Frank pulled his Harley into the courtyard of the Black Widows’ headquarters and shut off the motor. He sat for a moment and listened to the stillness. Not good, he thought. Something is amiss. Frank could always tell when something was amiss. A disturbance in the force was the way he liked to think of it. Frank was a Star Wars fan.
The Black Widows were the baddest of the bad. When other motorcycle gangs saw the Black Widows coming they lowered their eyes in deference. That is, if they knew what was good for them.
He dismounted his bike and walked up the steps to the front door and pushed it open. He sniffed the air inside. Definitely not good. He walked into the main hall and observed Charlie the Hammer playing a hand of solitaire.
“Charlie. You’re playing solitaire.”
There was only one reason Charlie played solitaire, and that was because it calmed his nerves. Charlie was on edge even at the best of times. It was never a good idea to get on Charlie’s nerves. Some people even lived long enough to learn. Charlie seemed disinclined to note Frank’s observation.
“Charlie, where is everybody this afternoon?”
Charlie put the deck of cards down and looked up.
“Do I look like a fuckin’ babysitter?”
Frank considered his options. It was within his capabilities to knock Charlie out cold before Charlie could even think about reacting but he was genuinely interested in knowing what the disturbance he was sensing was about so he moved that option to the no-go column. He decided to go with option B, tact.
“Charlie, you seem a bit more on edge than usual. Wanna tell me what that’s about?”
“I’m not a fan of humour Frank. This you know about me.”
“I’m with you so far.”
“So, this new prospect you got hangin’ around here, Joe, he ain’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, Frank.”
“I’m aware of this fact, Charlie. I don’t suppose you know where young Joe is, do you?”
“Oh, I know where he is, Frank. He’s out back where I left him.”
Frank could feel the nature of the disturbance in the force coming into focus. It was not a good thing.
Frank went out to the back yard and found Joe in a heap on the lawn looking rather like a jigsaw puzzle with a couple of pieces missing. The sight did not gladden his heart. He determined that his new prospect was still breathing and went back inside.
He sat down opposite Charlie the Hammer.
“Charlie, please do me the honour of enlightening me as to why you would cause our young prospect to be in such a state of incapacitation.”
“I don’t like knock-knock jokes Frank.”
“I see. Joe told you a knock-knock joke, did he?”
“I told him I wasn’t interested. He wouldn’t take a hint.”
Frank rubbed his chin and considered.
“So then, Joe was annoying you, is that it?”
“Yes, Frank. Joe annoyed me. I told him to leave it out. He didn’t leave it out. I told him I was in no mood for his crap. He’s not a keen listener, if you get my drift.”
“Charlie, I want you to tell me what happened. What was the joke?”
Charlie grimaced and turned red.
“C’mon, Frank. He got what was coming to him.”
“Charlie, I’m not going to ask again. What was the fuckin’ joke?”
Charlie glared at Frank and threw the cards down in disgust.
“Betchur sorry you asked who’s there.”
Frank nodded. Some days it just didn’t pay to be inquisitive.