Saturday, March 7, 2009

Baltimore Drive-by, Part XV: The big break-in

I set my briefcase on the concrete floor beside the yellow Porsche, and I extracted my tools: a bag of sugar, my old metal pica ruler, and three pounds of hamburger meat. I laid everything on the floor, and I pulled on a pair of rubber surgical gloves. I didn't expect to leave prints, but you can't be too careful.

"Posh car for an editor," Seamus said. "And what would you be planning with all that?"

"Break in, slip the meat under the passenger seat, then sugar the gas tank. Boom! Meat rots, car stinks, engine banjaxed."

Seamus leaned against the Porsche's left rear wheel well and lit a cigarette. "Been a while since you've driven a car, has it?"

"A few years," I admitted.

"This Porsche looks pretty new. Slip the ruler down inside the door. See what happens."

I stood and tried to work the metal strip into the gap between the window and the driver's-side door panel. That used to work when I'd lock my keys in the car as a teenager and needed to break in, but it didn't work now. The space was a lot narrower than I remembered, and the ruler wouldn't fit.

"Try the gas tank."

"Shit. I didn't know they all had locks."

"Yeah, and even if you could get into the tank, that thing about sugar gunking up fuel lines and destroying an engine is all shite. You want to banjax an engine, you pour water in the tank. Now, you feel like getting some work done? Let's go."

He ground his cigarette against the Porsche's gas-cap door. Seamus was right; I couldn't let a stupid grudge interfere with the job. But I was the one who wanted to get back at Honorée. I couldn't let her car escape unscathed.

The meat hit the windshield with a satisfying thunk, and we scrambled down the stairs that would take us to a passage into the office. My career in property crime was about to begin.

(Read all of "The Baltimore Drive-by" so far here And remember: This is fiction. It never happened and never will.)

© Peter Rozovsky 2009


petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

I just found this, Peter! Bravo!
When I have more time, I'll be returning to read each post. Much fun! :))

Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks. I've been going about this in a desultory manner, writing vignettes as they occur to me, then stopping when I can't figure out where to go next. I should probably keep writing little episodes, then worry later about how or whether they come together.

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Oh absolutely agree! I think one of the best little books I've ever read about writing, years ago, is Natalie Goldberg's "Wild Mind."
She says exactly get your thoughts down, then come back later for major editing which allows you to be and feel prolific
as I've observed by all these posts. Can you believe you've written this much?

Peter Rozovsky said...

I actually can't believe I've written this little, but I understand the sentiment. I just bought Walter Mosley's book on writing. His first injunction is to write every day.

I do recognize that if I write every day, even segments as short as these, I'll have a novel-length manuscript in a year.