Chapter 7: The Spirit Fix Pt 3

It was still early in the day, and there were maybe three guys watching a girl dressed like a nurse showing her ribcage to any and all.

“Chambers,” Barb smiled, her discolored teeth falling over her perfect bottom lip. Barb had a little speech impediment. Sometimes she stammered. Some guys think it’s a turn-off. I feel a little sorry for her. I believe she’d always wanted to be married and raise kids. Looks like the dancing and a long string of bad relationships had prevented that one small dream.

Barb was the manager and sometimes filled in as a dancer. She was probably a looker in her day if she hadn’t started her chemical romance years before. She tossed her brown locks over her right shoulder and took my arm under hers.

“Been waiting for your call, Pete,” She whispered in my ear. “I like Chinese food.”

I smiled back, shrugged. “Haven’t had much of an appetite for Chinese lately, Barb. Is Dougie here? Need to talk to him. It’s—uh–urgent. Actually, life-threatening.”

“You–you can’t be serious, Chambers,” Barb took a glass of bourbon from a tray as one of her waitresses glided by. She threw back her head and gulped it down. “Dougie hardly comes to work since he took up with that woman.”

“Dougie has a new girl?” I asked. There was a tinge of discomfort in my voice. Just thinking of anyone having sex with that toad turns my stomach. But Dougie has a lot of money through connections with the Donaldson’s.  His uncle ran this temple of sin before him and made fast friends with local scum. But his uncle Frankie was not a smart man. He was skimming from the Donaldson’s. Which resulted in Uncle Frankie being found in the street missing his skin. Dougie is in a lifetime debt with the Donaldson boys.

“Yes, a new girl. A blond-haired bitch…and I mean a bitch with a capital B. He stays in that musky apartment all the time.” Barb spit the last of the bourbon back into her glass and slammed it on an empty table as she walked toward the office in the back of the club.

Barb pushed the door to the office open. She stopped, smiled, and looked ruttish.  “You–you wanna…. come…. inside?”

I cleared my voice. Gave her my best, aw-shucks. “I can’t, Barb. Honestly. I mean I will take a rain check.  I swear to you I will call you sometime.”

Her face became flushed, anger filled her eyes. “Just as well,” She said and went into the office. “Why would I think my life could get any better?”

“I-uh- where does Dougie live? I really need to talk to him?”

I could see in her eyes she considered telling me to fuck off. Her nostrils flared, she parted her lips slightly, pushing air out of them in a huff. “22 Lexington and Dim. Going to come….inside Dougie’s place, Chambers?”

With that statement, she slammed the office door in my face.

22 Lexington and Dim?

That was where Leni Marino lived.

Ain’t that a kick in the head?

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