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  • Chet Baker

Edited-out scene from BLOODLINE RUN

This scene was omitted due to plot drift. Just didn't fit in.

It was early evening, cool, lights beginning to flicker over the tangle of freeways. She drove the Audi across railroad tracks pushing into a crumbling part of north Denver, through crumbling streets, swirling trash and graffiti marred warehouses. We flew past a dog-food plant, an abandoned taqueria, and a used car lot with three dusty cars with faded windshield scribblings. At a burned-out church we slowed, eastbound, through a mess of utility construction, until it was clear to accelerate to an unsafe speed again.

Her face flashed from dark to bright under streetlights passing overhead. She drove with an eager look of adventure despite not knowing where she was headed or what she might be in for.

Joan was thin, pretty face, not beautiful, still a young woman but creeping into maturity. She had an indulgent look that night. Her neat splendid body in red silk, tight skinned, deeply veined. She drove with exaggerated casualness and a banal monologue she seemed to possess in endless abundance. The curve of her jaw, the long neck, firm smooth legs of a nubile wife of another man were bait for a man like me.

She drove with urgency, barely within the boundaries of careful like she knew where she was headed, juiced up, wired for excitement, never suspecting what may lie ahead. That’s why she had sought me out for a fling. A man capable of stimulation but also someone she trusted. Safe excitement if there is such a thing. Joan was in heat, temples pounding, legs in expensive cloths, wind in her hair, headed wherever I wanted.

We exchanged looks. I was what she was looking for.

I lowered my window, took in the rush of cold air, and the smell of a fresh Colorado night. The last of the evening glow gone now, well behind the mountains.

“It’s cold,” she said glancing my way to suggest closing the window.

I did as told, anticipating something I knew wouldn’t end well. But it’s what I do. How I was still alive after all these yeard, I didn’t know.

We flew past old buildings, dark alleys, blacked-out street lights. Decrepit signs advertising materialism of no significance. We came to a dark street corner of an industrial neighborhood. I pointed to a turn ahead. She rolled the Audi onto a dirt and garbage parking lot, over broken asphalt, and gravel, trash blowing aimlessly in stuttering gusts.

“Where are we?” she said.

“Park over there,” pointing to a hoard of cars with a gaggle of motorcycles gathered at a concrete stoop leading up into a barren door under a single light of a wearisome brick building. “Now, turn off the engine.”

She stared blankly ahead. “This is where we’re going?” Hands still gripping the wheel. “This is our date place?”

“Who said this is a date?”

The desolation of the parking lot and the building had changed her cavalier attitude into something resembling dread. She fingered a gold neck chain.

“Turn it off,” I said.

“You’re not serious,” throwing a frozen frown. “It looks like an old hotel.”

“It is. Been through a lot.”

“What do you mean?”

“You’ll see.”

She snapped off a dose of indignation and turned the engine off with a fixed stare, a clear declaration of apprehension. ”What do you think you’re doing? What do you think we’re going to do tonight?”

I snatched the keys from the ignition, threw them in the glove compartment. She watched stunned, her breathing intense. The opportunity was too great. I ran my hand over the top of her thigh and down into the canyon between.

“You’re frightening me.”

She was a horrified little girl sitting there in an obliging red silk dress, perfect makeup, three hundred dollar shoes, opulent handbag. A little bird bathed in high-dollar fragrance wearing hair in trendy swank. Her body was a bouquet of sexuality with a strangle hold on my senses, dank and wet. Slow down, boy. Don’t rush this.


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