Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WIP Wednesday

This week, Joseph Johnson collects information on his skip, and heads out to look for him. This is the scene before the scene that will put Joe and Lexi together, and on an irreversible path to a relationship. But, there will be plenty of barriers to that relationship. Eventually, Lexi will have to reveal four truths about her to Joe.

Just a reminder. What you read each week on work in progress Wednesday is a scene in draft form. I'll repeat:


I just want readers to know that, even if you follow my scenes each week, you can still expect a great reading experience in the future, and when this story is published as a novel.

Joe looked over the file Jake gave him. The man in the picture looked like the typical thug wannabe. The skip was a diminutive white guy with greasy hair and a pock-marked face. Of course, most arrest photos weren't taken when the perpetrators were at their best. Jake filled him in on what he knew, while Joe flipped through the pages of the file.
"The guy you're looking for is Louis Thompson. His only known alias is Lefty. I guess I shouldn't really say alias, more like a nickname. I don't think he's proud of it."
Joe looked up from the file. "How'd he get the nickname? Is he left-handed, or something?"
"He is now. At least he has to shoot left-handed. Seems he lost half his trigger finger in some kind of freak accident while trying to rob a convenience store."
What was bail on this one?" Joe asked, as he thumbed through the file until he found the remark about the missing right index finger.
"Fifteen grand," Jake said. "Your take's ten percent, same as always."
Joe looked for patterns in Lefty's arrest records. The man had been arrested for everything from grand theft to solicitation, with at least five of his arrests coming from some form of sexual harassment of dancers in the local strip clubs. Lefty missed a recent court appearance after posting bail from a attempted car heist and short-lived low-speed chase. The notes on the record showed the reason it was a low speed chase was because he stole a stick shift vehicle and couldn't get it out of first gear. The police followed him for more than ten miles on the freeway until someone finally just passed him, and threw out a spike strip in front the car he stole. Joe wondered why a wannabe thug would work so hard at being bad, but still believe that just finding a job at some fast food restaurant was out of the question. He continued to flip through the many pages of his file, getting into Lefty's head, trying to think where he might show up next.
Joe threw the file back on Jake's desk. "Got anything recent on this guy? Where's he like to hang out?" He asked, as Jack swept the file up from the desk, putting into a large cabinet against the wall.
"Pick a strip club and hang out long enough, and he'll probably show up."
"That's it?" Joe reached behind his back, shifting his concealed holster along his back, before fanning his shirt and pulling it back down over his waist. "This loser spends all his time in strip clubs?"
"I'd say Lefty spends most of his waking hours in strip clubs. Most of his harassment arrests were in strip clubs. Police say he's just not smart enough to find another hangout." Jake snickered at his own comment. "Only thing is, you'll never see him north of South Boulevard."
"What's the deal with that," Joe said. "He afraid of getting out of yelling distance from his mom's house?"
"No. Rumor has it, He's afraid of getting too close to the police station."
"Does he not know there's a station on South Boulevard?"
"I guess he doesn't see them as a threat, since he's always done his jail time at the main station across the street." Jake slapped Joe across his broad back as they walked to the door. "Like I said, he's not the knife in the drawer."
Joe got into his truck and gave Jake a wave as he pulled out into traffic, heading south on Union Street. Street lights shot bright cones of light below them, leaving contrasting shadow around them along the dark street as he continued south until he arrived at the intersection with South Boulevard. the Greyhound bus station was an island of light on his left, while neon lights from the Pink Pony bar and grill across the street on his left cut through the night in cloudy pink hues.
Good a place as any to start.
Joe stomped on the accelerator, and his truck sputtered and lurched across six lanes of traffic, and onto the service road in front of the bar. He drove past the bar, parking in the darkened lot of an auto parts store long out of business. As he turned the key and waited for his truck engine to sputter to a stop, he took a deep breath and went through his mental checklist, preparing for a long night in bars and strip clubs.

As always, your comments, critiques, and/or complaints are welcome.

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