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The Beech Boys Run Amok

by David M. Hamlin

About the Author: David M. Hamlin is the author of Winter in Chicago (Open Books Press, 2016), a mystery about abuse of power, glass ceilings and AM rock radio in 1975. He has also written Los Angeles's Original Farmers Market (Arcadia Press) and The Nazi/Skokie Conflict (Beacon Press), commentary columns, professional journal articles and the box copy for the Hot Wheels(TM) 40th Anniversary Edition, Gilmore Oil White Truck and Agajanian Special midget racer.


“Thing is, why go to all the trouble of using a shim or a coat hanger, maybe give up and just smash the window? You still gotta hot wire the thing, right?”

Donald Beech sat across the table from his younger brother Jimmy, his feet sprawled out into the kitchen where Jimmy’s wife Liz was scraping furiously at the cooked-in egg Donald had left in the frying pan.

“Plus the car alarm,” said Liz.

“Don’t mean a thing,” Donald said. “We’re in L.A., right? Probably a couple hundred car alarms going off in this city right now, they don’t mean jack unless there’s a squad car on the block. And then it’s a false alarm, some loud truck set it off.”

“So what’s your bright idea?” Jimmy was staring out the window at the tiny back yard where despite the bright spring sunshine two dying rose bushes were the only sign of life.

“Simple,” said Donald. “We get them to hand us the keys.”

Liz snorted. Jimmy swung around in his seat and aimed his best raised eyebrow at his brother.

“Really. You say ‘Hey, me ’n’ my brother here, we need to steal your car could you please hand me the keys? Thanks so much.’ Like that’ll work.”

“Your problem, you got no imagination, Jimmy.”

“Okay, smart ass,” said Liz, turning to face him, the sponge in her hand dripping egg-tainted droplets on her bunny slippers, “give.”

“What we do, we scope out some junk yards, scrap metal places, we find an old Valet Parking sign.”

Story Comments

Feb 21 - Nick Sweeney

Excellent tale. Great characters and dialogue. I really enjoyed it.

Feb 21 - Earl Staggs

Loved the story. Clever, well-written, and very entertaining from beginning to end.

Feb 21 - Sal Baby

Reads easily. Dialog believable. Characters fairly well differentiated, if not clichéd. Plot line obvious, but the journey getting there carries you along. Everyone a little wooden, however. And the ending is a throwaway...

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