Neon Hula Hustle – Part 1

un-jakeKai stepped out of the shade into the circle of pale light cast by the overhanging streetlamp and casually lit a cigarette before casting an eye up one side of the street and down the other. Slow night is what it is, he thought. It did not cheer him, but he batted the thought away and began strolling across the street heading for fresh territory.

He moved along the side street until he reached the main drag. Monday nights were always slow, but this one was bordering on comatose he decided. He leaned against a stop sign and flicked his butt into the gutter just as a couple of frat boys in a rented convertible cruised past. He made a “hang loose” sign at them as they passed and it worked a charm. They slowed and pulled over to the curb, waiting for him to approach.

He took his time and sauntered over to them with practiced nonchalance. Placing his hands on the door he leaned in and gave them a toothy grin.

“Hey my brudders, what’s the haps? You dudes lookin’?”

The driver eyeballed him for a moment, exchanged a quick glance with his buddy and nodded.

“Depends, my man. What’s on offer?”

Kai straightened up and pulled his shades down a notch and peered at them, then spread his arms wide with a shrug.

“The universe, brudder. The whole damn universe. You want, I got. If I ain’t got, I get. If I can’t get, it ain’t nowhere, you dig?”

The frat boys laughed, but Kai wasn’t sure it if was with or at him. He proceeded with the studied indifference he had honed so well.

“Anyway, it’s a nice night, eh? And the best part is it’s still young. Let your imagination run and Kai will weave his magic for you, that’s all.”

He grinned wide again and could see by their body language that they were taking the bait. It was as he expected. But then again, that was usually the case. Kai was the man. Without being invited he hopped over the door and into the back seat. He spread his arms out on the leather and jutted his chin in the direction of the sea of neon before them.

The boys looked at each other again, then the driver shrugged and grinned at Kai in the rear view mirror and pulled out into traffic. They had come to Vegas for action, and their newfound friend seemed to be a dream weaver. They drove in silence for a couple of blocks and Kai maintained an air of control that told them they were in good hands and not to worry.

Finally the driver broke the silence.

“So where we headed? You got something in mind for us?”

Kai studied him in the mirror.

“We’re goin’ to the stars, my man. To the stars and beyond if you like.” He smirked and stroked his chin with a studied air. “Me be thinkin’ you boys are up for much of much. How about we start off with this.”

He reached in his shirt pocket and produced a good-sized spliff that got exactly the reaction he knew it would. Their faces lit up like a christmas tree in full glory and Kai pulled out a lighter and fired up. It was going to be a good night after all, he thought. A very good night indeed.


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