“Sorry about that, Don,” I said as I scooped Bethel’s poop up in a baggy and tied it shut. I still kept poop bags in my pockets at all times, if you can believe that. Old habits die hard.
“No problem,” Don said. “I don’t always make it to the john, myself.” We all started casually looking around to see if there was poop that didn’t belong to Bethel on the floor.
“Not Number Two!,” Don roared. “Number One. The washer’s worn out on my faucet. Don’t leave that little dog in the building alone. BJ will eat anything that’s not nailed down, and I don’t mean just the ladies.” Don grinned a tobacco stained grin at us.
Moira cackled and Don beamed at her, delighted to have an appreciative audience. He set out to top himself. “That old fart has even eaten the old dykes’ pu…”
“OOOOOkay,” I said, “Don, thank you for all of your information. Mike, show the man our appreciation.”
Mike had seen Don’s teeth, too. He whipped a pack of Camel Lights out of his pocket and handed it to Don. Don’s eyes got wide and he took the pack in a shaking hand. “I ran out two days ago. You people sure know how to make friends. You need anything, you let Ol’ Don know.”
We left Don’s apartment with plenty to think about. Unfortunately, none of it was helpful in our current situation. Our first order of business remained rescuing Jill.
“Damnit,” Mike observed, “we’ve lost BJ and company.”
We elevatored back to Mike’s apartment to find BJ and Mrs. Shew ransacking it. They didn’t even bother trying to look guilty.
“Looking for something, Mrs. Shew?,” Mike asked nastily. “Like maybe…MY GUN?” He jerked the gun out of his pants pocket and tried to make a show of spinning it. Of course he fumbled it and dropped it. It did what guns do in all gun safety movies. It fired when it hit the floor. Then, Mrs. Shew surprised us by falling over backwards and hitting the floor, too.
“Oh. Shit,” Mike said.
BJ stood, shifting his already shifty eyes back and forth. They finally alit on the gun on the floor. BJ dove for the gun, but it was a pretty old and slow dive. I beat him to the gun easily, and was sticking it in my own pocket by the time BJ hit the floor where it had been.
“Murderers!,” BJ shouted, obviously pissed that he hadn’t been able to open fire and murder us back. He creaked to his feet and slow-motion ran out of the apartment, yelling bloody murder about our bloody murder.
“Is she still alive?,” Mike asked in a small voice. “I didn’t really mean to shoot her.”
Moira was on the floor examining Mrs. Shew. “Mike, she’s gone. You got her right between the eyes.”
Roused by BJ, the whole building had to troop through Mike’s apartment to gaze upon the murderers and the murderee. Mike sat in a chair with his head in his hands, pulling his hair as hard as he could. Mrs. Shew stayed on the floor. Moira and I just stood there, at a loss. The babble in the room was approaching chaos, and BJ was making a big show of lowering himself onto the floor to kiss Mrs. Shew on the lips over and over. It looked like he was doing girl push-ups. His old butt looked like a little sack of bones, in those Bermuda shorts. Bethel, of course, was barking like hell at all the old people, in a vain attempt to make them run. Bethel loved to chase people.
The room abruptly quieted when one last viewer showed up. It was Don. The crowd parted to let him into the center of the room. He looked at Mrs. Shew on the floor, with Don doing his lip service to her. Don said, “Well, BJ, I see you finally killed her. You told me you would, and now you’ve done it.” He winked slyly at me.
Earlier in the week, we’d never dreamed how valuable one of Mike’s Future Wealth items would prove to be. For the cost of a pack of smokes, we’d just gotten away with murder.