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The hench womans handboo.., p.1
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       The Hench Woman's Handbook, p.1

           Tara O'Donnell
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The Hench Woman's Handbook

  It was somewhat crowded in the bar that night as the nervous young girl walked in, feeling that all eyes in the place were on her and her tightly clad rear. For the hundredth time, she’d wished that she had gone with the leopard print pantsuit instead of the shiny black dress with matching jacket that was outlining every inch of her figure there.

  She had hoped to make a good impression on the person she was seeking out, who hopefully her source was right about being a regular feature in one of the corner booths at this dive every other weekday night. Breathing a sigh of relief was hard to do while wearing a bra that felt more like a straightjacket but let one out she did when the object of her quest came into view.

  That object was a woman several years older than her, sitting alone at a table capable of seating six or more. The booth was partly concealed by a gauzy curtain which was pulled back far enough to allow drinks to be refilled in front of the silent occupant and to let out some of the smoke trailing off of her dangling cigarette. This was the kind of person to whom mentioning any anti-smoking laws would be potentially more dangerous than any of her second hand smoke.

  The heels of the girl in black’s shoes sounded incredibly loud in her ears as she went over to the booth. Before she could say more than “Excuse me.”, a large man in a T shirt nearly tighter than her dress stepped right into her path. “You got a problem, Miss?”

  “Why, um, no...That is, I just wanted to...”

  “Back off, Mike.” The woman at the booth tapped her cigarette on a small plate that served as her ashtray, leaning forward to give her bodyguard a sharp look. “I’m expecting company and it looks like she’s it, okay?”

  He grunted and moved aside just enough for the still nervous girl to slide into the booth seat opposite her reluctant hostess. "Oh, thank you so much, I really appreciate this...”

  “Enough already, girlie-I got your number.” A sharp finger snap brought Mike back to the table. “Tell Lorenzo to send me a bottle of the good stuff over and bring something for my new gal pal to sip on. Make it virgin for her, whatever it is, got it?”

  As Mike went into his following orders mode, the older woman waved her smoldering cigarette at her guest, who had placed her designer knockoff purse first on the seat and then on the table space in front of her. "So, you're looking to get into the super villain game there, girlie?" She took a long drag on her cig, blowing a stream of smoke over both of their heads.

  "Yes, Mr. Clancy said you might have a few suggestions for me. My name's ..."

  "No names!" The cig was stubbed out with a fast thud, causing the plate to jump on the table top. "First thing you ought to learn is don't be so quick to give yours out until you know who you're dealing with, got it? Yes, or am I wasting my time already here?"

  The girl nodded in reply, feeling incredibly stupid which wasn't a new sensation for her. The drinks arrived and she eagerly grabbed at hers, causing Mike to sigh and shake his head as he went back to his post. Her companion poured herself a refill and gave her a smirk along with a head shake. "Just look at you, not knowing what to do with that cheap little purse of yours (the girl in black fought the urge to hide it on the seat beside her) and acting all innocent and polite." She snorted as she sipped her refreshed glass.

  "Mr. Clancy, huh, I remember back when he was just Cuckoo Clancy, another bag man on the make."

  Before the girl in black could respond to that, her table mate sat up straight and adjusted the bra straps peeking through the gray green blouse she was wearing, making one of the bangles on her wrist get tangled in a few of the stray stands of red hair dangling from her hairspray helmeted head.

  After a few more adjustments to her person, she clutched her drink with both hands and gave the nervous girl in front of her an appraising look. "Yeah, it's easier for men to break into this business than it is for us. All a guy has to do to get recruited is look tough and hang out at the right places at the wrong time-back alleys, the water front, gathering up shopping carts in some mini-mall parking lot-and then, boom! He's on the team for a sweet bank job or back up for a big shot like the Crimson Clover." She laughed a little at that. "That guy, by the way, was a total wuss. Thought he was too "regal" to fight hand to hand."

  She lit up a fresh cig. "Regal, my ass. A king sized candy bar was more royal than him. Anyway, the only reason that I'm even bothering with you is that I hate to see someone go about things all wrong, especially in this racket. Making a good impression is important, girlie, and with all the noise you've making around these parts lately, someone has to pull you aside and set you straight there. Guess that's going to be me."

  The girl in black's face beamed with delight. "I am so honored, you don't know how much and I promise to follow your advice to the letter."

  A sneering eye roll from her potential mentor should have dimmed her enthusiasm but it didn't. "Fine, girlie, but I just hope you have more imagination in your head than that outfit suggests on your body. Otherwise, you'll be written off as a 99 cent store piece of bad guy arm candy or worse, have those self righteous super hero types pity you for your "low self esteem". Their women will do that right to your face, those bitches."

  She dangled her cigarette over the purse still sitting in front of the girl. "Got anything to write with in that bag and I don't mean anything that needs batteries either." She quickly rummaged through her purse and came up with a pen attached to a heart shaped scratch pad. She held it up for approval, receiving a weary nod for her trouble. As she flipped the pad open to a fresh page, a tap on her hand from one of the ruby red nails of her new advisor caused them to lock eyes for a moment.

  "Now, to make this as simple as possible, I'll give you five points to remember. Five's not a hard number to remember right?" Her new friend nodded, pen in hand and ready to begin. "Okay, start scribbling and don't get sloppy with the handwriting there. It'd be a shame to not to be able to read these pearls of wisdom that I'm tossing out here later on."

  1. Play hard to get

  "This tip is very important, that's why it's at the top of the list, see? Acting all eager beaver is a sure fire way to get yourself used, abused and your dead body stuffed into a refuse bin. Think of this as going on a job interview in the regular world or looking to get picked up at a club. If you come off all nervous and needy, you're marked as prey by the meat eaters right off the bat. When the wolves come sniffing around, your best bet is to ignore them or when one of them makes his move on you, give him a bit of a push back. Not too hard of a push or you'll get your arm ripped off.

  I can tell by the glazed look in your eyes that you're confused here, girlie, so let me explain my point by telling you how I was discovered. It was just another rainy Wednesday lunch shift for me at a diner that actually called itself The Greasy Spoon. I kid you not and the food in that place wasn't any better than that name.

  I had been waitressing at that particular hole in the wall for a couple of years by then, scrapping up lousy tips along with gravy stains on the front counter. That week, I was covering one and a half stations because the newbie on staff was beyond dumber than a box of rocks. How she managed to cross the street by herself without causing a major accident had to be one of those divine miracles.

  Anyhow, I was too busy cleaning up the big salt and sugar mess that Little Miss Lamebrain made in the kitchen to check out the fancy limo that had pulled up outside and the Mr. Notorious who got out of the back seat there. I walked out to the main floor, turned around and there he was, Dexter Trenton. Better known on most wanted posters as Master Class, billionaire bad guy deluxe.

  There he was, flipping through one of the less grimy menus and puffing away on one of those fancy little

  Euro cigarettes-which a
re damn pricey, I should know" She paused to take a short drag on the one in her hand. "That was back when he still smoked. It wasn't too bad of a change, since that clove gum he got hooked on after that made his breath a hell of a lot more intimidating there. I'm getting ahead of myself here, so where were we?"

  The girl in black pretended to check her notes, being more interested in listening than writing. "Uh, Master Class was looking at a menu..."

  "Yeah, yeah-the first thing I noticed was how he managed to sit in that dinky corner booth without looking squished. Master Class was a big man, hell,
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