Charlie Swift just pumped three .38-caliber bullets into a dead polar bear in his taxidermist girlfriend's garage. But he's a gun monkey, and no one can blame him for having an itchy trigger finger. Ever since he drove down the Florida Turnpike with a headless body in the trunk of a Chrysler, then took down four cops, Charlie's been running hard through the sprawling sleaze of central Florida. And to make matters worse, he's holding on to some crooked paperwork that a lot of people would like to take off his hands. Now, with his boss disappeared and his friends dropping like flies, Charlie has got his work cut out just to survive. If he wants to keep the money and get the girl too, he's really going to have to go ape..
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December 31, 2000
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Excerpt from Gun monkeys by Victor Gischler
I turned the Chrysler onto the Florida Turnpike with Rollo Kramer's headless body in the trunk, and all the time I'm thinking I should've put some plastic down. I knew the heap was a rental, but I didn't like leaving anything behind for the inevitable forensics safari. That meant I'd have to strip all the carpeting in the trunk, douche out the blood with Clorox, and hope Avis took a long time to notice. I should've just taken a second and put some plastic down. Shit.
"Slow down, Charlie. You'll flag us." Blade Sanchez popped a Winston into his mouth, crumpled the pack, and tossed it into the backseat.
I grabbed the cigarette out of his mouth and jammed it into the ashtray. "You light another one of them fucking things, and you're in the trunk with Rollo."
"Christalmighty, that's my last one. Jesus, Charlie. What the fuck " He pawed at the cigarette, but I'd smashed it up good. "I just said slow down is all. You want the state police should pull us over and find Rollo "
It's your fault he's back there, I thought. But I slowed down. He was right, and that made me like him even less.
"You botched this good."
"So you keep telling me," said Blade.
Me and some of the other boys had been riding Blade Sanchez hard about his lack of originality. We called him "Blade" because he always whacked his marks the same way: a quick flick of his stiletto, an ear-to-ear smile. That's a sure way to tip your hand, doing it the same way every time. Not quite as bad as leaving a thumbprint, but it sure helps the profilers put together an M.O. when you fall into a pattern. Everyone knows what everyone's up to. It's just the difficulty proving it that keeps guys like Blade out of stir.