My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Monday, August 20, 2001

Complex fractions

>> Portlock

Aiming at a mole on the back of the neck of the beast who had tried to rape her, Rosalita Resurreccion just started to stab down with the 12-inch butcher knife when the phone on the nightstand beside the bed rang. It distracted Rosalita -- her maid's instincts said answer the phone -- and that gave the guy a fraction of a second, and a fraction of an inch.

But it gave Quinn Ah Sun the same fractions, and he dove for his Glock 9mm on the floor and brought it up as Rosalita slashed at the guy with the knife.

Mickey thought she was still unconscious, but felt her movement, and out of the corner of his eye saw the gleaming knife blade coming, instinctively leaned away and threw up the pistol to block the knife. It saved his neck, but the blade bounced off the gun and sliced into his forearm just above the wrist, and the gun fell onto the bed.

With the other hand he hacked the petite Filipina's still-extended forearm, and the knife fell from her hand.

"Hold it!" Quinn shouted, limping into the doorway, light-headed from the gunshot wound in his thigh and the loss of blood that turned the right leg of his jeans crimson, but a surge of adrenaline fighting back shock for the moment. He kept his Glock trained on the guy with the stretch-marked beer gut whose black surf shorts were around his knees. He lunged for the silver pistol and Quinn fired.

At first Mickey didn't feel a thing. Which was odd, considering where he'd just been shot. It just took a moment for the pain -- and the tragedy -- to register in his brain.

>> In the maid's cottage Lily Ah Sun and Elizabeth Resurreccion, her maid's 6-year-old daughter, heard the sound of a phone ringing in Lily's house, followed immediately by the third gunshot in the past few seconds.

Trembling, Lily reached for the phone, dialed 911.

For just three digits, 911 seemed to ring forever, and then someone asked her if she needed police or fire, and when she started to say what the problem was, the woman monotoned, "Police or fire, ma'am?"


Again it seemed to ring forever. And then Lily got a recording, saying that all 911 operators were occupied, but just stay on the line and someone will be with you shortly -- like this was the cable company or something! As she held some more, it took all of Lily's willpower not to swear in front of Elizabeth.

Please continue to hold, the recorded voice said again. As if she had a #*&@^!!! choice.

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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