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.
“I think a guy just robbed your place,” said a bookish man wearing a blue tie. He punched the sentence with a loud laugh. Two other men fidgeted and motioned for him to be quiet. The man shrugged through a nervous laugh. Todd leaned into the three men seated in front of him.
“I doubt he will get far.” He punched the desk with his cigar end. He brought it back to his mouth. The bookish man watched the cigar as Todd chewed on it.
A wailing siren broke the tension. Two black and whites jumped over the sidewalk cutting through a line of tourists. Each police car stopped away from the strip club.
Todd took another look out the window. The bookish man tightened his tie around his neck and cleared his throat. The other two men repeated their hand gestures. He shrugged in resignation.
Two police officers found Feather crying with a ripped bag of money and a gunshot in her leg. They hunched behind their car doors shouting for her to give up. Two other officers stood off to the side. Feather pulled herself around and reached into the bag. The officers jumped back.
She held up a handful of cash. Dark purple blood mixed with the green cash. The man in the straw fedora dropped to the ground. Other tourists ran into a casino. Feather cried on the sidewalk holding up the crumpled mess.
One of the officers stood up from behind his car door. “We have you,” he shouted. “Just give up.” He aimed his weapon at her. The other officers circled her.
Feather sat frozen with one hand in the air and the other covering her thigh. She hung her head down and let out a whimper. A bloody dollar bill blew across Fremont toward the man in the fedora. He scooped it up, wiped away the blood, and stuck it in his pocket.
Two officers tackled Feather and she kicked her feet under their weight. Two others walked inside the Glitter Gulch at a slow pace.
Todd surveyed the cacophony under the canopy. He watched the girl, the money, and the arrest. He turned to the three men.
“Someone should wash that blood off the sidewalk,” he said. “It’s bad for business.”
The three men stared straight ahead. They could only imagine the scene below. “Gentlemen,” Todd said. “I don’t even know why we’re here.”
The bookish man in the blue tie jumped up and started to talk.
“We have a quick proposal.”
One of Todd’s bodyguards grabbed him at the shoulders. His shoes scuffed along the floor as he danced out the large wooden door.
“I can’t help you today,” Todd said.
The other men rushed to help their friend and tried to keep him from shouting back at Todd. He waved them off and turned back to the Glitter Gulch.
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