"Goldfinger Gus' Pot Tray" by Can Chess, October 2012
Disclaimer: All characters presented here are product of fiction. Any resemblances to real characters are of a pure coincidence. No intention was made to insult anyone for any reason.
AN: This story is an act of fiction. No one should attempt to act in the same manner as described.
Summary: The First Temple was built by King Solomon in 1000 B.C.E. You can read about it in the Book of Kings, where you can also find another description of the menorah.
Goldfinger Gus' Pot Tray
After licking his fingers up from honey-roasted chicken, Theo Gray grinned at Dorothy Scott. This all was happening on a bright, sunshiny day somewhere in Northern California.
"Go on, hon …" Dorothy fiddled and scudded, pursing her lips, acting like some prep-school virgin.
"Well …", some crow made sounds, distracting her for a moment, "... I lived with my family about 35 miles outside of Santa Fe in the mountains. We had a ranch there and it was extremely remote!" Theo chuckled at her accent and continued to devour the roast. She licked her lips and took one crispy French fry, trying not to overload her mouth.
"Why'd you live there at the first place? …" Theo continued to chuckle, staring at his plate, the gravy was delicious.
"Well … you see … the problem with making good-quality fake gold is that gold is remarkably dense."
"U-humph. Go on …"
"It's almost twice the density of lead …", Dorothy frowned in disgust as she watched Theo gobble more meat, his greasy fingers touching the roast all over as if he was examining it, "… and two-and-a-half times more dense than steel."
"Ha!" Theo's lips curled into a smile as he lifted his head up, looking at Joyce Pickett and Eric T. Fresh who were playing Frisbee on a lavishly green grass. "I didn't know that one …"
"You don't usually notice this because small gold rings and the like don't weigh enough to make it obvious, you know …", she continued to chew her French fry, feeling a little bit tight in her stomach, "… but if you've ever held a larger bar of gold …", she heard the train whistle echoing through the woods, "… it's absolutely unmistakable … I mean …", she almost threw up as Theo's teeth dug into the chicken fat, "… The stuff is very, very … heavy."
Dorothy grabbed her glass of water and started to gulp it as if she's just been running for miles.
"Hey! …" Theo's ears lifted themselves up as he grinned widely, watching Dorothy. "Take it easy … take it easy … you'll drink all California's water reserves! …" He giggled, getting red in the face and then choking a bit, excusing himself as he coughed.
"You see …", Dorothy did not like the silent stance, feeling oppressed and anxious for no obvious reason, "… The standard gold bar for bank-to-bank trade, … known as a 'London good delivery bar' weighs 400 troy ounces …"
"That's what … over thirty-three pounds or somethin'? …" Theo calculated aloud, closing one eye as he perused the flight of a rare bird above them.
"That's right! And yet …", she managed to bite the fowl, faking her enjoyment, pitying the dead bird, "... it is no bigger than a paperback novel. A bar of steel the same size would weigh only thirteen and a half pounds."
"No kiddin', eh?" Theo winked at her and then indulged himself with some peas.
She ate in silence, trying to hide that sudden, gripping shudder spasm that shook her body as if she was sunk into an icy cold water.
"So … what do you do then? …" Theo licked his fingers and then smacked with his mouth, Joyce and Eric still playing as if they were in some kind of a dream-trance state.
"You see … tungsten is vastly cheaper than gold …", she paused as Theo sucked the bone marrow, "… maybe $30 dollars a pound compared to …", he proceeded in struggling with the white parts on the bone, "… $12,000 a pound for gold right now."
"Is that so?" He looked left and right and then threw the bones behind his back without checking the environment. "It's for good luck, hon … don't worry about it …" He waved a hand at her and she smiled politely, trying not to ruin her lipstick.
"And, if I may add …"
"Sure you can, doll …"
"Remarkably …", she twisted in her tight skirt like a snake, measuring Theo's reactions in secret, "… it has exactly the same density as gold, to three decimal places in fact!" Theo burped, staring at Dorothy right into her very eyes, excusing himself as he drank more beer. "The main differences are that …", Theo farted, allowing with his hand to widen his buttocks along, "… it's the wrong color, and …", Theo started to pick his nose and then used the paper napkin, realizing Dorothy was coming from the better background than himself in person, "… that it's much, much harder than gold."
"Really?" Theo blew his nose and Dorothy stopped chewing, trying to entertain her senses with the natural beauty around her.
"Very pure gold is quite soft, you know …", there was a rifle shot in the vicinity, "… you can dent it with a fingernail."
"Ha!" Theo started to play with his paper ball, rolling it with two crossed fingers, obviously amused. "You learn something every day!"
He suddenly stopped playing and stared dead serious into Dorothy's eyes. She gulped, not expecting such a mood swing.
"So … how do I proceed then? …"
She drank more of her wine, tilting her head backwards a bit, monitoring the circular flight of some hawks above.
"Well …", she placed her wine glass down gently, "… start with a tungsten slug about 1/8-inch smaller in each dimension than the gold bar you want, then cast a 1/16-inch layer of real pure gold all around it."
"All right." Theo placed hands underneath his chin, Joyce and Eric walking together towards the ravine.
"This bar would feel right in the hand, it would have a dead ring when knocked as gold should, it would test right chemically, it would weigh 'exactly' the right amount …", she cleared her throat and then excused herself, finishing off her wine, "… and though I don't know this for sure …", she waited as Theo poured more wine into her glass, smiling benevolently at her, "… I think it would also pass an x-ray fluorescence scan …"
"What would?", he suddenly dejected, still smiling like some banking loan manager.
"Well … the 1/16" layer of pure gold … being enough to stop the x-rays from reaching any tungsten, you know …" She sipped her wine carefully, wondering if she sided of her tracks. "You'd pretty much have to drill it to find out it's fake."
Theo laughed in some merry manner, measuring Dorothy all over.
"C'mon … let' go for a walk, shall we?"
There was another rifle shot that also echoed through the woods.
After a while Dorothy started to tell Theo a story.
"We were on our way to school …", she held her hands behind her back, smiling occasionally, "… which took an hour to get to …", another train whistle reminded her how frequent the trains passed by recently, "… and we took the back road out of the mountain that day instead of the front, more traveled road."
They stopped at the neat spot, admiring the scenic view. Theo farted and then almost chortled, still under the influence of the alcoholic beverages.
"This road …", she sighed, noticing two love birds kissing with their beaks, "… we were on led to the highway and only the people who lived out there in these mountains even knew it was there."
"Ah! Sounds interesting … Go on …"
"Well …", she sighed again, only this time she interrupted her sigh as if something stabbed her sideways, "… there was a frontage road with a concrete barrier along side it that led to the rural road that went up into the mountain."
Theo nodded, admiring her protruding breasts in secret.
"Anyway …", she moved along and Theo followed slowly, "… the night before …", she paused as if catching her breath, eyes flickering for a moment, "… this guy was riding his motorcycle along that frontage road thinking it led back to the highway. He was obviously lost, you know …"
Joyce waved to them from the neighboring truss.
"That frontage road went straight for awhile but then curved sharply and led into the mountain. Well, the concrete barrier curved with it!"
"I thought you said you were from Santa Fe?" Theo mused aloud.
"Well I am, but …", Dorothy twisted like an eel again and Theo grinned.
"All right. Go ahead please …"
"This guy was going down that road in the dark and … and didn't know about the sharp curve and slammed into the concrete barrier!" There was another file shot just after her last spoken word, making her fret for the moment. Theo was still cool as a rock.
"When we came across the scene …", she paused with her mouth open, stooping to pick up the empty cocoon, "… he was lying on his back face-up and eyes open." Theo lifted his eyebrows up as if pleasantly surprised. "He had blood all over his face and …", she sniffed the cocoon carefully and handed it to Theo who crushed it mercilessly, laughing like some crook, "… his bike was in pieces and his belongings were strewn all over the place!" She sighed, disgusted again. "We later found out … by the police, you know …", Joyce was laughing audibly now, "… that he was going around 65 mph when he hit that concrete wall! They also said he had been dead around 12 hours!" She turned and faced Theo with some rejuvenated energy.
Theo looked at her for a moment and then, without much hesitation, pursed his lips and closed onto her.
"Come here, my sweet angel! …"
Later on, as the sun was slowly setting towards the west, she continued with her story.
"Well, … it still takes us 30 more minutes to get to Santa Fe and call the police. These were obviously the days before cell phones!" Theo's smile was jubilant as they noticed Joyce and Eric again. Eric looked sullen and slightly bent on his shoulders.
"Anyway …", Dorothy sighed in some eager manner, "… that memory has stuck with me all these years and at the time …", she licked her lips and grinned at Theo, "… and I was only 14 then! …"
"So …" Theo squinted a bit as the sun got into his eyes. "How did you feel about it afterwards?"
"Oh … I had nightmares for months! It was pretty traumatic for such a young girl. Me and my older sister still talk about that day, oh, yes we do …"
After they reached the stream, Dorothy finally faced Theo with a pleading smile.
"Oh Theo …" Theo enjoyed every bit of her obedient manner. "Please suggest … what shall I DO!?"
He cleared his throat and then spat at the base of a fir tree, plucking his cigar and lighting it up.
"Well … find an auction."
"An auction?" Dorothy seemed surprised.
"That's right. Most self-storage operators run abandoned property auctions and will advertise locally to draw buyers." He winked to her and puffed a smoke into the air. "Check the website of your local self-storage sites, your local newspaper, or …", they watched as Eric and Joyce kissed tenderly, "… community event websites or offices to find local property auctions." He laughed at the scene, nodding in some silly manner.
As they walked along, Dorothy noticed that Theo already had some speckles that defied his age in some bitter manner.
"But … arrive early and sign in." He puffed another smoke. "As with any type of auction …", he placed thumb under his waist belt, letting some wind the other way, "… you must have identification to participate." He giggled at her. "Upon confirmation of your identity …", he bit his cigar, unfolding a piece of paper with some printed names on it, "… you should receive a paddle number and an explanation of the terms and process of the auction." He checked it once more and then gave the list of all the local auctioneers.
"Bring cash. Most abandoned self-storage auctions require cash payments for goods received." She checked her in secret, licking his lips. "Carry a flashlight."
"Did you say … a flashlight?" Some birds sprung into the air from the bush close by. Theo's eyes glistened for a moment.
"That's right, hon." He measured her face for a moment and then shook his head as if in disbelief. "You see ... unlike other types of auctions …", there was some small propeller airplane flying over them, "… at an abandoned self-storage unit auction … you may not have the opportunity to do a thorough search of the contents on which you are bidding."
"Ah! Now I 'see' …" She winked in secret at Theo and Theo giggled.
"In many instances …", he finished smoking and slowly extinguished his cigar, placing it into a tin can, specially prepared for it, "… you can only take a quick glance at the contents while standing at the door of the unit." After he placed the can inside his pocket his inhaled some air and then smiled back to her. "A flashlight may enable you to see the contents of the storage unit better."
By now some faint Joyce groans were audible. Dorothy sniggered in secret.
"Bid." Theo stopped and inhaled once more, feeling a bit oppressed on the chest. "Once the auction starts …", Joyce went into an orgasm and he giggled, "… you are in control of whether or not you will win the auction." They strolled further away, imaging what was Eric doing right now. "If price is no object, … you can continue to bid until you are the last bidder, regardless of price."
"Oh, Gosh …" She looked at him sideways and then shone with some vivid countenance.
"However …", he cleared his throat and withdrew a cask, taking a quick swig and offering her one as well. Dorothy effused politely. "… In an auction setting it is generally a good idea to determine a maximum price you are willing to spend before you begin bidding, and …", some young males with guns were passing underneath, joyfully laughing, enjoying their time on an open air, "… to observe that limit even in the frenzy of the auction process." He licked his lips, withdrawing a bit as if not wishing to be seen.
After they moved away, Dorothy glanced at Theo in some suspicious way.
"Anything else that would be important for my success?"
"Yes." He stared at her as the setting sun reflected from her blue eyes. "Make arrangements for delivery. If you win the contents of the storage unit at auction …", Eric and Joyce, still embraced were calling for them, "… you are expected to take delivery within a reasonable amount of time as determined by the owners of the storage facility." Dorothy waved with some fake excitement at Joyce. "You may also have to sweep the unit clean after you take delivery of the unit's contents."
Eric departed from Joyce, kissing Dorothy gently on her cheek. His zipper was still half-open.