Topic: Tall Tales of Sin

Greyhound Arriving – Chapter 12 0

The Coin Castle King

All the discarded neon from the hotels, motels, clubs, and casinos of Las Vegas ended up in the boneyard. Once shiny and bright, signs now waited here to die. Tucked behind a sign company, the boneyard only took visitors by appointment. It made a kitschy place to meet.

Todd preferred this spot to any other place in Las Vegas. It wrapped up all of the glitter, glamour, and glitz into one place where secrets came to be forgotten.

Wallace and Cindy found Todd standing beneath the Coin Castle King. The massive statue offered anyone a coin. For years, the king stood on Fremont Street until Todd decided to build his office and turned the casino below into a slots parlor. Nothing in Vegas lasts; the Coin Castle King stood rusting in the boneyard.

Two men approached Wallace and Cindy. A bigger man with a mustache outstretched his hand. He pulled Wallace closer as they shook hands. The big bodyguard whispered in Wallace’s ear. The man stepped back and waited. Wallace took out his revolver and handed the gun to the man.

“We’re just here to talk,” Wallace said. He regretted parting with the gun, but it made no sense to start a fight.

The smaller bodyguard smoothed his hands over Cindy’s leather pants. He found no weapons. Wallace never gave Cindy a gun, a pocketknife, or anything that could be used as a weapon. She even left the rim fire pistol behind.

She stood behind Wallace and peaked at Todd. A flood of emotions ripped through her and she lunged at him. Todd took a step back and let his bodyguards stop her.

“Look girl, my fight was never with you,” Todd said. “Me and your dad had a disagreement, but you never came up.”


Also on:

Greyhound Arriving – Chapter 11 0

Neon Boneyard

Cindy slept in a grey REO Speedwagon shirt on the overstuffed couch in Wallace’s office. A gauze bandage covered the hole in her arm and she crammed her bare toes into the cushion for comfort. The day had been a whole lot of trouble.

Wallace gave her the t-shirt and some jeans from a bag his daughter stashed under his desk. Laying on the couch, Wallace realized how much Cindy reminded him of his girl. She no longer seemed tough; she seemed more like a small child. He thought this over as he studied the Hacienda Horse & Rider sign on Las Vegas Boulevard. At this end of town, the sign seemed out of place far from the neon of the Strip.

He picked up the phone and waited for it to connect. He watched tourists walk past his window as he waited. The conversation went right to the point.

“The girl is here,” Wallace said.

He listened to the voice in the receiver.

“We’ll meet you at the boneyard at 7.”

The line went dead. Wallace watched Cindy sleep. He rocked back the chair and closed his eyes.

A few hours went by and the afternoon sun lit up Wallace’s face. He opened his eyes and spotted Cindy watching him. He placed a hand on his forehead and yawned. His nap failed to refresh him. Cindy tapped an impatient toe on the linoleum.

“So, now what?” Cindy asked. Wallace run his hands through his hair. He was unsure how to proceed.

“Todd will talk with you tonight. But he has his suspicions.”

Wallace wondered too what Cindy planned to do when she met with Todd. Unless she planned to choke him, murder was out of the question. Earlier he placed her bloodstained dress in his trash and he had not found a gun or a knife. Whatever revenge she planned ruled out a gunfight.

“What do you plan to do?” Wallace asked.

“He murdered my daddy and I plan to make up for it.” Cindy suddenly seemed aware of her lack of resources. The stub nose now seemed inadequate. She never wanted to fire it anyway. Still, shooting him was an option.

“I thought you could lend me a gun.”

“Oh, hell no,” Wallace said. “I am not going to help you shoot him. I will help you talk, but nothing more.”

Cindy considered using some charm then dumped the idea. Wallace was now a friend and she did not want to spoil it.

“Besides, I promised no guns, no knifes, no nothing,” Wallace said. “We’re just going to hear his side of the story.”

Cindy stamped her foot down hard and the lights on the Hacienda sign rolled around. Wallace watched the lights slowly dim and decided it was an odd coincidence. Cindy crossed her arms and stood beside his chair. She placed a hand on his shoulder.

“I made a promise to my dad,” Cindy said. “I can’t just let it go.

Wallace nodded in agreement. If Todd had killed her dad, she had a right to even up the score. Nevertheless, the years had taught him there are many nuances to consider. He wanted to hear Todd’s story.

“Let’s just go talk,” Wallace said. He still checked the Beretta in his holster to be safe. One thing being a deputy had taught him; it is better to come ready for a fight then to walk into an ambush.

Cindy hugged his neck and smiled. She was going to get revenge. All they had to do was meet up with Todd Loudin.


Also on:

Greyhound Arriving: Chapter 10 0

He Like a Good Steak

Todd Loudin owned a lot of places and people in Sin City. The people owed him favors; the places owed him nothing. The people usually ended up hurt; the places were infamous.

He liked a good steak and no place proved better than the Golden Steer. Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack ate here, the King of Rock and Roll held court, and Natalie Wood bought her own velvet touch. Todd like to do business in a leather booth next to the restaurant’s decorative bottles of Bordeaux.

The dinner crowd waltzed in around five, so Todd always started around two. He always ate a petite filet mignon, medium rare with a gorgeous crust, and an extra-dry martini with his head right below Marilyn Monroe’s smile. Sometimes he ate alone or with an occasional partner. Usually it was pleasure. Sometimes it was all business. Today Johnny May and Freddie Mite joined him. The first man was an imposing bodyguard on payroll. The second man was a private investigator with news about the robbery at the Glitter Gulch.

“They cleaned out the till. Got away with maybe a thousand,” Johnny said. “Luckily, Charlie had moved most of the night’s take into the safe.”

“Took a bullet too,” Freddy said. “They’ve got him over at Valley. Looks like he’s going to live.”

“The club is a mess. We’re looking at least ten grand just to make it right,” Johnny said. “Bullet holes everywhere. Plus, a scorched spot on the floor where Bill burned up.”

“He always made a statement,” Todd snickered. “How did that happen anyway?”

“A bullet tore through the fish tank, the lights fell from the ceiling, and old Bill was on the floor,” Freddie said. “He burned up in the fire. The firemen put him out, but half his face is gone.”

“Closed casket?”

“Either that or a lot of makeup.”


Also on:

Greyhound Arriving: Chapter 9 0

Don’t Give Up Now

The pain in her arm overwhelmed her but she took some comfort in the news Wallace offered. She might see the man responsible for her dad’s death. What would she do? She felt terror rise up from the pit of her stomach. Was she prepared to kill him? The idea seemed remote until now.

She had enjoyed thing about how she would take care of Todd. The thinking and plotting revenge made her feel better. Now it looked like she was near the end of the trip.

She wondered if she should walk back a few steps and explore some other avenues. It felt good to think about the ways to torture or kill Todd Loudin. The thoughts gave her power. Now she shuddered. Maybe this revenge plotting had made her into an animal too?

The wheelchair bounced over a crack and sent a shock through her arm that brought her to the present.

“Why don’t you call Mr. Loudin now?” Cindy said.

Wallace lifted her out of the chair. She let her headrest on his shoulder as he placed her in the car.

“It would be that easy,” Wallace said. “But I’ve already arranged to meet him at the neon boneyard.”

“Won’t people be there?”

“Doubtful. It’s closed to the public while they build a new visitor center.”

Cindy smiled at their good luck.

Wallace put on her seat belt. As he walked around the car, he noticed a man wearing a hoodie watching Cindy. The man turned away to take a baby out of the arms of a woman. Wallace smiled at his paranoia. It was just another dad meeting his family.


Also on:

Greyhound Arriving : Chapter 8 0

las vegas story

Cranberry Juice

The emergency room at the county hospital seemed a bit too busy for a Tuesday morning. Tucked in every corner sat screaming babies with frantic mothers, homeless suffering from the heat, foreigners nursing hangovers, and Cindy with a gunshot in her arm.

She sat in the middle of a bed pushed into the hallway with her legs dangling over the edge. A gauze pad with a red circle of blood covered her arm. This part of the adventure she could have done without.

“All I found was cranberry juice,” Wallace said. He snuck up on Cindy as if she might hit him.

“Thanks.” Cindy refused to look at him. She put the bottle on her head and let the cold penetrate her headache. Wallace placed a towel on her neck.

Wallace felt sick. The shootout left a man dead, a hurt friend, and most of all, the end of a good place to stop for breakfast. Moreover, this girl almost died. So close to the age of his youngest daughter. What a mess.

“It will be just a moment more,” a nurse said. “Can I get you anything?”

Cindy opened the bottle and took a sip.

“Just let me go.”

“In due time, dear,” said the nurse.


Also on:

Greyhound Arriving : Chapter 7 0

las vegas story
Paramedics wheeled Charlie out of the club through the mess of wires, broken glass, and water. A medic taped gauze on Cindy’s arm where a bullet broke the skin leaving a bleeding gash. Cuts and scratches covered her legs.

“He’s going to make it,” Wallace said. “How he didn’t die is anybody’s guess.”

How they all survived, nobody could tell. A flash of gunpowder played again in Cindy’s mind as the bullet sent a cascade of water over Bill’s head. Then the bullet came toward her and she froze in fear. It threw up bits of cushion and wood behind her. It must have missed. However, a shock wave climbed her arm and she knew the bullet had hit her.

“You’ll need stitches,” a medic said. “I still can’t believe it happened,” Cindy said. “I could have died.” Cindy smoothed out her dress and tried to cover up her scratches.

“I’ll wrap those too.”

The medic squirted out some cream and moved his fingers over the cuts. His cold hands sent another shock through Cindy. She shivered. He paused. She waved him on and closed her eyes.

On this trip, she planned to find the man responsible for her dad’s death, kill him, and escape the desert. Instead, she landed in a shootout and a robbery.

Also on:

Greyhound Arriving : Chapter 6 0

las vegas story
Todd Loudin heard the shots below his office. They sounded close. He cocked his head to listen. Two more shots and screaming. He rushed to the window.

A man dressed in all black ran away from the Glitter Gulch. Behind him, a half-dressed girl flailed on the ground with a hole in her leg. Another girl wearing only a bikini tried to help her. Green bills blew out of a broken grocery bag. A couple bills stuck to the girl’s bloody leg.

A man in a Hawaiian shirt, a straw fedora, and blue slippers held up his hands. A woman screamed and covered her hair. Todd chuckled. Imagine the sensation back home if she lost both her money and her head in Las Vegas.

Behind the man in black, a revolver spun around in one hand as a small duffel bag followed behind in the other. Todd leaned out the window and watched the stranger run.

The man crossed into the alley with the duffel flying behind him. Thin orange neon roped down the outside of the Golden Gate Hotel pointing to the alley. Todd watched the commotion and fear.

He looked away from the spectacle across the varnished room. He locked eyes on his bodyguard standing watch near a large wooden door. The bodyguard nodded. He secured his gun, turned, and left the room.

“Well boys,” Todd laughed. “All in a day’s work.”

He plopped down behind a desk of polished marble and leather. Todd pulled out a cigar from his jacket, cut off the end, drew it up to his mouth, and licked the end. He reached into a drawer behind him for a match. Lighting the cigar, he settled in for a smoke.


Also on:

Greyhound Arriving : Chapter 5 0

las vegas story
A man dressed in black shifted his weight in the far booth with the girls. Feather hung on him like a white dishcloth and her breasts touched his shirt. She patted his arm when he laughed. The man chewed on a twizzle stick and a baseball hat hung low over his forehead. Cindy saw the corner of his eye when he smiled at Feather.

“They seem full of energy,” Cindy said.

Bill looked behind him. “The night always brings out the happy.” He turned around and eyed Cindy.

“Who’s the guy?” she asked. Cindy thought the stranger seemed out of place.

“Money can make you happy. Dreams can make you happy,” Bill said. “And we have enough of both to make you almost giddy.” He patted Cindy’s hand.

“You could use some happy, right?” Bill aimed to sign up the girl before the party started again.

He smiled a wide grin. Cindy looked behind him to the far corner of the bar. Wallace followed her gaze.

“Likely a guy who figures he might go home with Feather,” Wallace said. Bill twisted his head. “Why don’t you all go home now,” he shouted.

The laughter stopped and Feather fidgeted. The stranger leaned forward and Feather let go his arm.

“Go on. Go home,” Bill said.


Also on:

Cindy’s Sin 0

Cindy’s Sin is the first novella in the series Tall Tales of Sin. You can read the novella in chapters here, or you can purchase the entire story on Amazon. The novella starts off with the chapter Greyhound Arriving as Cindy Lash arrives in Las Vegas to avenge the murder of her father. Cindy appears a novice. But she quickly learns some street smarts to carry her through to the end of her revenge plan.

Cindy Lash came to Las Vegas on the Greyhound Bus. So the first chapter of the novella is Greyhound Arriving. If you have ever arrived in Las Vegas in the summer who already know what Cindy feels the moment she gets off the bus; a blast of heat.

She’s in Las Vegas to avenge the death of her father Tommy. But getting to the killer will take a bit of luck, magic, and street smarts. She lacks the street smarts, but her luck may turn out to be her best asset. I feature the Las Vegas neon as a central character allowing the magic of the light to flow through Fremont Street and eventually landing at the Neon Boneyard.

When completed the entire series will cover a lot of mystery, surprise, and excitement. Currently, I am learning Klingon for a sexy romp at a space-themed marriage bureau that ends with the bride married to a different husband. I’m also working on a mystery taking place in the underground sewers where people live a stone’s throw from the Las Vegas Strip.

One of the tricks is to weave all of the characters throughout the series. I’m currently trying to find a way to keep all of the characters located near downtown. Hopefully, readers notice this as they read Tall Tales of Sin.

Cindy’s Sin started out as a short story and quickly became a much longer story. Many of my short stories could become bigger stories if I chose to write them.

You can find Cindy’s Sin at Amazon or your favorite bookstore by special order.

Greyhound Arriving : Chapter 4 0

las vegas story
Cindy counted the number of bubbles rising up from the bottom of the aquarium behind Bill’s head. A black and white fish floated through the bubbles followed by a yellow and blue. The black and white was missing an eye. Otherwise, each fish looked happy to be swimming in a strip club.

“You should add a clown fish.” Bill looked over at her. “Like Finding Nemo.”

“You are an odd,” Bill paused. “No, make that a pretty, odd girl.”

He decided to file away the question about Todd L. for the moment. It could wait. What he needed right now was a fresh dancer.

Bill leaned around the aquarium and looked down the length of the runway. He shouted at the girls finishing breakfast.

“Feather. Get up here and dance.” Bill pointed to the stage. “Charlie, drop the lights and turn on some music.”

Feather looked down the stage. A second girl slowly pointed with both hands toward where Bill was sitting with Cindy. Feather huffed and slowly slid across the padded seat.

“Move it!” shouted Bill. “Charlie. Lights and Music.” Bill pointed at the controls.


Also on: