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 Everyone´s racket

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00biohazard
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PostSubject: Everyone´s racket   Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:50 pm

EVERYONE'S RACKET
A novel by Carlos Alegría


In a city where everything and everyone is for sale, an ex police officer gone P.I must crack the case of his career, no matter how personal the cost.




PROLOGUE


The rain fell heavy that night. I remember it like it was yesterday. Even if it was fifteen years ago. I smoked my lone cigarette in a back alley of O´Flannery´s bar, an unkind joint with all kinds of nasty characters. My brother and I, both cops by family tradition had worked a case involving some smuggled diamonds from Africa, and we´d been deuped by the dealers for weeks now. My brother and I had a discussion, one of those that gets the wrong people´s attention for all the wrong reasons. We threw some insults here and there, and in between angry gestures and too much whiskey, we ended up throwing down, shouting all sorts of nonsense. That´s the night my stupid, idiotic and selfish self did it. In a drunken frenzy, I picked up a bottle lying on the bar and smashed my brother in the head with it. He fell back like a ragdoll, thrown by a bored kid.

Part of me, even in my intoxicated state noticed the horrendous thing I had done. His head hit the hard steel of a stool, and he lay there, unconscious by the hard hit he had taken. By his own brother. I had become Cain. My brother turned vegetable after that instant. But I didn´t know it then. In that drunken moment. Most cops would be thrilled by having their own flesh and blood watching their backs on those filthy streets, and I had just nailed my brethren in the head with a bottle, leaving him for dead. I called a couple of the boys on duty that night, ones I knew I could trust to help me. Help me until I had an aliby.

Me and my brother had placed some of the most dangerous thugs out there behind bars, and in a city so corrupt, nobody would offer me safe haven if I were to end up going to the pen. The Tomasimmos, my old enemies and one of the most powerful crime family´s in the city, would have me whacked in a matter of hours. I couldn´t go to the joint. And it did'nt help that every two bit street criminal around the block seemed to be having a convention at that bar, that night, and they had been witnesses to the little incident. Back then I was stupid. My head was nowhere. Taken by the booze. Thats when I headed to the back alley of that bar. That´s when I started getting soaked by the pouring rain.

The moment I knew I had changed my life forever, and for the worse. One moment I was on the top of the world, and now, I was the cop who killed his brother, another cop. ´Course the media were gonna spin this, pin me down as the homicidal envious brother, and the law enforcement of this town would head towards the same storm drain the rest of the corrupt institutions were. It wasn´t just me I had royally screwed over. It was my friends. And what would my mother say. And then there was that feeling. The guilt you get once you realize you can´t trick yourself into blaming someone or something else, for what you did. And that feeling burned worse than the cigarette´s vulnerable tip in the soaking rain.

I put on my hat. Adjusted my tie. A dark silk tie, yeah I remember like it was yesterday. I smoked my cigarette in that putrid alley, just a poor lost soul, just like the rest of the vermin out and about that night. Only I was worse. And that´s when I had heard them. Coming for me. I heard the roar of thunder and my heart seemed to skip a beat. The police sirens. Only this time they weren´t police sirens. They were ambulances, and they had come to take the body of my brother. To me, from what I had seen, he died. I remember I looked into his blue eyes, which had an uncanny resemblance to my own, and I remembered seeing him dead. Not vegetable, not with a shimmer of life, but just dead. I couldn´t bear to walk back in. I just soaked. Maybe I thought I would´ve died of pneumonia outside before I faced the music, who knows.

All I know is that nothing was the same after that little incident. What happened wasn´t pretty and I ain´t happy about it. But everytime I think of you I can´t bear the thought of you loving me. You can´t love a loser like me, no way no how lady. I´m damaged goods, fixing the problems of other broken bastards now. My little brother is still in that hospital, still rotting away on a plastic tube. Nobody loves me anymore and you shouldn´t either. But nothin´ will stop me from thinking of you these cold, solitary nights. Cause it does get lonely. Especially with all this pent up guilt. The booze and the whores only keep me from falling apart. But like anything frail and destroyed at its core, it won´t be long before I burst into a million pieces, and I don´t want your sweet little face to worry about cleaning them up.

This letter´s the last you´ll hear of me Abby. Take care of the kid. Even though he ain´t mine, I feel like he is. That´s how much I know you. That´s how much I love you. I´m sure that by the end of this case, I´ll be dead. Pretty sure. But if I´m not, I wanna see ya one last time. You know where to find me. The place where people like me spend their days, watching the great city of New Harmony drown in its own filth. Yours in heart and in spirit,

Kenneth Ray Manns

The blue eyed man exhaled cigarette smoke as he finished typing his letter. He owned a classic typewriter, which used to belong to his father. He looked through the window of his small workplace, seeing hard rain fall on the concrete below. The concrete jungle. This is where he dedicated himself to cleaning the dirt the dirtiest city in America had to offer. For a price. And this was the letter he wrote to the woman he loved, before embarking on what would be the most dangerous case of his career. The rain was familiar. He remembered his brother. God Matty, I´m sorry. He heard thunder outside, as the rain intensified. It was now two in the morning. Time for scotch, he thought.


[b]


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PostSubject: CHAPTER ONE   Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:04 pm

CHAPTER ONE
THE DRESS



A blue eyed man overlooked Blaze river, a large body of water that flowed through the heart of the city of New Harmony. He was at Geller´s Bridge, One of the ten great bridge´s the city had. It was sunset. And the information he had gotten was golden. He had just gotten together an hour previous with a man called Walter ´eyes´ Forster. He was a black man, with a large frame and a blue collar wit, He didn´t hesitate in putting Ricky Garone out to pasture. Ricky Garone was a capo with the Tomassimos, one of the big Italian family´s running New Harmony´s underworld. They had a long and bloody history of murders, blackmailing, and white collar crimes most con artists would ever dream of accomplishing. Nobody in town was as crazy to cross them. Except K.R Mann. Mann recalled his meeting with Eyes.

It was at Donner´s park that same evening. About 6 oclock in the evening to be precise. It seemed the day didn´t know what it wanted to be when they met. The sun was out, but it continued to be covered by the ever glooming mantle of grey clouds, which now and then threatened rain upon the inhabitants of New Harmony. Mann sat at a park bench, drinking mineral water. He wore dark tan pants, black shoes, and a white dress shirt, accompanied by a dark blue tie and a dark sports jacket. He had three day stubble, and his dark, short hair was combed back neatly, leaving a comma of hair above his eye. He has a long nose and, by what women had told him, a very kissable mouth.

Eyes sat two spaces beside him. He knew they might be under surveillance. ´So...what you got for me Eyes? everyone knows you´ve been muscle for Garone for a while now. Been making deals with lots of bad people. And someone tipped me off, something about you knowing the whereabouts of Francesco Matta´s missing daughter. I don´t want half of Cuba´s gangsters showing up on these streets, things are bad enough as it is. So talk to me.´ Mann knew Garone had been treating Eyes like a piece of garbage for a while now. He was an old school Italian, and he constantley used racial slurs when referring to Eyes and his gang. Eyes didn´t have any loyalty to Garone or the Tomassimo´s, and Mann knew this. Seeing as everyone else under the employment of Garone and the Tomassimo´s had their mouths sewn shut, he had to look for an employee who had a grudge against him and was dull enough to sell him out. And that scapegoat was Eyes.

Eyes wore a worn out old blue shirt and blue jeans. The man looked tired and weary, most probably from the drink. ´You ain´t a cop right? the boys on the street say your a private investigator. Thought that shit was just on TV and stuff. Anyway, I´ma tell you what I know, but I don´t want any of this shit coming back to me you understand? ´. Eyes tries to be intimidating, but Mann knew he was scared of Garone. And he knew he wasn´t safe until Garone was behind bars. ´Eyes, you and I both know I´m your only hope. An your mine. So let´s not kid each other into thinking we have a choice. We gotta think about what we have in common. Me and you aren´t very different. We both want Garone behind bars, and we both got alot to lose. My client´s a very powerful man, and if he doesn´t get his daughter back by this time next week, my life is gonna be in danger and there´s gonna be blood running in these streets like never before. And you, well, I understand you have a daughter´.

This seemed to touch Eyes nerves. He gazed at Mann aggressively, and spoke through gritted teeth. ´Don´t you hurt her!´, he said, as he tightened his hand into a fist. ´She won´t have to worry about me. I was a cop but even I ain´t that twisted. No, unless Garone´s behind bars, your not going to have a moment´s rest. Mobsters are gonna be chasing you and your little girl. You really think they don´t where she lives? you´ve killed for these men Eyes, you know how they do business´. Eyes looked at Mann with a look of resignation. He was going to tell him everything. But if there was one thing Kenneth Ray Mann hated, it was lying to a man when that man was being completely sincere to him.

Unfortunatley, Eyes signed his death sentence the moment he decided to meet with Mann. If Garone ended locked up, the Tomassimo´s would know about it and they would only take days to find out who talked. They would whack everyone responsible for their capo going down, while Mann would be the only incognito and would end up alive, scott free. But it was either this, or his client, Francisco Matta, a Cuban gangster, would bring a militia of men from the island to tear the city to shreds looking for Isidora, the Cuban´s kidnapped daughter. The only lead he had was Garone, and Mann still had contacts at the police department who could get him to confess where the Tomassimmo´s were holding her. Why one of the most powerful mobs in New Harmony kidnapped a Cuban gangster´s daughter was something he would have to piece together to bring the girl back to Matta, and he was being paid a handsome amount of money to do it. But he needed what Eyes was going to tell him. Cause without the information this plain, dumb street thug knew, he was lost, like an abandoned puppy on a cold winters night.

´Alright man, just make sure you put that monster in a cage man. I kill goons when he tells me to but I don´ go threatening lil´ kids. I don´t do that shit.´ Well at least there was some morals in the criminals of this town, thought Mann. Eyes was the first one he had crossed paths with who demonstrated some sort of mercy.´Right man. We be Garone´s coldest killers man. We´ve put fools in the ground during stick ups, we´ve stole shit, we even be threatening up some of them cats in the mayor´s office and shit. But this time he offered us almost 10K for a job. Motherfucker never be offerin´ a brother that type of cash, he racist as shit. Now I ain´t the smartest of our crew, but John boy, one of my homies knew somethin was up. That nigga´s cunning man, he asked Garone´s boys details on the job. Now regularly these fools don´t tell us shit, we just shoot some cats and tha´s it. But this time, they told us we needed to stick up some Russian cats at the city docks, and we´d be aided by some of his boys. I didn´t know what they´d be bringing in, but 10K buy alotta dope, and I was into that shit when I heard about it. So me and ma boys went along. We guarded them docks and some Russians were there, with a girl. There was also some cat speakin Spanish. Anyway we jumped them, took all the shit they had stashed in some vans, and we disappeared man. I heard them Italian dudes talk about taking her to some cat named Pauly. And I heard them talk about some shit called Necra-Necro, I dunno some weird chemical shit. At first I thought this motherfucker was just insulting us again, callin´ us negroes and such, but John boy told me it was some chemical shit.´

´Anyway, they started talking in Italian, after they saw me tryin to listen and shit. But I heard the words Honey Doll´s, and the city´s abandoned power plant man.´ Mann looked at him. ´Did you hear anything about Marone?´, he asked. ´That motherfuckin Guido got his print´s all over the girls dress man. He was there when we dropped the girl off at some restaurant these motherfuckers own downtown. Touchin´ her and shit. Copped a few feels and shit, with his girl right beside him, sleazy fucker. Anyway, he said ''burn the dress negroe and I´ll throw in a couple hundred''. Racist motherfuckers like that make me sick man, makes me want to put a bullet through´em. But he was paying me over 10K. I wouldn´t work for him again. And then John boy told me to keep the dress, and that we´d fuck over these Guidos. The next week, Garone ordered a hit on John boy, and lil Ty, and I found Leroy and shorts, my other brother´s dead. They onto us man. But with the dress you can take that motherfucker in. Now I told you all I know man, just put that bastard behind bars!´.

Eyes was scared. Mann saw a fear in his eyes, something he was used to seeing in criminals. But he couldn´t help but feel sorry for him. Once they find out Garone is locked up, he would be dead. And there was nothing he could do. The greater good mann, the greater good. A few street thugs are better dead than dozens of innocents. He was avoiding the possible bloodshed. ´I´m gonna put Garone behind bars Eyes. Take this. Take your little girl and head out of town, you don´t want anybody to find you when that dress shows up´. Eyes nodded. ´The dress is in my apartment in the Belvedere projects. Under the bed. You get that and you got Garone. Take care man.´ Eyes stood and left. He had his lead. At the cost of a foolish criminal´s life, and that of his innocent daughter´s. But there wasn´t anything he could do, only move on. Mann was at the bridge, just overlooking the sunset. It was getting dark. He had no time to think of Eyes´ fate. He had to get that dress, before someone else thought of going after it. He had to find that girl.


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PostSubject: Re: Everyone´s racket   Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:05 pm

Holy shit 00! This story kicks ass! I was immediately draw in (this doesn't happen too often lol) and it's really easy to follow. I mean it, I love crime/mystery dramas. If you're not tied up too much with Abyss, I would like to read more of this. Also, that was tragic what happened between Manns and his brother.
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PostSubject: Re: Everyone´s racket   Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:27 pm

CHAPTER TWO
THE BLUE WHISTLE



K.R Manns knew he´d been followed. He saw the figure walk past him on the bridge, saw his dark vehicle two cars behind him on Obsid Avenue in downtown, and he decided it was best not to head over to the Belvedere projects straight away. He knew someone who could help. Someone who could grab the chump who so carelessly tried to follow Manns undetected. The Tomassimo's guys were pro's, it wasn't like them to get someone sloppy like this guy. It was now night in the big city, towering buildings lit up like christmas trees as Manns looked at them through his windows. The modern publicity, the business sectors of New Harmony were a spectacle to look at, the pinnacle of modernity. About ten minutes passed as Manns continued to drive through the city, and the skyline changed significantly.

Broken down old buildings replaced the modern towers a few minutes back. Bums lined up every street corner, alongside the occasional hooker. About four blocks down, in the old Irish neighbourhood, Manns reached a shady looking joint. 'The blue whistle'. Manns made sure to not get out of the car until he made sure that his unwanted admirer had gotten close enough to see where he was going to head. When the black car parked three spaces behind Manns, he got out, lit a cigarette and headed inside. Manns walked inside the dimly lit strip bar. There were no neon lights, apparently it was too high maintenance for the place. Middle aged men and old wealthy fiends who couldn´t keep their sexual appetites out of the ghuetto decorated the place, while young scantily clad and naked women danced around for them. These were the kind of places a man with a decent living and something worth giving a damn about in life avoid. The girls were all foreign, victims of European human trafficking no doubt.

Manns went to the back of the shady place, where the dancers all changed clothes. A large white man in a green T shirt and tatoos on his arms stopped him. ´Where d'ya think your going boy?´, asked the tough man. The bouncers in the club were all criminals, moonlighting as guards to earn favors with the local Irish mob. ´I'm here to see Regina. Tell her it's Kenneth, and I need help quick´. ´The fuck you think you are Boy'o?´, asked the bouncer aggresivley, lightly shoving Manns. ´I don't need to explain myself to lowlives like you pal´. The bouncer looked furious. He was about to throw a hay maker, and Manns had quickly adopted a defensive position, when he heard it. ´Wait you idiot!´. A thin woman with dark hair, and a sunken face appeared. She was a young woman, though the condition drugs and booze had left it in would suggest otherwise. ´This is the last time this happens Mike, next time,your out!´, she exclaimed furiously at the bouncer. ´Sit in a corner Michael, the adults need to talk´, smirked Manns. ´Com to the back handsome, I have two guards watching my back´. Manns walked down the cramped hallway, passing in between the dancers who were coming in and out of the dressing rooms. Manns could tell that these girls were almost all heroin addicts.

They reached a room in the back. It had a table, with large amounts of money(for laundering) a few chairs and a pot of coffee. The cheap, solitary light bulb dimly lit the cold, humid room. They both took a seat and two guards entered with them. They both carried weapons. ´What brings you to these neck of the woods there Kenny? I knew your life has been in the shitter lately, but with your holier than thou attitude, didn't think you'd be interested in anything I have to offer here´. Regina had been a prostitue since her early days. Her first arrest had been by Mann and his brother. After becoming a repeat offender, they casually got to know each other after a number of years, this bond intensifying when Mann would see her getting harassed or manhandled by drunk customers and stopping them. Now she owned this place. Her long hours and endless patience paid off, since she didn´t rent out her own body anymore.

´I haven't changed my stance. Good cop at heart even if they did do a number on my career. But I've got bigger problems. I'm working a case, and some fool seems to be following me. It's big, involving some major fish.´ Regina glanced at him, worried. ´Now before you get your pretty little face any more wrinkled, the guy's an amateur, which means he doesn't work for anybody big. Just a two bit thug. But I need to know why he´s following me. I lured him into your club, and I need your boys to bring him back here so I can ask him a few questions´. Regina smiled. ´You clever little man you.´ ´He's wearing a black silk suit with a white shirt. And a dark hat. ´ Manns gave the description to the guards, and they left the room. After a few moments of chit chat with Regina, The door smashed open and a flailing man with a black bag on his head was held by the two guards. Manns stood up, closed the door, and removed the bag. He looked the man straight in the eyes. ´We should talk. Have a seat´.


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PostSubject: Re: Everyone´s racket   Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:29 pm

CHAPTER THREE
WHORES, HOMOS, AND THE GINGER



Manns smoked his cigarette calmly as he inspected the fiend's face. After taking a beating from Regina's Gorilla's, he was finally ready to sit down on the cold, steel chair and cough up the names of who had sent him to do the job. ´I know how this works. You don't get much details, just who and why I'm supposed to die. It was in who's best interest I croaked tonight pal?´. Manns had kneeled so as to be face to face with the beaten man. In a town this crooked, he could be working for anybody. God knew half the town´s underworld had reasons to come after him. But he had a hunch that this wasn't just a grudge, that someone wanted him out of the picture and fast.

´I´m sure you've heard of the good cop bad cop routine in your day. So you know how this is gonna work. Except I´m not a cop. And these boys aren't either. Now from what I can tell, your an idiot, following the standard two car rule so as to evade suspicioun while following me. You wear a two thousand dollar suit but you aren't part of the mob or any other one of the big fishes for that matter. So you stick out like a sore thumb. Pretty stupid. Now Regina here runs a successful business and she knows how to take care of meddlers´. Regina approached the beaten man, and took Mann's cigarette out of his hand. She made a gesture with her head and signalled her guards to grab the killer and make him stick out his tongue. With an elegance a drug addicted madame seldom had, she gracefully put out the cigarette in the man's tongue. As he screamed, she smiled and said. ´Already shoutin´? boy I hope you don't talk anytime soon, I wanna have some fun tonight´.

The goon then turned over to Manns, with a pitiful look in his eyes. He was a balding ginger,with a round face and crooked teeth. ´This isn't worth the chump change I'm getting paid, fine fine, I'll tell you!´.Mann lit another cigarette. He inhaled the toxic but ever so soothing fumes of the old coffin nail and sat down, now in the spot directly in front of him. ´Talk to me´. The ginger was trapped in between a rock and a hard spot. He knew that he had no way out, and that he would perish in that whore house if he didn't tell these people what they wanted to know. ´Someone close to Eyes and his crew told me that Eyes was talking about some stuff he shouldn't have been. And to some cop. Since this guy I know used to hang with me and Eyes sometimes, I figured he was telling me because he was blabbing about us.´ Manns looked at him sternly. ´And who is this guy, who told you I was a cop and that Eyes´s lips were a little to loose?´. Manns smoked calmly. He bummed a smoke to Regina and soon enough, the entire room was covered by a grey cloud.

´Just some idiot from Belvedere. A spick we used to buy weed off of. Rojas. At first I couldn't believe it when this bastard offered me eight hundred dollars for the hit, He's usually stoned out of his mind. But he looked real clean, wearing a suit and drinking expensive liquor. And he gave me the details, where and when Eyes was gonna meet you. Then, I was supposed to follow you to some secret place where you'd find a dress. That's when I was supposed to pop you, and take it back to Rojas´. Manns smoked with utmost tranquility, letting the new information sink in. ´Get this idiot out of my sight´, said Manns. Both guards grabbed him as he began to wail and shout, claiming he had told them everything he knew. And Manns didn't doubt it. ´You think that scumbag was telling the truth? I know his type, they'd sell their own mother if it meant they could drink another beer or screw another girl´. ´I'm pretty sure Regina. This guy squealed faster than a little piggy. Say, your boys aren't gonna send this guy to the bottom of the river are they?´, inquired Manns a little worried. Regina laughed.

´It's alright my little boyscout. I only hire homos as guards nowadays, more efficient since they don't fool around with the girls working here. All I can say, is that silk suited bastard's gonna wake up tomorrow with a behind sorer than my girls'´. Manns chuckled as he finished off his smoke. ´Y'know your a gem Regina. Me and you could've made quite a good pair if we hadn't met on the opposite sides of life. Me a cop, you with your job. And now that I'm not a cop anymore, and you ain't walking the streets either, we're to old and cynical to even think about romance´. Regina looked into Manns eyes. ´You couldn't handle me stud. And I´ll never forget how you protected this young gal from the horrid old perverts of this town for so long. You were my guardian angel´.

She gave Manns a peck on the cheek. ´Always a pleasure Regina. And thank you for this. Now at least I know who's trying to kill me this time around´. Manns finished his smoke and left. ´Stay safe hon. Things are bad nowadays...´ Avoiding the exotic dancers and prostitutes in the hallway that lead to the front entrance, Manns headed towards the street. Where his old black stallion of a car awaited. He got in and braced himself, to find whatever surpirse lurked within Eyes old apartment in Belvedere.

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PostSubject: Re: Everyone´s racket   Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:27 pm

00biohazard wrote:
WHORES, HOMOS, AND THE GINGER
Thanks for a new song idea. lol

But anyway, you should get this shit published man. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Everyone´s racket   Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:15 pm

Very well put descriptions, and the title of chapter 3 was funny. I liked how Regina says she only hire homosexuals as guards. That was pretty interesting to me. I agree with Sarg, you should think about becoming a writer professionally. You most certainly have the talent and imagination. I really admire your writing style. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Everyone´s racket   Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:38 pm

CHAPTER FOUR
THE DRESS PARTY



The Belvedere projects were not for the light hearted. K.R Manns had made various arrests back in the day, and some of the most dangerous thugs this side of town resided in this hell hole. He had his car parked on a street corner, and across the dark humid street was a project building. All these forgotten rocks resembled prisons, he always thought. He would stake out the place for at least an hour. He had his colt .38 at the ready, and was ready to surprise anybody who would crash the dress party up in Eyes apartment. Having the upperhand in this game of cats and mice was a primary step in staying alive as an ex cop and detective in New Harmony. He lit up a cigarette and continued the wait. It was drizzling, and smoke rose from the allies of the run down place.

Something was strange, he thought. The hussling on these streets never stopped, drug dealers selling to their desperate customers, and women of the night all adorned this place up until the sun rose. But this time, the streets were bare. Save for the occasional drunkie that would tumble his way through the hard, broken concrete. Manns took a flask of whisky from the inside pocket of his spoarts jacket and took a long drink, the alcohol warming up his insides. The smoke and the booze rarely helped his clarity, but this time, he was seeing everything better than he had before. He looked at his watch. One thirty eight am. He had been there for a solid hour and twenty. He had to move. K.R Manns opened the door of his car, and made his way across the broken down street, to the building where the promised dress supposedly resided. Then, Manns knew. He was being watched. There were eyes on every corner, cars he hadn't seen before, parked around the visible strategic points of escape. He was boxed in.

These fellas were ready to gun him down the moment he retrieved the dress. Just like the ginger had told him. Manns went up two floors, where he had been told to go by Eyes. There it was. Number 203. Manns had his weapon at the ready. He kicked the door furiously and pointed his weapon at the living room. Nothing but a small barking dog, a broken TV, a filthy house and drugs on a coffee table.Then he heard stirring. It was coming from one of the two rooms down the hallway. Manns pointed his weapon at the door. He opened and was quickly attacked by a large figure. The hulking mass of an assailant tried to take the gun from Manns, but he quickly kneed him in the groin and pointed the weapon at his face. What he saw, he didn't expect at all. He was a large man, in boxers and a white pijama shirt. He was balding, and looked like someone who had been good looking and proud in his prime.

The good living, the drugs had gotten to him, and reduced him to this. He didn't look like one of this Rojas' goons. Manns pointed the gun at him. ´You have about thrity seconds to give me your story if you don't want a bullet in your head junkie.´ ´Fuck you man, this is my place! I live here!´. Either this guy was a big fat liar, or Manns was in the wrong building entirely. And he wasn't one to let slip a little detail like this. ´This place belongs to a dead guy called Walter Forster. Maybe you know him as Eyes´. ´I don't know what your talking about!! I- I was hoping to find someone to sell me a little something. But this has been my place for the past week. My dad owns this whole godamn building I swear!´. Then Manns took a better look at the green eyes this pathetic addict had. And the large ears.

´I've seen you before. In the paper. Your Phillip Regis's son, Cal Regis, aren't you?´ inquired Manns, not taking the weapon off him. ´Yeah, that's me. Or was me. My father was too fucking proud to acknowledge that his son's was a junkie. So here I am. In a dead end project looking for someone with drugs to sell.´ Manns then realized it. The hitmen downstairs knew that this kid was too important to kill themselves, and wanted Manns to end him. They must've thought it inconvenient to draw other's to the dress, especially the cops, since they were as corrupt and out to get a piece of the action as much as the next gangster. Manns then knew they would be expecting the bullet.

Manns aimed his weapon at the celing and let off a gunshot. ´What the hell are you doing you lunatic!´cried Cal, as he covered his head from the ceiling's debris. ´Stay put´, said Manns. He began searching the rooms. It took him five minutes of searching the most hard to find places, until he remembered that Eyes wasn't the smartest knife in the kitchen, and he had mentioned leaving it under the matress. Manns lifted it and what he saw didn't surprise him. Nothing. Someone had been there before him. Someone knew about this dress, and the goons outside had no idea that they had already been played. And who was this junkie? nothing in Manns experience was coincidence. These thugs would've gunned down anybody, but for whatever reason, they didn't want this guy's blood on their hands. From an intelligent point of view, as Manns had thought before, calling unnecessary attention to that dress was exactly what whoever was trying to retrieve it was avoiding.

That person being Rojas, his number one suspect. Why else would he have sent the ginger to kill him? ´C'mere, you sad sack of crap. Me and you are gonna have a little talk, so loosen up your tongue and answer quickly, unless you want my friend Mr. Colt .38 to make another visit´. Cal quickly nodded in agreement. ´There was something very important here, something alot of dangerous people are after. Something that if we don't play it carefully, will get me and you killed. So it strikes me as unprobable that a fella so well connected with dope would have to come exactly to this shithole. The exact same one every wiseguy and two bit crook are circling right now. So why are you here? remember, I don't care if your rich or poor, you don't bleed gold or silver, but red. So get talkin'´.

Manns spoke through gritted teeth. ´Come on dude I told you, this is my dad's building! I once bought a good line of chop from some guys in this block, that's why I'm here! my old man's dead, and his bitch of a wife took him for all he was worth. She owns everything now, there's nothing left for me but this! drugs are all I have man...She talked about this place a while ago, something about this building in the Belvedere ghuettos, I thought she was gonna tear them down.That's when I remembered! I had to get some of the craziest blow in New Harmony before the bitch tore the building's down! But this place is still my dad's, I don'tcare what some shitty legal papers say! I'm his son, even if he hated me, this place is MINE!´, exclaimed Cal.

He had began whimpering. Manns could see why his father had seen him as pathetic. Crying in his underwear about losing drugs. There was rock bottom, and then there was this guy. ´Wait a minute... your step mother...why was she interested in these projects?´´The bitch is my age man. She always wanted to srew over my old man, and leave me with nothing. Grade A gold digger. She talked about this place a while back, with some of her friends. Swinger couples or some crap, the hell if I know. But I figured it was to tear this place down´. Manns wondered. ´And what does this dame do with her time nowadays?´. ´She bought a famous club in China town, and performs there. She always wanted to be a singer, the narcisistic bitch. She performs there every friday and saturday´. ´Where?´, asked Manns, sternly. ´Honey Doll's, down in China town´. Manns remembered what Eyes told him. The Italians had mentioned the place. And now the dress was gone, and this broken bum's step mother was somehow involved.

A dame wanting control over her husband's business, that he could understand, but a dress important to part of the Italian mob?why get into that sort of trouble? it couldn't be good for business. ´Put some pants on Cal. Me and you have a date with the cold wet concrete below´. Manns walked over to the fire escape to check if the coast was clear. It led down into an alleyway, which would lead them to the street paralell to the one the hitmen were waiting at. The light drizzle had become pouring rain. Cal had put on a pair of jeans he found lying around Eyes' room. They had to make their escape. It was now or never.

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PostSubject: Re: Everyone´s racket   Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:58 pm

Pretty good chapter. I kinda feel sorry for Cal. His own father basically disowned him and he's so strung out on drugs. I also like this line, I don't care if your rich or poor, you don't bleed gold or silver, but red'´ .
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PostSubject: Re: Everyone´s racket   Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:43 pm

CHAPTER FIVE
NEW LEADS, SAME OLD STINKIN' DEATH



It was going to be quite the feat, leaving those projects alive. Whoever had goons waiting for him, was probably there,just watching the future slaughter of Manns. This low life had to be Rojas. He would need to have some face time with him, sooner or later, and now was not the time. And he couldn't leave Regis here on his own, he might have some more useful information on his mother in law, and he didn't want the life of another unnecessary casualty on his conciounse. The pouring rain beat the concrete with a fury, and visibility wasn't easy to come by. But they needed to get down from the fire escape towards the alleyway, and make a clean escape. ´Regis, you got any vehicles around this place, preferably not near the front street?´´Yeah, my mustang is on Carey road, right behind this place.´ That's where they would head, thought Manns, or they would die trying. Manns picked up a dirty T shirt from the floor of the room, and got behind the wall, beside the window.

´Get beside me Regis, and get ready to move when I say so´. The blood began pumping faster within Manns system. With the impending stench of death, and the ever looming presence of the grim Reaper, Manns felt like he did the night his brother had the accident. The ambient felt similar, the unforgiving situations, the guilt. The grand bitch that was New Harmony had sent her watchdogs to finish the job they had failed to complete several times over the years. But Manns had lived through this type of ordeal time and time again, and the cynical courage he summoned had always pulled him through the rough patches of goons with guns. Manns raised his arm, revealing the piece of clothing through the window. The thunderous gunbullets pierced the fabric quickly, like a stampede of wild bulls.

The bullets came from all directions, and Manns dropped the clothing the minute he realized they had noticed his position. ´Alright Cal, this is what we're going to do. You know how to use a weapon?´. Manns handed him his gun. ´My dad used to take me to the shooting range when I was a kid, just so he could hit on my shooting instructor.´ ´Well looks like dead beat dad did something good for you, even if he didn't mean to. Here's what's going to happen. I'm gonna head down this fire escape as fast as I can, and your just going to fire. It doesn´t matter if you miss or not, we just to let them know that someone's covering me. Might be able to bluff enough for them to believe that I brought some back up. Then I'm gonna cover you, and we´re gonna head over to that nice little car of yours on the other street. You understand?´. Cal reloaded the weapon and nodded nervously. Manns didn't give anyone time to think, not even himself. He went out onto the fire escape, and leaped all the way down, to the cold wet concrete. It was only two floors. But it hurt like a bitch. At forty one, his joints ached and his bruises would swell, and the intensity of the crash as he collided with the concrete of the rotting alley made for a painful explosion.

He screamed, but he knew he had to get up. Cal needed cover. He hid behind a large trash dumpster, and he heard the gangsters ordering others to inspect the alleyway. Manns saw two figures wearing trenchcoats run quicky towards him, the large silhouettes menacing as they held automatic weapons in their hands. But it wasn't time to faulter. He would have to take the goons down. Careful not to reveal his position, Manns got on his stomach, and pointed his gun through the small space beneath the dumpster. It was a modern plastic garbage recepticle, with wheels, and Manns thanked the mayor's half assed attempt at popularity for giving him a clear shot. He aimed for the feet legs of the tugs. Manns closed one eye took a deep breath, aimed, and squeezed. Two gunshots echoed in the gutter alley of the Belvedere projects, and two men fell to the ground, screaming in pain. Manns stood, with a burden of pain of his own,and finished off the two mourning hitmen.

Cal Regis had been watching from above. He saw this as the golden opportunity. He threw the keys down. ´You'll move quicker than me! give me cover, when I get down you start the car and I'll keep the heat off us man!´.Cal began to run down the fire escape, multiple bullets trying to take him down. They came from nowhere. Manns spotted some men, shooting from afar. He took aim and began shooting them. Two fell, and miraculously, Regis, was still alive. He was half way down, running quickly down the stairs. Manns then looked up. Looking down towards the pathetic Cal Regis, was a latino looking man in an ivory suit. He looked El Salvadorian, and behind him stood two other lackies. He saw Manns in the alleyway, and pulled out a gun. He took aim. The loud bullet left the desert eagle as soon as the man squeezed the trigger. He had aimed slowly and surely. The sound of a corpse falling down a flight of stairs rattled throughout,and the rain that had created a puddle at the foot of the fire escape now became a small crimson lake.

Cal Regis' blank, lifeless stare was something Manns wouldn't soon forget. Manns made a run for it. With the keys of the mustang in his hands, and the information the late Cal Regis had given him, he now had two names on his list, alongside Garone himself. The mysterious widow at Honey Doll's, Franky Garone, and of course, the now identified Rojas. There was no doubt in Manns' mind that the ivory clad killer was Rojas, the goon who was trying to kill him. Manns ran, hearing a storm of gunshots aiming for him hitting the rest of the otherwise innocent concrete around him. He finally reached carey road, and immediatley began looking for his getaway vehicle, the mustang. The car was there, painted in a steel blue glory. Life had wheels, survival had horsepower. He looked at the keys he held in his grip. Thanks kid. I´ll get that bastard, and find out what that dame has to do with this. Rest in peace.

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PostSubject: Re: Everyone´s racket   Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:56 pm

Cool, you finally updated Smile. That was a nice action orientated chapter. It's ashame what happened to Cal. At least Mann's got the gunmen. Btw, this story kinda has a Max Payne and LA Noir feel to it.
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