November Road by Lou Berney
English | 2019 | Fiction, Thriller | ePUB | 3.4 MB
Lou Berney is the author of three previous novels, Gutshot Straight, Whiplash River, and multiple prize-winning The Long and Faraway Gone. His short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. He lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
“You remember about a year ago,” Mackey said, “when I went out to ’Frisco to talk to a guy about that thing with the judge. Carlos called it all off, you remember, but—”
“Stop,” Guidry said. “I don’t care. Damn it, Mack.”
“I’m sorry, Frankie. You’re the only one I can trust. I wouldn’t ask otherwise.”
Mackey waited. Guidry tugged the knot of his tie loose. What was life but this? A series of rapid calculations: the shifting of weights, the balancing of scales. The only poor decision was a decision you allowed someone else to make for you.
“All right, all right,” Guidry said. “But I can’t put a word in for you, Mack. It’s my hide then, too. You understand that?”
“I understand,” Mackey said. “Just find out if I need to blow town. I’ll blow tonight.”
“Stay put till you hear from me.”
“I’m over on Frenchmen Street, at Darlene Monette’s place. Come by afterward. Don’t leave a message.”
“She owes me one,” Mackey said. He watched Guidry with those hooded eyes. Begging. Telling Guidry, You owe me one.
“Stay put until you hear from me,” Guidry said.
“Thank you, Frankie.”
Guidry called Seraphine from a pay phone in the lobby. She didn’t answer at home, so he tried Carlos’s private office out on Airline Highway in Metairie. How many people had that number? It couldn’t have been more than a dozen. Look at me now, Ma!
“Are we not still meeting Friday, mon cher?” Seraphine said.
“We are,” Guidry said. “Can’t a fella just call to shoot the breeze?”
“My favorite pastime.”
“I caught a rumor that Uncle Carlos is looking for a penny he dropped. Our friend Mackey. Or do I have that wrong?”
Guidry heard a silky rustle. When Seraphine stretched, she arched her back like a cat. He heard the tink of a single ice cube in a glass.
“You don’t have that wrong,” she said.
Goddamn it. So Mackey’s fears were not unfounded. Carlos wanted him dead.