My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Monday, July 23, 2001

Meeting Mickey

>> Portlock

"Knock knock," Lily Ah Sun called through the screen door of the maid's cottage behind her house. "Anybody home?"

"Auntie Lily!" Elizabeth squealed, sounding tired and hoarse but excited enough to run to the door.

"Hiya, Sweetie." Lily leaned down, kissed the top of the little girl's head. "Here's your Popsicles. How're you feeling?"

"Better now!" she said, taking the box of Popsicles, suddenly noticing the giant standing behind Lily and looking up in wide-eyed awe.

"Elizabeth, this is my cousin Quinn Ah Sun. Quinn, this is my good friend Elizabeth Resurreccion."

She reached out a hand. Quinn squatted down, making himself more her size, and shook her little hand. "Hello, Elizabeth. How old are you?"

"Six and a half," she said proudly.

It stopped Quinn cold. He glanced up at Lily. "The same age we were ..."

He didn't have to finish the sentence. Lily understood. Today was the first time in 21 years they'd seen each other -- since their fathers quit speaking, for reasons neither had explained to his children. On the spot Quinn decided he was going to open his own investigation and find out why. What had been worth shredding a family?

"Well, it's nice to meet you, Elizabeth. You'd better start eating those Popsicles before they melt."

The little girl smiled broadly.

Squatting there, Quinn reached down with his right hand, tapped the reassuring hard bulge strapped on the inside of his left ankle. God forbid Quinn should have to use his .38 snubby, but thinking about the faded gray sedan parked two doors down from Lily's home, the same gray sedan he'd seen following Lily onto the H-1 this morning, Quinn liked knowing it was there.

"Where's your Mama, Sweetie?"

>> Rosalita Resurreccion was putting fresh sheets on Miss Lily's bed when she saw the telltale corkscrew on the nightstand, suddenly realizing that she'd missed so many other clues that should have told her there was an intruder in the house. Just this morning she'd washed the corkscrew, the one Miss Lily brought back from Guenoc in California, and put it on the kitchen counter. How had it gotten here?

Mickey grabbed her from behind, cupped one meaty hand over her mouth, put a .22 pistol to her head, whispered "Don't make a sound and you'll get out of this alive!" Breathing heavily, smelling of smoke and alcohol, weighing more than twice as much as the petite Filipina, he forced her down onto the bed.

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin
with weekly summaries on Sunday.
He can be emailed at

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