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The Spirit Box (2)

A.H. Mittelman

By Alex H Mittelman Published 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 24 min read

Chapter 2: Twin Robbers

I got to work and took a deep breath. I discreetly took out the spirit box and inhaled John so I could convince the chief I felt great. I walked to chief’s office and asked the chief what the assignment was for today.

“You had a rough start to your morning. A drug dealer held your ex-wife hostage. You were forced to kill the guy. And Yi tells me Emily’s staying with you. After all she put you through, why would you let her stay with you? You’re unbelievable, Fred. What did she do, blackmail you?” Chief asked. I chuckled.

“Something like that,” I said.

“How about you just relax and do paperwork today?” Chief asked.

“I don’t find paperwork particularly relaxing. And I feel fine, revitalized. I got plenty of sleep last night. Can I just get a case,” I asked.

“You do look more energized than you’ve been lately. Also, have you been working out? Your muscle tone is… different. Your muscles seem larger. Like, significantly larger,” Chief asked.

“They only seem bigger because I’m not tired today. My muscles reflect my energy levels,” I said.

“I guess that makes sense. Alright, I’ll tell you what. I’ll let you track down a couple robbers that just hit five banks. They’re in and out fast, and by the time the uniforms get to the bank, they’re long gone. If you choose a partner to make sure you keep your focus, the case is yours,” Chief said.

“Deal. I’ll bring Yi. I’ll show him how a real detective tracks down crime,” I said.

“Yi told me you guys have been getting along. It’s good to hear you’ve made a new friend. Especially someone new, usually the rookies run in terror from you,” Chief said.

“Thanks Chief. I can’t imagine why they’d run,” I said, then pounded the door frame while growling. He awkwardly smiled, then I left his office. I found Yi.

“Yi, come with me. We got a case,” I said.

“Do we already?” Yi asked.

“Yah, you’re my new partner,” I said. This made Yi smile.

“Yes, boss,” Yi said.

“You don’t have to call me boss anymore. We’re partners. Just call me Fred,” I said and smiled.

“Yes sir… Fred. Yes, Fred,” Yi said.

We walked to the case room. If we were going to catch these guys, we needed to figure out where they were going to strike next. We’d need to get there before they did.

I searched ‘twin robbers’ on the filing room computer. Their file popped up. Yi read the file out loud.

“Luis and Bobby Reznick. Born 11/24/82. It doesn’t look like they have a prior criminal history before the bank robberies. I wonder what happened,” Yi said.

“They got greedy, maybe. Maybe they went broke trying to pay off student loans, or maybe they just enjoy the thrill. Either way it’s our job to stop them,” I said.

“If they’re in debt, shouldn’t we show some compassion?” Yi asked.

“That’s up to the judge. But I’m sure he’ll give them a more lenient sentence if that’s the case. Our job is just to get the cuffs on them. You’re a good guy Yi, but we’ve got a job to do,” I said. Yi nodded.

“I understand. We got to do what we got to do,” Yi said and sighed. I looked at the five banks they robbed, brought up a map on the computer and pinged the banks on the map.

“It seems they’re traveling in a circle. Where’s the bank that would complete the circle?” Yi asked.

“Finally, a rookie that can ask a good question. I knew I liked you, Yi,” I said. Yi smiled. I opened the computers map, searched the word ‘bank’ and clicked on the radius that completed the circle. The closest one to the last robbery was Groneman’s International.

“You ever been on a stakeout before?” I asked.

“Once, when we were waiting for old ladies to jaywalk,” Yi said sarcastically. I laughed.

“We’ll take the unmarked van to Groneman’s international. We can keep an eye out for them there,” I said, then printed out their pictures. We got in the van and drove to Groneman’s.

We parked and sat there. After twenty eight minutes, Yi announced, “I have to go to the restroom.”

“Crap. I should have told you to go before the stakeout. My mistake. The coffee shop should have a public restroom, you might have to purchase a coffee though. Here’s ten bucks, get us both something. No sugar in mine. Hurry back though, they could be here any minute,” I said. I watched Yi go inside and start the coffee order. A minute later, the bank’s alarm blared.

“Damn it,” I muttered. If I wasn’t busy watching Yi, I would have seen them going in. I honked and Yi looked outside. I signaled for him to run back. Before he could get in the van, there was the distinctive flashing of gunfire. The glass doors shattered, then Luis and Bobby Reznick came running out with bags full of money. Yi ran outside, pulled out his service weapon and yelled “freeze.” Luis and Bobby pointed semi-automatics at Yi, but before they could fire I blasted my horn and stepped on the gas. Luis and Bobby jumped out of the way.

I rolled down my window and yelled, “Get in. Hurry.”

“Thanks Fred. You saved my life,” Yi said.

Luis and Bobby got into a blue Lamborghini Huracan and started driving away. I stepped on the gas and sped after them .

“I don’t think the old van can keep up. Run their plates, if we lose them we can track their car later,” I said. Yi ran the plates.

“It says the car was reported stolen yesterday. It belongs to Jay Reno of Beverly Hills,” Yi said.

“Damn. They’re probably going to abandon the car if they lose us,” I said.

I turned on the flashing lights and when the traffic moved out of my way, I pushed the pedal to the floor and was now traveling as fast as the van would allow.

The Lamborghini was still outpacing us. They turned a corner. Our van almost flipped over when I turned the same corner. There was heavy traffic on this street, and the Lamborghini was stopped in the middle of the road. I put the van in park, and Officer Yi and I got out. We each walked to opposite ends of the Lamborghini with our weapons drawn. When we got to the windows, I yelled “Freeze. Hands in the air, step out of the vehicle,” before realizing the car was empty.

“Damn it, where the hell did they go?” I asked. Yi shrugged.

“They couldn’t have gone that far. We were just seconds behind them,” Yi said.

“This was clearly well planned,” I said.

We got back in the van and drove up the road for a few minutes to see if we could spot them.

“What now, partner?” Yi asked.

“We go to the bank, see if there’s any clues left behind. Then it’s back to the police station,” I said.

We drove to the bank and talked to some witnesses. I put some empty shell casings I found in a plastic bag.

“Maybe we can trace the bullets. If we can figure out where they’re buying their ammunition, we can bust them when they go to buy more,” I said.

“Won’t they go to the next bank in the circle,” Yi asked.

“The circle might be complete. And if they’re smart, they’ll realize we’re on to their pattern. We have to be smarter than they are,” I said.

“So how do you know they’ll rob another bank at all? Maybe they made enough to retire?” Yi asked.

“If that was true, they’d have stopped after bank robbery three. They disappeared with a million in cash, and that doesn’t include the score from the prior two banks. My gut is telling me these guys are thrill seekers. This might be the last bank for now, but they’ll be back. Let’s find out who sells this ammo,” I said.

We drove back to the station. I sent the bullets to forensics, which identified them as bullets from a Ruger SR-556. I searched guns and ammo stores in the area. There was only two places that sold that type of bullet. We went to the first store and he said he hadn’t restocked that gun or ammunition in months. We did a background check and he appeared to be telling the truth. We went to the next place.

When we opened the door to the gun dealer, a chime sounded. We approached the counter.

“Have you seen these two gentleman?” I asked the man behind the counter and showed him the picture.

“What are you, a cop?” The gruff man said.

“That’s right. Does that make you nervous?” I asked.

“I don’t have to say anything to you?” He said.

“Are you going to make me come back with a warrant? If I do, that means I can look in your secret room,” I said. Most gun stores had secret rooms somewhere where they’d store and sell questionably legal items to their more loyal customers.

“Alright, alright. I’ll tell you what I know. They’re in every couple of months, usually at the end of the month. They’re due back for a visit soon, maybe Friday. Why are you looking for them, what’d they do?” The man asked.

“Bank robbery,” I said.

“Damn. And they’re my best customers. I was hoping they were using the ammo at a shooting range or something legal,” He said.

“Nope. But I’m sure you’ll get other customers,” I said and smiled.

“Could you let them buy the ammunition before you make the arrest. I really need the money,” the man asked.

“Sorry, that would be a hard no. Their money belongs to the bank,” I said.

Damn it all to hell,” the man said loudly and pounded the glass of his gun case.

We walked outside and got in the van. I started the engine but didn’t move the van.

“What’s going on? Are we not going to the station? I thought this guy didn’t know anything,” Yi said.

“He’s hiding something. I have a feeling we’re going to be seeing Luis and Bobby really soon,” I said.

“You think he’s hiding them?” Yi asked.

“That’s what my gut’s telling me. He seemed a little too angry that we wanted to arrest his best customers. Keep your eyes open,” I said. While he was looking out the window, I took out the box and inhaled John.

“You ok?” Yi asked.

“I’m fine. Just taking a deep breath,” I said.

“That’s a good idea,” Yi said, closed his eyes, and inhaled some air.

When Yi looked back at me, he asked, “did your muscles just get bigger?”

“Um, probably your imagination. Stress of the job and all that. It can cause hallucinations,” I replied.

“No, I’m pretty sure your muscles are bigger,” Yi said.

I didn’t respond. Instead, I drove us around the back of the store. I saw the gun dealer open up the back door, then hold it open. Luis and Bobby came walking out.

Holy crap, you were right,” Yi said.

“I usually am,” I replied and giggled.

I pulled the van up and flashed my bright’s in an attempt to blind them. They covered their eyes and I jumped out of the car. I drew my gun and yelled “Freeze.”

Yi got out of the other side and pointed his gun too. They put their hands in the air. Luis put his hands back down, grabbed his gun and pointed it at me. I shot him in the hand, he started screaming as he looked at his new hand hole.

You shot my brother,” Bobby yelled and pointed his gun at me. Yi shot Bobby in the chest and he fell to the ground.

“Damn, even with a vest on, that hurts,” Bobby said. I tackled and cuffed Luis, and Yi cuffed Bobby. The gun store owner came running out with an AK and fired his automatic at us. Yi jumped behind some garbage cans and I ran towards the man, narrowly dodging his rapid gunfire, and punched him in the knee. I heard his bones crack as he fell to the ground.

“Aaahhh. You bastards. You can’t do this to me. Police brutality. And look what you did to Luis and Bobby. Those are my best customers. Aaahhh, and what did you do to my knee? You shattered my whole leg, damn you, aaaaahhhh,” The man said and continued to scream.

“Oh, stop being such a baby. Your knee bone is only sticking out a little,” John made me say.

“Funny, John,” I thought. Yi started laughing.

We put the three men in the back of our van and I discreetly sneezed John back into his box. Then we drove them to the station.

“We did great today, Yi. You’re a good partner,” I said, smiled and patted Yi on the back.

“Now what? And why do you look, um, smaller?” Yi asked.

“Oh, you’re probably just stressed from being shot at. Now we call an ambulance for our injured gun dealer who’s acting like a baby, then take the twins to jail. Then do paperwork until we clock out. Then I’m going to the Blue Mercury. I’m due for a rematch with Mr. Monroe,” I said.

“Oh that’s right, you box on fight night. Can I come, I’d love to see you kick some ass,” Yi said.

“Sure, why not,” I said and shrugged.

We cuffed the twins then put them in the back of the squad car, waited for the ambulance, then drove down to the station.

We finished our paperwork, then Yi followed me to the Blue Mercury. I was sure to win this time, and I got to impress Yi as an added bonus.

“A Blue Cow and whatever my friend wants,” I said.

“Whisky and milk over ice,” Yi ordered.

“Nice choice,” I said.

“It’s a gentleman’s drink,” Yi said.

I chugged down my energy drink then went to the locker room to change and inhale John.

“Your opponent might have a spirit box, as well,” John said once he was inside my head.

“How do you know?” I asked.

“I smell James J. Corbett,” John said.

“You smell him. How is that possible? And who’s this James guy?” I asked.

“Mr. Corbett was the only guy that ever beat me in a fight. I was distracted by his horrible odor. I’ve been smelling it since we walked in here,” John said.

“Great. So we’re going to lose?” I said.

“No. After being inside your foul smelling meat sack, I’ve acquired a tolerance for smells. This time I’m ready for that smelly sack of shit. Corbett’s going down, as is whomever you’re fighting tonight,” John said.

“Good. I’d like to impress Detective Yi,” I said.

“Oh, dear. Someone has a crush,” John said. I rolled my eyes, finished changing and walked to the ring.

“Tonight’s match is a rematch. Fred Byrne versus Jeffery Jones Monroe,” Ted announced. The crowd shouted and screamed. I saw Monroe walking out, his muscles were significantly bigger than last time he beat me. But so were mine.

“You guys look tougher. Have you guys been training harder for this rematch or using steroids or something?” Ted asked.

“Sure, training harder and steroids,” I said, laughed, and got in the ring.

“Well, as long as both you guys are using steroids, I guess it’s not technically cheating,” Ted said and laughed. We chuckled too.

“But seriously, no steroids. If I find out either of you guys are actually steroid junkies, no more matches for either of you, capeesh?” Ted asked.

“Understood,” I said and smiled.

“You’re going down Byrne,” Jeffery growled.

“I don’t think so. You and Corbett are toast,” I said.

“How did you know about Corbett?” Jeffery said, his jaw dropped. I just smiled.

The bell rang. John took partial control of my body, throwing uppercuts, hooks and straights faster than I could have imagined. So was Monroe.

At the end of ten rounds, Monroe put his gloves on his knees.

“I don’t know how you did it, Fred. But you beat me,” Monroe said.

“Really? You’re giving up?” I asked.

“No,” Monroe said and charged at me. I stepped out of the way and Monroe fell to the ground.

“Fred wins! TKO! FRED WINS,” Ted yelled and held up my arm.

“Charging is my boxing style, asshole,” John said.

“You get the prize tonight. Great rematch,” Ted whispered. I smiled. John threw my hands into the air and started to walk around the ring, then waved my arms down and up and yelled “yah,” to the audience, encouraging them to do the same in his vain effort to showboat.

He then turned and looked at Monroe, who was now sitting down on a small bench in the corner of the ring with an ice pack on his face and sipping Gatorade.

“No wonder Corbett never wanted a rematch when he was alive. What a putz,” John said. I laughed.

I walked out of the ring. Yi approached me and smiled.

“That was intense, partner. Congratulations,” Yi said.

“Thanks Yi,” I said and was handed a towel. I wiped down the sweat and walked to the locker room.

“Thank you, John. We did good,” I said.

“We? It was mostly me,” John said.

“Of course it was,” I said, smiled then sneezed John back into the spirit box. I showered, changed and walked back out.

“You’re still here, Yi?” I asked.

“Yah, of course I am, partner. I figured we could have another drink before heading home,” Yi said.

“Another one? Sure, why not,” I said. I decided to try Yi’s whisky and milk concoction.

“I’ll take an apple juice,” Yi said. I laughed.

“Seriously?” I asked.

“Someone’s got to drive,” Yi said.

“I’m glad it’s you,” I said.

My drink was served and my cell rang. It was The Chief. He usually doesn’t call. I picked up.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“You’re not going to believe this. Luis and Bobby escaped. Their cell was blown to hell. It looks like they had outside help,” Chief said.

“We’re on our way back,” I said.

“What happened?” Yi asked.

“The twins escaped. Outside help. Let’s go,” I said.

“Do we get overtime for this?” Yi asked. I smiled and walked out without answering.

“Really?” Yi shouted.

Yi followed me back to the station.

I found the chief in his office.

“Is there footage of the incident?” I asked.

“Yah. We see two men walk in, pretending to be guards. They shoot and kill the gun dealer, probably afraid he’ll testify. Then they place explosives near the twin’s cells. After the explosives go off, they disappear in the smoke. A few minutes later, there’s more explosions and the cell doors are blown to hell. The twins walk out of their cell and disappear in the ensuing chaos,” The Chief said.

“Don’t worry. We’ll find them,” I said.

Yi came with me to the prison. We inspected the cell where the twins escaped.

“Yup, blown to hell,” I said.

We reviewed the security footage for any clues and went back to the cells to retrace their steps.

“After they left their cells, they went this way. Then they disappeared into the crowd,” I said and pointed in the direction they were seen walking.

“There’s only two exits. They both go to the same parking lot,” Yi said.

“They must have had someone waiting for them outside. They wouldn’t have gotten far otherwise,” I said. We walked to the parking lot and searched the area.

“Who were these pretend guards,” Yi asked.

“Good question. We need to figure that out, so we can track them down,” I said.

“Should we ask the warden for camera footage,” Yi asked. I nodded.

We walked to the warden’s quarters.

“We need the footage of the prisoners escape,” I said.

“Sure, let me get it for you,” the warden said. He took us to the monitoring room where they watched everyone on the cameras. He told the guard in the room to give us a copy of the footage, and he obliged.

We took it back with us to the station. We had our video expert run the faces of the guards through the facial recognition database.

The first face was unrecognizable, the second face popped up on facial recognition.

“Tony Babligiano, mafia. Of course it’s organized crime. We’ll print out the picture and see what the organized crime division can tell us. Then we’ll go arrest these guys and force them to tell us where the twins are,” I said.

“Can we arrest them alone? As mafia, wouldn’t they have backup, or family they could call?” Yi asked.

“Don’t worry, I’m trained for this,” I said. I wasn’t, but I had John. I didn’t need training.

I went to organized crime and they gave me the address of Tony Babligiano and a stern warning to ‘be careful.’

I got a warrant, then got ready to go.

I put on a suit and tie, a fake mustache and practiced using a tough guy voice so I could look and sound like a mobster. That way, if there was anybody else at Tony’s house, I could fit in without being questioned or noticed until I found Tony.

Yi and I went to Tony’s house. I let Yi get out of the car first, then I inhaled John.

Then we walked to Tony’s house and I knocked on the door.

“Who’s there?” A voice asked.

“Your mom, open up,” I said. I heard a gun cocking.

“Last chance smart ass. I won’t ask again. Who’s there?”

“It’s Tan Tito from Timbuktu. I sell Tomatoes by the tea store. I’m looking for Tony B. I’ve got some home made pasta sauce and I want to give him a free sample,” I said.

I heard the locks on the door moving. Tony opened up pointing his rifle at my face.

“Free tomato sauce, you serious right now?” Tony asked.

I shoved his rifle to the side and he fired into the air. I flattened his face with my fist and sent him flying into the wall!

I grabbed his rifle and slammed it into my knee, breaking it in half.

Then I walked up to him. He was breathing heavy.

“Ok, I’ll… take… some…. Tomato sauce,” he said while wheezing.

“Oh, sorry, fresh out. You took too long to answer the door and I gave it to someone else. So sorry,” I said and flashed my badge.

“You… gotta… warrant… pig?” He asked, still wheezing.

John used my fist to punch Tony so hard in the stomach he coughed up blood.

“It’s ok, Fred. Take a breath,” Detective Yi said and held me back.

“I’m good,” I said.

“John, chill. We can’t give this guy a beat down unless he’s attacking, unfortunately. He can get off if he accuses us of police brutality and has the bruises we gave him as proof,” I thought.

“Sorry, boss. Just looking out for you,” John said.

I reached in my pocket and showed him the warrant. He spit blood all over the paper.

“Piss off, pig!” Tony said.

“Let me help stop the bleeding,” I said and shoved the warrant into his mouth. I’d have to get a copy of the warrant later.

“Who’s your partner?” I asked Tony.

Tony mumbled his answer, still chewing on the warrant. I took the paper out of his mouth and repeated the question.

“I’ll never tell,” Tony said. I punched a hole in the wall next to his face.

“That’s three feet of solid steel you just destroyed,” Tony said. The look on his face went from tough guy to terrified.

“Next time that’ll be your face, I won’t ask again. Who the hell is your partner?” I asked.

“I have different partners for different things. I don’t mean to offend, but you’re going to have to be more specific,” Tony said.

“Who helped you help Luis and Bobby Reznick get out of prison?” I asked.

“I want to tell you, I really do, but… I can’t,” Tony said. I held up my fist and aimed it at his face.

“Ok, ok. It was my wife, Ursula. But please don’t arrest her, it was all my idea,” Tony said.

“I’ll talk to the prosecutor about going easy on her if you tell us where Luis and Bobby are,” I said.

“Those two pill popping, bank robbing, good for nothing little punks? Them I’ll gladly turn in. After I got them out, they were hitting on my wife. They’re out back. Don’t tell them I told you though, they got some anger issues. They ever get out of prison I don’t want them coming after me,” Tony said.

“Fine, it’s our little secret,” I said and smiled.

“Thanks,” Tony said.

“Don’t mention it,” I said and winked.

I cuffed Tony and Detective Yi took him to the car and put him in the backseat. I waited for Yi to get back before we headed to the backyard.

I saw Luis outside but not Bobby.

“Freeze,” I said and pointed my gun at him.

He put his hands up, then smiled deviously.

I felt cold metal against the back of my head and heard a clicking sound.

“That you, Bobby?” I asked.

Yi yelled “Freeze,” and pointed his Glock 22 at Bobby.

Bobby wrapped his hand around my neck and turned me around to face Detective Yi, his gun still shoved into the back of my head.

“Put your gun down, donut eater,” Bobby said.

“Holding me hostage is a mistake, Bobby,” I said.

Before he could tell me to shut up, I grabbed his gun and crushed it. Then I grabbed the arm he was using to hold my neck in place and crushed all the bones in his hand.

“Aaahhh, what the hell,” he yelled and dropped his arm.

“Police brutality,” Luis yelled.

“If you call self-defense police brutality,” I said.

“Now turn around and put your hands on your back, unless you want to end up like your idiot brother over here,” I said to Luis. He obeyed. I cuffed him and took the twins to the car, and sat them next to Tony in the backseat.

A woman came outside with a shotgun and shot it into the air.

“I don’t care what you do with the idiots, but you're not taking Tony to prison. Not today,” she screamed.

“I’m assuming that’s Ursula,” I said to Tony.

“That’s my baby girl,” Tony said.

“Yi, talk to her. Tell her we’ll let Tony go,” I said and winked at Yi. I had a plan.

“Ma’am, Ursula. We’re going to let Tony go. We just need you to put down the rifle,” Detective Yi said.

“Let Tony go first. You got ten seconds or I’m blowing your brains out. I’ll paint your car red with your blood,” Ursula said. While Yi continued to talk and distract Ursula, I snuck around her side. I grabbed her rifle crushed it before she could fire. She pulled the trigger and nothing happened.

“Crap. Sorry baby. I tried,” Ursula shouted to Tony.

“Well, there’s not enough room for you in the car. So I’m going to have to ask you to wait on the roof until we come back for you,” I said to Ursula.

“What?” Ursula said.

I grabbed her and tossed her on top of her roof.

“That was fun,” I said to John. John Laughed.

We’ll be back. Sit tight. Don’t go anywhere,” I shouted to Ursula.

What the hell’s the matter with you? Get me down from here,” Ursula shouted.

I ignored her and got into the car.

We drove back to the station and booked Tony and the Twins. After filling out the paper work, I forgot about Ursula and went straight home.

I opened the door and Emily was sitting on my couch.

“What the hell are you still doing here?” I asked.

“I got nowhere else to go, Fred. Please. At least one more night, maybe two. Just give me time to get a job. That should only take a couple weeks, then I’ll be out of your hair. I swear,” Emily said.

“A couple weeks? No. Get your stuff and get out. Now!” I shouted.

“Please, Fred,” she pleaded and her eyes teared.

“Your tears won’t work on me again,” I said. Emily started whimpering.

“I’m not joking,” I said and took out my Taser X2 and pointed it at her.

You wouldn’t dare Fred. You wouldn’t dare,” Emily hissed.

I pulled the trigger, and the two small dart sized electrodes hooked into her and she started convulsing.

I grinned, briefly getting pleasure out of this, then I felt bad.

When she stopped convulsing, I asked “will you leave or do I have to cuff you and bring you down to the station?”

“Can I at least get a ride to the shelter?” Emily asked after catching her breath.

“Fine, as long as it gets you out of here,” I said.

I walked her to the squad car and opened the back door.

“I can’t sit in front? After you shocked me with that… thing?” Emily said.

“Rules are rules, sorry. You’re lucky you’re getting a ride at all. Just get in,” I said. She put her hands on her waste and stared at me.

“I have one more charge in the X2,” I said.

Emily softened her stance, lowered her head and in a soft, pleasing tone said, “Look, Fred, I know I got a lot to atone for. It’s been a rough few years. Can I please sit up front?”

“Fine, vixen,” I said.

We got in the car and I started driving her to the shelter.

“Thank you, Fred. I’m sorry for what I did. I know how furious you were at me, and probably still are. And rightfully so. I was wrong. I was horrible to you, and I was wrong. I was a junkie, and you wouldn’t support my habit. I did horrible things to get the money, and I’m sorry. I’m sorry I hurt you. And I’m sorry for leaving. Leaving you was the biggest mistake I ever made. You were the best thing that ever happened to me. Now look at me. I’m going to be living in a shelter. I’m going to go through withdrawals alone because I can’t afford the drugs anymore. I’m not as attractive as I used to be, so even if I wanted to prostitute myself, who’d hire me? I look like a sick, wet dog. Plus I can’t sleep with another disgusting John even if I was attractive. Only the most disgusting, hideous looking men were desperate enough to hire me. And don’t even get me started on their sick fetishes. Have you ever had anyone suck hot sauce off your toes? I don’t know how I’m going to live with myself. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I can’t spend the rest of my life in a shelter, Fred,” she said.

“You made your bed, you got to sleep in it,” I said.

A few minutes of uncomfortable silence had passed.

“I’m scared, Fred,” Emily abruptly announced. Her eyes teared up and she rested her head against the window. Her hot breath fogged up the glass. I slowed down and looked into her eyes. Was I really feeling bad for her? She had the same eyes I fell in love with all those years ago.


No I would not show her compassion after what she did. The psychological abuse, the cheating, the stealing. I was done with this woman. Forever.

I pulled over to the side of the road.

“I don’t know what the hell’s wrong with me, but I’ll make you a deal. If you can stay sober and swear off prostitution, I’ll let you stay at my place. At least until you get through the withdrawals. I have a friend who’s a doctor, maybe he’ll make an old fashioned house call and help you get through this, too. Once the withdrawals are over, if you’re well behaved, I’ll let you stay until you get a job and sign a lease for your own place,” I said.

“Oh, Fred. You’re too kind,” Emily said, unbuckled her belt, and hugged me.

Way too kind. I sicken myself,” I said.

I knew if she was going to stay, I needed a few ground rules.

“And a couple more rules,” I said.

“Yes, what? Anything?” Emily said.

“No drugs, Johns, gambling, or any other ‘illegal’ activity while you’re here, staying in my apartment, under my roof, eating my food, drinking my water, and using my shower. As a matter of fact, no guys at all. Not until you’re long gone and on your own. Understood?” I asked.

“Damn it, Fred. You always ruin my fun,” Emily said teasingly and smiled.

Copyright © 10/12/2023 by A.H. Mittelman. All rights reserved

Short StoryFantasythrillerSeriesPsychologicalMysteryHumorHorrorAdventure

About the Creator

Alex H Mittelman

I love writing and just finished my first novel. Writing since I was nine. I’m on the autism spectrum but that doesn’t stop me! If you like my stories, click the heart, leave a comment. Link to book:

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Comments (7)

  • L.C. Schäfer2 months ago

    I thought whisky and milk was a warm drink for grandpas at bedtime 😁

  • Mika Oka2 months ago

    Captivating story

  • I love this cover photo too! It's more fitting than the one you had before!

  • Ainy Abraham2 months ago

    A quite funny story. I liked this spirit box and honestly I want one.

  • Andrea Corwin 2 months ago

    Hahaha: “I don’t find paperwork particularly relaxing. And I feel fine, revitalized.” And real life troubles mentioned: Maybe they went broke trying to pay off student loans. Jay Reno? Hahaha Leno! The. The van almost flipped and later he says:“Sorry, that would be a hard no. Their money belongs to the bank,” I said. 🤣🤣🤣Sneezed John!! Get rid of her, don’t trust her! Hilarious!!

  • Hahahahahhaahhahaha I laughed so much when Fred threw Ursula on the roof and laughed even harder when he forgot her and went straight home 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 Ugh, why is he being kind to Emily after everything that she's done? That makes me so frustrated!

Alex H Mittelman Written by Alex H Mittelman

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