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Later that night, Rebecca answered her front door. Danny stood behind her. They’d never been to a rock show, so they dressed in black to blend with the crowd. Their collar tops and slacks made them look like they were mourning a loss. Rebecca tugged on her top. “We knew your gritty rocker butt would be in black, but you look more like you’re with the band compared to us.”
I spoke in my stoner voice with my fists up in victory. “The two amigos and stooge, man.”
We headed for Marie’s home. She lived inland from the boardwalk, about ten miles. At the address, Danny parked at the curb. I went to the door. Stacy answered, immediately folded her arms, but didn’t invite me in. She yelled back into the home, “Marie, he’s here.”
“Oh, so you two live together, huh?”
“If you haven’t caught on, she’s my daughter. You just gave me another reason not to like you.”
When Marie came to the door, her white Frogs T-shirt was a bit baggy, but her blue jeans were snug. She kissed Stacy on the cheek. “Good night, Mom.” Marie flashed me her cute smile. “Hey, Marco. Did I ever tell you Stacy is my mom?”
“No, but she enlightened me. I originally thought you two were sisters,” I said. Stacy showed me the whites of her eyes before she went back inside the home.
After we got into the car, Marie gawked at our black ensemble. “Are we going to a funeral?”
“Oh, come on, this is how we rock,” I said.
Marie twirled her finger against her right temple. “Weirdos.”
During the drive to the mansion, Danny tuned into KROQ. A live recording from a previous Frogs show was aired for the fans who couldn’t make the show. The Frogs’ heavy alternative groove made the Santiagos dance in their seats. “Now this I can get into more than rap stuff,” Danny said.
At a stop light, a black Mercedes with tinted windows stopped alongside us. The tint was too dark to see the occupants. There was no other traffic at the intersection. The Mercedes rolled forward slightly, but stopped. I caught a glimpse of the government license plate. It was a solid white California plate with the letter ‘E’ inside a diamond, followed by the numbers 787469. The ‘E’ stood for exempt. It meant the owner of the plates could’ve done whatever he wanted.
I sent the Santiagos a message. Check out the G-men next to us. Are they here to take us out?
Rebecca answered my message. We need eyes on a target before we can pick up anything. Relax, hotshot; they could be anyone.
The light was still red, but the driver of the G-car jammed on the accelerator. Smoke kicked up from the tires as they screeched. The car sped through the intersection. Another driver slammed onto his brakes when he approached the cross street. He almost crashed into the G-car. Marie pointed over the front seat. “That guy is gonna kill somebody.”
“G-men,” I said.
Danny drove along Sunset Boulevard for a while until he turned into a public parking lot. He stopped at the attendant’s booth. Marie tapped Rebecca on her shoulder. “We’re only a few blocks from the property. I believe there’s guest parking.”
Rebecca said the lot was part of the plan. She paused until we left the attendant. While Danny drove to a spot, Rebecca said it was better to be on foot if we needed a fast getaway. She gave us hand-drawn maps of the best escape route from the property.
We are dying from overthinking. We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything. Think. Think. Think. You can never trust the human mind anyway. It's a death trap. Anthony Hopkins
FICTION THAT STAYS WITH YOU.