I took a sip of my cocktail. The ice cubes had already melted but the drink was ice cold and gave me a brief shiver. I laid my hand over the vertical scar that would mark me forever. I hated it. I hated it so much that I often opened them again and again just to see if I could speak afterward. But that only ended up in the hospital. Over and over again. It’s like a fucking curse, that’s all. It was back when I wasn’t even 11. The rats had taken a family hostage. Normally I don’t give a fuck about that. But I was still there and took a close look at them. Their faces were smashed by the beatings of the others. And right in the middle, my best friend Lee. If only I had ignored it… My father is the boss of the rats. He was addicted to gambling, smoked, drank, killed my mother, and probably would have killed me on that evening as well, if the rats hadn’t distracted him. And hell, he´s still trying to kill me, after all those years of running away from him and learning my own way to survive the streets with an illegal tanto knife. They were originally used to give a samurai his pride back after he had failed his orders. The longer the cut from the abdomen to the chest, the mightier the pride you’ll receive back. Then a friend cuts off your head. Cruel, but I liked it. The knife was handcrafted by a trusted dealer and sent to me with a note to keep in case of a family problem. So it started putting my trademark on my pursuers. You don’t play with a lioness who can’t scream but bite. But until now, all was quiet. Still, I can’t shake the feeling that this is just a pause, if not a warning, to try and drag me away again.
“An Irish whiskey, quick, we don’t have all day.”
I turned unobtrusively towards the deep voice and saw a young man in an expensive all-black suit. His hair was kept out of his face with gel. He was tall, probably taller than Kir, who quickly handed him a whiskey. He drank it down in one go without hesitation. He breathed in and out deeply, looking around in a circle until our eyes met for a brief moment.I slowly turned around again and continued to sip my drink, which was now completely cold. How long have I been sitting here? More notes piled up on Kir’s side of the bar, who kept reading them patiently as he passed me. After all, he has to do his job somehow.
“Hey, tell me, do you happen to know what those messages are? Did you write them?”, he started asking me as his customers happily sipped their drinks or rejoined their friends at the tables, to see the performance of the strippers.
“What news?” I quickly wrote on a piece of paper and pushed it towards the Russian like cash.
He fumbled in his pocket until he pulled out a few crumpled pieces of paper. I took them from him and read each and every one of them carefully. Plans. Blueprints of this club with some places that are suspiciously marked in red circles. There is also another piece of paper with the message: Where will more people stand when we strike? The handwriting was clear and even after years I still remember who would write this…
© Ash_Fennimore 2022-07-26