Thursday April 30th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the kingpin.

Been watching episodes of Daredevil recently and I'm absolutely hooked. It is dark, dark, tense stuff, but incredibly well done. I want to say especially for a superhero TV show but I'm not certain the qualifier is needed.

This afternoon I mulched almost all of the strawberries that I've weeded so far, which feels good. Except in my back, where it feels bad. And also when I think about how much is left to weed and then mulch.

But it was encouraging to remember just how much faster mulching is than weeding.


"Have you seen him recently?"

"Seen who?"

"Come on, man. You know who I'm talking about here."

"Oh, him. Naw, man. But it ain't like he keeps me up to date on his whereabouts or nothing like that."

"He probably doesn't even know you exist."

"You watch your mouth, pal. You show me some respect, you got it?"

"Fine, man. Fine."

"And if you think so little of me, why the hell you asking if I've seen the man about town?"

"I dunno. Just seems like nobody has seen him lately."

"What are you trying to say?"

"I'm saying maybe he's skedaddled. Left us little guys behind."

"No way. Nuh uh. Never, man. He wouldn't... wait a minute. If he's really gone..."

"Exactly. And who's to say this organization of ours can't be run by a two man team, if you see what I mean..."


Greg said...

Well done with the strawberries! All the aches will be worth it when you see the glistening red of the fruit and taste the sweet deliciousness :) And sell them at the market of course!
Hmm, the dialogue approach to this works rather well I think, and it's a great topic for the conversation as well. I was a little surprised to hear co-operation at the end; I don't think we get a lot of that from your characters most of the time! It reminds me a little of your boxing story on Protagonize all those years back, but I really enjoyed that so that's a good thing.

The kingpin
"Kingpins. Clonazepam, if you want to get technical, Mac. Either way, it's a drug and it's illegal in this little city." Natasha Monkeybutt, who insisted that the way I pronounced her surname was not how it was actually pronounced, was sat on the other side of the desk staring at me like she'd found me on the sole of her shoe and was wondering how to get me off. Off her shoe that is.
"I've heard of it," I said, my voice low and rattlesome like a lonely snake out in the desert. "What I haven't yet heard is why you want to tell me about it? Are you looking for a dealer or a buyer?"
She snorted. She was as tall as a welsh dresser and approximately the same shape. I'd call her statuesque if I thought she knew what it meant. She was also the Mayor's second-in-command, the driving force behind crime prevention ("Nab'em and slab'em" as her latest slogan went, and she was keen on talking about tough love and the deterrant inherent in death sentences), road maintenance ("Tar'em and car'em", you may be detecting a theme here) and nursery-level education ("Teach it to read, not breed". That one wasn't really reaching the hearts of the masses).
"We found a tanker of it parked up behind the playground on North Avenue," she said. "There are no fingerprints on the steering wheel, and you're the obvious choice for a guy with no fingerprints."
It's true that I've had my fingers burned so many times that I actually don't have fingerprints, just scar-tissue, but then it's also true that Mad Frankie often files off the fingerprints of small-time crooks doing jobs for him.
"You know it's not mine, Monkeybutt," I said.
"That's not how you pronounce it!""
"If I tried driving a tanker I'd be jackknifed across Main by now, and probably half-parked in a nursing home television room. I don't drive, I never have. I walk. I'm like Columbo."
"Never heard of it," she said dismissively, though she was still red and upset about her name. Babboons sprang to mind. "Fine, I know it's not you Mac. But I know you know something, so let's cut to the chase and you just tell me now."
I sighed. "I know better than to talk to you, Monkeybutt," I said. "I only talk to the Mayor. The organ-grinder, so to speak."
She threw an ashtray at my head.

Anonymous said...

Hello again! It's been awhile! I had a lot of school work, finals, and the like. Sorry for my absence.

The Kingpin:

He was colloquially known as the “Prince of Thieves,” though he had never stolen a thing with his own hand. His close friends called him the “King of Daggers,” knowing full well that his hands remained as white as ivory and as soft as a newborn’s skin.
I knew all of this when I was ushered into the Grenaldi’s chamber at the end of the gambling hall. It wasn’t until I actually saw the Grenaldi, the leader of the Digladio syndicate, that I realized my breadth of knowledge still wasn’t up to par.
Sitting in the lavish wooden chair, upholstered with velvet or silk most likely, sat a small figure with hair as bright and golden as the sun. This skin truly was ivory white, just like the rumors said. And those large eyes of his were like the sea; blue and constantly dancing in the low light of the back chamber.
Even as words were churning in my mind, struggling to find a decent string in which to convey my message while not offending either party, I was struck dumb by the fact that the Grenaldi was somehow only a boy of nine or ten years of age.

morganna said...

The parrot hopped into the waiting limo, next to his traveling cage. "To the bank, fast, Joe," he told the driver. The car sped away as the first fire trucks came around the corner.

At the bank, the parrot hopped into his traveling cage and was carried into the building by the driver. The driver spoke to the teller. "Mr. Big wishes to examine his vault holdings."

"Right this way, sir. Your parrot will be comfortable here, if you would like to leave the cage."

"No. Where I go, he goes."

The teller shook her head, but led the way to the vault. In the vault, the parrot tapped twice on his cage bars, and the driver said, "Mr. Big would actually like to see his holdings in the deep vault."

The teller pressed a button and a floor section opened downward, revealing a steep staircase. The small party made its way down the stairs into the deep vault, where a section of wall was vibrating to a tapping noise. Before even the parrot could react, a square section of wall fell forward into the vault. A young woman popped into the room, and backed out just as quickly as she had come. "Uh-oh, Mother, we have company."

morganna said...

The parrot screamed, "Grab her! Grab the girl! That's Emily! I NEED that girl!!"

The driver set down the cage and ran to the wall. He reached into the hole. There was a loud snap. He yelped and pulled his hand back. There was a large mousetrap closed over his fingers. "Sorry, boss. I don't think we're going to get her today."

The teller looked back and forth between the driver and the parrot. She mouthed, "Boss?"

The parrot shrieked again. "Now you've blown my cover, you idiot! Now they know I'M the kingpin!"

Marc said...

Greg - yes, I'm trying to remember the good part about strawberries. It's the only thing that keeps me going at this point.

Well, it may start out as co-operation... but who can say if it stays that way?

Ah, Mac. Such a way with words. And women :)

Ivybennet - welcome back! I hope all that kept you busy went well :)

Ooh, that is an excellent scene description, setting up what follows (that I'm terribly curious to hear about, by the way) quite nicely.

Morganna - hahaha, wow. That was a turn that I did not see coming! Though I fear the teller's days might be numbered...