The Riptide Ultra-Glide

Free The Riptide Ultra-Glide by Tim Dorsey

Book: The Riptide Ultra-Glide by Tim Dorsey Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tim Dorsey
you backing up on the sidewalk? Wait, slow down. Stop running . . . Face it, Steve, you can’t outrun me. See how I’m easily keeping stride, and you’re breathing and sweating like Rush Limbaugh being whipped by a jockey up a pyramid? I can do this all day. You don’t want to turn down that alley; there’s only the parking garage . . . Okay, you did it anyway. And you just made another careless error, running the wrong way on level one. I know this garage—you’ve just boxed yourself in. But since I now have you cornered against those walls, a few golden drops of your wisdom, please . . . Man, Steve, you’re really shaking; dress shirt all stuck to your chest and shit. Are you trying to kick H? If you are, I know these cats. Revolutionary new technique. Forget nine to twelve weeks in a mountain chalet with Liza Minnelli. One week, pow! You hire them, and they grab you off the street without warning, sack over your head and into the back of a van. Variation on tough love, but incredible success rate . . . Steve, I’m trying to talk to you, but you’ve got your cell phone out. Am I not giving you my undivided attention? Don’t call the police . . . You’re still calling them. Gimme that thing. I’ll give it back when we’re done. You know those fantastic nature documentaries in high def where they get stupid-close to those big fuckin’ sharks, and the one fish the sharks don’t tear to a bloody mess are the little guys that clean their skin and eat the sidestream chunks of flesh that get stuck in their teeth? Get it? Sidestream income, sidestream flesh? I want to be your skin cleaner . That melody is Peter Gabriel’s ‘Sledgehammer.’ What ever happened to him? . . . Steve! You’re fainting! . . . God damn, that’s the biggest forehead gash I’ve ever seen.’ . . . And then I had to call 911 . . .”
    â€œGuess you didn’t get any of his money tips,” said Coleman.
    â€œJust the opposite,” said Serge. “It’s how we landed this job.”
    â€œYou mean the place where we are now?”
    Serge nodded and pocketed cuff links. “And the six houses before this when you weren’t around. After the parking-garage mishap, I called Steve at home.”
    â€œYou had his number?”
    â€œNo, I was calling him through his bedroom window,” said Serge. “I promised no bedroom windows, but he wasn’t answering the phone. And I’m standing there in the bushes saying I think his phone is broken, and his wife turned out to be a real screamer, and he motions for me to meet him at the front door. I finally see his face in half-decent light from the street, and I’m like, ‘Jesus, that’s one big-ass bandage over your stitches. Couldn’t the doctors have used anything smaller that doesn’t tell everyone you faint for no reason?’ . . . And he begs me to leave him alone, and to call his office in the morning. Of course I do, and his secretary explains this job about cleaning up after the dead and gives me an address, and then a few days later, a check from the real-estate agent arrives at the same address. Since then, whenever I need some extra cash, I just call Steve’s office, and the secretary immediately gives me another address. It’s almost as if she has a list taped to her phone. Steve’s polite like that, respecting my time . . .”
    Banging and whimpering from the closet.
    â€œSerge,” said Coleman. “The ATM guy . . .”
    â€œHe’ll get tired of doing that.”
    Coleman herded dust bunnies on the floor. “But where’d you learn how to do this job?”
    â€œWhat’s to know?” Serge shrugged. “I don’t even think they care how well I perform, because once I did a really crappy job. Showed up for an hour but got distracted by

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