09-05-2011, 01:12 PM
"Good goin', Georgie!" Linehan said as he rubbed down George's aching limbs. "Ye're a credit to this old sod! Ye heard 'em out there, cheerin' fer ye! Ye really got 'em out of their seats! Now ye're in the semi-finals in two weeks' time! By all the saints in Heaven, I'll make a champion out of ye yet!"
"Thanks, Seamus," George mumbled. "But they're more Criss' fans than mine. They're just there because I'm his cousin and I work for him."
"So they're your fans by way of yer cousin, ye're sayin'?"
"Guilt by association is more like it."
Seamus chuckled as he applied more liniment to George's bare shoulders. "How'd the other guys do, by the way?" George asked.
"Well, Ellsworth is out, of course," Linehan replied, "Lacie and you are tied, and Ruhr's come up first place. Ye've got plenty of time to train, Greek! Make the most of it--don't go slackin' off after this!"
"No one's ever accused me of slacking anything, Seamus."
"I know, lad, I know."
Linehan slapped George's rump in rough affection. "Off wi' ye now, Greek!" he said jovially. "Rest up tonight--ye've deserved it!"
George got off the massage table and got dressed. "And tell that famous cousin of yers to keep in his seat next time!" Linehan bellowed. "I don't go grantin' privileges to no one! If he's not part of the team, he doesn't go near the ring!"
"Understood," George said, pulling his muscle shirt over his head.
Outside in the Excalibur parking garage, JD was cursing himself for not using valet parking as he searched the whole structure for his Range Rover. His mother was waiting for him by the West Entrance for him to pick her up, and he had promised he would be there in five minutes. Now, ten minutes had gone by, and he still hadn't found his car. "I must be going senile," he grumbled.
He had scoured the first level, then the second, then the third, and now he was on the fourth. "I know I parked by the elevators," he muttered. "It's gotta be here somewhere!"
He halted in his tracks and tried to retrace his route when they first arrived. I came in from the South entrance, then we circled up a few levels, then I passed a red sign pointing to the elevators, then I turned down a level, and--
JD turned a corner to where the ramp led downward. There! In that second spot by the berm was his Range Rover! Heaving a sigh of relief, he trotted down to his car and started it up. "I just hope I don't forget where Mom is," he said to himself. "South Entrance, yeah."
The Range Rover spiraled down the ramp to the exit. Just as he approached the parking toll booth, he spotted his cousin George. JD brightened at the sight of him and honked his horn to attract his attention. The car horn echoed loudly throughout the structure, startling George, the parking attendants and anyone else within earshot.
"Hey, George!" JD called out. "Over here!"
George spotted his cousin's Rover and trotted up to see him. "Hey, JD!" he cried out happily. "Good to see you!"
JD braked and leaned out the window. "Hey, George," he repeated. "Congrats on winning the match tonight!"
"Ah, it was just the quarter finals," George replied modestly. "I go to the semis in two weeks."
"I gotta pick up Mom at the entrance. Give you a lift?"
George climbed into the Rover. JD drove to the toll booth, paid the fee, and pulled out of the parking garage. "Mom's by the South Entrance," he told George. "You know, her friend Springs was with her tonight."
"The former mobster?"
"Those two are getting pretty tight lately."
"Well, it's more for companionship than anything. The old man's, like, eighty-seven."
"Well, with modern medical science, even an eighty-seven year old man can get it on these days."
JD laughed. "Dude, all the modern medical science in the world couldn't get Springs back in action!"
George laughed, too. "Hey, I see your mom over there," he said.
She had stood there by the South Entrance of the Excalibur, waiting patiently for her son JD to pick her up. It had been a wonderful evening, seeing Danny again and watching her nephew win his first boxing match. She couldn't wait to tell her sisters all about it, especially George's mother, Molina. She would be so proud of him.
But first, she had to get back to Costa's house. JD had promised to be here in five minutes, and now he was five minutes late. Oh, well, it was so crowded in there, he probably couldn't find the car. Heaven knew how many times she had forgotten where she parked her own car whenever she went shopping. It was so easy to get lost in these places; JD would be here soon, she told herself.
A strange man walked toward her casually. At first, Dimitra thought it odd that he would be wearing a raincoat when there was no sign of rain, but that was his business, she reasoned, and gave him no more thought. She continued to look out for her son's Range Rover. The stranger in the black raincoat strolled along, staring straight ahead.
She never saw the headlights of the Range Rover approaching, nor heard the horn. The strange man opened his black raincoat wide enough to block the Rover from her vantage point, revealing his hairy, potbellied, naked body to her. Dimitra shrieked aloud at the sight of the flasher's repugnant form, framed in black. Satisifed, the flasher covered himself and ran back the way he came.
The Rover circled to the South Entrance. "I see your mom over there," George said, pointing to the glass-enclosed foyer. "Hey, who's that guy with her? What the--? Did that son of a (bleep) just flash her?!"
JD slammed on the brakes and bolted out of the Rover, boiling with rage. George followed, kicking open the passenger door enough to rip it from its hinges. Dimitra simply stood there in a state of shock. The flasher trotted away, thrilled to the core. Unfortunatly for him, he ran toward an angry JD and George who were rushing to Dimitra's rescue.
The flasher never knew what, or who, hit him. He only felt the excruciating pain of George's fist squarely in his face, then the feeling of weightlessness as he went sailing several feet in the air. He landed flat on his back on the concrete, his raincoat open, revealing his potbellied body for all to see, his face a bloody mess, unconscious.
JD rushed up to his mother's side. "You okay, Mom?" he asked anxiously.
Dimitra regained her bearings. "I'm fine, honey," she said. "It's just that...that man over there..."
"It's okay, Mom," JD said, hugging her. "It's just some flasher, that's all. He didn't hurt you, did he?"
Dimitra shook her head. "No," she said. "It was just a shock, that's all."
George, JD and Dimitra walked over to the prone form of the flasher. "God, what an ugly (bleeper)!" George commented.
JD glanced at the flasher, then looked away, cringing at the sight of the hideous body lying at his feet. "Oh, God!" he wailed. "I think I'm blind!"