This is a creative writing experiment, shamelessly stolen from the Chopin Manuscript: a serialized story where each author writes a different chapter. The members of this blog are each writing their own chapter, and we’re calling ours the “Cakepan Manuscript”.
You can start reading at Chapter One, which began with the premise: “An unemployed teacher, in a wine store, runs into a former student.” Each week we will post a new chapter until we reach the thrilling conclusion!
We hope you enjoy!
Chapter 7: A Twist of Tomasso
Dietrich’s borrowed clothes were too constricting for cooking. He needed to keep his whisk moving in the saucepan. He thought the whole outfit was hideous, but agreeing with Terrence and putting it on was the quickest and easiest way to get him out of the apartment and start dinner. As it was he would probably still be cooking when his date arrived even if she was fashionably late.
Dietrich took off the jacket and threw it at the back of a chair, pushed up the sleeves of his shirt. That was better and he started to get into the rhythm of cooking, letting the familiar movements take his mind off the bodega debacle. He was disappointed in young Zach. Dietrich knew the kid faced challenges but he had expected better than what he’d seen in the store. Lesson learned.
Dietrich laid aside the whisk and took up a sharp knife. He had fresh herbs from his window box and he laid them out on a cutting board. Before he could start chopping though the doorbell rang. He glanced at the clock but it was still a bit early for his date. Dietrich started for the door then stopped. He still had the knife in his hand. He didn’t think anyone had followed him from the bodega and he doubted the cops could track him at all let alone this quickly. Unless they got to Zach before Benny and his boys. He decided to use the peephole this time.
The person in the hall was a woman with her back turned to the door. All Dietrich could see was a mass of platinum blond hair. Terrence had said Kelly was a blond so he unlocked the door and opened it. She turned and Dietrich could tell she was scared even though her eyes were concealed by oversized sunglasses. The girl from the getaway car.
Dietrich started to close the door but a foot shot out and kicked it open. Zach had been hiding beside the door away from the peephole. Now he shoved Dietrich back and barged in with his gun pointed in Dietrich’s face.
“Yeah guess who motherfucker?” Zach was trying to sound triumphant but it came off as shrill. His face was still bloody from Benny’s boys. “Drop the knife!”
“Zach,” Dietrich said. He did not drop the knife. “How did you get away from the mob?”
“When the cops showed everybody scattered. I ran and had my girl come get me.”
“Huh. Sounds like the only thing you got right today,” Dietrich said. “Why did you come here and more importantly, how did you find me?”
“Your phone dumbass!” Zach held it up and waved it. “It’s got Mapquest directions from here to Benny’s.”
“Wait,” said the girl, “you got that phone from Holfinger?”
“Yeah I took it from him in the store so the cops couldn’t trace mine.”
“Well you took one of my phones,” Dietrich said. He reached in his pocket and pulled out another one which he waved in mockery of Zach. “And you can leave it with me before you go.”
“We’re not going anywhere Holefucker.”
“Holefucker,” Dietrich said and laughed. “I like that one better than Dickface. And it’s more accurate. Of course your girl would know that better than you. Right Ashlee?”
“You recognized me?” Ashlee said and pulled off the sunglasses.
“Of course dear. The disguise was a good idea but you didn’t hide your talented mouth.”
“Babe,” Zach lowered the gun and phone and looked at the girl. “What’s he talking about?”
“Why do you think I got fired Zach? For letting you morons play video games?”
Zach looked back and forth from Dietrich to Ashlee. “Babe?” he said in a small voice and Ashlee just shrugged.
“Oh, you’re dead asshole,” Zach raised the gun again and Ashlee grabbed his arm.
“Zach no! You don’t know—” Zach shook her off.
“I’m gonna blow your head off!”
“I kinda doubt it,” Dietrich said and gestured with the knife at Zach’s tattooed chest. “For one thing this isn’t Grand Crimezone. For another I explicitly told Johnny V to give you an unloaded gun.”
“How the hell do you know Johnny V?”
“Zach let’s get out of here,” said Ashlee. “It’s his phone.”
“When you called me from the store the number came up as Victor Tomasso.”
“But I called you with Holefucker’s phone.”
Dietrich and Ashlee waited while Zach looked from one to the other, then from the empty gun to the cell phone in Dietrich’s hand to the one in his own. Finally it clicked and Dietrich was pleased at the look of fear when Zach met his eyes.
“Dunh dunh duhhn!” Dietrich waved the knife with a theatrical flourish.
“You’re Tomasso?” Zach stammered. “But how did…it’s not…why?”
“Oh, please,” Dietrich said. “Do you have any idea what an art teacher makes?”
“I’ll tell!” Zach screamed. “I’ll go to the cops!”
“And tell them what? Your art teacher is also a gangster?”
“Yeah but the store—”
“The store you tried to rob? Where you pointed a gun at the gangster and he pissed his pants? I don’t think they’ll buy it. Lucky thing I had to go.”
“Zach let’s go,” Ashlee was backing out the door.
“Yes Zach go,” Dietrich said and advanced with the knife. “Keep the gun but leave my phone.”
Zach did as instructed and Dietrich followed and stood in the hall. He watched them go down the hall toward the elevator.
“Take the stairs,” he called as Ashlee reached for the button. “I’m expecting a date and I wouldn’t want your appearance to upset her.”
Zach and Ashlee disappeared and Dietrich heard the door to the stairway open and shut. The elevator doors opened at the same instant and an attractive blond woman stepped out. She stopped when she saw Dietrich’s knife. Dietrich plastered on a bland smile.
“You must be Kelly,” he said. “I’m Dietrich. I’m just making dinner.”
“Hi,” said Kelly and came to meet him. She handed him a bottle. “I brought some wine.”
“Woodland Syrah,” Dietrich said and fingered the woodcut on the label. “It’s perfect.”