by • September 6, 2018 • Flash FictionComments (0)

The American: Chapter 15

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I held the plate of food Sophie handed me and gave her question some thought. “Maybe.” Seeing me give this more consideration than perhaps she suspected it warranted Sophie impelled me to go on with an arched eyebrow. “There was an incident at the cafe,” I continued, describing the day’s earlier action. “A couple of thugs showed up and claimed to be friends with the Corsican kid. They tried to get tough. When I asked them how they found out who had beat up their friend they pointed the finger at Mitnick.” I indicated the Russian mobster with my own cocked finger.

Sophie seemed to pout, worry about me coming conflicting with confusion from this new information. Deciding I didn’t appear any worse for wear she asked, “The high roller that the boy was bothering?”

“The same.”

“Sent these other boys after you?”

“That’s what they said.”

Thought kept Sophie momentarily in place, spatula held like a scepter, turning her into a playing card queen. She blinked and said, “This makes no sense.”

“Not really, no.” I thought about concluding there must be more missing pieces to the puzzle, but decided she already knew that.

There was no room in the kitchen to sit and eat so I walked into the den. I sat on the ancient couch which bowed under my weight, both a testament to my mass as well as its decrepitude. I breathed in the smell of the food, as much for my own enjoyment as to show Sophie appreciation for her work. Still uncertain as to what it was, only knowing it would be good, I forked some of the pasta into my mouth, trying not to eat it all in one go. While I restrained myself from gorging Sophie glided into the room, her plate in one hand, half-a-glass of white wine in the other. She set her plate and glass on the wooden bench that sat in front of the couch, returning a moment later with a glass of water, setting that between the two of us.

I forked a mass of pasta in my mouth and told her what I wanted her to hear. “I doubt the Corsican kid has much to  Mitnick.” I didn’t know if Sarti was Corsican, but if any one running the rackets in southern France would have ties to that island. A mixture of jealousy and protectiveness wanting me to keep Sophie from Atwell.

Sophie set down a folded piece of paper and slid it sideways towards me. “Perhaps you could find out from the car you stuffed him into.”

I flipped open the piece of paper. It was a driver’s handle with a ride-hailing company and a phone number. I had never bothered the casino drivers with where they took any of the troublemakers. With this information, though, I could pick up a phone and ask. If my paranoia of being tracked didn’t keep me from having a smartphone, I could do it without having to leave the couch. As it was, though, I’d need to find a payphone, an increasingly difficult task in the 21st century.

Even with Atwell’s negative bullshit hanging over how Sophie had obtained such a number, it was still impressive that she always managed to find such things. I put the number in my pocket and nodded. “Alright.”

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