Saul Davidson narrates:: USTA BE MINE

Usta be mine. She. He came weaponized, soaked in DMT and sporting sharp silk tux, plenty of bimbo arm-flesh and a wad thick as it was silver-clipped. Like the 357-S&W he left in the BMW glove-box. It’s loaded too. Make you a legend, make him stink, make his kill. One, two three. Anything can happen afterwards.

Odd-job men come cheap: jackals. A lion he was … a lion, a dragon and a snake. How sharply, how harsh would his high, steel-feathered wings strike and the powerful crumble to smouldering ash. Ears roar noise of a muffled seashore and eyes misted wet, glazed red by second sight … sweat running from his lip. Common reality blurred. “To the left bone-breaker and to the right I will slay ...”

“Pleasure to have you join us sir,” croons the doorman. A $10er exchanges hands, like us was a kind of winter, low-country vegetable.

“Campy, ya feelin’ Okey,” lisped the frail beside him. Her face came up like swamp-mist in purple Charleston sunset. How she needed his arm and his weight and …

Way to the front, a tired crooner and piano-man hold an audience of losers. Usually there’s a bamboo curtain. The attorneys head snaps up. Brass door and doorman behind them. Casinos muffled rumble spread wide and handsome. A stiff-backed security-man hovering … must be with slim waist, Armani three-piece and a bulge under his left shoulder.

A thin, crotchless cigarette-girl approaches. Camp shakes the last Pell Mell from empty, she lights it before his own bimbo can sneeze, tits and snatch pressed like a steam-iron against him. He paws a fresh pack of straight Reds … leave another $10er. What he sees! Fishy swirls of red and blue, fuck your mind up my mind too. Feels the air wipe his forehead dry. “Davidson knows aire conditioning if he doesn’t know a thing.” Those are his first spoken words inside Sauls Trad Street casino. He cautions a reservoir of silence behind them. For Saul. And for her.

“Blackjack, tonight, hum Campy,” sez his Friday night booty-call. “That’s what ya said, bets before ets and I’m hungry as a kitten.” A violet light glowing CHOPS AND STEAKS marks a dim side door and it’s tux-topped leather-skirted female guardian. You can’t just walk in, but a stylish if antique couple is doing just that. Woman buried in sequined gown flowing about her ankles, and the gent - - white bunny-suite and straw Panama. They just got off the Titanic, Campy mutters. He knows everyone in Charleston worth knowing, but he doesn’t recognize them.

He snarls at the gatekeeper. Usta be mine, his brain races after a bare willing ass now covered in cowhide. Gatekeeper preens over the couple and her awed giggle escapes ...”Ms PEEPERS! ...” while passing them into candel-flooded dining.

Bitch acts like a sheep, not a wolf! Now she bleats … once a granted, tenured rising academic star at a local college … Fregeian SEMIOTICS … till a whites-only frat cracked her computer, exposing grading rackets make Molly Hatchet Mother Teresa! Roundheels was fucking half-the 70-IQ basketball team … and marching a string of Aces into her grade-book. Just like she did to him, turned-on all the niggars to DMT.

“She could loose ten pounds,” snips his arm-candy. Bitch eyes them, mind-reading, snarks at his hidden , shyster success. The attorney knows this and purposeful failed a dinner-table RCVP! Later, before the drama he’d punch right through her bawd, gate.keeper pretensions …

“When we’re hungry … mebby.” Let the bitch complain who wants to fuck a full ass?

She whines. “Gotta have flounder and glazed potatoes.” Glazed as his eyes. He patted his wallet, sucked deep on the fuming Red and blinked twice in her face. Bimbo still had tits and ass worth using , but hadn’t been a kitten for 20 years. She appreciated his attention … his wife did not, but for how long he can’t remember. Get’s ya thinkin’ ….

And casino shill busts through his reverie like teen boners pop cherries. “Easy eight now come...come...come … place yer bets ladies and gentlemen, plaaaace yer bets.” Stickman pimping his craps table. It’s crap; the bimbo loves playing the Field …. 3 and 11 …. what-the-fuck! Dice roll … lots of dice roll on many tables. He turns away.

At the nearest table a dearly sings out. “Fresh cards, a new shuffle and lots a’ yards I gotta feelin’ ...” Call of the casino. Barker pleading rings from a dozen tables. They pass two, a Herrn nods approval and they slide off cheap carpet onto oak floors and a velvet ringed table.

“Joey. Joey!” Loud voice. Toothy smile covering frown. Then a whisper nobody can hear. “ Time for a break, Joey. You been givin’ the house away last ten minutes! Judy Booty gonna handle the next 100 deals.”

“But, I just ...”

“Move your fuckin’ ass boinko … ‘less I call a Herrn or flippin’ burgers not plastic cards got that appeal to yer tired ass ! Too much standin’ causes heart attacks.” Sauls dealers never have heart attacks, thought the pit-boss, not on the casinos time!

“Okey boss Okey I’m fast as dash …” hectored eyes hesitate at the tables players now uncertain. Chip stacks move in and out. “With players watching just don’t make me look bad.” A few shuffle steps and a mauve curtain takes him in. Vanished.

New flesh. New game. Old pander. “How ya doin’ fans and fannies,” says the trim, stacked blonde. Long arms though, long and nimble fingers that been everywhere! Ruffle and shuffle of triple decks. Dealer once a beauty: cold eye beauty surveys her table with eyes hot and malicious and pandering all at once. “Okey sunny and honey I see yer hot for the trots … game for fame …” She looks above. “I see ya watchin’ .” Every wall has a pair, the 120-inch hi-def plasma screens they draw players eyes, wallets and cut table rake!

Saul has always shared 5% of table profit with his crew. She banged him twice just for thanks, and has learned a patter, for the broadcasts are not actually real-time. “Trotters are late tonight, cause a’ mud! Pocono Downs won’t start their evening races till 9-PM . It’s 8:15-PM now. Shoe is rue, gates abate ...” She scatters a deck and mixes … then shuffles them back into the shoe. “I’m ready ta trot … got any riders?”

“Cards away Booty,” snaps Max the pit-boss!

“Burning my fingers Maxie”

Shoulders squared. “Don’t EVER call me Maxie!”

Was a thing they had, like him banging her every Thursday night after shift-change. “Okey alright boss! Cards gonna fly. Heh, you on the right. Whatcha smirking punk I got a better rack than that bimbo standing behind. She gotta lean on yer or what? Gotta gun in yer pocket readt ta fire? Just kiddin , lady just kiddin … Sure, here, have one a’ my Camel straights. Smooth burn for the right gent that’s me … Show more too if I bend a bit so …. CUTONE FOR THE HOLE … place yer bets ladies and gentlemen plaaaace yer bets.”

Chubby face lawyer sits last on-the-left. Some blackjack book told him to do that. “I feel lucky - - gonna bet yards till the kookoo crows.” Booty flips plastic. Cards scatter …

“Pair a’ 10s Reeva, against a dealers five. Dealers gonna bust no matter what I do; I’m gonna slit!”

“Idiot!” Booty sneers.

“Two is twelve stand and five is fifteen stand. Queen … and nine dealer busts. Damn I’m fast. That’s a quick $200 on the first hand. Others see, they played conservative and 3 of 4 lost! I gotta clue it’s my game and my night.”

Chips stack. “Leave it at $100? Sure I will … 7 against her Nine. Hit what else?” A that’s 18. I’ll stand on that she goona go down like a $10 blo-job!”

Slap slap … “Four and … and nine Booty bust again ! Chip tops chip. What a fat night this gonna be!”

The table purrs packed tight with six other players, beside him a black-lipstick goth ice-cold with sharp elbows, three other women, a suited swell and a fat-man. The lawyer settles in. Goth shows a lotta thigh and Camp catches the fish. “What’s next? Everybody gotta get a hook … some got better hooks than others. 12 against six … “Stand. Damme ...” Booty Ace rule.

15 against dealers four. It’s a hit … but the lawyer thinks not tonight and stands. “Yip yip two Jacks and Ms Booty goes down again. Kinda like that action huh,” he smiles evil cross to the dealer.

Wound & bound for three bill$ he wouldn’t last five minutes she thinks. 17 against a queen. “Sure loss,” thinks the lawyer. But 5 & queen busts her flat as a cheerleader lay on a band-bus. “My night, ya all gotta figure my night! Up a fat five hundred and haven’t had my first comp.”

Doubles up for a soft 17. Dealer busts 9-7-6. Flush!

“Waitress. Two martini - - TR and onions. Dry, very dry!” He shrugs off the blonde and ruffles his stack of $800 won ceramic chips beside the grand he come with. Can’t fault Davidsons casino for using cheap chips, like the Alabama Cherokee joints. Players notice a winner. He yips: “Reeva, cunt get useful beside showing the boob-job. Cost me plenty! Get the damned waitress will ya?”

She bites a curse, moves … alone now his eyes flit and cards flip; plastic swears: black A-J! The Attorney pounds the table and exclaims. “Blackjack!” Blood rushes, a knee brushes his … he squeezes the goths smooth skin. “Stud! Tell me whose table-stud now!” Hi-five! Comps come easy when ya win, the goth bimbo beside nipples swollen against shear silk bustier, his hand roams inside the short slit skirt as her knees fall apart. She’s wet easy and presses swollen hot lips into his finger-tips. What a three-some she’ll make bet she eats pussy like a seal. Make sex waves.

Lawyers attention goes down to the sea-of-love in ceramic ships. Players attention wains also, with the randy three-boiling beside the cards. Mom and pop drop bets from $10 to $5, the one counter won’t hit against a 4 or 5 and the sniffling rheumy eyed vet refuses to split 7s and 8s - - lousy cards , but which pairs tonight he seems to own.

Losing money hurts, like losing the life of your own child. “Andrew, change dealers again after our first three lost hands!” Angular face and a nose Hannibal would understand pawl to the computer screen, Saul Davidson … Saul and his casino float a different sea. “Is he clean?”

“Herr Davidson, scanners mark a ceramic krak-pipe in his breast pocket. Shall we ...”

“If we bounced every cocaine-nose in Charleston law, then jaywalking cases get tried in Myrtle Beach. We’ll take their money on Courthouse rules. ”

“Casino rules,” Andrew smirks and returns to his computer screen. The tables, Andrew remembers have had five such blackjack losing-strings this week. He has learned not to annoy his employer with facts Saul knows. “Is Camp a talent?”

“Only if he buys the judge.”

“Our chips and shoe are honest!” American made also .. Saul likes that! Andrew considers, the lawyers luck threatens nothing, unless he’s part of a counting team --- and Andrew has never allowed a counting team to break in. Consecutive re-wires attention on a slaw night, and tempts other players to bet more and more quickly! Parkinsons rule of small numbers. And lose quickly as they must. House rake is 1.5% averaged over any month and the gods of fate will not have it otherwise … super-deterministic … unless the casino forbid doubling-down on soft-16 ! Andrew lights a PellMell Red and blows a thin stream of high-brass smoke into the air-filtering duct above his head.

“Make the dealer change as I decided. Sarah … Sarah come with me ...”

Alone with two quants, Andrew relaxes into his chrome and latex web. The fat quant drools: “Suppose mark and his big-eye bimbo share lasers? “Maybe we need to limit doubling on soft-hands!”

Damn! And suppose alien mind-warp appears, Andrew did not say. He does say. “Sturmer, please have a stroll past that table. Yeah, now, but no piece required. Just a precaution.” Low class maneuver, that soft-double retreat. It limits risk for the optimistic large bettor, and vouyre rush for other players. Cheap and short sighted, a business move fit only for Alabama and Atlantic City peons. All low-class crap, but Saul writes his checks and wants him to cowboy this steer. “Drinks delivered,” he snips into his mic. “Okey watchers …. marks back at the table, playing yards. Here comes the 1st deal ...”

“15 useless against the dealers nine. Hit! Bust no shit Dick Tracy, but lots a little numbers … 13 against four I’m gonna stand. Damn she made nineteen … 11 against her Jack … gotta double down crap the A and she pulls a couple 4s … what is this the deck from pissville?” Head steams. “Crappo on three straight losing hands … heh boss, pitboss yagotta newe set a’ dekks? Yeah you mother does it too … but she bends over … ”

Static! Stiff double-scotch drain; groaning surface felt grinds plastic as dealer plays Ace-Jack of diamonds against turds. Next 17 against twenty; Decks born bad. Table slot patched to a strong-box below eats the lost chips; usta be mine. Campy gags ... “I ain’t born yesterday” ... stubs his fag into red gristle, pushes away from the table and leaving his bimbo as chip-warden saunters uneasy toward a far plush corner and the aging crooner. Goth babe might be 21. She bets $50, finishes the next hand with dealers bust and follows him.

Discrete and cosy for new lovers. Dark microfib loungers deep and fuzzy built-for-two leaning across a crib table walnut thin - - Saul bought a dozen from Lebanese guilds in debt to Hezbollah tree-cutters. Camp and the goth-babe are all over. Yards below … as the micro-theatric slopes … Crooner groans a love song his hair-band made famous 20 years before. He’s got throat cancer from weed and can’t go hi-pitch , but lip-sink can. She spills all over coming once on Camps finger before he gets there.

He has her nipple out, hard and willing. A short-cut hi-yellow waitress comes and goes. Invited , she pinches the goths raw pink button wickedly with a pleasure slow and vicious. Her tight proud ass is wet too. “That’s a stairway ta heaven I didn’t expect,” goth gasps knees trembling when her teeth remove from the lawyers wrist.

They bang tumblers and GlenLivits vanish. Lawyer waffles. Strokes her face. “Pale frail … I figured you for the quick kind, give-N-go. I like to watch!” A well-dressed German tourist walks by … Campy knows German engineers believe in logic. This one is deaf, cause his ear-bud is whistling. Campy hears high-pitch notes, like mockingbird trills. Always has. Watt high!

She clenches, her lips making a silver smear on his cheek. “How did I know that? Can you get rid of the square - - blonds don’t punch my ticket - - bet the waitress takes a dare and eats like a chocolate eclaire !” She feels the ceramic bulge in his vest. “Got smoky thrills for a lady?” Singer’s into the bands big-bang hit wowsing wrinkled females and not a tourist in site. “I’m so creamy ...” Goths hand hovers .

Lawyer leaps away from her. “Don’t get so personal, bitch. I ain’t spread knees yet, not like I’m gonna so ya got no rights to poke around. Stuff not yer business.” From a ceiling fixture, low light camera and hi-gain mic grind away; see and hear everything. AI clues on perv, and pushes these out frames to a casino watcher. Prolly debating … but they have been quiet … discrete. Davidson causes betting patrons no trouble doesn’t trouble him. He runs a tight ship ; Campy counts on that, he counts by millions of prime units slipping from one dimensional edge to the next.

“He gonna bang her right there?”

“He’s back and forth … mebby, if the band plays loud.”

“Call Saul?”

“No, if the couple stays dim. What the fuck!”

“Heh, crimped-card problem at number-2 Texas-Hold-Em table … big run and no fun one guy talks about a gun” - - chuckle chuckle - - “Have a look ...” both men turn ...

Camp and goth are invisible. Sharp little teeth showing she lurches toward him like a kif-boned honey badger. “Wanna play get me hard … hard to get ?” Bellied up to him he slaps her tit so hard the snap on her bra breaks spilling cleavage like Jonestowns flood.

Goths creame-white face flushes blush. “Oh ya wanna play rough? I like a man who knows the hard side ; gives what he takes, but more. “She slaps his face, a quick stinging slap and pulls his mouth into her breasts. Grunt. It wasn’t supposed to happen like this.

“Crazy bitch,” he snarls smashfacing her tumbledown over the lounger legs aspray and leaps a sprinters stride for the glowing rolling majestic orange forest of twitterbirds flocking across the room from gatekeepers mouth. Gatekeepers revenge! A dentists delights smooth lips no longer , bitch vixen. Her image spews long-fang curved ivory incisors, smoky mirror vampire tools nothing like badger sawteeth and screaming Campy races for the felt rope castle that holds her.

A tall man appears in front of him holding a tray of canapes and Campy runs him down, head-butt to the nose, knee to the gut, steel-toed leather tromping his glass jaw. Well now he couldn’t wait could he? One-of-three no-limit Texas-holdem tables display six Colt-44 cowboy revolvers. Each man has killed, yet noone distract him as he rushes by their six piles of $1000 bills.

A black Stetsoned ranger-guy does look up to curse. "Hells bitch waitin' straight ahead!" Bustlung, asshole Campy thinks violence never distracts serious men. Could'a taught the gatekeeper bitch a lesson.

Campy stumbles over a waitress carrying party-hearty Singapore Slings ... krushed kommiz now. Like high-school wrestling class ... tumble to recover no waste as goth-cloth no longer covered his trail. Broke teeth when she hit the floor Campy grins ... she was demanding and commanding and landing on his trail, making his legend a grail not not not a bloodbath. But, he’d have the last laugh.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO ...” echoes across the magic forest usta be mine he’s clapped the ceramo-plastic GLOCK 2-barrel 45-cal derringer between his teeth so his hands can fight … smash a face - - knock-over a waddler - - elbow to the eye a CCer who’s 38-cal bullets hit the ceiling and never hears.

"Jackson," rumbles the plush-muffled storm sound .. you, Jackson ..." from the dining port a room a world of renown sound: what-the-fuck a talking roast duck he never got there!

Screams and all all all … trips and falls what a ball and rolls over up again running for the bitch that has ducked under her velvet chains usta be quiet standing still, but no longer. Tell me. Honest! Which DMT hero would ever hear the southron basso chant “drop the weapon, Charlie.”

How can you stay alive shouts eternity? It ain’t even an order. Campy thinks it’s a message from the DMT cause he’s got the ceramic barrel and red-head GLOCK bead-eye sighted just below the gatekeepers blonde hair and he thinks two shots in the forehead will make her his forever.

But DeLeons voice yanked him around. I don't think another man could have queered his determination so sharply. One of the eyes meant only for her found the detective and one of the GLOCK derringer barrels meant for her redirected into the brim of DeLeons white straw Panama hat. Not every man wears his hat-brim so high, that a grass-cutting furrow of hair was the only mark that 90-grain hollow-point left on the detectives head.

Well enough - - bullets fly and heads continue to imagine ... even the DMT-rushed and corroded head of lawyer Camp following white plumes of gun-barrel debris till two 40-cal police-issue hollow-points blew the top off his DMT forest.

Thinking now happens so fast he sees orange from white brain slop scattered here to eternity, but has only hurt hurt hurt no strength to pull twice a trigger no longer attached to a finger. “Oh fuck usta be mine,” his body intelligence or a blurt of gas manages to shout before all emptiness reigns.

Can ya dig it Joey? Can ya mine that Quantum chaoes Henry cause cause cause it never was ... being measured so collapsed like a limp body that wave function that usta be mine. Christ the heat!

Players and eaters have all been limoed north-of-the-Cooper, to a Shem-Creek Negro speakeasy financed and protected by Davidson. Brightly Lit, Sauls casino crowds with another class of gambler. Inspector Morraine and his blue-fox were first to the scene; Nicky had two words for them .. or three and they found another grift.

One of Sauls Herrn has tossed a 3-A poncho over Ms Peepers and with two other wives hustled into a well-armoured limo already cruising randomly along Lockwood Blvd. Four whites in biohazard suits suck bloody slop from rugs into glass vials ... vials already scheduled for the GC/MS at City Station lab. Carpetiers in orange and tan stand ready to measure, cut and replace the thick persian-rug flooring.

DeLeon without mercy. "Get their statements, gawdammit. I'll be on IAL after tonight so don't slack-off now. I don't care if ya ride-the-wagon with them." An ambulance carts off two wounded patrons; Sauls suite at Med U. awaits.

Texas Hold-Em tourney has moved to a back room. Near the performance theater photos are being taken. "Slugs .. find 'em! Two .. three ... four ... yes Sergent use the stud-finder if ya can't see the holes!" Nicky directs forensic search for three slugs buried into the casino ferro-cement ceiling. Two other officers hold the gatekeeper and dealer in Sauls office while detectives grill, statements recorded and shysters called in to smooth over the thrill.

Nicky has come up thru the marbled maze into Sauls office. Through glass viewports He looks down at the chaos casino floor and twice at Sauls lawyer and chief security Herrn. Looks and scowls. Sips deep into an old bourbon. "How stupid , this mess to make City Councilmen think! You aren't here and they aren't there ... way it's supposed to be."

Side by side, the three men shuffle. Saul says. "We know that."

“Three chances Saul … three chances to stop this folly. 0-for-three as I see it.”

“We know that.”

“Buy American sensors, Saul. That Glock derringer has manganese diffused into the firing chamber.”

“We know that.”

“Wine bottles cork wine, but not always. The same Wappo Cut trawlers bring in your redfish also traffic the DMT."

“Say nothing Mr Davidson. The copper wants a free ride to promotion-ville."

"Please attorney, stop with the kitch. There's blood on my floor ..."

"Considered a new sommelier?"

Davidson, peacefully eyeing Andrew and Herr Sturmer. "Warped wood or short shoes ... St Paul tells us vigilance is never enough. We know that."

The detectives Italian leather shoes clipped a short path near Sauls mahogany table. “Campy had no business anywhere near your casino. He boiled, a shyster set to explode: two weeks ago he was disbarred for assaulting a client in Judge Rheems courtroom. His own client!”

“We know that.”

Nicky finishes sour-mash Cobbs Creek with a casual slow pull, lights the Camel straight and blows long thin streamers toward casino glass viewports. “Rock shrimp could a’ been fresher. Ms Peepers suggested I have words with the Chef. Net-to-grill is a simple courtesy to diners ... Eve has an impatient eye for culinary error.”

I snatch the gold cigarette case from my tux pocket, spoon a Red to the detective and light his and mine. Smooth Virginia blend forms thin streams of smoke circling the space between us and a Herrn coughs. Hitler was an ecologist Sarah tells me. I meet the detectives eye. “Our executive chef has advised flounder for a charity buffet we’re sponsoring next Sunday. Lead singer for The Magpies will provide the entertainment and Ms Peepers approves. We know that!”