Swan Dive! Ch. 45: Can a Gator Burp?

With the hard knocks power of a knuckle sandwich delivered by a silverback lowlands gorilla, the rap on the door startled the Russian assassin, distracting him from the steely focus required to kill his targets.

Dropping his sniper rifle to the floor Igor rushed to the door. Expecting to see backup Russian hitman and comrade Lev whom Igor ordered to stay in the getaway car, Igor stiffened when he flung open the door. RayRay stood chewing gum like a stone-faced undertaker on the scene to pick up a body.

“You boys are late for our meeting,” RayRay said.

“How you know where to find us?”

“A little birdie told me,” RayRay said, catching a glimpse of Dillon sitting on the outside windowsill looking drunk and smug as the cat that ate the canary.

Frustrated, Igor asked if RayRay had the real estate contracts ready to sign.

“Change of plans,” RayRay said. “You and your partner meet me at the Spyglass Apartments in 15 minutes. I decided to turn over everything cheap to your new boss in Miami.”

Igor smirked, not knowing RayRay was carrying out his own contract – a double assassination pact he made with himself meant to settle a very personal score. Anybody who even thought about hurting his sister Kim died.

“When I heard you two professional killers threatened to whack that wonderful, I mean whacky, woman real estate agent you scared me half to death,” RayRay said. “Just you two guys threatened to murder her, right?”

“Just us,” said Igor. “We one deadly two-man show.”

“Double trouble,” RayRay said.

Igor showed gold front teeth – one emblazoned with a tiny red beryl gem in the shape of a five-pointed star.

“Old billionaire boss Borys is dead as smoked mackerel,” he said. “New boss of Russian Mafia is Meester Beeg. You promise to keep secret, though, because Meester Beeg is running for American president.”

“I promise,” RayRay said.

Now RayRay threw Igor a curve.

“I have a surprise for you boys,” he said. “A copy of the pee pee tape. The world will go wild.”

Hearing the words “pee pee tape” launched Igor into a jubilant Cossack dance, bending at the knees and kicking out his legs. Most Russians had heard about the notorious presidential pee pee tape showing an excited Meester Beeg showering in a Moscow prostitutes’ pee pee production, but few had ever seen the actual hinky kinky prostitutes participating in the perverted pee pee presentation. Leaking the pee pee tape would be BEEG! A leaked pee pee tape would help Igor and Lev take over their hometown mob.

RayRay had Igor by the red beets.

“When we show pee pee tape on Russian TV Meester Beeg will lose all power,” Igor said. “Lev and me become new Meester Beegs in Russian Mafia. Spend weekends soaking naked in mineral springs with Meesus Beeg and her hot friend Jenna.”

“You win,” RayRay said. “I’m afraid of the Russian Mafia. You big bad hitmen hold all the cards.”

“Glad you see writing on Kremlin wall, American dog,” Igor said.

“See you at the Spyglass in 15 minutes,” RayRay said.

Down on the beach where an excited crowd milled in the aftermath of the rescue spectacle, Ruby Arenas deftly maneuvered her way through a throng of people to reach Kim and Sam.

That was a trip,” Sam told a local newspaper reporter.

Kim Phillips rubbed her eyes, tying to clear the high-flying fog of fear and madness from her head.

“What happened?” she asked.

“You’re OK,” Ruby said taking her hands.

“To hear you tell it, wench,” said Kim’s dangerous split personality. “I mean witch.”

“You and I need to talk,” said Ruby.

Becky sneered.

“Like a date? You asking me out on a date?”

“Tonight,” said Ruby. “At your place at the Paradise.”

“See you at eight,” Becky said. “Don’t be late.”

Randall Lark and Marty Durkin jogged up at the same time.

“That was close,” Randall said to Ruby.

“Too close,” Durkin said.

Ruby and Kim seemed deep in their quiet interaction so the men let them continue to talk.

“Where you been, by the way?” Durkin asked Randall.

“Packing,” Randall said. “I’m splitting.”

“Me, too.”

“Where you going?” Randall asked.

“Home. You?”

“Back to Africa,” Randall said.

Durkin looked at him like he was kidding.

“You realize how ridiculous that sounds?”

“As ridiculous as you going home,” Randall said. “Except for white supremacists everybody from Stone Harbor, New Jersey, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, hates you.”

Both men stared hard at each other.

“Maybe we should both give Florida one last chance,” Durkin said.

“For old time’s sake?” Randall said.

“You want to team up?” Durkin asked.

“As what, Ebony and Ivory?” Randall asked.

“I hate Michael Jackson,” Durkin said.

“Same goes for Sir Paul,” said Randall.

“I’ll you know as soon as I figure out what we can do together,” Durkin said.

“You mean like work together?” Randall asked.

“With all we have in common we ought to be able to figure something out,” Durkin said.

“Real funny, Batman,” Randall said.

High in the sky Margot flew in circles, rising and falling on silky wind currents that lifted and dropped her among spongy bulbous clouds. Dillon flew by her side although she ignored the unkempt parrot. Beer on his beak turned her off. If he ever expected her to one day coast with him he’d have to straighten up and fly right.

Out of nowhere Sam Bennett started singing an old Frank Sinatra song.

“Fly me to the moon,” he crooned off-key. “Let me play among the stars.”

Not far from the beach RayRay mopped up pools of blood in Apt. 6 at the old Spyglass. Those three hungry Glades gators had made short work of the two Russians, leaving only a few body parts and meaty chunks for the pythons to swallow.

When the beasts had finished their meals, RayRay coaxed the Florida creatures into the back of a U-Haul truck and paid Rocco and Ricco to drive the creatures to the Everglades and release them. Their stomachs full, the reptiles slept the whole way home. Except for a booming burp here and there that echoed off both sides of the truck, they didn’t make a sound.

City officials would likely claim the Spyglass property for unpaid taxes. Nobody had cared for years about how dilapidated the complex had become. They would eventually demolish the structure.

After Sam Bennett moved out he had easily settled into comfy creature habits at RayRay’s Paradise. Everyone there clicked more and more each day, harmonizing with the vibes of their new apartments the way a jigsaw puzzle piece fit into the big picture. Over time, Ruby, Randall, Durkin, Kim, Rocco, Ricco, even Dillon and, of course, RayRay would all protect each other.

Only Becky posed a danger to everybody’s sanity.

Peace of mind at the Paradise seemed close at hand.