Was going to do the second dream, but don’t think it’s really worthwhile. Instead I got back on course with OYGYDTOTL. Part 19, christ!
I wonder how much longer I can keep this going?
Being a drug dealer, Johnson McLeary had a nose for addicts. He generally split them into two categories: users and abusers. Users were his preferred clientèle, they would buy respectable amounts of Misery from him, use it up, then come back for more. Abusers, like Eldred Fie, would buy in bulk, which made the risk of discovery that much more real, then didn’t even use the product himself. If he didn’t pay so damn well Johnson wouldn’t do business with him.
Fie brought a lot of money to the man who, until relatively recently, had been a nobody in the drug industry. The sort of teenage scum that hangs about outside school to try and entice the proto-stoners. Now, Johnson was almost a drug baron. He controlled the flow of drugs in most of the city, and even kept a small trade in the more classic varieties, just in case. Misery may have been the biggest seller, but the newly initiated liked to start with something more traditional.
Johnson was still counting Fie’s money when he heard the gunshots. They weren’t rare in Johnson’s neck of the woods, but he still tried to take an interest in them. Grow too accustomed to the sound and one day you might just miss the shots that are coming for you, and he couldn’t allow that. A flick of the wrist sent his men to investigate.
The money was good, but then it always was. Fie was shrewd, very shrewd. He must have known how much Johnson hated dealing with him, he was a little too clean cut. You had to have rules in this sort of business if you want a reputation, and that was why Johnson hadn’t killed Fie after the first few deals in the name of preserving his business.
Fie brought money but he also brought danger, and danger outranks money. Unfortunately, the man also carried himself with a polite demeanour, legitimate cash, and not a hint of disrespect, which meant he was untouchable. You can only kill people who are taking the piss, otherwise you’re no different from a common thug.
The sound of his men returning snapped him out of his thoughts and back to reality. Two of them were carrying a sobbing woman between them, hoisted up by the arm pits, while a third was carrying a scoped pistol. Johnson consistently found it hard to picture women carrying guns, yet in this neighbourhood you tended to run into them quite often.
The men dropped the woman onto the floor and secured the gun in a nearby desk. Johnson paced around in front of the woman, examining her.
She was probably quite pretty when her make-up was correctly applied, but Misery induced tears (he had noticed the patch on her arm) had given her the appearance of a painting dropped in a puddle, watery and spoiled. He wasn’t very good with ages, but he had to guess she was young, maybe late teens. Still a kid really, and kids shouldn’t be playing with guns.
‘Okay, Chick, enough with the waterworks,’ he said.
The woman’s sobs died down for a moment and she looked up at him. She had beautiful eyes for an angst-head.
‘That’s better,’ he continued. ‘Now, as my boys brought you here I can only assume that you are the perpetrator of the recent gunfire. Would that be a fair assumption, Chick?’
The girl nodded without any real conviction. A brain dead nod from a mind very far away.
‘You get a lot of gunfire in this part of the city, sort of comes in a package with all the crime, and I don’t mind that at all. People shoot at each other, people die, it’s a natural form of expression, don’t you think?
‘But things are a little more complicated than that, Chick. See, I’m a businessman, and I can’t have people like you scaring away my clients by firing guns right outside my door. Easily spooked, my clients. Understand?’
The distant nodding again.
‘Good. Ordinarily, a guy comes into my part of town firing a gun, he’s going to get a polite beating and sent on his way. You’re not a guy though, Chick, so we’ve got to find a new way to teach you a lesson.’
Johnson hoisted the woman to her feet. She wobbled for a moment, and he was sure she would fall, but somehow managed to balance on her jellied legs. Misery did some pretty bad things to people who weren’t ready for it, this girl wasn’t a user.
‘Just out of curiosity, before we get to the important stuff, where did you get the Misery? I would have remembered selling some to you.’
Her glossy eyes blinked a couple of times, she swallowed. ‘Bastard… Ninja…’
‘A ninja?’ Johnson scoffed. ‘Oh well, we’ll get a proper answer out of you after you’re sober. Lesson first, answers later. Boys!’
With a snap of his fingers the three men who had brought the girl in started to close in on her. Awareness crept back onto her face, but not very much. With movements like a person trapped in a duvet, she removed her top. The advancing men stopped in their tracks.
‘Woah, getting a bit ahead of yourself there, Chick.’ Johnson said.
There were suddenly a pair of breasts in the room that no-one had noticed before. The girls top had done a very good job of hiding them, something with which the bra could not compete. Of course, the type of bra in question wasn’t even trying, it was designed to squeeze and shape and mould her breasts into weapons of mass distraction, and it was succeeding.
Johnson was momentarily confused, then the reasoning became extremely apparent. At first he thought the drug had made her mental, or that she was expecting some sort of sexual assault. Both of these ideas upset Johnson. Back when he was scum he probably wouldn’t have cared, might even have had a go at the sexual assault if he was in the mood, but he was more than that now. Johnson was sophisticated now. Then he noticed the real reason and he felt considerably better.
On her left breast, in plain sight, was a small tattoo of a playing card, the Queen of Hearts. The woman had taken off her top to show him her credentials, both euphemistic and real. It all made a little more sense now, not much but a little.
‘Okay boys, back off. Chick’s a Dockery Dame.’