Fearless – A web novel
Chapter 11 – making deals
Relatives are relative but criminals are never related where the relative crime is criminally related, relatively speaking.
“Money? Me?” I scratched my scalp and stared blankly at the dwarf. I glanced at the pictures that sat in a pile on the table in front of me and let my jaw drop. I gasped and slapped a hand over my mouth. Somewhat muffled by the hand I asked. “You mean… that?” I gasped again for effect and met Garphy’s dark scowl with a bewildered look. “Money? In that?” I whispered and glanced at dinky. The big oaf avoided my eyes, just kept on inspecting the grains meandering across the small wooden table with much interest. Oh hell, what had I expected? These two were a team, of course. And Dinky did and said what Garphy told him to say or do; without thinking too hard about it no doubt. But was Dinky truly untouchable? I had a feeling that he wasn’t. Then again… I took another look at the little person, still looking at me as a cheating politician looks at the rumour mill headlines; with a mixture of disbelief and pure hate. Was he really scary? Was fear what kept poor Dinky on the leash like a well trained puppy? What was I missing? Or was there something I simply couldn’t grasp due to my lack of understanding of human nature?
Garphy really didn’t seem scary to me. Nor did dinky. Finally I shrugged, deciding to give more thought on Dinky’s loyalties later. When I needed an ally I was sure I could be scarier than a diminished crinkleroot like Garphy any day. For now I said simply. “Nope. Know nothing about any money.”
“Is that so?”
I nodded so hard my hair moved back and forth, stiff and dull it scraped my face. I suddenly longed for a hot bath with lots of bath-salts and bubbles. A bath using all of those wonderful cleaners, scrubbers, moisturizers, stuff that would smell good, and make me soft and all squeaky clean. I stared into nothing for a spell, sighing wistfully. A bath. A hot steaming fragrant bath.
Garphy jerked me out of the tub with a growl. “Don’t play innocent with me young lady.” He stabbed the top picture with a short hard finger, once, twice, each time hitting my photographed backside with a flappy thump.
“Ouch.” I protested. “Watch where you put that thing.” Then I met his eyes. They were very brown, very narrow, and very angry. I wanted to wave him off, just like I would wave away, or even squish any annoying little creature that would dare to crawl on me. And I even lifted my hand and waved it in front of him. “That’s my pretty bum you’re assaulting there, little man. Don’t do that. It’s so rude.”
“You will take us to….”
“Don’t play hard-ass with me, Mini-you.” I interrupted and yawned. A huge luxurious yawn that made my body shiver, my face scrunch up, and my jaws crack.
“Marcy Malone. The money, Miss-”
“Yes yes, sure, what the hell why not.” I was getting seriously tired of that irritating bug of a dwarf. “Fine, the money. I heard you the first time.” I leaned forward, narrowed my eyes, and pulled my lips back in something that might have been a smile, or a grimace, or a final foodstuff-between-teeth check in the rear-view mirror before a job interview. Then I stabbed him in the forehead with my middle finger, once, twice, three times a charm. “I’ll take you to the money, Barfy. On one condition.” I paused and brought my eyebrows up in inquiry, waiting for a reaction.
The thundercloud seemed to ease up a bit as he thought about it. He narrowed his eyes even more and tilted his head to the left, then the right, while drumming the table with his stubby digits. Darumdarum tap tap, darumdarum tap tap. Silence. Then Garphy exhaled and waved his hand. “Name your price Stinky thing.”
I chose not to hear his reference to my quite intrusive stink of unflushed toilet. When it all came down to it, I did stink. I wouldn’t for long though. I would remember his words and at some point the little wobbly-legged criminal would be made to eat them. I nodded. “First. A bath.” I said.
“And second?” Garphy grumbled.
“I’m not sure yet.” I’ll get back to you. Now…” I sat back in the chair and slapped my legs with both palms, eager to go. I smiled. “When are we going? And what are we driving? We have a long way to go.”
I only had one tiny problem I figured. But it wasn’t really anything much to worry bout. I mean, somewhere along the way I was sure I’d figure out where we were going.