Prompt courtesy of Be Kind Rewrite‘s Inspiration Mondays. Lots of great prompts to choose from, and a growing stable of writers to read. Head on over.
“Go ahead, pick it up if you think your insides could use some air,” the big man said, taking a step closer, levelling his pistol at Frank Dzinski’s chest.
Dzinski pulled his hands away from the open drawer and laid them on top of his felt blotter.
“I was just going to offer you a drink, Harv,” Dzinski said.
They stared at each other. Harv was a former boxer, a bit punchy, quick to anger and enjoyed wearing loud, colourful suits. Today’s outfit was the colour of Florida Key Lime pie.
He was also muscle for Spits Malloy.
“Harvey, if you’re just going to stand there talking my ear off,” Dzinski said. “I’m going to have that drink after all.”
He reached down slowly, hooked his fingers around the neck, ignored the click of Harv’s safety and set the bourbon on the desk. “Why don’t you put that gun away, grab the glasses from the sink, sit down and tell me why Malloy sent you.”
Harv’s lips screwed up and he tilted his head to the side. He walked sideways to the sink, picked up two tumblers with his thick fingers and set them down on the desk. He remained standing, but slipped the pistol back into the holster under his left shoulder. Dzinski poured a couple of glugs into each glass, nudged one towards Harv, grabbed the other and leaned back in his chair.
The big man waited until Dzinski took a drink, then wrapped one mitt around his, making it all but disappear behind his fingers.
“Mr. Malloy has an offer for you. Something you can do to make up for all the trouble you been causing him,” Harv said. “Simple job. He thinks his girl is stepping out on him, and he wants you to make sure she isn’t.”
Dzinski said something about Malloy had an army of hooligans. Harv finished his drink and said this girl knew most of them, and the boss didn’t want her to think he was having her followed.
“Like I said, Mr. Malloy figures you owe him,” Harv said. “For busting up his rum business. Plus he’ll pay you three grand, mostly to keep your mouth shut about it.”
Harv then pulled a four by six photo and a thick envelope from his right breast pocket.
Dzinski picked up the photo and puckered his lips in a whistle. Malloy’s girl was a looker, if you liked the mysterious brunette with smoky doe-eyes type. He flipped the image over and studied the address penciled there.
“Not the best neighbourhood to shack up his moll,” Dzinski said. Harv just shrugged his shoulders.
Dzinski finished his drink and was just about to let Harv know where he could stick his three thousand bucks, when he thought about ducking the building manager, taking the bus, pouring that rotgut into a bottle with a classier label and telling himself it tasted fine. He grimaced, choked something down inside of him and accepted the job.
Harv stood up and said he’d be in touch.
After the big man left his office, Dzinski filled his glass. Took a drink big enough to burn his throat and tear up in the corners of his eyes.
He wondered how he let himself sink so low.