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Castro Bridge Mix #15: Body Cards

Jan 26, 2014

Under the Old Bay Bridge

“You did what you were supposed to do, Adam.” The voice was free-floating through a heavy veil of ruffled fog. An overhead light from the new Bay Bridge illuminated two of the three men slowly traveling in a motorboat under what was original Bay Bridge. What had once been a major thoroughfare for millions of motorists was now a hulking vestigial appendage waiting for its impending demolition.

“I done what…what you wanted. I didn’t want to, but Chill told me what’d happen if I’d said no.” Adam felt the brutal night air tug at his whiskers like a brillo pad.

“Well, now it’s time that you were compensated for your work. But you must never speak of this to another living soul. Can you promise me that, Adam?” His voice was somber, but it engendered trust.

“I promise.” Adam couldn’t believe how his luck had changed. All for copping to something that he didn’t even do. And no one had even caught him. His new clothes felt warm and comfortable – especially the new socks and shoes that he wore with pride on his heavily calloused feet.

A fog horn began blaring in the distance as the tiny motorboat slowly puttered along under the bridge. “Here’s five thousand dollars. Cash. Once you take this you will leave San Francisco forever. Do you hear me?”

Adam grasped the money between his sandpaper-rough fingertips. He was going to start a new life. “When are we going back to the shore?”

“Actually, son. This is where you get out.” A sudden flicker of a match ignited the face of Tell Daniels who had emerged from thin air. With one carefully positioned kick to Adam’s groin, Tell thrust the man out of the boat and into the bay.

Adam struggled to dog paddle in order to keep himself afloat. He held onto the five thousand dollars with all of his might until he had gotten within reach of the boat. “Why?”

“You won’t be needing this where you’re going.” Tell pried the money from Adam’s fingers. He watched as Adam struggled to keep his head above water.

The other man’s voice broke through the gasping and thrashing of water. “You don’t have to kill him.”

“What? No spiffy song lyric? If you love him so much you can jump in after him.” Tell looked Lyric straight in his eyes. “You were given a job by me, my friend.”

“Isn’t it enough that you get half of the money from the tricks I turn?” Lyric averted his gaze as Adam finally succumbed to the heavy weights carefully sewn inside the lining of his shoes and his body sank below the waters of the bay.

“You owe me your life. And don’t you ever forget it. Now you do what you were ordered to do or…” Tell smiled and decided not to finish his sentence.

“Or what? You think you can take me old man?” Lyric had often imagined what it would be like to finally pull the blood-sucking leech off his skin for good.

“You haven’t been learning much Bridge playing at Mae’s young man. When you have trump in your hand you needn’t have the Ace take out a rival when you can do it with a body card like a deuce.”

“And I’m a deuce?” Lyric tried to peer through the curls of fog which recreated the outlines of Tell’s face.

“You’re a body card. But you aren’t trump. Now do as you’re told. Got it?” Tell blew a puff of smoke into Lyric’s face.


Copyright © 2014.  Will Morrison.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.