24: The Bends

The man owed them money
and he had money
too much of it probably
he was used to petty childish pleasures
Twinkies before dinner

"I'm not convinced he'll have it, Evan."
"1200 dollars? Not on him. Not likely. Don't get me wrong, we're not leaving town empty-handed, but you better let go of that figure."
"You make it sound like business; this is revenge."
"Revenge is for fucking Cro-magnon. This is not that."
"This feels like that."
"Kadrey, when I play by the rules, I adhere fully. He stiffed us and this is what follows. If so then."
"If so what. Why don't we drop it? We need milk money that bad?"
"The precedent: We give this guy the idea that you can treat labor a certain way then we are partly responsible for every moe he rips off from now till kingdom come."
"That's very Hammer and Sickle of you."
"Kadrey, that's a great idea. You wait here, I'll get hammers."

In the hours we stood there in the narrow shadow of the corridor, the rain teased us several times. Never enough to get wet, but we were moist the whole time; in combination with an unrelenting wind this kept me cold and lucid for every second of it. I counted the windows that offered up some view of the little scene we had planned. I noticed the ridiculous absence of the police force except for a magnanimous meter maid at sunset. I compared, several dozen times, how many seconds it would take our man to get from car to door and how many it would take us to rush from shadow to door and statistically we failed. I checked on that fat nut of fear suspended in my chest. I was not afraid of what Evan was about to do, I had seen him do it several times. You get used to anything. I felt miscast, quite frankly, for this little slice of noir, and something about being made of the wrong stuff, standing on some other man's mark, must have been the source of my fear. I say this because in the deep of my pocket was a pez dispenser as ontologically misplaced as I was in this never ending moment, and the fat nut was obscured every time I slipped a pez out of Deputy Dog's face.

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