The Lorelei Signal
Me, the Girls and
Something Named Vincent
Written by Henry Peter Gribbin / Artwork by Marcia Borell
My name is Peg. When I was in high school just a couple of years ago, I used to hang out with a couple of other girls. Their names were Maureen and Mary. We all were of Irish descent, and our group was known as the Irish Mafia. We did stupid things like shoplifting and vandalism, but we were never caught in the act.
When we got out of high school neither one of us went to college. We all got retail jobs, but we continued to take it to the edge. Petty theft turned to more elaborate heists. Then I met Vincent. To make a long story short this well-dressed older gentleman walked into the store where I was working and said he had a job for me and my friends. I was to meet him later that evening at his mansion. After some thought I decided to meet this man and see what he had in mind. As it turned out, he was well aware of our activities in the world of crime and had plans for us. I passed the information on to Maureen and Mary. We were all in.
Our first job for Vincent went well. He was pleased and our rewards were great. The next job would eventually lead to our downfall. There was a painting, a French impressionist painting, that Vincent desired. It was located in a well-guarded penthouse on the top floor. Vincent’s plan was for each of us to take a sip from a vial he would supply, scale the wall of the building, smash open the patio door of the penthouse, snatch the painting, scale back down the side of the building, and hightail it back to his mansion. I just stared at him. He returned my gaze and then said, “You will do as you are told!” Then I saw the true Vincent. The older gentleman I had known briefly, just briefly, changed into a reptilian form with bright green eyes. I just sat and stared. He returned to his former self. All I could think of to say was, “I would like to see your birth certificate.” He just laughed and said, “Why, do you want to know if I was born in your silly country?” “No,” I replied. “I want to know if you were born on this planet.”
As it turned out, the three of us did the job. It took some convincing to get the other girls on board, but when they saw me take that sip of green liquid from that vial, they followed my lead. I must say the sense of power I felt was incredible. The job went as planned, and in time other jobs involving the green liquid ensued. The girls and I became very rich.
As for our downfall, it came way too quickly. Mary was involved with mixed martial arts. I know you know where this is heading, but I will tell you regardless. Mary was making a name for herself in the ring or cage or whatever you call it. She was an up and coming star and was due for a big televised fight against the reigning champ. Unknown to Maureen and me she had been saving trace amounts of the green fluid for some time. The night of the fight she poured the fluid into her water bottle right before the fight. Maureen and I were in her corner that night, as we had been since the beginning. Her fight lasted ten seconds. When the referee raised her arm in triumph Mary went into some crazy dance. She was nothing but a blur. People sitting in the front rows raced for the exits. Maureen and I just looked at each other, and then it dawned on us what Mary had done. We shouted the same thing at the same time, “Vincent is going to kill us!” We grabbed Mary and got out of that arena. We have been on the run since. I just hope Vincent is the forgiving type, but I doubt it.