Monday, July 4, 2011

Flash Fiction - Loan

Good evening,

 Slowly getting back on track with my writing schedule. Here's a big one for you.

***


            “Are you sure you want to do this?” she asked him, as he led her along by the hand. Loud music pulsed out from behind a wall. The alley they entered was lit up by a single red lamp.
            Behind what he liked to call a beard, he forced out a smile. “You said we needed more excitement in our lives.” 
            She didn’t care for the joke. “Most boyfriends would take their lady loves to Niagara Falls for the weekend.”
            “Most boyfriends have the money to do that,” he said curtly, giving the briefcase in his other hand a lacklustre swing. 
            Shaking herself free, she stood her ground and glared at him. “Eric, look at me.” He sighed and turned around. In his eyes was that ‘you-have-to-be-kidding-me’ look he gave when she asked him to do the laundry. She didn’t care for it. “This is serious! Why can’t you just apply for unemployment insurance? Or a temp agency? Or something?”
            “Kelly, this is faster. This is surefire!” he barked, defensively. “I don’t have to wait for anything! We could have the rent money by tomorrow! I’m getting our lives back!” 
            “You’re getting us killed!” she snapped, “Who the hell sets up an ‘interview’ behind a strip club on a Thursday night?!”
            “The lady has a point,” an unknown voice cooed.
            Both turned in the direction of the noise. From a dark spot in the alleyway, two men clad in Armani suits stepped from the shadows. One was small and svelte with long black hair and a rat’s face. Behind him stood the largest human being Kelly had ever seen, a blonde giant easily seven feet tall and four feet across, a mass of muscle and bone.
            “You’re the man Harry told me about,” the smaller man said, slinking forward like a cat. The giant behind him followed in silence. Something in the silky way he spoke sent chills up Kelly’s back.
            Eric swallowed. “Uh, yeah, I’m Eric. This is my girlfriend, Kelly.” She felt sick hearing her name given here.
            The mystery man smiled and gestured to the large man at his back, “A pleasure. This is my Russian, Boris. Most people call me Johnny Sodomy.”
            Eric stared, “Why?”
            He gave an earnest laugh. “You’re sweet. I’ll take that briefcase now.”
            Her boyfriend hesitated as he walked forward and lifted the silver briefcase up to the expecting hands of his new employer.
“What’s in there anyway?” Kelly asked aloud as Eric moved away from him. 
            “It’s not so much what as it is who,” Johnny said, taking it away from the dumbstruck boy, “but that’s a story for later. Say, for when I murder you two.”
            Kelly’s heart almost stopped; Eric blanched, “Wait, what?! 
            “If I murder you two,” the stranger corrected, “Play along and we won’t see that day.” He snapped his fingers; Boris stepped forward and threw a paper bag his way.
            Gingerly, Kelly ran up to her boyfriend and watched as he caught the bag. They opened it together. Rolls of bills sat inside. In her meticulous mind, she counted all that she could see, estimating that at least six hundred dollars sat in plain view alone. 
“You’ve just made the first of many deliveries, and that,” Johnny said, pointing to the bag, “is the first of many payments. Keep making deliveries, and I keep paying you. You can drop out whenever, so long as you talk to me first.
“And if you ever,” he added, his voice growing stern, “ever look at my deliveries, then I end you.” The look in his eyes was grave and cruel. “And trust me: I’ll know. Clear?” 
Shaking, Eric shrugged and showed a brave face, “Any job where I can keep my pants on is a good job.”
            The Russian laughed. It was deep and wheezy like a dying automobile. He carried on in his grim joviality as he reached into his pocket and produced a small iPhone. His massive fingers danced along its screen delicately. 
            It made Kelly uneasy. Thankfully, her boyfriend shared her disquiet. “What’s he doing?”
            “Boris finds you amusing,” Johnny explained, “And now he’s adding you to Facebook.” 
            Eric and Kelly shot to attention. “Wha – he doesn’t know my last –”
            “Name?” the silky-voiced devil clicked his tongue, “We know a lot of things about you, Eric Kleiner. Expect an add from me, too, by the way.” 
            Kelly rubbed her temples. “Great, honey. You’re Facebook friends with a guy named Johnny Sodomy. Good job.”
            “For your benefit, I’ll be Lawrence Rosewell,” the mobster said, coolly. “I don’t mix business and pleasure.” Kelly felt her skin crawl. 
The man and his minion turned round to re-enter the shadows. “Expect a call from The Bulldozer in a week,” he said, “It’s late and I need to be ready for my other job.”
Kelly blinked. “You have another job?” 
“Well, yes,” Johnny Sodomy smiled back at them, “I’m also a plumber.”
            There was silence for a long second. Eric turned to Kelly, “Try not to –”
            “No,” she winced, realizing what he said, “No. It’s there. I hate you all.” 
            Boris laughed and started typing into his phone again. “Now he’s adding little Kelly,” Johnny jeered as they stepped into the shadows.
            “Mostly Eric,” she hissed. She would sleep at her mother’s that night.

***

 See you next time,

-RWI

EDIT: May 20, 2012. Edits?!

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