By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 800
“Listen Mac,” Jacob said. “You don’t flash your money around like that. In this neighbourhood, that’s pretty damn stupid and likely to get us both rolled.”
“Ain’ nobody gonna mess with us, hoss,” the short, stocky thug said.
“You might be a bigwig downtown, but this isn’t our turf. You see, we don’t know the intricacies of the gangs in this part of town.”
“But we’s just did over Jonnie the Barber upstairs, didn’t we. Won’t that upsets peoples?”
“Most likely, but if he ripped off the locals like he ripped off our boss, then the goons would be more likely to be angry with us for depriving them the chance of doing the same, rather than taking the money he owed Big Lou.”
“Well, let’s get off the street and back to our turf then. I like counting my monies.”
“I’m sure you do, Mac. But one day you need to learn how to count the denominations as well as the number of bills you have. They all have different values, you know.”
“Never bothered me before. I’s just hand over what I thinks is fair and nobody seems to argue.”
“That’s probably more to do with the pistol you hold in your other hand than the other party being in agreement with your style of bartering.”
“Stick ‘em up, mister!” a squeaky voice said.
Mac and Jacob turned around to face the owner of this voice. They had to look down as it came from a child, or one of the two children standing a few feet away.
“You should be careful, young master,” Jacob said calmly. “You could end up in serious trouble sneaking up on adults like...”
“Shut it pops!” the other child yelled and shot Jacob in the knee with a round from the automatic pistol he held.
Jacob fell to the ground, clutching his shattered kneecap. Mac instinctively went for the pistol in his shoulder holster. The second child shot Mac in the elbow, then the other arm for good luck. His partner smiled and said, “Good one Pete. He looks like he’d be trouble.”
“Thanks Tommy,” Pete said. “Now, hand over that money and we might think about letting you crawl back home.”
“How’s can I hand over anything!” Mac yelled. “You’ve shot both my arms you little bastard.”
Tommy shot Mac in the forehead with a single shot, killing him instantly.
“You got any questions about how to hand over that money you stole from my dad?” Pete said.
“No,” Jacob said.
Jacob tried to get to his feet, but Tommy kicked him in the injured leg.
“I think you’d better crawl.”
“Yeh,” Pete said. “Like the dirty dog you are. Stealing my dad’s money. That was for my birthday party.”
Jacob slowly crawled to his fallen comrade and lifted his arm to grab Mac’s wallet. Tommy shot his elbow out.
“Use your mouth, mister,” Tommy said.
“Yeh,” Pete agreed. “Don’t want you reaching for that pistol instead of the money.”
Jacob was about to argue, but the vacant look of the two kid’s faces convinced him otherwise. There was just nothing behind those eyes, no hate, no anger, and no innocence.
“Okay, just don’t shoot me again, please.”
Tommy lifted his pistol and shot one of Jacob’s ears off.
“Didn’t you hear us, mister? Get that money.”
Jacob began to cry. He thought himself a dignified English gentleman, above the common street criminal common to the city. But lying in a pool of both his and Mac’s blood and with three bullet holes in him, he couldn’t help but weep. He managed to get the wallet out of his colleague’s pocket and sat upright slowly.
“Bend down and put it on the ground,” Pete said.
Jacob complied without a word. Before he had a chance to sit back up he felt a snap in his lower back. He fell face first into the filthy bitumen sidewalk. The pain did not last long before disappearing, but then the numbness kicked in and so did the realisation that his back was broken.
“Hey, good one, Dad,” Pete said.
Jacob could not turn his head to see Jonnie; all he saw was a cockroach crawling under his face towards the lump of flesh that used to be his ear.
“I think that’ll do, boys,” Jonnie said. “Donnie said he’ll send the cleaners around to take this trash away.”
“Can I play with them when they get here?” Pete said.
“Yeh, why not. It was his twelfth birthday yesterday. Give him a hand.”
Another kid. Jacob thought, how the hell am I going to get out of this, this is one tough neighbourhood.
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