Saturday, August 20, 2011

excerpt from Sullyland, coming soon...


By Richard Howes

“Wake up, dead man.”
“What?” I awoke to the muzzle of a gun staring me in the eyes. I focused and saw a large man pointing my own gun at me. I contemplated taking the gun, my gun, away from him. I wondered if he had racked a round into the chamber.
“Get up. Someone wants to talk to you.”
“Who?” I asked as I sat up and put my feet on the floor. The man was tall. He wore Bertuli shoes and a high-end dark blue business suit. He backed away, giving me room.
“The guy you been harassing. Let’s go.”
“You think you’re a big man taking a knife away from a kid?” The man backed to the doorway.
I needed him in close if I was going to act. He seemed to suspect that and he gave space with every step I took.
“At least I didn’t kill him.”
“He’s my brother.”
“You want to return the favor?”
“And not kill you?”
“If you insist.”
“Ha! Get in the car. Today I don’t get to kill you. Maybe later.”
“Comforting to know.”
The man smiled and backed down the left hallway towards the living room. Another man, shorter, fatter, ex-wrestler or rugby player, stood in the doorframe of the bathroom to my right. The man gestured with a handgun and said, “Move it.”
He had a thick Italian accent. My guess was Tuscany, but I could be wrong. He swore slacks from a department store and a golf shirt. Black sneakers completed the classy ensemble.
We went out to the car, a white limousine waiting in my driveway. The driver and another muscleman waited. The muscleman hefted a double-barrel shotgun.
“Where we going, Tony?” I figured someone might be a ‘Tony’.
“Get in,” the driver said.
I climbed in the back and sat facing forward to see where we were going. Tall-Tony waved a gun inside and said, “Over there,” pointing to the backward-facing-seat.
I complied. Tall-Tony and Sneakers-Tony got in and kept their guns pointed at me. I rapped on the glass behind me. The window slid down.
“No bumps, okay? We don’t want any accidental discharges back here.”
The butt of a shotgun knocked the back of my head.
“Wise-ass,” Tall-Tony said.
“Dead wise-ass,” laughed Sneakers.
I rubbed the knot that swelled up on my head. The glass slid up. The doors closed. The windows were tinted dark. The men pulled shades down over the side and rear windows. I’d have to find Guiseppi’s hideout on Google-Maps, later.
“So what would Mr. Medici like to talk to me about?”
“What makes you think we are going to see him?” Tall-Tony asked.
“Because... When Mrs. Medici hired me, she didn’t need four gunmen and a limousine ride.”
“Veronika is nice eh?”
“Mrs. Medici? She’s a looker.”
“She’s very nice? Very pretty? I’d like to fuck her. He’d like to fuck her. Would you’d like to fuck her?”
“She’s very pretty.” I smiled. Tried too anyway.
Tall-Tony raised his gun. “You don’t laugh. You don’t talk like that. Only we get to talk like that!”
The two Tonys laughed. I frowned.
“Good. You frown. That’s good!” They laughed some more.
The remainder of the ride went about the same. They told stupid jokes. I kept my mouth shut. They laughed about it.
We got on a highway, probably I-15 through the middle of Las Vegas, but it could be 215.
We cruised at high speed for twenty minutes and then got off an interchange and went to highway speeds again for another ten, followed by surface streets and six or eight turns.
We stopped and the doors opened under a Mediterranean style carport attached to a Mediterranean style house. Good. I could be at almost any house in Las Vegas, or Los Angeles, if the ride had been longer.

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