(Well hello…you’ve entered a crime novel in progress.  A piece is added each and every day of the week.  If this is your first time here, welcome!  Please click to the July 16th posting, They Had the Right to Remain Silent (1), where it all begins.  Take a short cut through the Archives section, located in the left column.  For those of you up to speed, thanks again for dropping by…we’ve got another figure to add to the mix.  Away we go…)
They Had the Right to Remain Silent
Richard S. Jachimecki
Chapter ( xviii )
     THE CELL PHONE WENT OFF with a Techno- Samba ringtone. He picked it up from the bathroom countertop.
     “Yes?”
     “Buzzy, it’s me,” the raspy voice replied, “we need to meet, square- up.”
     “I was wondrin’ if I’d ever be talking to you again,” Buzzy huffed.
     “Things didn’t go down as planned.”
     “I watch TV news,” Buzzy said, “didn’t go nuthin’ like we talked about. Your buddy with you?”
     “He’s laying low. I ain’t talked with him. But I got what you wanted. You need to pay up,” raspy demanded.
     “He was your pick Mr. Merrill,” Buzzy grilled, “you said he knew what he was doing.”
     “I just want to get this over,” Merrill argued, then cleared his throat, “let’s meet up and make the switch.”
     “The police will be looking for you–”
     “Nobody saw me, I went in and out of the back!” Merrill said, “You heard the news, they’re looking for one guy.”
     Buzzy scratched his grizzled chin, “And you got what I asked for?”
     “Everything. We can hook up in Tompkins Square Park,” Merrill suggested, “late.”
     “No. Place like that gives me the creeps,” Buzzy said, “besides, it can be kinda dangerous at night. Criminals and all, you know? We need us a place private, out of the way.”
     “I’ve got your stuff,” Merrill leveraged, “the park’s OK.”
     “And I got your money. You want it? My rules,” Buzzy added, “throw the shit away, what I care.”
     The line went dead. Buzzy set down the phone and lighted the Newport that dangled from his mouth, with the snap of a match. The samba tune played once more.
     “Yes?”
     “Where were you thinking?” Merrill asked.
     “Your place.”
     “My place? You think that’s safe?”
     “You said nobody lookin’ for you,” Buzzy offered. Hearing no reply, “you still there?”
     “Yeah. OK, my place,” Merrill agreed, “It’s–”
     “In Hell’s Kitchen, on 55th, right?”
     “How the fu–”
     “Oh, I know where, Mr. Merrill. And I’ll know if you’re alone. So let’s be real business- like and do it ‘one- two- three’,” Buzzy said, “No bullshit.”
     “Fine, fine. Tonight, around seven?”
     “Seven’s good. What do you drink?”
     “What?”
     “Drink. What do you drink? This meeting can be real cordial- like,” Buzzy oozed.
     “Uh…Dewar’s Black Label,” Merrill replied.
      What a crock. When I met with you the last time, you were sucking on ‘four dollar a bottle’ rock- gut, Buzzy thought. “Black Label it is. We’ll do a toast and I’ll leave the bottle. Token of my appreciation. Maybe I’ll have more work for you down the road, once this settles. Bigger pay, too.”
     “More jobs?” Merrill asked.
     “Oh yes,” Buzzy promised, “I know you weren’t the one, messed up.”
     Buzzy took a long drag and made a smoke ring, waiting for Merrill’s greed to overcome common sense.
     “OK, seven o’clock. Don’t forget that booze.”
     “Seven o’clock. Work up a good thirst.” Buzzy hung up.
     Just a little glitch. He looked in the bathroom mirror.
     “Guess I’ll need to change,” he said to the inappropriate reflection, chuckling. He flicked the Newport into the toilet.
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