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Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

squatters.jpg
Art by Ann Marie Rhiel 2018

Squatters

by Paul Beckman

 

The Russian had Uber drop him off at Long-Term Parking at Newark Airport, wandered around until he found an older Lexus that could be hotwired. He popped the lock, hotwired it, and drove off, paying the eighty-two-dollar parking fee.

He made it to New York in forty minutes and double-parked on E. 49th, next to Dicey Meyer’s car.

He found the right key on the ring and opened Dicey’s trunk. He pulled out the rolled-up rug with Dicey inside and popped the trunk on the stolen Lexus. 

A streetlight illuminated a pajama-clad couple—gypsies. They stared out at him from their prone positions. A flashlight shone on the floor between them, lying in front of two Bergdorf shopping bags with clothes spilling out. The man held an open container of hummus and a bag of pita chips. A bag of grapes sat at the ready. The woman was busy flossing.

The Russian motioned for them to get out of the car. They didn’t budge. The man wiped his mouth with the napkin tucked into the neck of his pajama top. The woman rinsed from a water bottle and spat out into a chipped cup with a broken handle that read, “I Heart da naştere.”

A police car, lights flashing, rounded the corner.

 

In his younger years Paul Beckman was a numbers runner, a fence, and hung around with the bad crowd. He still hangs with a dubious crowd.

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In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2018