Monday, March 4, 2013

Twenty-Five--Quincy's First Kidnapping (Part One)

The day started normally.  Quincy woke at 7, logged onto PokerStars for 15 minutes, taking $24k from Bertrand Grospellier headsup at $50/100 NL and losing $11k to Alexander Kravchenko 4-tabling $25/50 PLO, and after he showered, he popped in his Beavis and Butthead DVD while eating Cap'n Crunch with Crunch Berries.  Then suddenly it was after 8 and he had to hurry.  Because he had no backup for his Maserati, currently in the hands of a ex-special ops guy who was equipping it with smoke-screen and oil-slick capabilities--the hood-mounted bazooka being, in his professional opinion, "too illegal"--Quincy started pedaling his Schwinn toward Truckee High.

He made it three blocks before a blue van swerved in front of him.  The door opened and a half-dozen hands yanked him by his Sacramento Kings jersey over the handlebars and into shadows.  His knees scraped against corrugated metal as he was shoved into a corner.  Before he could react, he had a hood over his head and a voice reeking of garlic and whiskey hissed, "Ever seen a fish gutted?"

He began to answer, but the same voice hissed, "Don't move.  As it pertains to the fish, that's you.  You're the fish.  The fish isn't being gutted--you are.  I'm gutting you in my mind right now.  Don't nod.  That counts as moving."

After a pause, a female voice whispered, "Just say 'Move and you're dead.'  It's shorter."

The man sighed.  "Don't get in the way of my metaphors."

After a pause, the woman pressed, "I bet the kid would be more scared by something shorter."

"Who cares?  He's in the van."

"But maybe he isn't scared.  Doesn't he get a vote?"

"Prisoners can't vote."

"Kid," the woman said, ignoring him, "what makes you more scared?  Hearing, 'Move and you're dead,' or hearing his routine about the fish?  Go ahead.  Talk."

His mind blank, Quincy shrugged.

She said, "How about if he'd said, 'Want your nutbag snipped?'  I bet that would be good."

Quincy nodded quickly.

"There," she said.  "A middle ground.  Next time start with the nutbag."

"Nugbag hell," whiskeybreath retorted.  "I'm stickin' with the fish."

The van stopped with a jerk, bumping Quincy's head against glass.  Seconds later, the door slid open and he was yanked by his ankles out of the van and onto his feet.  They hustled him down some steps, across smooth ground, and up narrower metal steps that echoed off nearby walls before they shoved him forward onto his knees.  As he righted himself, he slowly pulled the hood off--his eyes suddenly blinded by light--and heard a door click softly shut.

As his eyes adjusted, he saw through a squint that he was trapped in an elevated cage in the middle of a cavernous room with blackened windows.  Through the bars, Quincy saw a few folding chairs with orange and blue seats before his attention was drawn to a massive TV on a nearby wall.  Turning around, he saw an apparatus that looked like a miniature replica of a telephone poll connected by an industrial-strength rubberband to a stationary bicycle.

"What's that?" he asked, pointing.

"That's the whirligig," whiskeybreath said from behind him.  "Forget that.  That's for later."

Quincy spun and saw a man with facelines like crags.  He could be 120 years old, Quincy thought.  He looked strangely familiar.

The door opened and shut quickly.  Whiskeybreath said, "Whaddaya got?"

An unknown male voice replied, "Bookbag" from behind him.  He turned but only saw a man's shadow.  Quincy didn't hear the bag tossed, but he saw the oldster catch it.

"What's this?" the old man said.

"School stuff."

"Let's take a look."  He zipped it open and started rifling through it.  "Algebra."  He spat laughter.  "What a waste.  I shit bigger than Algebra.  English?  Worthless.  Who uses English?"

"You do, dumbass," the woman said from shadows.  "Right now, actually."

Ignoring her, the old man retrieved some white papers.  "What's this?"

Quincy hesitated, so the man bugged out his eyes threateningly, and that's when Quincy remembered who the old man was.

"You're the guy from Gamblers Anonymous," Quincy blurted.

The oldster's surprise seemed to electrify his eyebrows, which jumped up onto his forehead.

"Me?  Naw."

"You pole vaulted yourself onto my Mom's car."

"Wrong guy."

"You rode on the hood for half a block before you got scared and scrambled off."

"I didn't get scared!" he shrieked, face turning crimson.  Then, composing himself, he said, "Wrong guy."  Then, remembering the papers, he lifted them and said, "I asked you, 'What is this?'"

"A book," Quincy admitted.

"Book?"  The oldster rasped laughter.  "Kid, you got three pages here."  He held them up in front of his eyes.  "Me without my glasses," he muttered.  "What does this say?  'The Bible Part 2: The Revenge.'  Whatthefuck?"  He read silently.  Then he said, "Jesus with a suitcase nuke?  That's sacrilege."  He read some more, "What would the Son of God have against Guy Fieri?"

Quincy shrugged.

"Have you tried Guy Fieri's buffalo wings?" the old man pressed.

Quincy shook his head.

"And Jesus and Lindsay Lohan smoking crack?  That's Satanic."  The oldster measured him a bit, then nodded, a complicated calculation having just been completed in his mind.  "Boy, you are evil.  In a little while, you're gonna teach us all how you play poker.  But first, you're gonna saddle up and ride the whirligig."

"The whirligig?" Quincy asked.

"Yep.  Get ready to scream."

"Good line," said the woman from the shadows.

"Thanks, sweetie," said the oldster.


  1. I didn't think we would see the GA people again, I'm looking forward to chapter 26 with great anticipation.

  2. Glad to hear it. I should have it done right around Thursday. Then on Saturday, Quincy should be sold into slavery. Just kidding. I hope.