Wasting [Tag]

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Chicago, the 'Second City', is the greatest city in all of the world, so fuck you NYC. This is where all of the major decisions, from city hall politics, to Greektown college-educated crime, and board-room semantics take place. Downtown certainly has a lot to offer within it's four square miles. With everything from breathtaking skyscrapers, elegant dining, high-end retail, there is a little something for everyone.

Home of places like University Village, Little Italy, and bordering suburbs like Oak Park, Melrose Park, and Forest Park, the West Side is where most of the middle class dwell, with bad neighborhoods like Austin mirroring the city's South Side. This side of town is where you'll find the most mix of criminal, with the Mafia, Latin Gangs, Irish Gangs, and others fighting for territory. With a plethora of residential neighborhoods, some worse off than others, you're bound to find some excitement.
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Victor Parry
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Wasting [Tag]

Post by Victor Parry » September 27th, 2017, 4:30 am

Destruction, like creation, is one of Nature's mandates.

***

Spindle - in a dark blue track suit, t-shirt, running shoes - standing on the dock at College Point. His real name was Richard Nance and he was five foot eleven with curly blonde hair and a narrow face that'd gone from elfishly handsome in his youth to sallow and gaunt in his thirties and he had hunched shoulders and hands with long spidery fingers and the nails at the end of them were chipped and caked with black around the corners like he worked with motors. Under his clothes his body was covered in odd scars - lashes down his back, the back of his thigh; little dots around his groin. There wasn't anyone with him out there and he carried a black bag in one hand and a burner phone in the other and it was full dark and he keep moving around, pacing, then standing stock still to stare out at the water.

When the phone rang he looked at it like he might toss it into the bay, then answered and had a short conversation. Twenty minutes later headlights framed him and he turned to see an SUV pulling up to the dock. Two men got out wearing nearly identical leather jackets. They had the same accent and Spindle grinned when they stepped up, one holding a bag similar to his, the other cradling a Mossberg pump shotgun in his arms like a baby.

"You Spindle?"

He nodded and walked up to them, putting the phone into his jacket pocket, grabbing the pistol at the same time. He shot them both in the head quickly - the gun was an auto - but one shot glanced off and the man went down moaning in a spray of blood, his shotgun clattering away on the concrete paving of the parking lot.

Spindle paused and looked left and right and was dimly aware of the fact that he had an erection. It always happened like this and he spent a moment willing it to go away while he stared at the writhing man he'd just shot and the dead man beside him.

He said, "Hey, are you okay?" and giggled, a reedy sound, strange in the quiet. The man moaned a curse and said something in Italian and Spindle shot him again and he went still. Then he picked up the bag they were carrying and got into their SUV and drove away - he put on a radio station of '80s classics and sang sorrowfully along to Looking Glass on his way to the Greyhound station.

***

Albert said, "You gotta go."

They were sitting in his cramped office at the Royale in Jersey City, Victor in a bomber jacket smoking a Parliament, Albert wearing a suit jacket over a t-shirt that had the sleeves rolled up to expose his many prison tattoos, chomping a cigar.

"I just fuckin' did a piece of work. A big piece. I was out for a fucking week, Al, I deserve a break."

"A piece of work, alright, that's what it was. You know how much shit I had to cop off Jimmy Stacks for that fuckin' job you pulled up there?"

He was talking about the Kingwood, about the serial killer. There'd been a man and his young boyfriend - both psychopaths - killing hookers in a Mob controlled town, who were connected to a mob controlled resort. Victor found the men and took them out but left too much evidence - the FBI came into town, shut down the operation, got a stool pigeon in the process. The stool pigeon was dead - shanked in Riker's Island - and everything had cooled off in the month since he'd done the job, but the crime family he'd done it for were still sore. As was his best friend, Chris Langella, scion of the boss.

"They still got a bug up their ass about that?"

"The fucking FBI, Vic. You know, even if they didn't have that fuckin' chip on their shoulder, you know, a boss calls for you, you gotta go."

"Why the fuck don't you go? If they hate my guts so much. Or why don't they get Morrow or Charlie or Reggie Clay? I'm fucking exhausted after that goddamn job, Al."

"Exhausted, shit. You been drinking all day and seeing that broad in the city and God knows what else, you know you always cut the shit when you're working." He ran a hand over his face - Victor had always been difficult, always had to argue. It'd been like that when they were kids growing up together in the trailer parks - he had a chip on his shoulder from day one, that thing that happened with him when he was fifteen non-withstanding.

"Look," he said finally, "They can't use Morrow cause he's still on that big fuckin' thing in Colorado, with Spinoza's people. And Charlie is down in Florida setting that Cash asshole up that you sent down. And Reggie ain't cut out for this kinda thing. So it's you." He sighed. "And you know I hate to fucking say this, Vic, but you're the best one we got, and they know it. The man called, man. You gotta' go. Normally they’d go through the normal fucking channels and send it all through me but they wanna get a look at you, size you up after the last thing.”

Victor stubbed his cigarette out and stood. He took a flask from his inside pocket and drank and made a face - Teacher's - and said, "Fuck it. I don't come back, you think on this fucking conversation, and you get to tell Celia what fucking happened."

"Shit, shacked up with a guy like you, she'll thank me."

Victor flipped him off and walked out through the restaurant to his car. He got in and drove to a bar and got a double bourbon, made a phone call to Chris Langella confirming his appointment with the father, the boss, Massimo. The call lasted twenty seconds and he sat down again and drank, staring at the mirror, his own reflection. He decided he was starting to look old - too many years of drinking, smoking, hard living, late nights. The work didn't help. His face had always been drawn, even as a kid, but it was looking gaunt now - everything was getting sharper, he was losing weight, his eyes were more sunken. His girlfriend, Celia, often told him she liked that he looked a little rough - but he could still remember his fresh young face from his '20s and every year he thought he just looked harder and harder. High cheekbones with a wide jaw tapering down to a square chin, big angular eyes, a vaguely Indian ethnicity about him - in truth his family was part Native. The eyes were dark brown, nearly black, and were always in an expression of disappointment, like he’d been looking at something nice that’d turned rotten.

An hour and two more doubles in the payphone rang and without answering Victor stood, swayed slightly, tossed a ten dollar bill on the bartop, and walked outside. He chainsmoked while he waited and eventually the car pulled around, a black Lincoln – a mob vehicle, as identifiable as an unmarked cop car – and he slid into the backseat.

Chris was there, wearing an overcoat and an immaculate suit, with his hundred dollar haircut. He said something in Spanish to the driver and they pulled away from the curb.

“This is fucked up,” Victor said, lighting another smoke.

Chris said, “You can’t talk. That goddamn Kingwood thing, Vic, Jesus…”

“You’ve been talking my fucking ear off for a month about this. Skip it.”

Chris shook his head, looked out the window. At length he said, “When you were in jail, that year you did for stolen goods after I got busted for fencing. Back in school. You remember?”

Their college days together, when they’d bonded. Victor said, “What the fuck about it?”

“I sent you packages. My old man hooked you up inside, made sure you were protected.”

‘I woulda’ been fine.”

“You were a skinny pill addict,” Chris said, his voice flat, unemotional. Victor remembered: he’d been underweight, looking worse than he did now; barely of age to drink and going into a hard prison with the shakes from kicking Oxycontin. He’d already killed men by that point but it was a different environment for him and he remembered being truly afraid for maybe the first time in his life, worse than the reformatory he’d been in when he was fifteen.

“Yeah,” he said. “I guess I was.” A pause. “Fuck.”

“You were a skinny pill addict and you were going through withdrawals,” Chris went down, cracking a window for the cigarette smoke, waving it out of his face. Victor pitched the half smoked butt out the window. “And my father wanted to have you killed.”

What!?

“He was going to have some inmate shiv you,” he said, “To protect me, because he assumed you’d flip. I told him you weren’t like that, even though all we really knew about each other was that we both liked to drink and liked crazy women.” He laughed. “Crazy women. And I was right, you never said anything.” He turned. “That’s the only reason you’re alive right now. Is because of that, and me. He wanted to do you again for the last job, Vic, for bringing the FBI down on the operation. You need to keep that in mind.”

They drove the rest of the way in silence. Victor started chewing a nail.

***

“A fucking social club?”

The Knights of Columbus was a storefront nestled on a side street in Manhattan. They parked in the alleyway. “Yes, Victor, a social club.”

“What the fuck, isn’t your dad the richest asshole in the syndicate? We couldn’t meet at some restaurant?”

“More private here, more secure. You’re hired help, Victor, not a…visiting dignitary.” Chris popped the door, stepped out. “Come on,” he said, “Let’s go pay homage to the king.”

They went inside. It was a cramped room – a pool table, a hexagonal poker table with chairs stacked on top, a bar and a long wooden dining table and some Italian heritage items on the wall here and there. It was dark and the décor was all muted wood.

Two men were seated at the dining table, one at the head, another at his side to the left. Nobody stood up when they entered. Victor took his jacket off – the room was uncomfortably hot – and was going to light a cigarette but didn’t see any ashtrays and knew enough about Mob decorum not to ask for one. Chris led him to the table and they sat, Victor across from the man on the corner, Chris next to his father at the head of the table.

Victor looked at Massimo Langella. He was short and slightly hunchbacked, rail thin – make him maybe 155, 160 pounds – with no hair on the top of his skull but worn long around the sides, down to nape of the Hugo Boss suit he wore. His hands were gripped around a walking stick and they were scarred and gnarled and he wore slightly tinted round eyeglasses and had dentures and even from here Victor could smell his halitosis.

He said, “Victor Parry, who my son thinks so highly of.” Slight accent to his voice. “You really fucked the dog upstate, you know that?”

Victor said nothing, didn’t know what to say. Massimo laughed – it was a noise like sandpaper – and set his walking stick leaning against the table, folded his old man’s hands on the wood. “You know anything ‘bout why we called you here?”

Chris nudged him when he didn’t speak for a moment. “Uh,” Victor said, “A job. I’m guessin’…a job.”

Massimo nodded, turned to the man next to him. “Lou,” he said, “Get into it.”

The guy cleared his throat. He was stocky, middle-aged, swarthy, with hairy knuckles. He was wearing a leather jacket and had four rings on one hand. Victor figured him for middle management. “You ever hear of a guy name a Spindle?”

Victor shook his head. Lou reached down beside him and from nowhere pulled a manila folder and passed it over. It was full of papers – a police report, a rap sheet, a few photos. They all depicted a bird-like man with curly blonde hair and the hollowest blue eyes Victor had ever seen. In every photo he was staring straight ahead and he looked like he’d just come out of a concentration camp or a warzone instead of a police line-up.

“Richard Nance, also known as Spindle on account of he’s got this thing for needles.” Lou cleared his throat. “Guy is a sick fuck,” he said. “Took two falls, spent some time inside. Guys around were using him for muscle, bagman shit, stuff like that. He was unstable, and he started to get ideas, do some things on his own.”

Victor kept going through the paperwork, mostly ignoring him. He hated doing mob work for a lot of reasons – high risk of retaliation from some wronged party, high risk of police attention, generally a lot of problems with the job itself as mob targets usually saw it coming – but the worst thing was the preamble. Mob guys had to explain things, make it dramatic, make it some kind of production. With civilian work or even drug combine work, cartel stuff, he never met with the clients at all, knew nothing about his targets except that for some reason somebody wanted them dead, and that had always suited him just fine.

Lou went on, “He was dealing, middle man, to some niggers in the Bronx, and struck up a deal for some product through a few a my guys. They met him in Queens and he wasted ‘em, took off with the money and the shit. Last we heard he was lighting out for Chicago, supposedly he grew up there, got connections.”

The paperwork was scary – two falls, ’88 to ’90 for assault, another in ’95 to ’05 for cutting up a hooker, putting needles inside of her. Victor said, “Alright. Chicago. I’ll get my shit together, leave sometime this week, try to get on him before he sells the shit and takes off for Mexico. You got a lead for me?”

“Yeah,” Lou said, “Reason we found out he was in Chi, he tried to sell off the shit to this guy McLaughlin. He’s onna Syndicate board, Spindle used ta do some things for him before he fucked up that whore.”

Victor nodded. “I’ll track him down. Anything else?”

Massimo raised a hand, slow. Everyone stared at him and he lowered his hand just as slowly and said, “You’re gonna have a babysitter.”

Victor stared at him, then pointed to Lou and said, “This asshole?”

Lou stood up immediately, knocking the papers off the table. “You little fuck,” he said, “You little fuckin’ faggot piece of—”

“Lou…”

“After the shit you pulled—”

“Lou, siddown.”

Lou sat down, ran a hand over his face, and it was like nothing had happened. Victor remained impassive, clenched and unclenched his fist to stop his heart hammering. Another reason he hated mob work – he never got used to the outbursts, the irrational anger. All these guys thought they were in the Sopranos.

Massimo said, “My son, as I said, thinks highly of you. I gather you two are close friends. I’m sorry I had to meet you like this, under these circumstances.” He coughed, wiped his mouth with the back of a hand. There was a Mason’s ring on it. “The syndicate isn’t pleased about how things turned out upstate, Victor. You’ve been a valued operative of Jimmy Stacks’ over in Jersey for a while, and you been a real good friend to my kid, so I let it pass, you know…and we’re using you on this thing, rather than our own people, ‘cause you got a good reputation for finding guys don’t wanna get found.”

He leaned in and Victor could see his eyes. Chris’ were blue, unusual for an Italian; Massimo’s were a muddy green and Victor realized Chris had never spoken about his mother.

“But you ain’t gonna fuck up again,” he said, “So we’re getting you a babysitter. You show up at the airport, however you get there, you stand there like a fucking dunce with a sign says “Taylor”. And you’ll get your watchdog, and you won’t gunk up another operation of ours again. If you do, I’ll have you castrated and left alive in a basement somewhere tied to a radiator and we’ll work on you for years. You understand?”

Victor reached for his cigarettes – Massimo and Lou laughed.

***

He saw Celia that night, went to her apartment. After making love they laid together in the dark and Victor tried to think of a way to explain himself. They hadn’t seen each other in a month, not since his last job – he’d gotten drunk after it’d wrapped up, and come to her apartment crying. She’d sat down on the floor with him in the hallway and he’d left and they’d only spoken on the phone since then, dodging it, not talking about it – he’d never been emotional with her, not really, nor had she, not really.

He kept thinking of what he’d said.

“I couldn’t kill your uncle. I did what I could.” His last words to her before breaking down. She’d told him a story one night, about her uncle molesting her as a child…on his last job, Victor had killed two men who’d been raping women. He could see the connection but couldn’t figure out why it’d bothered him so much – her telling him that story had been rough but it wasn’t something he’d obsessed over. But on the job it was all he could think about it – like he was some avenging angel for all of womankind.

Now, lying in the dark next to her, listening to her fade off to sleep – after a night of too many drinks, bad TV, good conversation – he tried to think of a way to broach the subject without ruining it. He tried to think of a way to say, “You’re the only woman I’ve ever been in love with,” without her shutting the door on him.

She stirred a little then and he leaned over, wrapped an arm around her. She drew close and he thought about the things they talk about – her job working accounts for her mob connected businessman father, who ran a finance company and laundered money for the whole of the Syndicate; movies they’d seen, their mutual taste in music, their mutual taste in bad horror movies.

He said, “Hey,” and she woke up a little, looked up at him. He said, “I’m sorry about last time. I was, you know…drunk.”

She rolled over and looked up at him. Their eyes were nearly identical – cat’s eyes, the same color, almost coal black. She said, “I guess we are going to talk about it,” then sat up and coughed and reached for her cigarettes. She lit one for Victor and he sat cross legged in bed for a moment, smoking. Then he told her about the job, stopping now and again to collect his thoughts.

When he was done she said, “Jesus,” and hugged her knees. “I think sometimes,” she said, “I think sometimes that I’m a pretty hard woman. The way I grew up, my dad, my job. You know? But Jesus. Some people out there…I mean, that man, he was just walking around, going to the grocery store, and the whole time he had this…this nightmare in his basement…”

“I’m sorry I told you.”

“No. No, I’m glad you did.” She smiled. A rare thing, from her. She was mostly a cold woman and these brief moments of warmth always got to him, made him come out of himself a little. “It put things in perspective, what happened, you know?”

“Yeah. I’m sorry again. That was…outta’ line. Outta’ character for me.”

“When’s the last time you cried?”

He thought about rolling his mother over in a pool of her own vomit so she wouldn’t choke. He thought about watching the cops cart away his older brother, the last time he saw him for nearly a decade, his only friend as a child. He thought a car burning in a weedy vacant lot and eyes melting in their sockets and blackened hands batting against the glass, leaving muddy streaks.

He said, “I can’t even remember. Anyway, it’s done now. I gotta go to Chicago next.” He put out his cigarette. “I’ll try not to cry this time.”

***

Over the next two days he made preparations: organized his pick-ups with his brother, got a fake ID from Spenser Fox in the name of David Green. It cost two grand but the job was paying another fifty grand so it didn’t bother him too much. No gun this time – that’d have to be on site, given he was flying, and hopefully he wouldn’t have to use one anyway.

When the plane touched down in Chicago, Victor – wearing his only suit, dark green, with a white shirt and black tie and black shoes, all slim fitting – stepped out into the pick-up area with his hand lettered sign reading “TAYLOR”. He waited for his babysitter.

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Arthur Taylor
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Re: Wasting [Tag]

Post by Arthur Taylor » September 27th, 2017, 11:26 am

“No one wins. One side just loses more slowly.”

-------------------------------------

“Babysitting? That's the job?” Arthur asked incredulously, “Fucking hell Harry if I wanted to do that I could've just stayed in London.”

Harold Taylor sat behind a large mahogany desk. The office the men sat in was located on the second floor of a real estate agency owned by Harold, not that you'd find his name on any documents relating to the ownership of the building or the business. Aside from one or two legitimate projects, John Howard Realty, as it was named, was a money laundering operation. Harold, wearing a pinstripe suit without a single crease, was five foot nine and overweight, growing up poor and then becoming a successful criminal with a taste for the finer things in life will do that to you.

Harold sighed, “Look, it's easy money, all you have to do is show the bloke around town, keep an eye on him and at the end of the day, you've got a fat wad of cash to show for it. Everybody is a winner.”

“The bloke, who is he? And why have I got to keep an eye on him?”

“Vincent, Vinny, Victor or something. And you've got to keep an eye on him because the people who sent him down here want an eye kept on him.”

“Who sent him down here?” Arthur asked Harold, who sighed again. “Oh come on Harry, I don't even want the fucking job, the least you could do is give me some background.”

“Alright,” Harold said as he stood up and walked over to the office window which overlooked the street below. “It's the Italians, from New York. They're sending him, he's coming down here to do some wet work. They just want someone to stick with him and make sure he doesn't do anything stupid. That's all they told me. They ask me for someone reliable and trustworthy and I recommend you. Okay?” Harold sat back down and Arthur nodded, relenting. “Look, you do this one job for me, you've got some grateful and powerful people in New York who know you're reliable and I find you some better work for next time. It's a win-win.”

“Fuck it,” Arthur said, at the same time he put a cigarette between his lips and lit it with a match, “I'll do it. When do I need to pick this guy up?” Despite agreeing, he couldn't escape the feeling that Harold was holding something back from him.

Harold smiled, “You won't regret it, Arthur. He'll be waiting at the airport, you need to be there in a few hours. Now..“ Harold paused and opened one of the desk drawers, he removed an envelope and slid it across the desk to Arthur, “There's about twenty grand there, give or take, and a burner with a pre-programmed number. You call the number, you say Harold told you they'd take of you and you meet at the location they give you. Toss it after you've finished, you know the drill.”

“'Harold said you'd take care of me'? Jesus Harry.” Arthur rolled his eyes and stuffed the envelope into the pocket of his overcoat. They said goodbye to each other and Arthur made his way to the ground floor of the building and out onto the street. He took the burner from the envelope and navigated to the contact list, the number in the phone was labeled ‘TOOLS’. Arthur dialed the number and waited for several seconds before someone answered.

“Yes?” The voice asked.

“Uh,” Arthur paused and cringed as he said the words, “Harold said you'd take care of me.”

“West 71st Street, south side. Pawn shop.” The voice responded, then the line went dead. Arthur sighed and hailed a taxi.

-------------------------------------

The taxi pulled up to a curb on West 71st Street and Arthur stepped out, but not before thrusting a few bills into the hand of the driver and telling him to keep the change. He stood on the street, looking around aimlessly as he tried to locate the pawn shop, he must've looked like an idiot. Eventually, he spied the pawn shop across the street, nestled between two large buildings. He entered the building, a bell ringing as he did. There was nobody inside, that was except for a small, bespectacled bald man with no neck, he was sat on a cushioned chair, behind what Arthur guessed was bulletproof glass.

When the men saw Arthur walk through the door, he stood from his chair and walked through the door which his side of the glass separate from the rest of the room.

“Hello, Harold sen-” The man ignored Arthur, who paused as the small man walked straight past him. The owner of the pawn shop pushed the door to the establishment closed and switched the sign on the door from ‘OPEN’ to ‘CLOSED’. Without saying anything, he indicated that Arthur should follow him and together they made their way past the glass and through another door which was locked until the small man produced a key. The room they walked into was a storeroom and it was much larger than Arthur had expected, considering how small the building had looked from the outside. The room was a mess, boxes and file cabinets everywhere, the only thing in the room that wasn't littered with junk was a square table at the center which had a white sheet covering it.

They approached the table and the small man walked around to the opposite side, facing Arthur. He whipped off the sheet and revealed what was underneath. Guns, lots of guns, all laid out neatly on the table. There were several assault rifles, a number of submachine guns, some shotguns and scores of semi-automatic pistols.

The small man finally spoke, “The rifles are fifteen a piece, shotguns ten, submachine guns seven and a half, the pistols five.”

“I'll take these two.” Arthur pointed out two pistols, a Jericho 941 and a Heckler & Koch P30L. The man took a sports bag from underneath the table and put the two pistols in the bag. “Two silencers as well, if have them.” The man nodded and reached into a cardboard box under the table, he took two silencers and put them into the bag also.

“Will that be all?” He asked.

“Yeah. That'll do,” answered Arthur.

“Final price comes to fifteen thousand, ten for the two pistols and five for the two silencers.” The man extended his hand, holding out the sports bag for Arthur to take. Arthur counted out some money from the envelope Harold had given him and handed it over in exchange for the sports bag.

“Pleasure doing business with you.” Arthur left the pawn shop, carrying the sports bag in his hand. He still had around five thousand dollars left and he still needed to buy himself a vehicle. He hadn't told Harold he hadn't bought a car yet if he did he would have had a brand new one parked outside of his apartment less than half an hour later, but Arthur wasn't comfortable with charity.

-------------------------------------

Another cab fare later and Arthur arrived at a car dealership. He walked onto the lot and approached the first salesmen he could find, he needed to get a move on as the man he was to '‘babysit’ would be arriving at the airport soon.

“Afternoon sir, how can I be of service today?” The salesman said as Arthur approached him looking hurried.

“I need a car,” Arthur said flatly.

“Well, you've come to the right place.” The salesman replied, along with a fake laugh to lighten the mood. Arthur didn't return the gesture. “Alright.. so, what kind of budget are we working with?”

“I've got five thousand dollars and I need to be driving out of here in the next fifteen minutes. I've got an appointment.”

The salesman sighed and nodded, realizing he wasn't going to get any major commission from Arthur, “Follow me, sir.” The salesmen led Arthur away from the front of the establishment and around the back, where they kept the cars that nobody wanted. The salesman led Arthur to a car that had been sitting on the lot since he had started working there, they called it the ‘Honda Unsellable’ and they thought it was probably cursed. It had been left on the lot years ago by some anonymous party, with seats stained with blood, instead of calling the police, the owner decided it would be much more profitable to change the seats and sell it.

When Arthur saw the car, he looked at the salesman in disbelief, “You've got to be fucking kidding me.”

-------------------------------------

The bright orange, beat-up Honda Jazz pulled into the pick-up area at the airport. It took a moment, but Arthur eventually spotted the individual holding the sign which had his surname written across it. He drove on and stopped the vehicle on the pavement next to the man. He used the automatic control to roll down the passenger seat window.

“You must be Victor.”
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Re: Wasting [Tag]

Post by Victor Parry » September 28th, 2017, 3:26 am

The airport was bustling behind him - people hauling bags, rushing to make flights. Victor stared at the guy in the car - the fucking car - for a moment in disbelief.

He said, "Are you fucking serious?"

A woman walking by with her young daughter scowled at him. Victor didn't notice. He shook his head and tossed his Parliament into the gutter and hefted his bag - a shoulder bag, black, containing a few changes shirts and underwear and socks and a carton of cigarettes - and tossed the sign with his other hand and slid into the passenger seat, slamming the door petulantly behind him.

Sometimes on jobs - almost always syndicate or mob related - they set him up with what was called a finger or a spotter. It was a local, almost always another shooter or at least affiliated with that kind of work, that'd done some of the recon on the target before Victor showed up and could give him the lay of the land. In those cases, the spotter's job was pretty much done on the first day: he showed up, drove Vic around and gave him some information, maybe sometimes hooked him up with a piece, then vanished.

This guy would be hanging around. To babysit. Because a geriatric Italian in New York didn't trust Victor to do a job he'd been excelling at for almost a decade, just because he didn't feel fit to let the legacy of a bunch of dead women go unjustified.

"Jesus," he said. "Fuck are you, British? They send me a fucking British guy in a bright orange car - talk about, whaddaya call it, inconspicuous. Jesus. Drive."

He lit another cigarette with his Zippo and sat smoking. "Fuck's your name, anyway? All I got was Taylor. That first or last?" The guy hadn't said a word the entire time, even as he pulled away from the curb and into traffic. Victor wondered why he was so angry at him - the guy was just here to do a job, after all, same as him. Still, just his presence here made him edgy and irritable - like having a sore in your mouth you can't stop pushing with your tongue. He thought of something his brother had once told him: your attitude is going to get you killed. Nobody likes a loudmouth.

He looked him over. A little taller than Victor, a little heavier through the shoulders and arms. A few years older, maybe. Wavy brown hair, big blue eyes that showed nothing. He had a square jaw in a tired looking face with five o'clock shadow and he was dressed for the weather but not conspicuously so, no ten thousand dollar mohair overcoat like the Italians or a look-at-me-I'm-hired-muscle leather jacket. Victor wondered what his position was, where he came from - as far as he knew the crime in Chicago was relegated largely to the blacks in the Southside and the Italians and the rest of the Syndicate chairpeople. Like McLaughlin.

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Re: Wasting [Tag]

Post by Arthur Taylor » September 28th, 2017, 7:18 pm

"Jesus," he said. "Fuck are you, British? They send me a fucking British guy in a bright orange car - talk about, whaddaya call it, inconspicuous. Jesus. Drive."
Arthur smiled, they were getting off to a good start. He drove out of the waiting area of the airport and steered into traffic. When they arrived at a red light, Arthur instinctively moved his hand to reach for the flask of whiskey he kept in the inner pocket of his overcoat, but he resisted the urge and put his hands back on the steering wheel. It was probably best to maintain some outward appearance of professionalism.
He lit another cigarette with his Zippo and sat smoking. "Fuck's your name, anyway? All I got was Taylor. That first or last?"
He looked at the man in the passenger seat before replying, his green suit looked like it had seen better days, in fact, he looked like he had seen better days. Not that Arthur could unironically pass judgment, he probably looked like shit too.

“Last,” He said, finally answering, “Name's Arthur. Don't call me Artie and we'll get along fine. Speaking of getting along fine, I bought you a present, under the seat.” Underneath Victor's seat was the sports bag with the pistols inside he had purchased from the pawn shop, the Jericho 941 and the Heckler & Koch P30L, along with the two silencers he had also purchased. “Figured you would need one. I'll take whichever one you don't want.”

Arthur relaxed into the driver's seat, feeling less tense, “So, where we headed?”
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Re: Wasting [Tag]

Post by Victor Parry » September 29th, 2017, 1:30 am

“Last,” He said, finally answering, “Name's Arthur. Don't call me Artie and we'll get along fine. Speaking of getting along fine, I bought you a present, under the seat.” Underneath Victor's seat was the sports bag with the pistols inside he had purchased from the pawn shop, the Jericho 941 and the Heckler & Koch P30L, along with the two silencers he had also purchased. “Figured you would need one. I'll take whichever one you don't want.”
"Yeah, right. Thanks, Artie."

He flicked his cigarette out the window and leaned down, grabbing the bag - he unzipped it by his feet, looked at the two guns inside, and nodded. "Good hardware," he said. "I'm guessing you checked 'em out before you paid."

He didn't wait for an answer, first zipping up the bag then straightening up and leaning down to flick on the radio, navigating the band until he found a station that played bland rock music - Victor had always had a thing for '80s hair bands but had just enough of a sense of wherewithal not to inflict it on other people, Celia and his older brother excluded.

Chicago rolled by outside their windows. Wide alleyways and houses beside corner bars and hints of red neon here and there. It was a funny city - Victor always thought of it as a hundred little country towns all bundled together.
Arthur relaxed into the driver's seat, feeling less tense, “So, where we headed?”
"Joe McLaughlin's," Victor said. "You know anything about the guy? Or about this job I'm on? I dunno what they tell the help."

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Re: Wasting [Tag]

Post by Arthur Taylor » September 29th, 2017, 12:04 pm

"Joe McLaughlin's," Victor said. "You know anything about the guy? Or about this job I'm on? I dunno what they tell the help."
Arthur chuckled, “Don't know a Joe McLaughlin, don't know anything about your job. I was just told to stay with you and make sure you don't do anything stupid. Trust me, I'd rather be doing any other fucking thing right now besides this, but the job is the job.” Jesus, this guy is a prick, he thought.

It wasn't the entire truth that he didn't know anything, he knew Victor was here to take someone out and he knew the Italians sent him, but that was it. He still couldn't escape the nagging feeling that Harold hadn't given him the whole story. He hated working with strangers. The last time he did, he spent the next twelve years staring at the walls of a prison cell.

“You just give me an address and I'll take us there.”
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Re: Wasting [Tag]

Post by Victor Parry » September 29th, 2017, 9:47 pm

Arthur chuckled, “Don't know a Joe McLaughlin, don't know anything about your job. I was just told to stay with you and make sure you don't do anything stupid. Trust me, I'd rather be doing any other fucking thing right now besides this, but the job is the job.”
Victor looked at him a moment, then nodded. "So you're from outta town. Alright. A British guy. They send me a British guy." He reached into his coat pocket and took out a folded slip of paper, handed it over. "We're going to a cab dispatcher onna North Side, Monarch Cabs. You really don't know nothing about McLaughlin? Joey the Torch?" He made a face when Arthur took the slip of paper, rolled his window up.

"He's on the Syndicate. You know them, right? The National Commission, Committee, Outfit, whatever the fuck they're callin' it this year. He's a, whatever, boss. Let's get this straight right now: you gotta shadow me 'cause the boys back home, in New York, they think I got a thing for, like...being a loose cannon, whatever. That ain't the whole truth, I been doing this a long time and never made no mistakes, but, y'know, what are you gonna do. So you let me do the talking with Joe, you keep your fucking Hugh Grant sounding mouth shut, we'll do okay."

He shook his head and stared out the window sullenly as Arthur drove. "Hey," he said suddenly, "Look, I don't mean to be such a prick." He sighed heavily. "I know this is just a job to you, same as me. Just, y'know, the fucking orange car, and they send me a British guy don't know nothing about the city..." He shrugged. "They're slapping me in the face, and normally I don't give a fuck but things are tense back East. Shit, I don't even know why I'm telling you. I been outta' character lately." Just like on the last job - getting emotional about the mark - getting emotional about the women. Everything was off kilter since then.

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Re: Wasting [Tag]

Post by Arthur Taylor » October 1st, 2017, 6:32 pm

Victor looked at him a moment, then nodded. "So you're from outta town. Alright. A British guy. They send me a British guy." He reached into his coat pocket and took out a folded slip of paper, handed it over. "We're going to a cab dispatcher onna North Side, Monarch Cabs. You really don't know nothing about McLaughlin? Joey the Torch?" He made a face when Arthur took the slip of paper, rolled his window up.
Arthur took the piece of paper and memorized the address before folding it and putting it in his pocket. He ignored the face that Victor made and kept driving. He didn't really care who ‘Joey the Torch’ was, as long as he kept Harold happy, nobody was going to bother him unless he majorly fucked up.
"He's on the Syndicate. You know them, right? The National Commission, Committee, Outfit, whatever the fuck they're callin' it this year. He's a, whatever, boss. Let's get this straight right now: you gotta shadow me 'cause the boys back home, in New York, they think I got a thing for, like...being a loose cannon, whatever. That ain't the whole truth, I been doing this a long time and never made no mistakes, but, y'know, what are you gonna do. So you let me do the talking with Joe, you keep your fucking Hugh Grant sounding mouth shut, we'll do okay."
“Sure thing, Viccy,” Arthur said sarcastically with a forced smile. He wasn't really a fan of the mob, he always thought they had too many rules. Not that he would turn down any work if offered it to him, he needed the money. Of course, any future jobs depended on his current one being successful.
He shook his head and stared out the window sullenly as Arthur drove. "Hey," he said suddenly, "Look, I don't mean to be such a prick." He sighed heavily. "I know this is just a job to you, same as me. Just, y'know, the fucking orange car, and they send me a British guy don't know nothing about the city..." He shrugged. "They're slapping me in the face, and normally I don't give a fuck but things are tense back East. Shit, I don't even know why I'm telling you. I been outta' character lately." Just like on the last job - getting emotional about the mark - getting emotional about the women. Everything was off kilter since then.
Arthur sighed, “I'm a big boy, don't worry about it. I've worked with bigger pricks. Sooner we get the job finished, the sooner you get me out of your hair and we both get paid.” Eventually, they reached Monarch Cabs on the North Side. Arthur drove past the building and parked down the street. He didn't know Joe McLaughlin, but from how Victor had described him, Arthur didn't imagine he was the type of person who would appreciate a bright orange car parked in front of his business.
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Re: Wasting [Tag]

Post by Victor Parry » October 2nd, 2017, 8:01 pm

It was a squat little building with a wide garage for the cabs to enter and exit through and a big facade sign with "MONARCH" on it in orange lettering. Victor took a look in the rearview mirror, squared his necktie.

"I never met this guy," he said, "But I know him by reputation." There were a few cars parked on the curb in front of the office - a few men in shirt sleeves and leather jackets were standing around, smoking and drinking out of brown paper bags, leaning against hoods and fenders.

"These guys," Victor said, leaning down to examine the guns again. "You ever wonder - they get paid for that, just standing around? Are they waiting on somebody, like a meeting? Any time I gotta meet a racket boss they always got these guys just milling around."

He slid the guns back under the seat - they wouldn't need them inside; it'd be a liability. McLaughlin was the one who'd reached out to the East Coast syndicate branch anyways - if it was all some elaborate set up to take out a third rate hired gun and a British ex-con expatriate he didn't have to go through so much effort. "You comin'?"

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Re: Wasting [Tag]

Post by Arthur Taylor » October 6th, 2017, 4:55 pm

"I never met this guy," he said, "But I know him by reputation." There were a few cars parked on the curb in front of the office - a few men in shirt sleeves and leather jackets were standing around, smoking and drinking out of brown paper bags, leaning against hoods and fenders.
“That makes one of us,” Arthur replied.
"These guys," Victor said, leaning down to examine the guns again. "You ever wonder - they get paid for that, just standing around? Are they waiting on somebody, like a meeting? Any time I gotta meet a racket boss they always got these guys just milling around."
Arthur chuckled, “Makes you wonder how the wankers make any money.”
He slid the guns back under the seat - they wouldn't need them inside; it'd be a liability. McLaughlin was the one who'd reached out to the East Coast syndicate branch anyways - if it was all some elaborate set up to take out a third rate hired gun and a British ex-con expatriate he didn't have to go through so much effort. "You comin'?"
“Yeah, fuck it. Lead the way.” Despite his nonchalant manner, Arthur didn't share Victor's feeling regarding the guns, he would have much rather gone into the cab stand knowing he had a pistol on hand, just in case.
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Re: Wasting [Tag]

Post by Victor Parry » October 9th, 2017, 5:21 am

They were double parked but Victor figured the cops might avoid this particular side of the street.

When they walked up to the open garage door of the dispatch building one of the men who'd been leaning against a car - a rangy guy with curly red hair and a scar running from his lower lip over the curve of his chin - stepped up. He was fiddling with a Bic lighter and smiling in the absent way Victor had come to associate with the severely mentally ill or stupendously drunk. "Help you boys?" he asked.

"I'm Vic, this is Arthur. We're here to see Joe."

"Joe know about this?"

That was a good sign - no bullshitting about "not knowing any Joe".

"Yeah, he's expectin' us."

"Gimme a minute."

The guy sauntered inside, pocketing the lighter he'd been playing with. Victor leaned against the brick wall beside the garage. A minute later the redhead came out and jerked his head in the direction of the building. "He's inna dispatch office, can't miss 'im."

Victor nodded to Arthur and they went inside. Garage smells: oil, cigarette smoke, grease, exhaust. Men in yellow striped shirts were everywhere...playing cards, listening to music, washing their cabs. The dispatch office was set back from the garage floor, a squat glass square, and the man inside stared out at everything around him as if it was all profoundly disappointing.

"Remember," Victor said to Arthur, "Lemme' do the talking. Yeah?"

They went inside.

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Re: Wasting [Tag]

Post by Arthur Taylor » October 11th, 2017, 3:37 pm

When they walked up to the open garage door of the dispatch building one of the men who'd been leaning against a car - a rangy guy with curly red hair and a scar running from his lower lip over the curve of his chin - stepped up. He was fiddling with a Bic lighter and smiling in the absent way Victor had come to associate with the severely mentally ill or stupendously drunk. "Help you boys?" he asked.

"I'm Vic, this is Arthur. We're here to see Joe."
Arthur raised a hand in a sarcastic gesture. After several exchanged words, the man disappeared into the building, only to return a minute later.
"He's inna dispatch office, can't miss 'im."
“Showtime,” said Arthur. He trailed behind Victor and eventually they reached the dispatch office, before they entered Victor stopped and looked at him.
"Remember," Victor said to Arthur, "Lemme' do the talking. Yeah?"
“You're the boss, boss,” Arthur made a criss-cross in the air with his fingers, “Stick a needle in my eye and all that.” The two men then entered the office.
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