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Money Shot - Chapter 1
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Money Shot - Chapter 1
Old con and bank robber extrordinaire Fred Cantrell just can't resist trouble. Doing thirty in state pen before a clunk on the head places him in the devious hands of the Russian mob.
[1,082 words]
Rob Nhim
Writes in spare time, but spends alot of it studying biochemistry.
[December 2002]
[email protected]
Money Shot - Chapter 1
Rob Nhim

Did anybody catch the number of that truck? Fred Cantrell wondered as he opened his eyes. Pitch black. He remembered watching a bunch of inmates playing ball, orange on orange, the game getting ugly with one guy receiving a knot on the head after they accused him of crowding the plate. Before you knew it, everything went balls to the wall. Fred meanwhile slumped on a bench, cigarette in hand, puffed lazily as batons, fists, a few bats and lots of teeth went flying. Yeah sit this one out, don't mind watching. He took one more drag - then lights out.
Where was he? The infirmary? He tried to get up, struggling to lift his arms and legs before jerking back and forth, trying to free them. Straps on his wrists and ankles maybe... just a little more... damn. No good. An asylum perhaps? No. Bit too late for that. Twenty years too late. Besides robbers can't plead insanity.
  The door creaked, and Fred kept still. A tall, bulging figure stood in the way blocking out light from the hall. The shadow said, "He is wake up," and clicked on some lights. Big fellow, short spiked hair. He sneered and flexed his arms, trying to look intimidating, but more goofy and bloated than anything else. Behind him slouched a frail man in a wheel chair, hands tucked under one another, wry smile. "Mister Cantrell," he said as he wiggled a joystick on the arm of the chair.
  "Who the hell are you and where the fuck am I?" said Fred.
  The old man was at the bed side now. "I am Viktor. This is Zutsev, one of my men," He cleared his throat and said triumphantly, "Welcome to the Russian Mafia."
  "How is head? He gave you big bump huh? That's okay you should see what he did with one the guards before taking his clothes."
  Zutsev sneered some more and said "He will be taking long relaxing trip," Then the giant made a slitting motion across his throat.
  Fred said, "I appreciate the break out. A bit rough for an old bird like myself... what's the catch?"
Old bag of bones rolled closer. Close enough for Fred to breathe in the smell of minty Ben Gay. Extra strength.
"The answer is simple. What I want is a certain artifact, yes that is the word, a gun to be exact. Since you are master thief, I thought who better for the job?"
Fred said, "I rob banks. Not museums or gun shows or whatever you have in mind. I'm afraid I won't be much help."
Zutsev decided to take a seat on the bed. He rested his head on one hand, and balled his other hand, digging his knuckles into Fred's knee. "Acupressure," he said with a smile.
"Get off, you done enough damage to my merchandise," said the old man to the lumbering giant.
  "Anyway," he continued, "There no museums or hill billy gunshow. There is a Sicilian over in Las Vegas. He's the one. Get it to me, you're free,"
  "Just like that?"
  "Just like that. Go anywhere you want, like hawaii maybe,"
  Fred said, "A Sicilian in Vegas. He's a mobster isn't he? How the fuck do I get in the fucking Sicilian mob?" Grandpa sat back amused, "That is the fun part. You robbed what a hundred banks? Surely you can break into his house and steal a tiny gun?"
  "Why can't your boys do the job?"
  "Too messy. Job like this requires finesse and small operation. Besides I no want to get into fight. All I want is the gun."
  "What's so special about this gun?" asked Fred.
  The old man replied "This gun, it started World War I. The 1900 Browning it is called, used by a Serb to shoot the Archduke, Franz Ferdinand," He concluded with a booming voice expecting Fred to be impressed.
  "So it's valuable," said Fred.
  "I can't exactly break in, or ask for a withdrawal. And don't even consider a hold up," joked Fred.
Grandpops thought for a moment, and jumped, like he was about to get up and do the hustle. Something excited him. That same wry smile on his face again.
  "I tell you what I send my kid with you. He do whatever you want."
  Fred said, "How's your kid gonna help?"
  "Human shield? You'll figure out something..."
  "Now that's cold," said Fred, "Jesus, a human shield, why so harsh?"
  The old man said, "They are spoiled, this young generation," looking at the ceiling, trying to make his point, "No respect for the business. Wants to be straight like arrow. Wants to go to Harvard. Harvard," he said and snickered, "What do I need philosopher for?" he said to Fred and smiled that same crusty smile, "I need self made man like you. That's how I got my money... and my women," he said with a light slap on Fred's arm. "No philosopher's going to have as much women as I."
  He motioned to Zutsev. The Russian bear grumbled and left the room, then returned with a tall blonde firmly attached to his arm. The way he held her she must be his girl.
  "Speaking of women," said the old man, "Meet Natasha. Only the finest for my special guest."
   Fred said, "You know, I haven't had a woman in what? Twenty?"
   "So it's a deal then?"
   "Las Vegas it is," said Fred.
  Zutsev continued to grumble. He looked at Fred, veins popping, face red, then a maddening stare at the geriatric mafia man's grey head.
  Natasha hiked up her skirt and sat on Fred's stomach much to the amusement of old bony and the chagrin of Zutsev. "Natasha honey, do me a favor and loosen these straps."
  He got up, gave Natasha a kiss, just a hint of tongue to make Zutsev jealous. Poor Zutsev grimaced then turned to follow his boss. Fred grabbed Natasha by the waist and set her on the foot of the bed. "I'll be right back," he said and walked towards the door with both fists cocked.
  "Say Zutsev..." The giant turned around - bam! Flat on the floor, dust flying everywhere. Glass Jaw Jim K'Oed with a hard left. The old man was clearly impressed as he watched big boy tumble to the ground.
  "Hey cigarettes," said Fred. He picked up the pack that flew out of Zutsev's coat and said to Natasha, "I think we'll be needing these."


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© 2002 Rob Nhim
December 2002

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