Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Outlandisher - Chap. 16 A Fine Chelsea Morning

"And the light poured in like butterscotch
  Stuck to all my senses..."  
                                 Joni Mitchell

Spotting the "Grace Your Place with Magic - Interiors" emblazoned on the door of Rusty Elvaino's  large white pick up, Gerremy McButler signals his partner in crime,  Jamie McFraser,  to be ready to load the  17th century antique mirror and other items into the back as soon as Rusty stopped in front.  He had asked Elvaino to drive around the block a few times while he and McFraser went upstairs to retrieve the things the dragoon captain had stolen from his apartment.

Jamie had picked the lock and after ascertaining there was no one within, they had easily carried the items down the narrow stairs without incident. The trick now was to get them back up to his own apartment without  any paparazzi or fans recognizing him.

Although his top floor loft had appeared in a national architectural magazine, he still had a modicum of privacy because of its location.   He was very careful coming and going  and never did anything to attract attention so that, unlike his home in L.A.,  there were no paparazzi  (the bane of his existence) , standing around waiting for him to make a move.  He wanted to keep it that way.  

To this end, Gerremy and Jamie wore sunglaasses and a couple of the McFraser derided hats to try to blend with the crowd.   McButler wore a baseball cap pulled low over his face and McFrasers long locks were clubbed back in a low pony tail.   He wore a gray newsboy cap.   Even with these measures, the two tall figures were far from inconspicuous to the discerning eye.

Back on the road, Gerremy was discussing the best way to achieve his goal.  As McButler talked,  Jamie McFraser was taking in the fast moving world around him and, at the same time, learning the mechanics of driving a car by observing Rusty.  He had memorized the traffic patterns and workings of the stop signals earlier, and now McButler's voice drifted in and out of his consciousness.

So engrossed in his surroundings was he that it seemed like it was no time before they were parking near McButler's building again.    Unloading the bulky mirror first, Gerremy and Jamie suddenly spy one of three middle aged women who had been walking by,  approaching them with determination.

GMcB:  (turning away and lowering his face)  Shit!

Woman #1:   Say, aren't you Gerremy McButler?

The sudden urge to bolt is almost too much and Gerremy starts shaking the mirror they're holding.

JMcF:  (whispering)  Keep still man!  (calmly turning to the woman)  Ye're mistaken madam!  My mate's name is Gespard De Bourbonaise and being as he's both French and deaf,  he doesna' understand nor hear ye?  (tipping his hat)  If ye'll excuse us, we'll be gettin'  on wi' our work.

He  quickly goes around her.

Unconvinced, the woman joins her friends, all of them watching the two men suspiciously.

GMcB: (under his breath) Fuck!  (decisively)  Follow me!

Instead of entering McButler's building, they hurry down the block.

GMcB:   In here!

Keeping his eyes on the women, McButler pushes the door open and backs in, pulling McFraser along.

The receptionist behind the counter eyes the two men and their cargo suspiciously.

Receptionist:  May I help you?

GMcB:  (looking around, hat still pulled down low)   We have a delivery, er... Dr. Avatar.

Receptionist:  (surprised)  Funny he didn't mention expecting any deliveries.  Wait here while I check with his nurse.

Jamie is peering through the window.

JMcF:  They're still there mate.  Is there a back way out o' this place?

GMcB:   Yeah, but ....

JMcF:   They're no'  giving up.  Here they come.

GMcB:  Shit!

Without waiting for the receptionist to return, they pick up the mirror again and move around the counter , pushing their way back into the labyrinth of stations and enclosed areas of the medical practice.

Seeing the receptionist walking back towards the front, they open a door and quickly duck into one of the small rooms...where a woman is laying back in a chair with pads over her eyes.

Woman:  Well that was quick.  When can I take these off?

Watching the receptionist go by through the blinds of the glass enclosure,  McButler opens the door and then playfully turns and whispers in the woman's ear  just before pulling McFraser and the mirror back into the hall...

GMcB:  (laying on the accent)  No' until I get ma trousers off, darlin' !

Alarmed, the  lady sits up, the pads falling into her lap...but by then the door is closing.

Heading toward the back of the building,  they encounter a male in surgical garb with a syringe in his hand coming out of one of the cubbyhole rooms.  Surprised, he gapes at the two.

Physician:  What the hell?

McButler: (nodding to the man)   Just passin' through.   Sorry we can't stay to visit!

Hurrying along, they reach the back entrance and push open the door, noticing the physician scratching his head in puzzlement.

Meanwhile, the three woman have entered the building and are speaking to the bewildered receptionist.

Receptionist:  Gerremy who?

McBUTLER'S APT BLDG.  - Minutes Later

As they hustle the mirror into the elevator, McButler calls Rusty on the cell.

GMcB:  We're going to plan B.   See ye in a few!

Rusty Elvaino:  Yeah, I saw them.  Gotcha!

Elvaino drives away, as the three women exit the medical practice and look after the departing pick up truck suspiciously.

Rusty Elvaino:  (laughing)  Eat your heart out girls!

Still in the elevator, Jamie turns to Gerremy.

JMcF:  (innocently)  That is what  "fans" looks like?

GMcB:  Just one of many variations!   But ye're catchin' on fast.

JMcF:   Are ye that famous then?   Just fer acting?

GMcB:  Just?   (laughing)  Observe an'  lairn, highlander!

Entering McButler's roomy loft, they set the mirror down in the foyer.   Going to the bank of windows and seeing what he's looking for,  McButler smiles and nods at Jamie.

GMcB:  Come on.   Let's get the rest.   It will be more difficult,  but it's the only way.

As they make their way through the labyrinth and toward the parked truck in the distance,  Jamie turns to Gerremy?

JMcF:  Mind if I ask ye something?

GMcB:  Can't stop ye, can I?

JMcF:  Wi'  all the attention ye say ye get from women...I mean... ye're no' a bad looking bloke... fer yer age...  

GMcB:  Some compliment!

JMcF:   Seeriously... Why do ye turn to someone like Elisa fer yer pleasure?  I  mean, she's a fine lookin' lass and all... said she's...

GMcB:   ...a working girl?   (thinking it over)   Well, since you're a Scot and a fine leukin' lad yerself, perhaps I'll explain it to ye in a way yer  23 year old mind can digest it...

He raises his hand to return Rusty's signal then turns back to Jamie.

GMcB:  As much as I hate tae admit it tae anyone...

JMcF:  Aye?

GMcB:   See... although ye canna tell by looking at me,  theoretically speaking... and theoretically only, I am almost old enough tae be yer faither.... depressing though that thought might be...

JMcF:  (not skipping a beat)  And?

GMcB:   (frowning)  Ye bastard!

JMcF:   (laughing)   I've been called worse.

GMcB:  (grinning)  Ye and me both.   

JMcF:   (not letting up)  And ye were saying...?  

GMcB:  Elisa?   Yeah, well ye see.....when I was yer age I was a pretty daft fellow who couldn't handle drink...

JMcF:  (interrupting)  Drink...?

GMcB:  (sarcastically)  Yeah.   Ye in whiskey?  Alcohol?

JMcF:   And that makes ye different?   How?

After skirting a few hurdles they arrive at the truck.

GMcB:   Hold the thought mate! (patting him on the back)  I'll tell ye later, if ye're a good boy...

JMcF:   Hah!  From what I've seen so far,  it's debatable as to who is the boy here...but all right.  I'll remind ye cause I'm curious.

GMcB:  (grinning)  Good word, curious...   Besides sometimes killin' the cat,  it's what drives me a lot o' the time.

Putting his arm on Rusty's shoulder. 

GMcB:  Good work, bro!

Rusty Elvino:  Piece of cake!

GMcB:  (to Jamie)  Here....Help me with this chest  o' drawers before anyone else comes along!

With that,  Gerremy McButler started whistling an old, familiar tune, to celebrate their narrow escape.  Now if they could just find the Captain and deal with him, this whole fiasco might not end so badly.  He hated to admit it, but he was starting to enjoy the highlander's company.

This is a work of pure fiction that only exists in the twilight zone of the writer's mind.   Any and all resemblance to anyone, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate 

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