johnny and jimmy’s arrival into their old home town was something neither had ever expected to happen again. ever. when they hit town johnny suggested changing the plates on their stolen car. they drove around ontario in silence looking for a likely candidate. both brothers spotted an older guy in a late model white volvo getting out of his car in a grocery store parking lot. the lot was quiet and the man would probably be gone long enough for them to get the job done. changing the plates was quick and easy. when they were finished they tossed the plates from the stolen car in a trash can. then covered them up with some newspaper. as the brothers were leaving the store parking lot johnny spoke.
let’s go by the old place.
they took euclid avenue south almost down to northern chino and their old home. the home where they had killed both of their parents. when they arrived johnny stopped the car across the street from the old place. it looked the same to them even after all those years. the walnut tree still stood in a corner of the front yard. much larger of course. the biggest change being the old dairy was gone. long gone.
after a bit jimmy spoke.
i wonder who’s living there now? maybe we should go up to the door and ask if we can come in to see if they ever got all that blood off the kitchen floor.
both brothers laughed loudly as they pulled away from the curb.
let’s get something to eat.
sure, johnny, but not mexican. i’m sick of mexican.
yeah, me too. we’ll find something else.
finding something other than mexican food in downtown ontario or just about any place in ontario proved to be difficult. they had cruised up and down euclid several times before either of them spotted the chinese joint.
hey. chinese. i think i remember that place when we were kids. or maybe not. looks like they have a bar. sweet. we can at least tie one on.
sounds good to me. a couple of shots would suit me fine just about now.
johnny parked the car at the curb and the two brothers entered the dimly lit restaurant. the smell of very old chinese food greeted them. not a bad smell but different. jimmy went to look for a bathroom while johnny sat at the bar and ordered them both a vodka rocks. the good stuff. no more tequila for either of them. when jimmy got back johnny was about half way through his first drink. jimmy caught up shortly. they ordered two more. this time doubles then carried them over to a table and ordered dinner. dinner was so so. the important thing being it wasn’t mexican food.
after dinner they sat at the bar again and had several more drinks. they kept to themselves while listening in on the sparse bar crowd conversations. there was nothing of interest there until a well dressed gentleman came into the bar a half hour or so later. he sat on a stool next to jimmy. obviously a regular when the man ordered his ‘usual’. while the bartender made the man his drink the newcomer fumbled around with a semi large wad of cash. this caught the brothers attention. as the man’s drink was delivered the man peeled off a ten spot and told the bartender to keep the change. the bartender asked.
are you playing cards tonight?
nah. the old lady is pissed. i just need to be out of the house for a while.
i hear you. i just thought with that roll and all. you know.
ha. yeah. no, i sold a car today to some wet back. it was off the books. cash on the line. very nice deal. well, at least for me. the car will probably make it through the weekend before it dies and or falls apart.
both men found that to be very funny and spent a few minutes laughing about it. johnny and jimmy had begun to exchange looks as soon as they spotted the cash. no words were spoken. the brothers were like a well oiled machine and very professional when it came to taking what they wanted from someone unsuspecting. after all, they had been doing it since they were very very young.
it looked like the newcomer was good for at least several drinks as he had a couple of 20’s out on the bar. the rest of the cash was back in his pocket. the brothers ordered another round each. when they were finished they paid their tab and went outside. the night was cool and the air smelled fresh after being inside the chinese joint for so long. both brothers filled their lungs with the cool air.
you caught this. right, jimmy? the guy came in through the back. there must be a parking lot out back.
yep. picked up on it.
let’s go check it out. we have time.
the brothers got into their stolen ride and found their way around to the parking lot behind the restaurant. it was a small lot and less than a quarter full. they pulled into a space and shut the car off. then they sat and watched things for ten minutes or so.
well, what do you think, johnny?
looks ok to me. nice and dark and no one has come or gone. no foot traffic either. let’s get out and look around.
earlier in the day the brothers had disabled the overhead light and trunk light at a gas stop. johnny popped the trunk latch as he got out of the car. he stood looking about as jimmy went to the trunk and found the tire iron. then johnny walked over to the alley and looked both ways. nothing was stirring. he heard jimmy cough then turned and followed the sound. he found him behind a large trash dumpster. the dumpster reeked but it was the best place to lie in wait for their intended victim and his ambush.
they spent around 12 minutes waiting behind the dumpster. neither saying a word. there was no vehicle traffic or foot traffic in the alley or the parking lot. suddenly there was a noise and a shaft of light. the back door to the chinese place was opening. as the back door slowly closed they could see it was the man with the cash who’d sat at the bar. both brothers were suddenly sober as the adrenaline washed through them. the surging adrenaline was something they both had come to love. that rush before the kill.
johnny and jimmy let the man get to his car. as he fumbled for his car keys each brother thought, another stupid one. they make it so easy. jimmy was on top of the man and swinging the tire iron with all of his might before the guy realized something wasn’t right. the tire iron caught the man full on at the back of his head. it crushed bone and made a sort of mushy sound as the heavy tire iron found gray matter. jimmy clobbered the man two more times before he hit the ground. the man from the bar was dead before the second blow connected.
the brothers worked quickly and quietly as they emptied the man’s pockets. being careful to avoid the blood they pushed the man underneath his car. the lot was dark enough that no one would see the blood until morning. hopefully, no one would walk through before then. johnny and jimmy went to their stolen car got in and slowly drove out of the lot. johnny even hit his blinker as he made a right turn out onto the street. it’s the little things each brother thought.
they drove around until johnny spotted a burger stand with a drive thru. they went thru it and ordered coffees. then they pulled into the well lit parking lot to check on their new found loot. jimmy counted the cash and he told johnny it amounted to $3,765.
cool. what else we get?
car keys, a bunch of paperwork. a wallet with no cash interestingly enough and a couple of credit cards. ah, a book of matches. that’s it.
let me see the car keys.
jimmy handed johnny the keys and said.
this book of matches is for some dive called, jacks or better. it isn’t far from here. i wonder if that’s what the bartender was talking about when he asked about the card game?
could be. hey, check this out. see this key? it’s for a small gun case. i bet it’s in the guys trunk.
yeah, maybe. let’s go back and check. can’t hurt.
jimmy got out of the car and tossed the wallet sans the cards, the paperwork, and their empty coffee containers in the trash. he put the book of matches in a shirt pocket. the brothers drove back to the parking lot in silence. it was quiet. no cops. no one had found the man or seen the blood yet. johnny pulled into the alley and cut the headlights. he coasted up to the dead man’s car and jimmy quickly got out and had the car trunk open in a second and found the gun case. picked it up then returned to their car. he found the key for the case and opened it up as johnny was pulling back out into the street.
nice. johnny, it’s a loaded glock 9 with another full clip.
alright. very cool. clear it and check out the action.
jimmy did what his older brother told him to do and then pronounced the gun perfectly serviceable. the two drove around for a while in silence. jimmy pulled the matchbook from his pocket and asked.
are you thinking what i am?
a streetlight caught johnny’s grin and his nod yes.
yeah. ok. make a left at the next street and head back towards holt. pretty sure it’s a left at the light.
once on holt blvd it was a short ride to jacks or better. it wasn’t easy to miss. a neon sign out front featuring an ace, a king, a queen, and two one eyed jacks.
this must be it. let’s check it out first.
johnny found a spot at the curb and parked. they left the gun under the front seat for now. the brothers got out of the car and made their way to the front door.
you ready for this, bro?
johnny entered first followed by his brother jimmy. the place was almost empty with just a couple of old guys well into their cups drinking alone at separate tables. there was a guy about their age behind the bar. the bar’s speakers were set at about mid range playing a gram parsons tune, the streets of baltimore. the guy behind the bar spoke.
evening gents. what can i get for you fellows?
the two brothers ambled up to the bar and sat. for some strange reason the guy behind the bar looked vaguely familiar. though neither mentioned it. two vodka rocks. good stuff.
as the bartender began working on the drinks he tried to make small talk.
i haven’t seen you guys around before. new in town or passing through?
a little bit of both i suppose. right, jimmy?
jimmy nodded his head.
absolut ok with you?
that’ll be fine barkeep.
name’s, johnny. cypress johnny.
well, ain’t that interesting. i’m a johnny as well. this is my brother jimmy.
cypress johnny sat the drinks in front of the two brothers and said. twelve bucks.
jimmy found a ten and a five and placed them on the bar.
keep the change.
the brothers sipped their drinks and when johnny asked about if there was a card game tonight alarm bells went off inside cypress johnny’s head.