The Shark-Infested Custard
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From the master of Miami noir comes this tale of four regular guys living in a singles apartment building who experience firsthand that there's more than one type of heat in Miami.
Larry Dolman is a rather literal minded ex-cop who now works private security. Eddie Miller is an airline pilot who's studying to get his real estate license. Don Luchessi is a silver salesman who's separated from his wife but too Catholic to get a divorce. Hank Norton is a drug company rep who gets four times as many dames as any of the other guys. They are all regular guys who like to drink, play cards, meet broads, and shoot a little pool. But when a friendly bet goes horribly awry, they find themselves with two dead bodies on their hands and a homicidal husband in the wings—and acting more like hardened criminals than upstanding citizens.
into the back seat, and Eddie started the engine. “Wait till Hank clears the exit before you pull out,” I said to Eddie. “Where’re you guys taking me, anyway?” the man said. “I got friends, you know. You’re gonna be sorry you broke my fuckin’ nose, too. It hurts like a bastard.” He touched his swollen nose with his right hand. “Shut up,” I said, “and keep your arms crossed. If you move either one of your arms again, I’m going to put a round through your shoulder.” Eddie moved out, handling
after Eddie and Don moved out, Larry and I spent more time together than we would have ordinarily. We went to movies together, rather than to go alone; we went out to dinner sometimes, rather than to go alone; and we sometimes went to the White Shark on Flagler Street to drink beer and play pool. We both loved to play pool, and as partners we were a deadly combination. We invariably won more games than we lost. But we didn’t have much else in common. And the times were becoming more frequent when
femininity at the same time. She was a mature woman and well aware of her body. Jannaire had admitted to twenty-nine, so I doubt that she was much more than thirty-one. She was beautiful enough to pick and choose. For every man she turned off by her earthy body odor and underarm hair, and she flouted the latter by wearing sleeveless tops, and taking off her suit jacket in public places—as she had turned off Larry Dolman—she would turn on another man like me who was fascinated by the eccentric,
see. The pitchy blackness of Lake Michigan was somewhere to our left, but we could at least see the lights of the First National Bank Building. The service impressed Don and Eddie, who hadn’t eaten there before. Hank and I enjoyed watching the Korean waiter work. He had a half-dozen assistants, and while we drank champagne cocktails, he prepared most of the food at the table, snapping his fingers, and the steaming plates appeared like magic. We had a smooth vichyssoise, lobster Newburg, Brussel
is, and I appreciate it.” I winked at Merita, and jerked my head. She put down her glass, which she had only sipped, and went into the kitchen. A moment later she brought in the apple snack cake. There was a single lighted candle in the middle. The cake sagged slightly at one end, but she had done a smooth, even job with the white icing, and it looked nice. Merita carried the cake over carefully, and held it low for Don to blow out the candle. We all applauded, and Merita took the cake over to