Mondo Cargo


The vinyl booth squealed as a pair of bare-bottom brunettes grinded Hollis’ crotch into a slimy mess. He peered ’round thick brown nipples to see Juanito and Teddy, awe-struck before a thunderous clapping of asses. All they needed was one stack dropped onto the table; girls could smell it through tender roast beef being carved in the kitchen. Sam’s Hofbrau: A world they’d re-imagined for years on the inside, reliving its sensory overload to eviscerate cold steel bars. Not today. Now they were on the outside—on top. Less than fifteen minutes on a rain soaked night and dreams were now a reality. This stop was just a brief after party; a celebration before the rest of their lives. What better than a mind-numbing feast of flesh?


Los Angeles Times / January 15, 2016

Violent Heist at Port of L.A. cargo depot the work of sophisticated gang, detectives say…


Juanito’s lazy eye began to drift the moment his New York strip hit the tongue. Teddy swiped bread crumbs from his goatee, hand raised for one of the girls to bring more horseradish. Hollis snapped a twenty into a G-string before cleaning lipstick off his sunglasses. Teddy broke the silence.

“Fuckin’ Ashley would pig-out on this, man.”

Juanito: “Ashley?”

Hollis sucked head off his brew. “His new ex-wife.”

Juanito’s skull bounced as another beat kicked out the speakers.

“With this scratch, I can finally cut her loose!” Teddy flailed the fork. “Towards the end—’fore my last stint—I’d constantly talk shit ’bout her weight. Only thing I could do, man. Bitch crippled my finances—so I took her damn brain! ‘How do I look, babe?’ Awe…fat as fuck!”

Hollis chuckled as another team of caramel cuties sidled up to their booth.

“Fuck, Ashley! With this scratch, I’m headed to Baja. Find me some plump seen-your-rita that’ll sit on it and never speak a lick a English!”


…A short Hispanic male, posing as a lost driver, asked a security guard for directions outside a freight depot in Wilmington. Within seconds the guard was overpowered by two additional accomplices and bludgeoned over the head with a steel pipe…


Hollis asked Juanito his plans.


Teddy pushed one of his girls aside. “I thought you were from Guadalajara, man?”

“Shit—I was! No more. Know how many fuckin’ cousins I got down there, dog? Soon as this green hits that Jalisco breeze, I’d be back here with linty pockets, ese!”

Another platter of Patron slid onto their table.


…The Los Angeles area has long been an epicenter of terminal robbery. Before securing the stolen goods, the assailants hustled the guard, along with another employee, into an office where they were bound, gagged and beaten, regardless of compliance…


Teddy staggered towards the DJ booth, concealing a vomit burp with his fist.

The jockey exposed one ear for what the burly man was shouting.

“I’m next—Karaoke!”

The jockey pointed to a list of names.

Teddy thumped his chest. “Don’t be in for a long night, motherfucker!”


…Just before dawn, a small fleet of big rigs pulled into the yard with military precision and began hauling three loaded trailers towards the Long Beach (710) Freeway. “It appeared they were in search of specific units,” said Los Angeles Police Lt. Cal Vasquez. LAPD has yet to disclose the trailers’ contents…   


Hollis clapped along as his friends crammed the stage, belting “Hooked on a Feeling.” Tonight, unlike hundreds previous, was theirs. Past mistakes were history. The future: bright as a quarter slug. He surveyed the scene, mapping his exit into a cab bound for Highland Park. He’d wake Carmen and the kids for a midnight vacay—load ’em into the RV that he’d fitted with food, fuel and ammo. He’d never see the likes of Juanito or Teddy again, and that was just fine. They had their dreams too. Long as the RV could make Vancouver before any heat, the new passports and his share of the cash would take his family into their first foreseeable future. He made for the door.

Hey, America! Go an’ keep them fuckin’ steel bars!

~ fin ~

Nolan Knight is the author of The Neon Lights Are Veins, a fourth generation Angeleno whose short fiction has been featured in various publications including Akashic Books, ThuglitCrimespree Magazine, Shotgun Honey, Tough and Needle. He is a former staff writer for Los Angeles' Biggest Music Publication, the L.A. Record, and currently resides in Long Beach. Beneath the Black Palms is his first collection of short stories.