Thursday, February 08, 2007

Quick, Part Two

Out in the street it’s mild and there’s something in the air, a feeling, a vibe. Everyone is going to a party somewhere. Everyone’s happy about something. It’s Friday night in the city.

Quick walks among them. He watches them. Sometimes he smiles at them and they smile back because they think he is one of them.

He could have brought some of his own stash, but he likes to score from strangers. He enjoys the distrust and the tension, the unspoken rules of the game. He decides to hit The Lounge tonight, hasn’t been there for weeks.

But he sees a couple of guys up ahead and knows immediately that there’s something going on. They’re talking too much, saying things to passersby. Quick chews his gum and lets a certain intensity bloom inside. The intensity fills him, swells him, widens his eyes and juts his jaw. These kids will see him.

They will see me, but they won’t see who I am.

“Hey matey,” they say right on cue. “Dude.”

Quick stops walking and looks at them, smiles in just the right way. He waits to hear what they’re offering. They tell him in a too loud and brash way. Quick laughs a little and looks around and is quietly impressed with their boldness, and comforted by their stupidity.

“Where?” he asks them. “Not here,” he tells them because he thinks they might just do it out here on a crowded street. He nods to a lane up ahead and starts to walk towards it, and they fall in behind him.

The lane is dark and dirty and you can feel that countless deals have been done here. At the end they are only twenty five metres from the crowd and the light and the cars with their thumping speakers and blaring horns. But no one will see or hear, no one will care what happens.

“What have you got?” Quick asks, looking from one to the other. One wears a T shirt that says Pornstar, the other’s says Funky Nuts. Neither of them suspects a thing.

Pornstar asks if Quick has heard of Mobies.

Quick nods. “Heard of them. Haven’t tried them.”

Pornstar is pleased with this. He nods and smiles and tells Quick that Mobies are new, just imported from Amsterdam, the best on the market. Pornstar’s sidekick is starting to look a little nervous now, like this is taking too long, like he doesn’t like doing deals in dark lanes. Or like they’re a couple of scammers peddling shit.

“Show me.”

Pornstar swings his satchel around and a beat later is holding up a clear plastic bag with about twenty bright green pills in it. He fingers one out and holds it in front of Quick’s face. Quick has seen images of Mobies and thinks the whale looks authentic.

“Thing is,” Quick tells them as he relaxes his weight and rolls his shoulders. “You just can’t tell what you’re getting. These look like the real thing, but they could be shit.”

Pornstar cocks his head to the side in mock affront. He puts on an expression like he’s Quick’s new best friend.

Some jungle techno beat starts to unwind in Quick’s head. It’s a dark and primitive beat, it thumps and cracks, an ominous echo reverberates. Quick contains this. He resists movement, but it overwhelms and he feels his head move, a subtle bounce and he lets go. He lashes out at these jokers, has them by their throats before they know what’s happening. He drives them into the wall, knocks the air from their lungs. He pins them there, his head bobbing to the beat, his eyes wide, full veins bulging.

“I want the truth,” Quick tells them, glaring first at one, then at the other. They look back at him with innocent fear. They just don’t get this. They know about violence, they see it from time to time, fleetingly and in the distance, but it doesn’t feature in their world. They don’t know how to deal with it.

“Seriously man,” Pornstar stammers. “They’re the real deal. No shit.”

“Lift the bag up. Okay, now take one.”

Pornstar frowns at this. Quick looks at him hard. He can see the kid’s not on anything, not yet.

“Take the fucking Moby,” Quick says, each word a falling weight. Funky Nuts wriggles a bit, and Quick tightens his grip. He eases the pressure, however, on Pornstar’s throat. “Do it,” he says.

Pornstar fumbles about with the packet. He pinches one of the pills and holds it up for Quick to see. Then he pops it into his mouth and swallows hard. Gags a little. Opens his mouth for Quick to look inside, but there is no need.

“Now what,” Funky Nuts asks in a tight voice. “We’re gonna wait for it to kick in?”

Quick glares at him briefly, then looks back at Pornstar. “Take another one.”

Pornstar’s eyes widen a little at this. He tries to look at his friend. Quick shoves their heads against the wall. Pornstar takes another pill from the bag and raises it to his lips. His skin is pale and glistening with sweat now, and his hand is shaking. He flicks the pill into his mouth and Quick feels his Adam’s apple move up and down against his palm, feels the spasm like he might throw up.

“Another one,” Quick says with a cruel smile.

“Fuck this,” Funky Nuts mutters as he thrashes violently out of Quick’s grip. “You’ll fucken kill someone like that, you crazy bastard.” He falls to the ground and seems unable to get back up. He moves backwards on his backside, paralyzed with fear and hysteria.

Pornstar has also had enough. He twists and crouches down before pushing away from the wall. Quick wraps both arms around him, twists his right arm back. He grabs the bag of pills, twists and shoves Pornstar away. Momentum carries him forward and he falls over his mate. Quick moves in their direction, and they scramble to toward the street.

Satisfied with their authenticity, Quick pockets the Mobies and gets out of there. He knew he was going to score tonight, but he didn’t know it was going to be this much fun.


Anonymous said...

I like how this part is in complete contrast to the first. In the first you get a hint of his violence, but it's still unexpected. Looking forward to reading the next part.

Quick said...

Thanks Amra. He was such a fun character to write. Change of plan though. Think I want it to be a novel.