BLOOD & SWINE: A Comedy of Terrors
(2009, unpublished) - a novel by A.R.Yngve - Sample Chapters
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CHAPTER 6: On Dangerous Ground
"So, are you seeing somebody?" said Carl while Lucia drove them to her apartment.
With her gaze firmly set on the road ahead, Lucia said: "I'm a lesbian and I live in a steady relationship with another woman. In answer to your next question: No, you may not come over and watch us have sex. Any other questions?"
Carl spent a few seconds tucking his jaw back from where it had fallen onto the top of his chest. Then he gathered up the pieces of his exploded composure, before he tried the other question he had been meaning to ask.
"When our papers got mixed up, did you fax my papers to Mr. Drasco? Because he wasn't here in Poland then, and you said you showed them to him."
"Why do you ask?"
The hissing noise from Lucia was, Carl realized, jets of air escaping her well-shaped nostrils. "I did show them to him, and I read from them, on camera. He uses his webcam quite a lot, much more than he does e-mail or voicemail."
"You've never met the boss, have you?"
Carl shook his head. "No, no."
Lucia smiled, as if she had gained an advantage. "He likes to show up late and without warning. Wants everyone to work overtime whenever he makes a surprise visit to any of Hogoration's offices and plants around the globe."
"When does he work?"
"Evenings and nights. Sometimes he calls me at two in the morning just to ask for information."
The smile on Lucia's face turned... Carl could only interpret it as "wistful."
She said: "You've got it all wrong. I want him to call me."
Carl suspected that Lucia might have been less than honest about that lesbian relationship. "Thank you for helping me hide out," he said as they walked inside the apartment block where Lucia lived.
"You're such a coward," she said suddenly. "Jack Drasco wouldn't have let a bunch of hairy protesters scare him."
Carl glared at her. "I'm not a...!"
"Shhh! You'll wake up the whole building."
He lowered his voice. "Sorry."
She sighed. "See what I mean?"
Carl got angry at her, and himself. He stopped in the doorway and turned around.
"Wait here. I'll go back to their headquarters and return with evidence. And my phone. Maybe they didn't find it."
Lucia raised a hand. "Wait..."
"Don't sit up and wait for me. And don't call your precious boss. I'll handle this."
He slammed the front door shut behind him and went to hail a taxi.
Carl stopped the taxi a block away from the UGG warehouse, and stepped out. The driver raced away, apparently nervous about staying in the dark neighborhood. The sky was pitch black, and in the distance Carl heard thumping Euro-techno music; perhaps a rave party was going on somewhere in the docklands. Carl headed toward the warehouse.
He walked past a parked car. Pot smoke was rising from half-open windows and hip-hop music was playing from the car stereo. The passengers inside were completely hidden by narcotic mist; from outside it looked almost like the car was getting stoned.
The fast-paced techno music came from the UGG warehouse itself. Carl sneaked closer, careful not to make noise in the gloom, and reached the place where the hole in the wall should be.
The hole had been blocked by a storage container. Carl grew more uncertain about coming here. Had they found his phone after all? He searched the litter-covered asphalt with a pen flashlight, and was about to give up... when suddenly he spotted the phone, in a pile of dirt. Carl picked up his phone; the battery still had some power left in it.
He would retreat to a safe distance, then call and warn his grandparents...
Then, the phone in his hand loudly bleated out a high-pitched "Crazy Toad" ringtone he had bought a few weeks ago:
Glory, Glory Hallelujah
Glory, Glory Hallelujah
Glory, Glory Hallelujah...
His fingers trembled so badly he couldn't punch the "Stop" button properly, and the phone kept bleating. Gripped by irrational panic, Carl threw the phone on the ground and stomped on it. It bleeped one last Glory, Glory... - he stomped on it again - and it finally gave up the ghost.
With a sigh of relief, Carl looked around. Nobody had heard him. He had smashed the phone in vain.
The bass tones of the party music thumped and echoed metallically through the container. Carl had a hunch, and climbed in through one of the container's open hatches. He found that the inside was empty. He pushed open another hatch, and it opened into the hole in the wall.
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