Mystery and Crime Fiction posted September 7, 2009 Chapters:  ...2 3 -4- 5... 


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Pem and Bunker break up a fight

A chapter in the book Moonlighting Naked P.I. Agency

The Fight in the Restaurant

by mlittleton

"It's so horrid. Nothing worse than cold porridge. What is porridge again?" Bunker bent down to shear off another bite of steak. He looked up as he chewed, and cocked his head with concern.

Behind them, there was a shout and the crashing of dishes and then a shouting match.

"You freak, I'm going to ruin you."

"Touch me and I call the police."

Both Pem and Bunker turned to see what was happening.

Chapter Three

Fists were drawn up, and one of the two men slugged the other in the stomach. He buckled, but then got a haymaker on the first's jaw.

Pem pulled out her phone while Bunker got up. He and several men confronted the two men, pulling them apart and holding them in check.

Pem walked over. "Look, you," she said into the shorter one's chest, "this is a nice restaurant. People like to eat in peace."

"He fired me for no reason."

Whipping around, Pem confronted the second man. "Is that true?"

"He was late every night for five whole days."

"My wife was sick. She's pregnant. We have a new little baby, too."

"Working fast?" Pem said, and then stepped back. "It appears we have a problem, but it can easily be solved." She looked at the boss, as one of the cooks fired out of the doors toward them. "If late-boy here with the preggers wife repents, comes in on time, will you let him have his job back?"

The boss-man pursed his lips. "Possibly."

"Possibly? What is that but a mere possibility? We want some assurances here."

"Fine," the boss said. "I'll think about it."

"Well, think fast, or we're leaving, along with possibly the whole rest of the diners here. And without paying for anything."

The boss gulped. The chef arrived, but Pem held up her hand. "This is almost settled, sir. Allow me to finish up."

He nodded. She glared at the late one. "Will you stop being late, become responsible, and act like an adult about having a job?"

He sagged in Bunker's arms, and nodded almost imperceptibly.

"Okay then," Pem said. "We have a deal. Shake hands, gentleman."

The two shook hands, but the chef said, "What is this all about, Alphonse?"

Pem stepped in front of the two fighters. "I think we have fixed things up, sir. I'm Pem and this is my husband, Bunker. Now can we finish our meals in peace, or should we never come here again and tell everyone we know that you've become a prize-fighting arena instead of a restaurant?"

The chef's face blanched. "Why no."

"Good." Pem clapped her hands. "Everyone, to your tables. Start your engines and suck down these great wines with relish once again and chew your meat slowly in the knowledge that no more disturbances will occur."

People all around them stood up and clapped. Pem gave a two-fingered Vee and returned to her seat with Bunker. The fired man walked over and said, "Thank you. Thank you so much. I will not be late again."

"Make it a policy and you'll win in life, my friend," Pem said. "Right, dear?"

"That's how I made my millions," Bunker said, "by always being on time. But also by making some canny investments and getting real lucky and also inheriting a lot of money from my father."

The man shook Bunker's hand vigorously. He gave Pem a quick kiss. Then he walked out.

The waiter suddenly stood by their table. "Would you like me to refill your drinks?"

"I'm fine," Pem said.

Bunker nodded to him. "Go ahead."

As the waiter refilled his glass of water, he said, "If you don't mind me saying - "

"We never mind anything anyone says so long as it's scintillating, titillating and all those -tillating words," Pem said to him. "So just spit it out."

"I couldn't help overhearing you talking before the big fight." He gazed at Pem. "Were you telling the story of the three bears to your companion?"

Pem responded, "It's breaking news. Apparently this Goldilocks character has been
on a spree. No porridge is safe anywhere. At least, the just right kind. She slurps it up like a
starving moose."

One more time, Pem bowed, pretended to dip into porridge and made the slurping noises. "Totally disgusting," she said. "I don't know how they can print this stuff for the public."

The waiter simply stared at her, clearly speechless.

Pem continued, "It's shocking that such a thing could happen in our sweet city of fountains. Murder? Yes. Adultery in high places? Sure. But stealing people's -er, bears' - food right off their table? Completely beyond the power of my tiny brain to absorb." She took a drink and regarded the waiter without a blink.

The waiter said, "Ummmm . . . uhhhh . . . I . . . "

She added in a whisper, "There's no telling how long these horrors will go on with the complacent government these days. I hear she may never be captured, because she's paid someone off. I hear there's a reward."

"Yes?"

"All the porridge you can eat for free for a month. I may go after it myself. It sounds delish."

The waiter's eyes kept getting wider. "This isn't the original story?" he stammered.

"It happened right here in Kansas City," Bunker said. "Astonishing, isn't it?"

Pem added, "I think an all points bulletin is appropriate, myself."

The waiter, nodded, and left, rolling his eyes and muttering, "I guess I won't be getting much of a tip from them."

Pem looked at Bunker and said, "He must be undercover. They're watching us for the least sign of insanity. It may be over for us, darling. We may have to go on the run, spend all our money on seedy motels since they'll figure we'd be staying at the Hyatts and those places, and - "

"Pem!" Bunker cried.

Several heads turned to look in their direction.

"Please, calm yourself. You'll be drooling and frothing at the mouth any second."

"Oh, good grief," she said, touching his hand, "you know I only do that in the middle of an orgasm."

Bunker nodded. "Okay, but it could happen at other times if you're not careful."

She set down her napkin. "Okay, that's enough of Goldie. I'm sick of her. She's a low-down, no-good, rotten, thieving porridge-stealer. I want to get her off my mind, or I may go out and do as she has done because my brain went blinkety-blink-blink about all this, I went crazy, and on a spree myself. Except I'll be stealing steak."

Bunker nodded. "It was getting a little on the long side."

"Okay, fine. The point is, I'd like to inject a little bunny trail into our palaver, dearie."

"Hit me with it."

Pem cleared her throat, dabbed her lips with the napkin. "This retirement thing has gotten old. We need to do something. Besides tennis. And eating out. And banging each other's brains out."

"What about stopping car-thieves, fistfights in restaurants, and things like that?"

"That's what I was getting to."

"Well, what could we do then?"

"I've given this a lot of thought in view of what happened this afternoon with that nasty transvestite guy and his Slim-Jim and then tonight. I think we should open a P.I. agency."

Bunker's eyes narrowed, and he leaned forward, intense. "Like in the movies?"

"No, like in reality."

"You're kidding?"

"Let's try it. Like Bruce Willis and what's her name in that old show, Moonlighting."

"I so well remember what's her name."

Pem pushed back her chair. "She was so memorable."

"I loved her in the Last Picture Show. Diving off that board. Utterly naked. Full frontal."

Pem shook her head. "You would. Do you ever remember me like that?"

"I am, right now." Bunker leaned back, licked his lips sensually, rolled his eyes
back into his head.

She licked her lips and made eyes at him. "Let's go home, bang each other to death, and talk about becoming P.I.'s together."

"I can do that."

"Which?"

"All of the above."

"Then let's go."

Bunker rose from his seat.

"Pay first, dum-dum."

"Oh, right."




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