Crooked Man

7 min readSep 17, 2021

a Billy Lightcap story


So Billy’s shell company, (Royce Coquette Enterprises) , had a “board meeting”. That meant that Billy went to Beverly Hills to have coffee with Roy. They decided to try a feint, something to get TRK’s attention and then, when he’s all set up, strike with the real punch. They started with this: a formal demand that TRK evacuate the studio and stop all business and evacuate the premises due to a clause in the lease about illegal drug use.

Roy sent the case to a very aggressive young associate named Victor Valdez. Victor grew up rough in East LA and knew enough to ask no questions and do whatever was required when Roy told him, “I want his balls, Victor! His goddamn balls!”.
Victor understood. He also knew he’d get paid handsomely if he could reduce the place to an empty building looking for a new tenant. He was a very ambitious guy and Victor knew that Mr. Lightcap was very important to the firm. So he decided to try his own method of removing Dick Charles.

As a child growing up in East LA, Victor’s mother used to make him stay at home as much as possible hoping he would avoid the gangs on his street. He still managed to get into his share of streetcorner scrapes and learned how to handle himself within the nearly nonexistent rules of engagement particular to East LA. When he was forced to stay home he’d watch movies. He was obsessed by the Godfather series of films. He used lines from those films all the time and saw himself as Michael Corleone due to his education. He too was called “college boy” and “Joe College” by his neighbors, since he was one of the few to attend and even fewer to graduate from college.

Victor got into his Mercedes C-Class sedan and drove over the hill to take a look at the TRK office and studio. He texted his friend and sometime operative, Yael Akiva. She was an “Israeli with an attitude” as she put it. They arranged to meet at a Starbucks that was in a Von’s supermarket on Laurel Canyon Blvd. where he explained what the job or as he put it, “the thing” he wanted done was. She was assigned to pose as an actress and try to get some inside dirt on Mr. Charles.

Yael Akiva looked just like one of the many slender, athletic young women trying to “make it” in LA. The biggest difference was she was a former Massad agent. She also worked as a stunt double and appeared in some very popular films. She found acting only financially satisfying. What she liked was fighting…physically or mentally. She was a natural warrior.

TRK’s usual clients were Mom & Pop with a couple of kids so when Yael walked into TRK Gertie hit the panic button under the desk that alerted Charles that someone unusual had entered. Charles strolled down the hall to Gertie’s post to make believe he was asking her something, and did, asking her, as if he was unaware of Yael’s presence, where the “Pensky Papers” were. Gertie turned and fish eyed him as he raised his head and smiled at Yael … “So… who do we have here?”.
As Yael thought to herself “What an asshole!” She smiled and gushed, “Hi!! I’m Aileen … Aileen Dover!”, Yael was blushing and gushing and making herself sick at the same time. But indeed, she “leaned over” to shake Charles’ hand.
“Well Howdy Aileen”
Charles’ smarmy drawl was so phony that Yael had to bite her tongue to keep from laughing in his face.

“What can I do for you? … if he had said “y’all” she would have hit him.

“I’m here to get work as an actress … can you help me? She smiled and looked into his close set eyes….

“Of course I can Aileen… of course I can. But right now I’ve got things to do but if ya could, leave your info and your headshots and whatever else ya got with Gertie here and we’ll get back to ya when we find something suitable for ya!”

“Well well well look who’s become Mr. Homespun” thought Yael. She frowned and through her fake pout said, “Awww, I thought you could help me now Mr. Charles. I really need to work soon, I need money…. very badly”. Now she was really acting. “I’ll be waiting for your call…”

Dick Charles was very pleased with himself. “Ya know Gertie, if this keeps up we may start repping some real talent!” Gertie the receptionist rolled her eyes yet again and shook her head. She turned the chair she was glued to and faced the hall that led to Dick’s office and yelled, “I don’t care who pays us Dick! As long as they pay us!! We’ve got to collect five large from Mr. DeRosa by the end of the week. You have rent due on both the office and the studio. Then you need to get a down payment from one of your newest superstars. You have 2 days left!! And… listen buster… ya gotta pay ME!!!”

“Don’t worry, don’t worry. I’ll get Sid to turn up the heat and I’ll take the new actress out for dinner and impress upon her the need for speed. Call Lew and say I need him to play producer tonight. Tell him to meet me at Father’s Office in Culver City around 8”.

Father’s Office was a gourmet burger joint with a vast selection of beers. Yael got there early to check it out. The restaurant was in the old Helms Bakery complex. It was now a collection of cool restaurants and furniture stores. She started flirting with the doorman as soon as she got there. She held up her arms, spun around and smiled in his eyes asking if he wanted to search her as well after he asked for proof. She stationed herself at the bar and figured her best bet was to insist to Dick Charles that they sit outside where there was an esplanade. The esplanade was filled with people walking from one eatery to the other. Soon they would be her audience.

Dick Charles arrived and got the outdoor seats that Yael insisted on. “Oh Dickie, I’m so happy out here”, she gushed. Charles didn’t like this at all. “Dick ….my name is Dick!!!…he yelled, Don’t ever call me Dickie!!” He seemed really mad and pointed his finger in her face. She thought of breaking it, and she would have loved to, but merely seeing that she touched a nerve pleased her. “OKAAY DIIICK” she practically screamed at him, then they both started laughing. She accomplished what she wanted…all eyes were on them. They ordered beers and Yael couldn’t believe the place didn’t have ketchup for her burger. A distinguished older man came up to their table and said in a stage voice, “Dick Charles….why if it isn’t the great Dick Charles! How are you old man?”

Dick Charles turned to see his old friend Lew Dewey…a small time con man and former “auteur” who had made a bundle producing porn in the 70’s.“Lew, you old dog, have a seat, c’mon join us. You hafta meet this girl. Lew meet my latest discovery, Aileen Dover!…Aileen, this is one of the finest producers in LA, a real gent from the old school.”

Dewey took her hand and kissed it, “Enchante”, he said as he looked into her eyes. Yael giggled and managed to actually look impressed by this old school phony crap. Lew sat down and Dick gestured for a waiter and asked for a cranberry juice for Lew.

Lew claimed he was on the lookout for new talent for a project. “Yeah, yeah, it’s about waitresses in Hollywood…you know, how they’re never just waitresses, they’re always singers, actors, writers, or something else…it’s going to be titled”, he held up his hands and spread them expansively, as if you were looking at the silver screen, “Slash”. You should put together an audition reel for me, or…. you could just see me in person.” He smiled at her. This was Dick’s cue to interrupt and act protective of his “star”.

“Now just hold on there Lew”, he nearly drawled. “Ms. Dover is with my agency! And if anyone’s going to present her to this project it’s me!”

Yael laughed and said, “Now now boys…settle down. We can talk about this some other time.”

They all smiled and laughed their phony laughs. By the end of Lew’s drink, Yael was ready for her big scene.

“That burger was delicious, Dick. I’m glad you chose this place.” She got up to leave and held her hand out to Lew, who just shook it this time.

Dick wasn’t so easy to get rid of….”Oh sweetie, there’s one more thing…eh, er..ah.. do you have the down payment we discussed in my office?”

“Down payment? Now? Now you’re asking me for money?”, as she said this she stumbled into Lew, who then fell into Dick who was just starting to get out of his chair.

The three of them were headed down to the floor when she started yelling, “Stop it!! Stop it..I told you NO!!” Yael’s new bouncer friend was there in a flash.

Lew got tossed first. The guy carried him like child over the railing and he fell to one knee onto the esplanade. Dick “accidentally”caught a palm in the middle of his face just as he was getting up. His nose erupted in blood. Yael gave her best scream. The doorman was very good at his job and had both Dick and Lew off the property in seconds. He threw a napkin to Dick and said, “Leave… now.” Dick helped Lew get to his car, found his own, and drove home. Yael smiled, blew a kiss, and mouthed “Thank you!” to the doorman as she left for the parking lot.

“So, you do the thing?”.

Yael told Victor how good the burger was. “But no ketchup, what’s with that?, and your two guys are ready to go anywhere we want to lead them. They’re so full of shi…themselves…pfffft!”.

“Next … You go to his office, pay him in cash, and then you tell him you spoke to a lawyer. Say that I may be interested in investing in films or other entertainment projects. Then ask him if I could meet with him.”

“In that order?” Yael asked.

“Yes…in that exact order.”




I'm a musician, songwriter. I've also produced, and once ran an indie label.