Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Flash Fiction - Cornered


 Here we go again.


            “Here’s how this works,” he said, putting the gun to my face. I heard water dripping from an old copper pipe. It distracted me from the barrel I stared down, “You tell me where Claude the Mod is; then I’m going t’ pop you.”
            “I don’t think you know how this works,” I said, lifting my hands up. The feeling wafting over me was more agitation than fear. A minute ago, I was having dinner with two of the city’s hardest bosses. We were dividing up our territories, saying who could own what neighbourhood and under what conditions. It was supposed to be as peaceful as possible.
The clod with the gun followed me into the bathroom from another table. I knew who he was. Five of my boys disabled a big-name dealer off the streets not long ago, some pusher whose absence would not be missed. I had no idea he was part of another gang. That would make things difficult.
A cold wind danced along the old alleyway we stood in that night. It tickled my fingers and cut through my Armani suit. I tried not to feel it. The same could not be said of Marv. His arms were bare and shook ever-so slightly as he asked: “Whatcha mean?”
            “Why the hell would I tell you where he is?” I asked, quickly thinking on what I said and then backpedalling, “If I knew, I mean. Me being shot isn’t good enough incentive for me for pipe up.”
            “Yeah? What if I told you that if you don’t talk I’ll break yer thumbs off and shove ‘em up yer dick?”
            “That would be uncomfortable. But I’d still not tell you a damn thing, because I’d still live, you moron.”
            “C’mon, Johnny, don’t be difficult.”
            “Being difficult got me my job.”
He didn’t like the jape. The barrel went against my forehead, Freezing metal chilled the bone beneath my skin, “I’m giving youse ‘til the count of three.”
“Oh, then what?” I asked, sneering, “I tell you and you give me ‘til the count of two? I told you, if you want to know where he is, give me a reason to talk.”
His eyes narrowed. “Depends: do you know?”
No point in hiding it. “I always knew,” I admitted, shrugging, “I just like to see you squirm.”
“Then tell me where he is,” Marv snapped, pressing the gun harder against my head. The back of my skull hit the wall. Little lights flashed in front of my eyes for a split second.
When my eyes focused, I saw a figure in the shadows behind him. It shifted and started to move into the light on cat’s feet. He didn’t notice.
I smiled and knew what was coming, I decided to roll with it, “Okay, you win. Claude the Mod’s been buried in the middle of a construction site on East Street. You know that new condo they’re putting up? He’s there, right where they’re putting the gym.”
“Good man,” he said, cocking back the hammer on the revolver.
I nodded at the shape behind him, “Yes, and that’s also where I’m going to put you.”
On cue, the man behind Marv lunged and grabbed him round the throat. Wildly, he wheeled his arms and shot at the air. Ducking under the shots, I reached for the knife at my belt. Steel flashed up and caught his stomach.
I sneered at him, baring my teeth. “I’ll send my condolences to your wife, before I send her to see you.
When he expired, there was hate in his eyes.
He dropped to the ground a bleeding mess. The man who gripped his neck and saved me was one of mine, Boris. A Moscow-born brawler who emigrated to some hell-pit in the south side, I gave him work as my personal bodyguard. No doubt he saw me get dragged out through the back door.
He towered over me in a blue suit and a buttoned-down white top and dusted off his hands. “Are we seriously killing his wife?” Boris asked in Russian. His English was abysmal, and me learning Russian was far faster for us both.
“Of course not,” I responded, laughing as I cleaned the blade off on the dead man’s pant leg and pocketed it, “I just wanted him to die thinking he failed everyone important to him.”
“Is that why you said Claude the Mod was dead?”
My smile went wide, “Of course! Speaking of which, go check up on the old boy. I’m sure he’s starting to cramp in the fridge you stuffed him in.”
“What about you?” he asked, watching me as I stepped over the body and headed back for the restaurant.
“I’m going to tell the old men inside that the streets are starting to get a bit messy. Perhaps that will give them something to fight against rather than fight over,” I said, adjusting the lapels of my suit. The lights of the old place were inviting, but I knew that the night was going to get more complicated.


See you next time,


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