A Forbes profile. It didn't get much better than that. Of course his wife, between olives, pointed out Bernie Madoff had a Forbes profile, too.
Which was why Mick was back at the motel (he hoped the old hammer choked on a pimiento).
He'd paged the hooker with the room number earlier but he still had time to kill. Mick removed the sani-cover from a cup by the bathroom sink and poured a Scotch. He took a sip, grimaced at the cup, but a plastic cup in a hotel with a hooker was still better than a crystal decanter at home with his wife. He carried his scotch to the bed, slipped off his shoes, and was reaching for his belt buckle when the door blew open.
Back-lit in the doorway the intruder appeared to be the proverbial sulfuric demon. Wild, unkempt hair, a scraggly beard, and old, baggy clothes hung on the intruder's gaunt frame. A faded army green messenger bag hung over one shoulder, partially obscuring a psychedelically colored t-shirt. Phish - It's What's For Dinner.
Mick recoiled but the cheap bedspread slipped and he flailed on his back. He stopped struggling and the two stared at each other, saying nothing. The specter looked around the room. When he spied the Scotch on the vanity his face broke into a smile.
"Only a pint? Pity," he said as he unscrewed the cap and took a long haul. He set it back on the vanity and strode over to Mick. "Well, old boy. Looks like our time has finally come."
Every drop of saliva disappeared from Mick's mouth. He swallowed several times, finally managing to rasp, "Who are you? What do you want?"
"You know what your problem is, Mick - well, one of your problems? No patience! Always in a hurry to get what you want. Steal what you want. Well, tonight we're going to play a little game. It's called time is not on Mick's side."
Mick started to scramble again but the intruder raised an eyebrow and Mick froze. The man set his satchel on the other bed and opened it. He removed an electric hotplate, an alarm clock, an Epi-Lady, some rocks, a nerf ball, a pair of pliers, and a small toilet plunger. He rifled through the other pocket of the satchel but he did not remove its contents.
"See, , the funny thing is, Mick, much as I abhor everything you do--everything you are--there's a teeny part of me that respects your resolve. I don't know ..." he took another swig, wiped his mouth with his sleeve, and continued, "maybe I'm just getting sentimental in my old age. No fool like an old fool, eh? So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to give you a chance to find redemption."