Pull up around back at Nick’s. He don’t like me parking out in front, like I’m gonna scare away business or something.
What fucking business? There’s never any fucking body here, ‘cept for the same sad fucks that’d be here any other day of the week. A few greasy fuckers splitting a burger. A waitress that took guys out back for a quick fuck against the dumpster in the alley to pad whatever Nick paid her.
She fucked off the minute I showed up, leaving me alone at the counter with Nick. He pours me a cup of coffee in a dirty mug like he’s giving charity.
He has that look, like Teddy does. Like I’m fucking beneath him or something. He’s standing there in a greasy fucking apron that’s never been washed and he looks down his nose at me?
In the scheme of things, the fuck rates higher than me no matter what kind of a dirtbag he is. Connected. And he’s got the right blood. Sicilian thing, something I can’t do a fucking thing about.
I’m an errand boy but Nick’s just another of Teddy’s fucking messengers. Teddy likes to have people know that when he calls, I come running. Used to piss me right the fuck off at one point. It doesn’t really matter anymore, I guess.
“Let’s go talk in back,” he mutters at me, looking around the shitty little diner like he expects the feds to kick the door down at any second. Nobody gives a fuck about this place but he’s gotta imagine it, like it makes him important or something.
I don’t take the seat when he points to it, just stand in the doorway and wait. Arms crossed, like I don’t got all fucking day. He fucks around a bit, moves shit around and then gets on with it after a big show. Looking around through the rat’s nest of shit and papers all over the desk, looking for something. Paper and pen.
Teddy probably told him to write it down for me. Like I’m too fucking stupid to remember, just the fucking muscle. It makes Nick feel all important as he sweeps some garbage out of the way and starts writing on a pad of paper. I just stand against the door and look scary. That’s what I’m there for.
Nick doesn’t notice. His head’s down nearly on the desk as he writes and I can see his lips moving, the stupid fuck. I know he never made it past the fourth fucking grade. When he’s done, he looks it over, talking at me as he does it.
“There’s a woman Teddy wants you to pick up, here.” Hands me a greasy slip of paper and goes on. “Arms has her in a warehouse, four blocks down, supposed to take her…”
Rather than say it out loud, he points to the paper again, like he’s forgotten already. There’s an address on it, nothing more. “Arms’ll tell you,” he finishes lamely. He doesn’t know a fucking thing either, just another one of Teddy’s gophers.
Armstrong’s, ‘Arms’, place, a warehouse down by the water. Real shithole. He runs all sorts of shit out of there for Teddy. Drugs, furs, weapons, anything that can be pinched off a truck or container. And now apparently women too. Not exactly surprised.
“Who’s the broad?” I ask him. Not that I expect him to know, or to tell me. Sometimes I get lucky, and sometimes it’s just good to point out that they don’t know shit either.
Like I thought, he gets all pissed and pushes away from the desk, acting all fucking offended.
“Nonya fucking business, that’s who! Teddy says you’ll get the rest when you go pick up the bitch!”
With that, he slams his hand on the desk. I guess that’s supposed to scare me or something. I’m not one of the slutty waitresses he slaps around. He makes for me like the bravest fuck in the world. Or the stupidest.
“So he didn’t tell you either,” I said, getting me another dirty look, like I’ve never seen that before. I hold my breath as he stomps past me. Not cus I think he’s gonna do a fucking thing but because he stinks. Greasy burgers and fried shit on the top and BO on the bottom. It’s a lot of fucking bottom.
I wait until he’s well past before I look at the note. Scribbled all to fuck. Nothing spelled right. Not like I’m anyone to fucking talk but usually I make a pretty good go at it. If it’s something serious, I’ll get one of the women I’m fucking to write it out for me so I don’t look like a fucking moron when I hand it in. Nick, he don’t even give a shit anymore.
I think that’s a part of it. Part of why Teddy makes him a messenger boy for me. Another fucking way to humiliate me, getting this moron to run in the middle. Like this fat smelly fuck is better than me. Teddy thinks he is.
I get past Nick at the front again. Don’t say nothing. Take a breath of clean fucking air when I get out. That’s a fucking laugh, isn’t it? Fresh air. Right.
Out of the parking lot and I’m headed for Arm’s place. If anything, it’s even worse than Nick’s. Not for the smell. For the company.
Arms is a greasy fucker in a way that Nick could never even get close to. Greasy little pig eyes. Expensive suit. Acts like he doesn’t like to get his fucking hands dirty but I know for a fact that he does. That he likes it a fuck of a lot. He’s always looking, always watching.
Fucking old school.
Hate to admit it but the place gives me the fucking creeps. Not many things do that. Walk across the gravel and into the back of the warehouse and I’m on my fucking toes. Ready to run or some shit if it’s a setup. Know I’m going in anyway and there’s fuck all to be done about it.
I can’t fucking walk into a warehouse without feeling that dread now. That heavy feeling low in my gut where everything is screaming at me to run.
I know, it’s supposed to be fucking barns and shit that make me jumpy but how many fucking barns am I going to walk into in Brooklyn?
One of Arm’s guys comes out from around the corner of the wall and I make a point not to startle. That’s all I fucking need. If anyone even imagined I might be losing my nerve I’d turn up dead before the end of the day.
That I’d end up shot dead in a place like this doesn’t help. Never really had much time for that depression shit but I guess that’s pretty fucking depressing. When it comes time to get my ticket punched, I just don’t want it to be in a place like this.
Arm’s guy spots me right off and raises a fat fucking hand at me. Doesn’t say nothing. Like he’s hailing a cab. Fat fuck.
“Taylor,” he’s saying at me in this watery voice like he’s got a head cold. Too much booze. Loud enough that I know he’s announcing my presence to somebody else.
The office isn’t much better than Nick’s Diner to look at. Smells a little better. Battered desk with a bare light over the top of it. A brick wall behind it. Boxes of booze stacked up along one of the walls. The good shit, stuff he wouldn’t trust to leave out on the floor of the warehouse in case it grew a pair of legs.
Behind the desk, Arms looks like a prizefighter ten years past his expiration date, hard as fuck. Sitting in an expensive leather chair, a foot up on the edge of an opened drawer. I know he’s got a gun in there but if he was going to put a hole in me, I’d be dead already. And he’d probably do it out back.
His eyes cut to the side, with a small nod of his head. A shitty looking sofa against the side wall.
The woman is around thirty or so. Maybe just looks that way cus she looks tired and like she’s slept hard for a few days. Could be younger, what the fuck do I know. Scared shitless, and defiant. Glaring back at anyone that dared to look at her.
The young boy she held against her chest was just plain old scared shitless. Let out a little sob every couple of minutes. A quick look tells me neither of them have been hurt. From what I can see anyway. Who the fuck knows. They wouldn’t be here if they was supposed to be treated nice.
Knowing I was picking up a woman was bad enough but I’m not exactly John Q Citizen and it’s not the first time I’ve done it. So I got past it. The kid is a whole other fucking matter altogether.
For fuck’s sake.
Copyright © October 2008 xxxevilgrinxxx