Thursday April 15th, 2010

The exercise:

It's that time again - today we're going to do some continuations. If this is your first time seeing this prompt, feel free to click on the tag at the bottom to see how previous attempts went. But the basic idea is carry on from where I left off, or where someone in the comments left off. And to have fun, obviously.

It's also that other time again - the Vancouver Canucks play their first game of this year's NHL playoffs tonight. I'll be hoping for a less disappointing result than last year's.

Mine:

I’m sitting at a table in the darkest corner of this crowded pub, nursing a beer and a headache. The drink is as stale as the cigarette carcasses humping each other in the ashtray at my right elbow and the pounding in my head is synched up with the music blaring out of the speaker clinging to the wall behind me. I would have left two hours and fifteen minutes ago – exactly two hours, fifteen minutes and eight seconds after I walked through the door – but I’m waiting for someone.

And that someone has the kind of money that makes my current situation worth suffering through.

Two college kids, football players by the looks of them, are sitting at the table to my right debating the finer points of streaking and keg parties. I’ve already decided how they’re going to die, it’s just a matter of when. I’m in a foul enough mood that I won’t require the gun residing in the inside pocket of my brown leather jacket.

I pick up the pack of smokes that I had placed next to my drink and tap out another cancer stick. I jam it into the corner of my mouth and begin my usual search for my lighter - I swear the damned thing moves whenever I’m not looking.

But before I can find it a flame appears mere inches from my face. I take a moment to study the silver lighter with the initials IC engraved on its side and the finely manicured fingers holding it, before leaning forward to bring the tip of my cigarette to its fire. Once its lit I lean back, blow a stream of funereal smoke from my nostrils, and take in my newest client.

“Well,” I say with a slight tilt of my head, “it’s about damned time.”

4 Comments:

g2 (la pianista irlandesa) said...

Woo! Yay for continuations! =D
- - - - -
"I apologize," my client replies in a thick Muscovy accent I'd failed to notice when we spoke on the phone. I guess if you've the kind of money he claimed to have, you've people to make those sorts of calls. "A previous engagement took more time than I expected."

"That so?" I say, trying not to sound terribly interested. This does nothing to stop him from continuing a little more.

"I had informed the previous party of this pressing engagement, but my sense of urgency did nothing for them--"

I don't bother trying to hide an eye roll. "Pardon my cutting in," I interject, "but I believe we should perhaps skip the preface--"

My turn to get cut off. "If you'd been a touch more patient you'd have found the end of my little 'preface'. Even still, if you don't like the way I conduct business, I am perfectly free to take my business elsewhere."

The one thing I don't like about business, especially this one: the money's always right. Even when they're flat-dead wrong, they're still right if they're deciding your paycheck.

"Forgive me," I say a might spitefully. He waves an expensive hand dismissively.

"But, I shall, how you say, 'cut to the chase.' I trust you're eager for this job."

"Only be more eager once I know what it is."
- - - - - -
heehee, continuations make me happy ^^

g2 (la pianista irlandesa) said...

oh, one footnote I forgot to mention: Muscovy, in case there's some confusion, means more-or-less "from Moscow", so a Russian accent (heehee, AP Euro knowledge= win)

Greg said...

@Marc: good luck to the Canucks then! I seem to recall that your hopes for them were dashed quite early on last year, so here's hoping they go further this one.

@g2: Hmm, interesting continuation, filling in a fair bit of detail. I actually knew what Muscovy means because I studied Russian for a couple of years.

Continuation:

"Task is simple, execution -- heh, heh -- may not be."
"I think that's my job to judge." I stub the cigarette out, barely half-smoked. The Muscovite recognizes it as the end of my patience and finally gets to the point.
"Two parts. One is distraction, pick someone in the bar tonight and kill them as they leave. Make it messy.
Then, when the police are busy with your little, ah, misdemeanour, go to this address and knock on the door. Kill whoever answers your knock. If there is more than one of them, kill them all." He conjures a piece of paper out of the air, cheap lined writing paper, torn on two sides. I look at it, committing the address to memory, noting that it's one street south of where we are now. Then the flame of his lighter flares again in the gloom of the bar and I set the paper on fire.
The lighter goes out, and the Muscovite follows it without a word. I lean back in my chair, my gaze falling on the football players again. I'd have let them live, killing them only in my imagination, but now I need a messy distraction.
"Sucks to be you, boys," I mouth, reviewing my plans to kill them from earlier.

Marc said...

g2 - nicely done! I liked this bit best:

"The one thing I don't like about business, especially this one: the money's always right. Even when they're flat-dead wrong, they're still right if they're deciding your paycheck."

Greg - that they were, that they were. But they won last night, so they're off to a decent start!

And I like how you tied in the college kids at the end of yours, that was deftly done :)