke. In McFetridge's version, a pair of crime writers named John McFetridge and Declan Burke ramble from Toronto to Baltimore for Bouchercon and pull off armed robberies along the way. McFetridge's third installment ends with the pair setting out for Philadelphia to hook up with one Peter Rozovsky — a minor character so far, mentioned but not seen. But Rozovsky has other ideas.

I jabbed the .45 at the base of McFetridge's skull, and I cackled as his eyes grew wide.

"Bet you didn't think this was real. You hide guns in doughnut bags up there, don't you? No one would be stupid enough to wave a real gun, would he? What can I tell you; I don't like doughnuts. Now, out of the car. And leave the boxes."

I jerked the barrel to the right as Burke went for his jacket. "Hold it right there, Tiger."

Burke's hand froze. "Tiger? The fook?"

"Tiger. You're Irish, what am I going to call you? Paddy? Mick? Now, out of the car, Celtic, and keep your hands away from your — "

"From my bloody Marlboros, you Yankee gobshite. All right, I'm getting out."

I waved out the window of McFetridge's black 2008 Lexus as I pulled away. "See you later, gents. Put this in your books."

Two nights later I'm shouting to be heard above the seething crowd at a hotel bar in Baltimore, hooting and cheering as a sexy dominatrix lifts her blouse to reveal her tattoos. The crowd gathers in around her, all except two guys heading the other way, toward the door ...

The snake tattoo is flicking its tongue at its owner's scapula, but I've got one eye on the two guys.

One of them shouts: "I said, `I'M AFTER FECKING OUT OF HERE FOR A CIGARETTE, MATE!'."

His friend, a husky, saltish-pepperish dude with a Maple Leafs jacket and a Tim Hortons bag stuffed in his back pocket, shrugs and follows. Shit, it's McFetridge and Burke.


(Read all of "The Baltimore Drive-by" so far here. Disclaimer: It's fiction. Almost none of it really happened.)

© Peter Rozovsky 2008

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