In the past I put up Part 1 here.
And Part 2 here.
“How long ago did you shoot?”
“Basic training.” He put what was left of his sandwich in his mouth and washed it down with a swallow of the home brew. “I worked the kitchen, and let me tell you, I make better sandwiches than these things. Better beer, too.” He slid his empty plate to the middle of the table and pulled his napkin from his lap.
I chuckled and pushed the pistol across the table and told him to take it. “Shoot it a couple of times to get the feel for it again. I think I have a chance for you to make a little cash if you aren’t afraid to pull that trigger.”
“Depends on how much cash we’re talking about.”
“Help me and it could be plenty. You won’t get to quit fighting at Raul’s, but you’ll do OK.”
“Help you do what?” Berger picked the gun up off the table and pointed it at the ground. He eyed the sight and pretended to shoot something only he could see.
“I do a little freelance security work for a guy running data. He keeps it quiet, but I could use an extra hand.”
Berger pointed the gun toward the back of the restaurant and held it sideways like some kind of gangster from the movies. I reached over and twisted his hand so he was aiming it upright. “Not so fancy cowboy. That’s not how they teach you in basic.”
“Is it hard?” Berger asked. “This job?”
“Nah, just go along with the clients. Make sure they get where they need to go. Pretty simple stuff.”
Berger set the gun back on the table and asked “You ever had to use it?”
I shook my head no, but told him I was ready to if needed. “But that’s just the cop in me. You agree to help me out I’ll be the first shot. You’re just there for back up.”
Lift and pull. That was the trick to getting the lock at Raul’s to release. You lifted the door by the handle and pulled it toward you. Then you slipped the key in the lock and turned it to the right. It’d release with a loud snap. I’d learned the trick late at night when I’d come back with the key he’d left with me and get food to eat for the next day.
I was there again after Berger and I ate dinner. The sandwich did nothing to fill the hole in my gut and the beer had left me wanting to taste the real stuff.
Lift. Pull. Turn. Snap.
I carried a package of bologna under one arm and a loaf of bread in one hand. In the other I had a case of beer. All of it was Romacorp brand. Best stuff money could buy, even if I had no intention of paying full price. I left a wadded five dollar bill on Raul’s cracked countertop near his cash register, locked the door as I left, and headed for home.