Rock Con Roll (Chapter 1, page 2 of 10)


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Chapter 1

I hadn't returned to Los Angeles to see Bea. In fact, I'd left here seven years ago, because of her. When we were young, my brother, sister, and I were taught to cheat and steal. A fun thing to do, back then, but when the cruelty and danger of such a life became apparent, I had to get out. So I ran away to New York City-rather abruptly-and hid from my foster mother.

In New York, I made an honest life for myself and didn't do any cons. I thought-no, I hoped-that I'd never see Bea again. But she called me yesterday in a panic because my Uncle Carl had been arrested. He needed my help to save him from a long prison term, so I had to come back.

Carl meant the world to me-he had taught me to paint, which was my livelihood now. Of course, a skilled painter can also be a skilled forger, so Carl and I had done quite a bit of that, too. With him in jail, I was his only hope. He'd been caught with explosives, and unless he could furnish a proper federal license for it, he'd be in trouble. Bea also pointed out that Carl had been in the middle of another con when he got busted. Something about a lost panda. Which is why I was here, looking for the lost and found.

I finally located the department in an abandoned corner of the station. The small room was decorated in Modern American dungeon, with flickering fluorescent lights that gave the scuffed, off-white walls a subterranean pallor. On the other side of the room was a small window where I could make my claim. And between the door and the window was a single piece of furniture: a tired-looking bench with a sign over it proclaiming, "Wait Here." But there was nobody in the room-evidently not peak hour at the lost and found.

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