Car Theft StoryA Story by Ross Saunders
Kind of an untitled short story about car theft. Basically came about after watching Gone In Sixty Seconds (both version are quite amazing) and Death Proof a few too many times.
The hotel was a dark and seedy dive in the bad part of town. Outside the window, the river rushed by as the wharf led up to the docks. On the dingy bed was Jono Morrison. Lying around in his underwear on a boiling afternoon was his preferred activity when it was midday and the sun was high in the sky in July. He usually considered himself nocturnal, that particular day being a rare exception where business required him to be awake early. The smells of sex, sweat and day-old Chinese food mixing with Sera's perfume was beginning to make him nauseous--but lethargy kept him on the bed. Eveything on his lanky body--from his shaggy black hair to his feet--felt dirty. Blade Runner was coming to an end on the TV as his eyes closed again. Sera's brushing of her teeth caught his attention and he laughed.
“Why do you wear perfume?” he asked. “You smell better without it.”
“You're the only one who thinks that,” she replied. “Is the movie almost over? We're supposed to met Simone and Gonchar soon.”
He turned his attention to the screen where the thin form of Edward James Olmos was speaking.
“Yeah,” Jono said. “Couple more minutes.”
“Groovy,” Sera replied.
The sky outside clouded over and Jono smiled. The heatwave had been going on for most of the summer and the rain was more than welcome. Crime had risen to an all time high in the city, very little of that due to Jono's activities.
“So what's the new job?” Sera asked.
“New guy came into town,” Jono said. “Wants us to steal a bunch cars by Friday.”
“Isn't today Wednesday?”
“It's weird. He did a lot of the recon for us. Had the locations on most of them for us ahead of time. We've checked things out three or four times already. They're checking out just fine.”
“I don't like it.”
Jono sat up as Sera sat on the bed beside him. Wrapping her up, he kissed her on the neck. Her frizzy black hair tickled his cheeks as he nuzzled her. Humidity was not her friend.
“It'll be alright,” he whispered. “We're the best. There's a reason for that. We don't get stupid and we respect the ladies.”
“You better not get stupid,” she warned. “Those ladies will get you killed if you do.”
Detectives Harris and Walcott practiced a slight variation on good cop-bad cop. They called it bad cop-worse cop. They were the heads of the new Grand Theft Auto division, and were not known for wasting time. With their heavy-set frames, bad haircuts, and an stereotypical mustaches, they usually inspired fear or comedy. For a change of pace, that day it was contempt.
When Simone sat down in front of them, she got one look at them and laughed.
“Should I have brought donuts?” she asked.
The two officers looked at each other from behind their thick sunglasses, not amused. Harris leaned forward across the table.
“We know all about your operation last week,” he explained. “We know all the cars have been moved to the buyer. That's not my concern. We want Jono Morrison. Where is he?”
“I don't know,” Simone replied. She noticed a pack of cigarettes in Walcott's pocket. “Mind if I bum a f*g?”
“What?” Walcott asked.
“Sorry, I hang around with British people on a regular basis. They call 'em 'f**s' over there. Can I have a smoke?”
“No smoking in here,” Harris informed. “Where is Jono Morrison?”
Simone took a deep breath and blew it out.
“Last I saw?” she said. “I think he was in Aston Martin, taking a dive off the docks.”
Thursday night, Jono walked into the garage as his crew began their preparations. Rain pounded on the roof, warning that their hour was near. The five car thieves each had donned their standard uniforms. Jono wore a black suit and tie, his hair slicked back. The others were dressed in similar garbs. Sera followed him in, dressed in a black dress. The others frowned as they saw the veil covering her face. Simone, a petite red-head, leaned against the tool cabinet as he entered. Sitting on the hood of their car were Blindside and Jared, a couple of wannabe tough-guy Kenyan immigrants. Standing in the center before Jono was Crypts, a thin and weary Brit with slicked back blond hair. Jono's best friend after Sera.
Jono looked at each of them. Along with Sera, these four were the only family he had. They were also the best crew in the city when it came to carjacking.
“Alright,” Jono said. “We need to get twenty cars by midnight. We've done our homework and we've scouted the grounds. All that's left is to finish this. This is it guys. Our big score. With this we'll be able to retire. Now take it easy, don't rush, and don't get stupid. We've got this.”
He turned to the stereo and pushed play. Alabama Three began in on “Sad-eyed Lady of the Low-life” as he turned to the others. They closed their eyes and listened as the first verse progressed, waiting for the chorus. Once it arrived they tensed up and held their breath until it finished. At the words “Let's go steal some gasoline” they broke and went to the car. Sera got behind the wheel and waited for the others to pile in.
“Go,” Jono said.
Sera pressed on the gas as they went about their route. The plan was simple: drop off a block away from the target, boost the car, bring it back to the dump site, where her or Gonchar or one of his boys would take them to the next mark.
Jono could see she was nervous as Crypts got out. They were alone in the car now, going to his drop point.
“Chill babe,” he said. “I've got it all under control.”
“I've got a bad feeling about this,” she said.
“This isn't Star Wars. Trust me. I've got this. We're here.”
Seeing the parking garage, she stopped in front of the door. Jono leaned over and kissed her, his hand cradling her neck.
“I'll be back before you know it,” he whispered.
He got out of the car as Sera watched, turning the car to head over to the dump point.
“Anderson Walters,” Detective Harris said. “Alias 'Crypts'. Why do they call you that?”
Crypts smiled as he thought about how to answer.
“Bad joke, chum,” he said. “Used to be real heavy into the goth scene. Mate of mine used to say I raided crypts for shags.”
“Funny,” Walcott said. “Where's Jono Morrison?”
“You check the bottom of the harbor?”
“Funny,” Harris replied. “Tell me about Devlin Smith.”
Simone's best attribute as a carjack was speed. Unless an outside factor got involved, she could boost a car in less than thirty seconds. Once she had stolen a car with the owner eating a fancy outdoor restaurant. By the time he noticed, she was turning the corner down the street and he never saw the car again.
Jono's first girlfriend and second partner, she had worked with him for years. Occasionally she wondered why she still worked with him, not for any reason other than the thrill of stealing the cars.
Looking at the parking lot of the apartment complex, she spotted her mark. A cherry red 1966 Lamborghini Miura P400. She smiled as she got closer, studying the area around her. Everything looked clear as she reached into her jacket for her Slim Jim. Keeping a close eye for anybody who could spot her, she slid the rod and hook in between the door frame and the window. With careful precision she found the lock.
The lock popped open. Removing the Slim Jim, she got inside and popped on the casing on the ignition. Within seconds she had the car started. She straightened up behind the wheel and started to leave. Shifting into reverse, she took the car out of the parking spot. The revving engine sang to her as she moved into first, than second, ramping up as she got onto the streets.
“Oh baby,” Simone whispered. “You just want to run, don't ya? They keep you all caged. Well don't worry babe. Show me what you got.”
She gunned it into fifth as she got onto the freeway, heading towards the dump spot. She laughed in for joy as it did so, feeling the hum and churn of the engine. The was what she did it for. The sensation and feel of the engine, the thrill.
“Jared... I'm not even going to try to say your last name,” Harris began. “You've been working with Morrison's crew for awhile. Two years now?”
“Sounds right,” the Kenyan said.
“You're more of an enforcer type,” Harris continued. “Kicking a*s when he needs someone to. You and your brother. Your mama know what you two are up to?”
“We haven't spoken in some time.”
“So, Devlin Smith approached your group and Gonchar about a job. Twenty cars, one night. For a group as skilled as you, that's hardly a challenge. But something went wrong. Devlin Smith double-crossed you. Things when bad. What happened?”
“Don't know. We were waiting for Jono to get back when it went bad.”
While the others preferred more “physical” approaches to care theft, Crypts was one who knew and used more gadgets to steal the cars. He and Jono had teamed up once early in their careers and began working together after they found out they were dating the same girl. Their partnership had been about repairing honor early on, but became a true friendship as they worked together.
Modern locking systems made it harder to steal the cars, but there was always a way around that. With a modified radio frequency identification device in hand, he approached the target. A lime green 2007 Shelby GT. Looking at it, he grimaced.
“Old girl,” he said. “It's a crime that some idiot got you painted up like this. A lady with curves like yours, it's a damn crying shame. No grace or charm to it at all. They don't deserve such a nice automobile.”
Rotating the setting, he adjusted the frequency until he found the one for the locking mechanism of the car door. It popped open and he got in. Thirty seconds later he was on his way out to the dump point, taking it slow with the car.
Blindside stared blankly as the two detectives grilled him, trying to maintain an emotionless mask. They had already interrogated his brother, and now it was his turn.
“Alright Blindside,” Walcott said. “Beyond your misadventure with the tiger, last Thursday night went smoothly. PETA is thrilled, by the way. So after you guys got the first nineteen, Morrison left to get the last car.”
Everything was going smoothly when Blindside pulled in with a 2008 Hummer H2. Sera was the first to notice the specks of red on the windshield. As he got out of the card, he was covered in red.
“What happened?” Crypts asked.
“Somebody had a tiger in there!” Blindside shouted. “A mother f*****g tiger!”
Jono looked into the car, swore for a moment, then stormed back over to Blindside.
“It's still in there?” Jono asked.
“It lunged at me,” Blindside explained. “I shot it and pushed it into the backseat.”
“Gonchar!” Jono shouted. The hulking Russian mechanic walked over. A cigarette dangled from his thick lips as he grimaced. “Can we even still use that?”
Without a word, Gonchar went over to the Hummer and took a look inside.
“Da,” he said. “My boys can clean this up. We'll make it look good as new Hard part is what to do with tiger.”
Holding his head in his hands, Jono thought it over. Looking around, he nodded.
“Alright,” he said. “Gonchar, you and your boys get started. Blindside, you're helping them. The rest of you sit tight while I get the last car. We agreed?”
“Good luck Mate,” Crypts said.
“We'll be waiting,” Simone said.
“Ride like the devil man,” Jared said.
“Be smooth man,” Blindside said. “Just be smooth.”
Jono nodded as he and Sera got into the Cobalt and went to the last drop.
“Gonchar says Smith is going to double-cross us,” Jono said.
Sera nodded as they continued down the street.
“I figured,” she whispered.
“He'll kill us I don't make it with the last car,” he said. “I've got a plan. It's risky, but I think it will work. I need you to do something for me.”
“Well, if it isn't Miss Valdez,” Harris said. “I haven't seen you since last Christmas. Your father know you've been associating with known criminals?”
“Not likely he'd notice,” she replied. The smell of stall coffee hovered in the room as they stood across the table from her.
“Let's cut to the chase,” Walcott said. “The only reason that you and your friends aren't being brought up on charges right now is because of you. Your daddy pulled the strings and now we've got to figure things out. Bet you're glad you're the DA's daughter now?”
“About as much as I ever was,” she replied.
Both detectives laughed as she folded her arms across her chest and frowned.
“Let's make sure we got this straight,” Harris said. “Morrison steals the last car. A 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T. He gets back to the drop off point, which is now occupied only be Devlin Smith's men. You and the others are back at Gonchar's garage at this point. Last car, you figure Morrison could handle himself. Right?”
“You're pretty smart,” Sera said. “That's exactly how that part went down.”
“So Morrison shows up and Smith springs his double-cross,” Walcott continued. “Somehow, Morrison manages to escape and steal Smith's car. Which leads to the chase across the city, during the conclusion of which they both apparently lost their lives. But we haven't found Morrison's body. Any ideas?”
“No idea,” Sera said. “He told me he'd be back at the garage by midnight. Next thing I know, he's racing down the pier with three other cars shooting at him.”
“But he did have a plan,” Harris said. “That's why you went back to the garage.”
“We went back to the garage because there was nothing else for us to do at the dump point,” Sera said. “Look, if Jono had a plan, I don't know it. I'm the District Attorney's daughter. Do you think he's going to let me in on his master plan?”
As he blazed out through the docks, weaving by equipment, Jono considered his plan. They had another five minutes before the police became aware of the chase. Six until the media got wind of things. Jono smiled as he looked at the satchel in the seat beside him.
They were about to execute Jono when he turned himself over to a bit of blind luck and chance. As they moved away from the containers holding the cars, Jono noticed a line of cabling going along the ground. Hooking his foot underneath, he got lucky and tripped the two thugs assigned to do the job. Thanks to the mess of boxes and equipment around him, Jono lost the pursuers long enough to loop around back to the area where Smith and his group had parked their cars. The old man put the satchel in the car and followed his men to join the hunt for Jono.
Drawing closer, he saw the new Aston Martin DBS V12 that Smith drove. Black and sleek, it was a work of art.
“Oh baby,” he whispered. “Crypts was right. There is something about British ladies...”
Looking at the SUVs around him, Jono new there was no choice. He ran to the driver's side and took off, the SUVs trailing him a moment later.
Weaving out of the docks, he found his way to the freeway, coming on the Coronado Bridge. Two of the SUVs flipped, leaving only one chasing Jono. Speed and maneuverability was his advantage, the only ones he really had as the last other SUV fired on him. Getting into the Navy Shipyard, he hoped that he would not run out of dock before losing the SUV.
“Come on babe,” he whispered. “Just need one trick. Show me how they do it back on the isle.”
The track before him narrowed. Jono lost a mirror as it struck a forklift. It was more than the SUV could take. They got stuck, coming to a screaming halt. Jono looked back to see Devlin Smith flying through the windshield. He laughed, but frowned as he saw what was ahead.
There was not no dock left.
The crew was released the same day they were questioned, a week after the job. Sera waited on the courthouse steps as the others walked into the sunlight. They looked tired and ragged, worn out from their stay.
“I need a shower,” Simone stated.
“We all do,” Crypts said. He looked to Sera. “You alright, old girl?”
“I think so,” Sera said. “Come on, I'll you guys lunch.”
They all got into the car and drove over to a small diner on the outskirts of the city, just down the street from Gonchar's Garage. They parked there walked down to the diner. Once they had ordered, it started raining again outside.
“You hear anything about Jono?” Jared asked.
“Not yet,” Sera said. “He said he wouldn't contact me until he was sure we were in the clear.”
“It's a damn shame he did that to an Aston Martin though,” Crypts said. “First car I ever boosted was an Aston Martin. Kind of want to kick his a*s for putting one in the harbor.”
“Same car James Bond drove?” Sera asked.
“In one of the movies. Beautiful vehicle.”
The food arrived and they ate, discussing what they should do now. Crypts wondered if they should continue in their line of work. Everyone was game, even Sera. As she paid the check, Crypts looked outside and spotted them.
“That's a new Aston Martin DBS Volante,” he said. “Black, and ripe for the picking. And just up the street is a Mercedes-Benz M-Class and a cherry red Dodge Challenger. It's too beautiful to be true.”
They all looked at the car through the diner window.
“Are you suggesting, what I think your suggesting?” Simone asked.
“We don't have a buyer,” Jared pointed out.
“Just a joyride then,” Crypts said. “A fun little tryst.”
“Let's do it,” Sera said. “Mind if I ride with you, Crypts? Then we meet up at Gonchar's?”
They all smiled and nodded.
They left the table at once, heading outside and breaking for the cars. Simone was in the Challenger and driving out as the others got into their cars. Blindside and Jared were out as Crypts opened the doors to the Aston Martin. He and Sera got in. As he was about to pry open the ignition, there was a tapping on the passenger side glass. They looked up to see a hand dangling the keys before them in front of a nice white suit. Rolling down the window, the man bent over and smiled at them.
“I'd rather you didn't do that Crypts,” Jono said. “I did that to an Aston Martin once and she threw me into the harbor.”
© 2011 Ross Saunders
Added on December 12, 2011
Last Updated on December 12, 2011
AboutName's Saunders. Ross Saunders. Though evidence has led many to question my existence, the vast majority has reached conclusion that I am in fact "real" and possibly a corrupting influence. Spendin.. more..