Sounds of Deception

Keys takes a cab to the address on the message and waits for Walsh. Night is closing in; there are few lights on and no one is about. A voice booms out of the darkness. “Hola, you Keys?”

“Yeah, I’m Keys. What do you want?”

A man moves into a circle of light cast by a streetlamp. He grins widely, highlighting a gold front tooth in the light. He takes a long bladed knife from his belt.

“I want you, señor.”

Keys hears a scrape behind him. “I see you brought a friend. I take it you two were sent by Manny. You guys dandy boys, too?”

“You will die here; I will take pleasure to kill you, gringo.”

Gold-tooth nods to his confederate to move in on Keys.

Keys lets his camera bag slip to the ground to pull his pistol.

“Pistola, pistola,” the man behind Keys yells.

“You are not to have pistolas here,” Gold-tooth says.

“I don’t go anywhere without it,” Keys replies. “I keep it with me for occasions just like this.”

“You would be in much trouble to use the pistola; only Federales have pistolas.”

“Amigo, everybody here has a gun. You must be too poor to own one. Put up your knives and go away. I’ll let you live to pester someone else. You can tell Manny to come for me himself.”

“I no get paid to run away. I don’t think you can shoot dos.”

Keys shows his teeth in a wide grin. “I don’t need to shoot both of you. I’m gonna kill you and your friend’s gonna run away.

“He will no run.”

“Okay, amigo. He takes one more step and you’re a dead man. If your friend doesn’t run, he’ll be dead too.”

Keys raises his pistol, extending his arm to point the gun at the gold-toothed man.

Gold-tooth crouches slightly, turning his body to make his silhouette smaller. “Police pistolas don’t shoot so good I think. Maybe you miss; maybe you no good shooter.”

“You don’t know anything about pistols, do you compadre? This is no police pistol. You’d know that if you knew guns.” Keys rotates his wrist to show the pistol’s frame.

“See, this is a .357 magnum. I load it with lead hollow-point bullets. I’m gonna aim for your gold tooth and the bullet is gonna take your whole head off. Your neck’ll spout blood like a fountain ‘cause your black heart won’t have time to stop pumpin’. Your friend is then gonna run like a rabbit.”

Keys turns the gun back on the gold-toothed man, slowly thumbing back the hammer, making a sharp click at each of the hammer’s detents. He sees Gold-tooth’s grin disappear; a tremor reflects on the blade of gold-tooth’s knife.

“I’m getting’ tired of this, Goldie; let’s see how brave you are. Go ahead, tell your man to take one more step. You’ll never live to see him take another.”

Headlights splash over the men; each of them raises a hand to shield his eyes. Tires squeal, the car slows, then turns toward the men. The brilliant headlight beams freeze the three men still as stone statues.

Gun drawn, Walsh rushes out of his car on the run.

“You are no worth this trouble, gringo. Manuel, he will have to kill you.”

Both Gold-tooth and his friend shrink out of the lights and into the darkness.

“You okay, Barry?”

“Yeah, I’m good. Where the hell’ve you been?”

“I got lost, man; that map you gave me ain’t the easiest thing to read, you know. It’s dark and I gotta stop every so often to find the streets.”

“It’s okay, Jer, you timed it perfect anyway. Our friend Manny hired those boys to do me in. Let’s get back to the hotel. I’m bushed. Tomorrow we’ll pack up and get the hell outta here.”

“Let’s go find Manny first,” Walsh angrily exclaims.

“No! If we did find him one of us is gonna get hurt. The boss tells me Washington thinks I’m a loose cannon as it is. I don’t want to get stuck here tryin’ to explain how I could let it happen. I’ll put it in my report; the brass can deal with it. If they don’t like it, I got my twenty years in.”


1944 San Francisco CA The city is still edgy; rumors of a Japanese invasion continue to circulate. America’s WWII offensive strategy begins to win battles raising moral. A lonely submarine sailor on liberty walks down Sutter Street looking for booze and women. In a bar Nick finds the woman, a real dark haired beauty. After she plies him with drink, Nick wakes to three masked men who seem to know everything about him. They want plans and schematics for the Navy’s newest secret, submarine sonar and radar equipment. Nick takes a beating, his newfound Mare Island family is threatened with death. Still he won’t sell out, but the gang’s leader promises death and destruction if Nick doesn’t get the information he wants. The Nazi gang dumps his unconscious body at the base of Coit Tower where in the swirling early morning fog he is wakened by a cop. He quickly realizes that he is overdue to report for duty, AWOL. His story of being abducted is too fantastic even for him to believe. Taken to the FBI, Devin tells his story to a tough FBI veteran. Agent Barry Keys sees something in this young sailor’s story, something rings true. There have been rumors of subversive activities on other Bay Area Shipyards. Keys is not above using Devin to get to the bad guys. He’ll do whatever it takes to rip the heart out of the Nazi threat, and end its quest for America’s latest tech secrets. Keys battles his own demons. His wife left him after he was wounded and left for dead. She could no longer take the long dark nights no knowing if she would ever see her husband alive again. While thoughts of his wife haunt him, Keys is determined to take the spy ring down. Keys hatches a plan with Nick to round up the gang. The plan succeeds in gaining them access to the gang. However the Nazi gang’s leader is no fool. What they get is far more than they bargained for. In an operation that twists and turns from San Francisco Bay’s war plants to a bee hive of Nazi’s in Mexico, Keys and Nick dodge a dangerous enemy that must be stopped.
Passion is a sustaining element in my life. Passion for living, for producing good work, and for expanding my abilities. After a forty-year career of professionally racing sports cars, writing became a passion. As an avid follower of American history and early auto racing, I have combined the two in my novels.