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Short story: #WiseGuys

February 20, 2015

The names Jones. Just another luckless Private Dick for hire in the sunny streets of this bad old city. You aren’t dumb and I bet you’ve heard them all in your time here. Plenty of stories from down and outs. But the truth is, I’ve never done nothing too bad. Just made a few bad choices and was always behind the trends, you know? I’m that shlub who bought into Myspace after JT bought it – that kind of behind.

But you wanna hear something really messed up? Cuz’ I never seen anything as fucked up in all my years in this place as Gamer-Gate. Shhhhhhh- Shut – Up! No, don’t join the words up or use a hashtag you idiot – that’s what got me so messed up in the first place. I’m still spitting teeth from the last time I tried.

Even now, they’ve got people cruising the streets who will drop you for even looking like you may be some sorta feminist. So just shut up and listen to me, ok? What you complaining about anyhow? Not like you got anything better to do, unless jackin’ off counts as ‘doing things’. Yeah, I’ll buy you another – but I gotta tell someone or I’m gonna go out of my mind!

So anyway, I’ve always been one of the last ones to get what was going on, but I’d heard a few things from people and I could feel something was in the air. Something that scared people. I’d heard a few rumours about some messed up stuff happening in the Baphomet Club, but I was always stayed clear – there are some parts of town you just don’t go, you know?

So I was minding my own business, wondering if I just kept my head down if it could all blow over. It was all going so well too, till one day I’m heading home and I bump into some broad. She’s real messed up you know? Mascara running, scared shitless, blabbering about how some guys have been hurtin on her, saying they’re gonna kill her. Now I’m smart. I keep to myself and I don’t get involved unless someone’s paying me to.

But there was something about this one… let’s just say, I got a weakness for redheads.

So we go back to my office and I pour myself a drink and one for her too. She’s been blubbering the whole way back, so I figure she could do with something to help numb the pain. She knocks the drink back and ‘fore I know it, everything comes spilling out.

It sounded like some sort of conspiracy theory, only the tin helmet guys would have called it wacko half way through. Stalking, harassment, getting the cops to trash her place…it was like something out of a cheap dime store novel, written by a hack with half a pound of blow up his nose.

Now this gal tells me she’s some hotshot creative type that normally hangs out uptown. Designed some of the skyline she tells me. A real philanthropist too – she set up the free hospital over on the warzone that some smart dick named 4th Street. I smiled at that – I like someone who has an eye for lost causes. Could relate.

I let her use the restroom and when she comes back she’s all business. Asks me to head over to Baphomet with her- apparently some of the kids who fucked her over are going there and taking their friends. As I’m nodding my head I thinking to myself “What the fuck are you doing?”.

She says all she needs me for is to help her get through the door – she and her friends can take the rest, but the guys on the door will clock a dame a mile away and tell the others. I think to myself that most of those guys over there wouldn’t know a woman if she was sitting on their face. Wrong crowd, you know? But she whips out a bunch of bills and all of a sudden I’m a model fucking citizen.

So we hit the club – the people on the door take one look at me coming and let me through. I mean, sure I don’t quite fit in, but the fedora is enough to sell it to them. As soon as I’m through the doors I hear a few thumping sounds, though they aren’t coming from inside. Gotta tell you was the weirdest club I’d ever been too and I though I had seem them all through the years.

But no, there’s no noise at all. Instead, there’s just silence. There’s a mixdesk and DJ up there with headphones on, but no music coming out. Instead, just clusters of people on laptops with headphones on, hugging the shadows like the lights of the club will harm them or something.

My arrival changes all that though – the DJ looks up and taps something and all of a sudden I’ve got the eyes of the whole room on me. People start rummaging in bags whilst others keep their eyes pinned on me, nothing in them but the look a kid gives a spider when he’s about to pluck it’s legs.

I’m just about to start thinking about running for it when in bursts the lady in red and she’s got friends. The nerds stand as one and before I know it there’s chaos with me slap bang in the middle. I get a few lucky jabs in, but truth is I’ve got a glass jaw. One of them clocks me with a brass present straight to the maxilla and darkness falls.


Next memory I’ve got is waking up in a white room, Red looking down on me. She offers me a drink in return for the one I gave her at my office then fills me in. For all the good I was, turns out I did my part. They cleared out Baphomet and delivered them gift wrapped to the police. Stupid assholes never figured anyone would bust them so kept all the proof on their laptops. She smiles at that and the room lights up like the Sun just came up.

It doesn’t last long though. She says most will be back on the street within a week – one of them is some sleazeball lawyer, who will knock any convictions down to a fine and a slap on the wrist if the Judge is feeling harsh. I’m not the only casualty either – they lost a few in the fight, crippled or out for the count for a long time to come. I feel like weeping at the pointlessness of it all.

I’m breathing through lungs that feel like someone took a grater to them and I won’t be needing to go to the Dentist’s anytime soon. And yet I’m the lucky one? I’m struggling out of bed and heading for the door, determined to wipe the smile off the faces of those creeps once and for all before Red can stop me. I take eight steps before I topple over like a bowling pin.

Red gives me her hand, helps me back to the bed and tells me to rest up. Today went badly, but for now she needs me to do one thing: rest, read and get book smart. Today was just the beginning she says and flashes me another smile. Tomorrow we begin the hard work.

And we make those so called tough guys wish they were wise guys instead.


From → Writing


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