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Keyhole Klub

Junior squatted down next to the foreign guy who was now starting to whimper and cry along with the woman who, upon seeing this began shrieking.  Junior took a glance at the business end of things and what he saw there was gonna give him trouble in the bedroom for months to come.  He felt himself starting to lose it and he could hear amongst the din, customers and employees of his, imploring him to do something.  He was about to get up and bolt from the room so he could clear his head a minute when a hand fell on his shoulder with a leaden thump.

“Okay buddy, we got this.”

Junior turned and came face to face with one of the blackest black dudes he’d ever seen; one of those brothers with that blue black skin color like a new motorcycle jacket.  He got up and saw that the guy was a good head taller than he was and as wide as a doorway.

“Look man, you gotta move out the way so’s we can get the gurney in here.”

Junior stopped himself staring and stepped aside without a word.   The black EMT shoved past, carrying a suitcase sized medical kit.  His partner followed with the gurney which she placed cross-wise in the door effectively cutting the bulk of the crowd out of the room.  The black guy squatted down between the girl’s legs gently pushing the little foreign man out of the way.  The dude looked pretty relieved to be out of the line of fire, so to speak.  The EMT’s partner, a whip-thin, red-headed woman grabbed another kit off the gurney and whisked through the scrum to her partner’s side.  Junior watched intently with the rest of the crowd as the emergency workers went through their repertoire of languages with the girl trying to set up a rudimentary line of communication. Nothing registered, although Junior thought it was nigh impossible with the chick screaming her head off like that.  The EMT’s started doing their thing on her, talking in fast doctor code between themselves and snatching out all kinds of tubes, bottles and needles from their boxes.  Junior had had enough blood and birthing vagina for the time being, and maybe for all time, so he drifted out to the lobby to check up on what his staff was doing.  Casey had cleared the lobby pretty good and the room was mostly filled with a few of the cocktail girls and pole dancers.  Their were security guys sprinkled here and there.  It looked like Casey had called in reinforcements.  Junior nodded approval to himself and spotted Casey at the front door which was standing open. The air was still and frigid as he sidled up to his head bouncer at the exact moment blinding light blotted out Casey, the door and everything.  Junior covered his eyes and squinted through his fingers. A voice shouted out from the vicinity of the front sidewalk.

“Derek St. John, Channel 12 Action Center News! I’m here at the Keyhole Klub on Diamond and Division where a different sort of Christmas Miracle appears to be happening right this very minute. About an hour ago reports came into the authorities that a homeless pregnant woman had gone into labor shortly after she and her husband had sought shelter from the elements in this gentleman’s club.”

Junior could just barely see the reporter start to walk towards the door when Casey jumped in front of him.

“You can’t come in here – this is a private club. No cameras.”

The reporter stopped short and shoved his microphone under Casey’s nose.

“Derek St. John, Channel 12 Action Center News!  We’re broadcasting live!  Can you tell us the status of the young mother inside?  Is she going to have the baby right here?”

Casey eyed the microphone like it was cobra ready to strike. He grabbed St. John’s coat lapels in preparation for rearranging the guy’s anatomy. Junior stepped in between the two like a boxing ref.

“It’s alright Casey, leggo the guy’s coat.”

Casey released and glared while Junior shifted the reporter’s attention.

“Look – I don’t think she’s havin’ a baby here.  The paramedics are gettin’ her wrapped up for a trip down to the hospital.  So no story for you an’ I’d appreciate it if you’d clear the door for the gurney.  You’ll get your shot but you gotta back away right now an’ let the EMTs do their work.”

As he talked Junior saw a police cruiser pull up and two cops slide out.  He saw that it was the local beat guys, Billy and Kevin.  Kevin was single and came into the club occasionally when he was off-duty.  He liked to have a few beers and play pool with some of the girls.  Junior liked to do that too; it was fun playing nine-ball with a pretty girl wearing nothing but a g-string. 

Junior heard some commotion behind him and he turned to see the gurney making it’s way towards him.  The EMTs were pushing it along and fussing with the girl. A couple of Junior’s beefier security guys were flanking and pushing the crowd apart.  The young mother was quiet, thank God, and Junior saw her little partner was following close behind looking worse than she did.  Junior motioned to Casey and they went out the door pushing the reporter and cameraman back.  As they got outside onto the walk they saw that there was a crowd of media starting to form.  A garish colored van pulled up right alongside the ambulance and three people jumped out like the vehicle was on fire.  A guy with a microphone was rounding the ambulance and coming towards the gurney when Officer Kevin blocked the guy’s path.

“Whoa! Whoa there, buddy!  You gotta move your van – you’re blocking the ambulance exit.”

The Newschannel 7 crew stopped short and bumped into each other.  For a second their eyes simultaneously swiveled in confusion from Officer Kevin then back to the on-coming gurney.  Their expressions quickly changed as the officer started to push them away from the action.  Dejected, they went back to their truck, gazing at the scene like a pack of Beagles staring into a roomful of rabbits. As the crew’s sound guy put his hand on the driver’s door of the Channel 7 Newschannel van his sensitive hearing picked up a low mechanical grumble coming from somewhere up the street and to his left.  He stopped short, the sound was familiar.  He called to Ernie, the camera guy.

“You hear that, dude? What is that?”

Ernie was yanking on the sliding door shrugging his shoulders at the same time.

“Don’t hear nothin’.  Move it Steve – we gotta at least get some tape on this thing. I’d like to be home before midnight this year, alright?”

Steve listened for a second longer.  Damn, it was familiar.  What is that? He whipped open the door, hopping into the seat and keying the ignition in a single fluid motion born of years of experience with quick get aways in vehicles.

The paramedics had the back doors of the ambulance open and Junior started to feel the tension leave his body as they prepared to shove the gurney inside. Soon the pregnant woman and her attendant problems for the club would be whisked away to the hospital. Casey heard something like a big engine revving coming from up the street; he looked but didn’t see anything.  He got his boss’ attention.

“Ya hear that boss?  Somebody’s got a big snowblower or somethin’ goin’ on down there.”

Junior looked in the direction Casey pointed just in time to see Davey’s ridiculously colored, obscenely huge Hummer sail around the corner sideways doing what had to be 50 miles an hour.  And he was coming straight for them.  The sound of the engine got everyone’s attention except for the giant black EMT who was concentrating on giving the gurney a final, mighty shove into the ambulance and jumping up into the back with his patient.

End of Part Three