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Somebody else's mess!

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Ziggy455
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#1

Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:58 PM Edited by Ziggy455, 26 April 2013 - 03:20 PM.

MAX PAYNE SOMEBODY ELSE’S MESS.


Old habits die hard I guess. I of all people knew that. I’d kicked the drink, and I’d kicked the crippling guilt and loss that had become my life. But some habits are always there. Look at me now, slumped on a bench with snow falling all around me; blood pouring down my leather jacket. New York City! What a fine place to kick the bucket. Under the impression that I could live out my days in peace on some beach drinking rum, thinking about the good memories for a change, I realized that expectations are hardly worth having. Things had taken such a sharp turn in such a short time. Here I was, back in New York, old grey hair back, old leather jacket. I guess some people can’t fight nature. Here I was, bleeding out, and at the heart of the chaos was another girl. Another damsel in distress who called on the fat man who couldn’t let grudges slide easily. Maybe this was the end of it all. In my older age, I had found the will to live to be bearably better than I had before. Ironic really, how when you finally find redemption, the thought of death doesn’t matter to you anymore. You made a difference. You can go down in the scrolls as a lost cause, except you find your own personal cause and it makes things easier to swallow.

“Max!” a distant echo. Whose voice was that? “Get up, Max!”

And then suddenly, all around me, faces appeared as if out of some sort of dream; my dream.

Mokrie Dela
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#2

Posted 29 November 2012 - 02:50 PM

I started reading this and couldn't shake the feeling that it was a max Payne work

Then you confirmed it and let me tell you I think you got the tone of max Payne down. I won't say the word perfect, but it was a night read.
Good quality, as I've come to expect (at least I didn't notice any mistakes but then I'm not the most observant.

"One shot"
I kinda want more

Ziggy455
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#3

Posted 29 November 2012 - 06:39 PM

Thanks for reading, Mokrie. Truth be told, I'm so swamped with my media work lately. (35,000 words total for this year in assignments!) So when I'm relaxing I'm too exhausted to write. Short fanfics like this help me relax. I might continue it if people get interested. I'm just busy inbetween. sad.gif

Mokrie Dela
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#4

Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:07 AM

I know the feeling man
I check this site regularly but time restraints restrict me to superficial quick reads/posts usually in the v forum, I don't have much time sad.gif

TenEightyOne
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#5

Posted 03 December 2012 - 05:01 PM

Nice!

The style is great and really works... it would be easy for this to be mawkish or overly self-aware but it isn't, nice job smile.gif

There's only one problem. It takes 6s to read it, I want more already wink.gif

Ziggy455
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#6

Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:31 PM Edited by Ziggy455, 26 April 2013 - 12:51 PM.

CHAPTER ONE

PART I

"I DIDN'T EVEN DRINK TO THE BOTTOM OF THE BOTTLE ANYMORE."



The sun blazed down on the south harbour of this peaceful little place. Florianopolis wasn't Sao Paolo-it sure as sh*t wasn't New Jersey either. My aching hands cast down the net that was soon engulfed by the shimmering light blue of the Brazilian coast. My small boat lightly rocked; it was something my land-lubbing self had gotten used to. Pills helped a lot. Not to stem pain, but to beat off the seasickness.

I leaned over the edge of the boat. The lettering on the side sparkled as water bobbed up and down. The word MICHELLE lazily painted on the side of my home. I grabbed a beer and resumed my position; the captain overlooking his ship. The froth exploded and slid down the side of the boat, and below, roughly sixty pounds of fish swam their way into the net. The sun warmed my can but that didn't bother me like it should.

An old guy like me could finally find peace with the trivial things. It had been a long time since Sao Paolo. But one thing was certain; out here, surrounded by sun, sea, and a peaceful way of living, my apathy hadn't flared up in all that time. I had nailed down those demons into a coffin of steel and iron casings. I no longer felt the guilt. Pain still existed- nobody ever let that go really- but at least I could wake up in the morning and look at myself with something other than hatred.

I dropped my barely-embellished beer can into the shimmering blue where a cascade of darkness enveloped the aluminium can into the oceanic abyss below.

I didn't even drink to the bottom of the bottle anymore.

Ziggy455
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#7

Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:09 PM Edited by Ziggy455, 26 April 2013 - 12:58 PM.

CHAPTER ONE

PART II

"BARGAINING FOR SOMETHING SMALL."



The box full of prime, gold and silver Koi-looking fish were piled on top of each other, rows and rows of beady eyes staring in that frozen mask of fear. Marcos was the harbour chief and since he owned the place, he was in free control of what exotic exports he wanted. These fish had been floating down from the Pacific for the last few weeks and they were selling at twenty a pop. It was lucky they came by when they did, otherwise I'd have still been cooped up in the tallest damn tower this beautiful place had to offer. The views of Brazil and Bahia had given me a preference of wide open spaces, even if I’d spent more than my fair share dodging bullets out in the open. Irony was not such a bitter spoon to swallow.

"Max! My main man! How are you?" Marcos was old, years of cheap Brazilian beer had not been kind to his rotund belly, and his tanned face covered his white skin with an all-too-fake looking hail of bronze. With a yellow Hawaiian shirt on his back and sandals on his feet, he came over to me on the main pier looking like more of a tourist than myself.

"I'm good, uh, great." I said shuffling past him and slamming the box on the table.

"You got me more Goldies, eh?" His grey moustache turning upward, a row of straight pearly teeth peeked underneath.

"Forty. You owe me about eight hundred."

"Woah- Maxxy, slow down! Twenty a pop, we agreed, that evens us to a solid four hundred."

I wasn't in the mood to argue. But bargaining for something as small as a price fee was worth the cost-cut after all. Better it be a verbal talk of a price of fish than an impasse over a broad with a bad taste in men with nine millimetres being the exchange rate. I had learnt to appreciate the spectrum that life had offered me.

"Six hundred, that'll do."

Marco squinted. The row of pearls nestled under his hairy lip returned to their fleshy slumber.

"Five fifty."

"Six."

A flash of something crossed his face. Maybe anger or frustration, or maybe it was because I was the only old bastard stupid enough to negotiate the ever-changing price rates of Marco Viandachan. The smile returned again.

"Ah, Maxxy! You're a brave one. Take the money, my friend!" He said before pulling out a wad almost as wide as his stomach. What a cheap bastard. He could buy out ten of these places but here he was on a Friday evening arguing over a sloppy two hundred.

I took the cash and walked away. "You still up for poker at the bar later? Give me a chance to win some of my money back?"

I raised my hand with a thumb protruding and walked back to the boat. I was done making enemies, even if some people could so easily become them.


Mokrie Dela
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#8

Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:18 AM

QUOTE (TenEightyOne @ Monday, Dec 3 2012, 17:01)
There's only one problem. It takes 6s to read it, I want more already wink.gif

I think this works in his favour. Bitesized reading, which i'm enjoying. I must admit, i look at my uploads and ask myself "is anyone going to read all of this?" so its nice having something lighter.

Keep it up Zigs,

Ziggy455
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#9

Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:24 PM Edited by Ziggy455, 26 April 2013 - 12:58 PM.

CHAPTER ONE

PART III

"MY FELLOW COMPADRES STUCK OUT."



Midnight, almost...

The sun had set with that all-too-familiar bravado. A dash of red kissed the light blue ocean as I had watched the sun finish its regular Brazilian coast routine. That had been a few hours ago. Now, as I stepped into Marcos’s Ensenada de Misfits the night had still felt warm. It seemed a fitting place for me and many of the other ragtag loons that had floated this way up the coast on a barrage of bullets, hookers, drugs, or a vessel built out of all of them. Being a regular of this place, things had changed. You spend so long in a warm place, you end up being a part of that warmth, and I’d found myself my own people.

I stepped in looking like a prime tourist. Blue T-shirt, red shorts, sandals, and that black blob of hair askew and flaky from a day in the hot sun. The joint was not like Bagdad with G-strings. It reminded me of Hoboken in many ways. The walls were littered in American memorabilia and the air itself stunk of that cheap cigar smell. It was my home away from home. When walking in I wasn’t greeted with a half-ass grunt and glass of stale scotch; people nodded, cheered, some patted me on the back. It was the only thing I’d wanted once upon a time ago.

In between the crowds of tourists and go-girls, a poker table of my fellow compadres stuck out. We were the moody oldies spoiling everybody’s fun. Marcos waved his hand and then shot up! He peeked over to the bar from the raised platform where we spent our Friday nights.

“Janelle, baby, get Maxxy here a scotch!” he clicked his fingers, “On the double!”

I had to yell over the loud Springsteen music as I shook his hand lightly, “It’s fine, I’ll just take a soda!”

“Not tonight!” he yelled in my ear, the stench of inebriation was strong. “Baby, it’s Friday! It’s time to party and get drunk!”

“If you say so!” I yelled, the brown glint of scotch already eyeing me from the bar choc-full of – in Marcos’s words- sexy mulheres. I gently took it and gave the curvy, caramel-skinned Janelle a nod. She winked back. Marcos had my chair sat next to him. You only want me next to you so you can check my cards, you sly bastard. As I sat down, I was greeted with more handshakes from the regular fellas.

There was Mickey, a fat greaseball who looked like he’d rolled in from the sh*tstorm I’d left back in Hoboken. He was sporting a Hawaiian shirt that covered his hairy body stylishly enough. His long hair mixed with his trimmed beard; a pair of round spectacles gently nestled on his round face.

“Yo, Max, you’re just in time, this schmuck just bluffed with a three of a kind, looks like he’s past the all in stage – Your money’s my main priority.” He said with that thick New Jersey accent of his.

Then there was Barry, the local street pusher. His slick black hair shined from the glare of the lights above. His skin was quite tanned. In life and in poker he wasn’t half as crafty as he thought he was. And beneath that exterior of a drug peddler, there was, well, a nice sort of guy. He was just in the wrong line of business. He always reminded me of those dastardly man-whores in those bad sitcom dramas. All he needed was a pencil moustache. I never quite understood where he was from. Maybe France, his accent was very British, but he never let up where he originated from.

“Ah, don’t listen to this fat f*ck,” he said with a sip of scotch, “Night’s early. It could be mine!”

“f*ck you, spic!”

“f*ck you too, greaseball bastard.”
What would have been a mahogany warzone halfway over the world was nothing more than conversation here. The two friends roared into laughter as Marcos dealt my cards; curvy women surrounded the area, and I could tell that these men felt like kings. In many ways they were successful.

“Just play the game, let’s see how tonight pans out,” I said as I lifted up my card: double aces. It looks like this night might tip things in my favour. The sound of laughter, the stench of smoke, and the company of my friends made everything feel right.

Ziggy455
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#10

Posted 08 April 2013 - 04:43 PM Edited by Ziggy455, 26 April 2013 - 12:58 PM.

user posted image


CHAPTER ONE

PART IV

"DEJA GOD-DAMN VU."




“Deja God-damn Vu.”

The night floated by with that constant feeling of accord. As the hours dwindled by, the more ‘faithful’ patrons of the bar begun to saunter in. On my third scotch, a faint buzz was kicking in. I stared at my cards, half-involved in the game. Barry folded and gave a quick yell of
“Bollocks!”. We all chuckled again as another tune flicked up on the Jukebox that had been taken straight out of bad 60s sitcom.

“Bollocks? Bollocks!?” a smile spread across Marcos’s prune-like face, “It’s a balls! Balls, Bazman!”

“Pfft, hit me with the next hand, you goon. I’m gonna go grab another drink.” he replied suddenly standing up with a wave of his hand that formed into a pointed finger at Mickey, “Don’t look at my hand, I know what you Hoboken schmucks, are like!”

“And what are we like, eh?” Mickey craned his neck up from his cards.

“Yah alll are soitantly crayfty mudafoickas!” mocked Barry as he skipped away with a laugh.

“Mhmm, yes, quite, indeed, crumpets, riff-raff. f*ckin' Buckingham Palace. Hop hop! Cheerio,” mumbled Mickey to himself more than others.

I wasn’t doing too badly on my own hand; one Queen off a royal flush with two left til’ the flop. Of course, luck had a way of spinning on it’s head with me. One second I’d have half the pot in my hands, and then moments later, I could be begging the sexy women around me for something other than a loose night of fun. Losing money wasn’t such a problem for me. All around me, people laughed and cheered. There was no rave music, no monotony hidden by loud-clothing (apart from Marcos’s tight t-shirt and Mickey’s yellow shirt) and cheap-cologne. Things felt real here, and they always had, and money was nothing as opposed to the company of others.

“So anyway, as I was saying before King Richard had a tantrum,” with his eyes fixed of Janelle; one of Barry’s lone fingers appeared behind his back; a solid f*ck you to the Jersey-man, “we’re waiting off the coast, and I’m planning on getting some more of those coloured fish that Max got.”

“Lots of them about,” I said before taking another sip of scotch, sweet as honey.

“Exactly,” he replied in passing, “and I’m with Petey- and he’s like ‘Oh, let’s use thermite!’ – f*ckin’ thermite! I told him I wanted them whole, I didn’t want any god-damn fried sushi being pulled into the nets.”

“Is what you get when you’ve got a redneck for a first mate,” said Marcos; raising me ten. I called the bluff. He rubbed his beard and frowned; he could have been packing a straight but I wasn’t gonna pull any punches.

“He’s a good first mate,” said Mickey; sweat slipping down his bright red forehead, “he’s just a little extreme.”

“Where’d he get thermite?” I asked.

“f*ck would know, but he’s left a stash in my boat. I’m f*ckin’ worried.”

“Oh sh*t, yeah, I forgot to mention,” said Barry, slumping back down with another round of scotches. He paused for a moment, his eyes facing upwards. They shot back down to Mickey with a smug grin, “your boat’s on fire, Mick.”

The butch-native of New Jersey’s eyes widened and then squinted. “I don’t believe you, you limey.” A smile spreading across his face too as Barry handed him a scotch.

We all gave another chuckle and settled back down into another game. The clocks rolled forward quickly, and at around 2am, I’d folded out of the game with a hundred more than I’d started with; and on my fifth scotch- that was considered a miracle. “I don’t believe it, you’ve swindled me out of another hundred!” said Marcos with a smile.

“It wasn’t anything you weren’t prepared to lose to anyone else,” I said with a smile. The bar was still partially full. Janelle, being the eye candy of Marcos’s bar, was still working away like a slave robot. I always wondered how she looked so good. All I had to do was spend a few hours out in the sun and I looked like a god-damn dried up piece of wood. Please, ladies, hold your phone numbers. She was mid-length in height with caramel skin. Her hair, chestnut and tied up in a ponytail that seemed to exacerbate her beauty to near-model like proportions. Everybody in the district wanted to drink at the bar with the “Gorgeous, brown, girl.”She was Marcos girl, and I’d learned my lesson long ago to never get mixed up with females.

I counted my cash and finished my scotch. Unfortunately, I’d been taught to never take a good thing for granted. If something was going smoothly, sooner or later, the fun police would show up. And right on cue, they appeared as if out of some subconscious request; my old habits pulled me back into a stupid dilemma I had no real purpose of being in. The front door of the bar was kicked open and in strolled a group of loud-mouth Brazilians. One of them air-humping; and for a few brief seconds, the scene in front of me morphed into the one I’d seen almost seven years ago. Spray-tan guido chumps were swapped for naturally-tanned muscular punks. I need to get laid!

Marcos looked at me with a look of concentration and concern; he took a sip of his scotch and nodded to me as I looked back at him. Look, Max, his eyes said. Somehow I’d gotten a feeling of Deja Vu. I’d drink in this bar with my friends countless times, and nothing had ever happened, but on that night, something felt different. Something didn’t feel right.

The Brazilian punks headed straight to the bar; Janelle gave them her most appealing smile, and like most fools who go into bars, they mistook her quirky, sexy nature to be something other than mandatory barmaid etiquette. My Brazilian wasn’t top notch, it never would be. But since living here, I’d found it easier to pick up on conversations.

“Baby, eh baby! I’m so f*cking drunk! Get me a bottle of anything!” yelled the skinny one dressed up like he’d just got out of a cheap, boozy nightclub up town. A shaved head with a massive gold-chain was all that was noticeable. His two friends, muscular-tattoo clad men both laughed and chatted, one was in a blue t-shirt, another in yellow. Janelle turned away and Goldie’s firm hand reached over the bar and gripped her behind tightly; so tight that she yelped and dropped a glass, the sound of glass shattering went over the music.

I looked at Mickey quickly who was in deep talks with Barry. Marcos stared at the bar and then back at me. “Just some punks, Marcos, It’s fine.”

“I don’t like men handling my workers, Max,” his eyebrows furrowed as he stared at Goldie, his friendly demeanour replaced with the strong, independent visage of a caring businessman.

“Give her a second, she’ll be alright.” I felt things suddenly slipping out of my drunken hands.

A slap echoed throughout the bar suddenly, like a gunshot to the crowd; all eyes shot to Janelle who was leaned against the back of the bar. Her face suddenly bruised and covered with her hands. A whimper followed from her mouth.
You no good spray-tan guido-douche. An abused woman, three angry, pumped up men, and a burnt-out cop in a bar who didn’t want any trouble; Déjà god-damn Vu.

The poker table flew upwards as I stood up too fast; screams followed. The three punks were too slow, as they turned to face me, I realized it wasn’t me they were looking at with wide eyes with something; shock? Wait a minute...

I turned slowly and saw my three friends, all of them aiming pistols of different calibres at the men. If I’d have had these three with me working with the Brancos, hell, that job might have gone differently. Like guardians of the sacred church, they kept their weapons aimed high. Barry and Marcos had the M1911s; all black but Mickey had a .38 snub-nose Revolver, it glinted in the light; hungry, ready to roar. The little Brazilian-abuser slowly turned and walked towards me.

“You don’t wanna be doing that,” said Mickey.

“You American, eh? You big man?” taunted Goldie, his two apes following him as he faced us.

“We Brits take offence at seeing women hit too,” Barry kept aim, Mickey nodded in his direction. The jukebox stopped playing; and for a few brief seconds, all that could be heard was the sound of the vinyl changing: the ever-going sound of clicks and snaps whirling deep within the jukebox filled the silence. The little man stepped forward. Click-clack, click-clack, click-clack, three triggers pulled back.

“Why not your other man got a pea-shooter?” said the small man with a smirk, the two muscular men behind him moving slowly closer.

“It’s time you left, son,” said Marcos; his barrel following the man who continued to move.”You lucky you not getting the sh*t kicked out of you.

“Do you know who I am?” he yelled. sh*t, another chump who’d had somebody else pulling the strings.

“Stop...movin',” Mickey gritted his teeth; his fingers lightly twitched on the trigger.

“Your bitch pushed me away, I’m gonna hit her again, you go’n have to shoot me.”

He turned back to Janelle but then somebody’s fist collided with the young man’s jaw; mine. A crack echoed out as the man hit the floor with a thud. The two muscular men lunged forward. “STOP!” screamed Barry, my two other friends chiming in as they came closer with their guns, like professionals. I looked down at the man on the floor; I’d hit him pretty hard. The two muscular drones lifted their arms and then grabbed the short man dragging him to the doorway.

Stay right here. Stay right here. You don’t know who you’re f*ckin’ with! The muscular men screamed in Brazilian at my compadreas too fast for me to understand, but the situation had been played over a million times in my life, my eyes blurred; the guido douches appeared and slipped out of the doorway. It appeared that I was destined to live the same things over and over; I’d found some brief kind of good-existence. I prayed to god that this was just a general f*ckup that had gotten out of hand extremely fast. I looked to Marcos.

“sh*t,” I said with a sigh. My friends lowered their guns and people resumed their drinking.

Marcos ran around to the bar and looked at Janelle. “Are you okay, baby?” she rubbed her face and nodded. Mickey and Barry pocketed their weapons and began to clean up the scattered chips and broken glasses across the wooden floor.

“Thank you,” mouthed Janelle with a smile.

“I...Uh, yeah...sure,” mumbling along like my usual self.

The Passenger, by Iggy Pop began on the jukebox and the bar began to resume with chatter and euphoria. That was Brazil for you. By experience alone this place taught me the importance of chance. One second you’re working for a wealthy family, a day later you’re dodging Brazilian officials because that family burnt to death. One second you’re drinking in a bar with your friends, the very next, you’re in the middle of a conflict that seems a little too close to home for comfort. I picked up a broken scotch glass and stared at it as people around me began to clear up. I was still tired of all the violence.


VProductions
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#11

Posted 08 April 2013 - 06:01 PM

I think you have really captured the style and essence of Max Payne here. It's a 9.6 out of 10 from me. biggrin.gif


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#12

Posted 08 April 2013 - 06:54 PM

QUOTE (VProductions @ Monday, Apr 8 2013, 18:01)
I think you have really captured the style and essence of Max Payne here. It's a 9.6 out of 10 from me. biggrin.gif

He's not exactly been throw into the actual story yet. What we're seeing so far is the laid back, wise Max Payne.

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#13

Posted 08 April 2013 - 07:11 PM

This stuff's pretty great. I'm enjoying the bitesized chapters. It's easy to read a chapter fairly quickly and still have a good sense of everything that's happening. Using Max Payne really allows for a lot of clever descriptives and metaphors as well - One reason why he's been such a good character for 3 games. You've captured his calm nature pretty good. It'll be interesting to see how you handle him when things go tits up icon14.gif

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#14

Posted 08 April 2013 - 07:17 PM

QUOTE (Ziggy455 @ Monday, Apr 8 2013, 18:54)
QUOTE (VProductions @ Monday, Apr 8 2013, 18:01)
I think you have really captured the style and essence of Max Payne here. It's a 9.6 out of 10 from me. biggrin.gif

He's not exactly been throw into the actual story yet. What we're seeing so far is the laid back, wise Max Payne.

Like in the bar in Hoboken

Ziggy455
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#15

Posted 08 April 2013 - 07:18 PM

QUOTE (kippers. @ Monday, Apr 8 2013, 19:11)
This stuff's pretty great. I'm enjoying the bitesized chapters. It's easy to read a chapter fairly quickly and still have a good sense of everything that's happening. Using Max Payne really allows for a lot of clever descriptives and metaphors as well - One reason why he's been such a good character for 3 games. You've captured his calm nature pretty good. It'll be interesting to see how you handle him when things go tits up icon14.gif

I'm not really trying to throw him into gunfight after gunfight. I'd like to see the characters evolve a little. I want to bridge a gap between Max Payne 2/3 and this.

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#16

Posted 08 April 2013 - 07:54 PM

Oh yeah, i appreciate that you're not trying to go in that direction. I like it. Writing for Max is engaging enough without them.

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#17

Posted 08 April 2013 - 08:03 PM

QUOTE (kippers. @ Monday, Apr 8 2013, 19:54)
Oh yeah, i appreciate that you're not trying to go in that direction. I like it. Writing for Max is engaging enough without them.

I think what I like is his ability to slow down situations. When writing Max Payne, I feel extremely comfortable with him as a character. The heavy-use of metaphors, the Raymond Chandler-like prose, the ability to create a story to see where Max goes is extremely fun.

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#18

Posted 08 April 2013 - 08:35 PM

Bookmarked to read this at work tomorrow biggrin.gif Looks chill.

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#19

Posted 08 April 2013 - 08:39 PM

QUOTE (TonyZimmzy @ Monday, Apr 8 2013, 20:35)
Bookmarked to read this at work tomorrow biggrin.gif Looks chill.

Cheers, mate. Been editing all these chapters after-hand like an absolute c*nt. So by tomorrow, it might flow better but will also have a few subtle changes.

I'm still outlining the story and ALL the scenes...But I've got a general idea of what story I wish to tell.


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#20

Posted 08 April 2013 - 09:12 PM

I'm just glad to see you still writing. I've always liked max paynes style

I should check out Raymond chandler too I think

Ziggy455
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#21

Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:35 PM

QUOTE (Mokrie Dela @ Monday, Apr 8 2013, 21:12)
I'm just glad to see you still writing. I've always liked max paynes style

I should check out Raymond chandler too I think

Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep is one of the best Detective-Noir books I've ever read. It served as inspiration for so many things; LA Noire, Max Payne, The Big Lebowksi.

Mokrie Dela
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#22

Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:00 AM

I managed to find an online "preview" of that, and it looked good - defo going on my list!

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#23

Posted 26 April 2013 - 12:35 PM Edited by Ziggy455, 26 April 2013 - 01:02 PM.

CHAPTER ONE

PART V

"Like rust off old cogs."



Time moved forward. Somewhere throughout the night, deep within the blissful throes of lady scotch, I had noticed that the bar had gotten emptier. Of course! It was almost 3am and the patrons needed other vices and better company than the old stooges like us who were familiar with the joint. Marcos flicked the main lights off and bolted the door soon after, and the only light left was the heavy one that lit up the poker table that hadn’t seen any action besides scotch glasses for the last hour. I stared down at my own drink; spinning it lightly as laughter echoed all around me. The brown liquid swirled like a monsoon.

“Max,” tinny voices, “Max!” not so tinny anymore.

“Huh?” I choked quickly, my eyes flitted around. Janelle’s armed were wrapped around Marcos. Everybody else’s eyes were on me.

Barry took a sip of his vodka and tapped my arm that was lay loosely on the table.

“Come on, Max. You’re an old Hoboken local, right? You’ve definitely got some cop stories! I’m tired of hearing Mickey’s. I wanna hear one from an ex-cop not an ex-crook!”

“Open your mouth,” said Mickey as he clenched his fist, “let me ram this clenched block down, limey.”

More laughter followed. “None of my stories have that glory or humour feel to them. Cop work was always a dull, dreary affair,” I said with another sip; my tongue felt looser than normal. Marcos flicked a card at me that bounced off my chest back onto the table face up.

“Come on, you know you’ve got at least one funny story.”

“Come on!” said Marcos.

“Please, Max? You’re the storyteller!”

“Well, okay, maybe one,” I said with a sigh. The table launched into an uproar of dramatic yells.

“Boom! I knew it!” said Mickey with a smile before settling back down.

My fingers fumbled around with the Joker card in front of me and I thought back to probably the funniest thing I’d seen in all my so-called glory days.

“I did a three year beat in New Jersey before becomin’ a detective-“

“Jersey representin’ baby!” yelled Mickey; Barry slapped him playfully, “Alright, continue, storyteller.”

“Yeah, ugh...So I’m working the regular beat and I get a radio call in about the Hoboken Flasher-“

Mickey took a sip of his drink and then his eyes widened as he struggled to swallow. His fingers pointed at Max and the sound of a frog bellowed in his throat before he let out a half-choked laugh. “Aww sh*t, I remember that dude. He’d get nude in bars, steal whatever alcohol he could, and he’d always escape while cops would chase him-“

“Who’s telling the story, you or him, numbnuts?” said Marcos; Janelle’s arms still wrapped around him. I noticed her eye had swelled with a tinge of pink, knocking me out of my story for a second; I recovered quickly.

“Yeah so I get this call that he’s pulling his MO in some bar on Third and Main. I drive up,” as the memory flooded back to me, a smile crept across my old face. This still had some form of humour that made me chuckle like I’d never forgotten how to, “-And it turns out he’s picked the worst bar to go into. Turns out the owner’s only clotheslined the guy; duct taped him to the bar, and forced an unopened bottle of Kong’s scotch between his asscheeks.”

Marcos’s smile faded as everybody’s heads flitted left to right. Silence filled the air for a few moments, and like the bad comedian at a strip joint, I’d realized the joke was lost on them until they all gave a crescendo of whooping laughs and sni**ers that continued on for what felt like hours. I began to laugh along with them. Mickey pounded his fists on the table, Janelle snickered, Barry gave whooping yells, and I gave small chuckles.

“That wasn’t the funny part, the best part was when I headed back to my cruiser to let the rookies deal with him,” the laughter died down a little but faint chuckles broke through every so often. “It wasn’t the bottle in the ass or the bartender that got me either, it was the fact that when I heard a yell from behind me, I expected a rookie to come out and talk to me.”

Mickey gave another roar of laughter like most did when thinking about the same bit over and over. “I look back and the flasher’s halfway down the street, covered in duct-tape that’s trailing behind him. I notice he’s running funny and that’s when I see that he’s still got the bottle of Kong between his cheeks.” Another crescendo of tearful laughter erupted and this time I found myself joining in more heartily. Silently, as all air had left my lungs, I barely made out: “And the two rookies are chasing him, as professional as can be and I couldn’t even radio it in, because I’m literally on the floor in tears!”

I hadn’t laughed like that in a while, it felt good. Like rust off old cogs, I found that I could still enjoy some things from the past. Mickey wiped his eyes but Barry had already hit the floor mid-way through the story out of drunken joy. Marcos and Janelle still let out whooping, but calm laughs.

“Did they ever get the guy?” I heard from below as Barry lifted his hand up onto the table.

Mickey let out a barrage of coughs and spluttered: “Nope, nope, never!”

“To this day, I never knew what happened to the guy,” I said, curious as to what really had happened to the Hoboken Flasher.
Mickey lit up a cigarette that hung loosely in-between his dry lips. “You can bet on one thing though,” he spoke through pursed lips; another sni**er following.

“What is that?” asked Marcos; regaining his composure as he swiped his eyes, his mouth partially open.

“When he got home I bet he unplugged and chugged that bottle a’ his-.”

It was too much! I let out another laugh that seemed infectious. Chugged and unplugged. I’d have loved that even if I was as sober as a door. Another round soon found us at the table and when the laughter had finally died down, that familiar silence returned and my thoughts raced.

“Just goes to show you what kind of messed up sh*t New York had,” I said with a sigh.

“Brazil is no New York, but she’s got her fair share of f*ckups,” replied Marcos as his fingers ran through Janelle’s hair chestnut hair.

“Yeah, I know what you mean,” flickers of the Brancos shot through my head; my eyes flitted left and right. I needed another drink to cut out the seriousness.

Barry had scooped himself up from the floor; his hair was flaky and messed up. “I honestly thought those chumps would return.” He flung his arm lazily at the wooden front doors.

“Ack, guys like that, they’re probably in some Nightclub in town, hitting other waitresses.”
Hitting other waitresses; it always came down to a girl getting hit, didn’t it?

“Should I have hit the guy?” I blurted out suddenly, my friendly demeanour replaced with one of curiosity. My fingers tapped the table lightly as I realized I'd said it out loud.

In unison, Mickey, Barry, and Marcos chimed in: “f*ck yeah, yes, and damn right, man!”

“I wasn’t so sure what the right thing to do was,” I took another sip; my world blurred. Man I was buzzed alright. I couldn’t drink them
like I used to anymore, that was becoming more apparent with each little glass. My eyes looked down at the table and I stared at the askew cards on the table. “Maybe I’d f*cked things up, I’m so stupid,” I whispered, but the acoustics weren’t on my side.

“Max, my man, you beat a woman-beater! You’re too harsh on yourself,” Marcos said with a hint of concern in his voice.
Barry, with slurs, slumped one of his hands on my arm. “Would you-you...have preferred Janelle to have been,” burp, “-hit again, huh?”

“No.”

Mickey, obviously more sober, took a drag of his cigarette and blew out the toxic smoke at Barry who, in his drunken stupor, didn’t even realize. “I’d have shot the f*ckin’ c*nt if Max would have moved out of the way.”

“Tell you what! Ask Janelle if you should have done it!” Marcos lead Janelle around, she sat comfortably on his lap and stared at me as I was slumped in my chair. Christ, I must have looked like a big baby.

“You did the right thing, Max. Bastards like that are a dime a dozen,” her voice floated through the air like the smoke itself. It was as just as soft and just as intoxicating. No wonder Marcos loved her like he did.

“Exactly! Stop beating yourself up, man! Keep drinking, we only do this once a damn week, it’s not like Saturday’s a busy day for us!” said Marcos as Janelle planted another kiss on him. “Saude!”

"Saude!" said Janelle as a drink formed in her hand.

"Cheers my dears!" said Barry as he lazily raised an empty glass; he took a sip and pulled back the glass, tipping it upside down.

"To the lightweights!" said Mickey with a bellowing laugh.

"To friends," I said and we all clinked together.




Mokrie Dela
  • Mokrie Dela

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#24

Posted 26 April 2013 - 11:02 PM

Good stuff. You've captured the style of Max Payne's narration well without losing the story's flow, so kudos on that. The ultra-descriptive/purple prose works well in the games because of it's sparsity, it's broken up, but here it feels a touch more diluted, which is good, as it's not too heavy on the eyes.

Like the distant taste of whiskey, to a recovering alcoholic, I can't keep away for long biggrin.gif

Also, as a side note, the word "s n i g g e r e d" seems to have gone out of use. Instead people seem to use "snickered" instead - which baffled me at first because I wondered why the appearance of a chocolate bar would have any relevance. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who uses "sni**ered", without being branded a racist.

Keep it up, Ziggy Stardust!

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#25

Posted 30 April 2013 - 10:17 PM

CHAPTER ONE

PART VI

1/2

A night to remember...



“Max,” said Janelle as I finished my scotch. The ice inside was still well and formed. I myself was well and truly peaked. Any more drinks and I’d have been giving Marcos a sh*tty morning cleaning dry puke off the floor. I looked to Janelle quickly.

“Huh?”

“You’re a good man, Max, Marcos and I can see that!” she seemed sincere. Somehow, for the first time in my life, I’d had people who were willing to make me feel like a valuable asset, not a burnt out or a piece of sh*t bodyguard. As my mind burst out in violent swarms of words, it had occurred to me that I was probably the least capable of taking a compliment. Being surrounded by people on a daily basis had made my social apathies lessen.

“Thanks, I uh...yeah,” but I was never big on the small-talk anyway.

“He’s just being harsh on himself, baby,” Marcos replied, his hands connected around her. God-damn, had I ever wanted a woman in my arms worse than that night? Probably, but the alcohol didn’t fuel the hatred anymore; it just widened the hole of loneliness that seemed to tear from the inside.

“Alright, Barry’s turn, Barry’s turn, he’s got a good one!” yelled Mickey as he exhaled another gasp of smoke. His cigarette was already out as he slapped a semi-conscious Barry. Wa-tish! His eyes shot open and he immediately yelled.

“Woah- Alright, here’s my story!” Everybody put their eyes on him.

“No ass-cheek jokes in this one?” I asked with a smile.

“No, none, man! Ser..seriously! So I was in the TA a while back. Tactical Army. sh*tty UK army garbage, y’know,..”

“Like the navy?” asked Mickey with a raise of his half-filled glass, his voice flamboyant. He started his own Jersey rendition of In The Navy. A British arm lazily swung at him with a groan.

“Alright, alright...Anyway- so my camp dude or bunk leader’s obviously a pork swordsman,” he let out a hiccup and slumped his head onto the table with a grunt.

“Pork swordsman?” I asked; another splutter of drunken chuckles flowed from my scotch-stained mouth, “Man, that’s a metaphor for the books if I ever heard one.”
“What does porksword-“

“It means he’s gay. He likes men,” said Janelle as she gave her man another firm kiss on his tanned cheek.

“Oh,” his smile returned, “continue!”

“Oh god, he’s gonna tell us some erotic pulp friction,” Mickey nudged me with a wink.

“No! Okay so he’s obviously not heavy-handed with the obstacle course. One of the soldiers, some Latino guy who was raised in the UK somewhere up north, he was as camp as a row of tents. But nobody knew if he smoked the sausage or not,” continued Barry.

“Ooh, Barry, I don’t need to hear about them having sex!” said Janelle as she stood up with raised arm. She sauntered behind the bar suddenly to pour the last drinks of the night. My eyes followed her quickly before they slung back to a semi-coherent Barry.

“Yeah, I’m not drunk enough for that either,” I said half-involved.

“f*ck yoush all! So one night we’re doin’ night runs on the course and our bunk-captain gets me to watch over the guys on the course cause he’s gotta do a routine inspection and of coursh who’s he inspecting? He’s inshpecting-“

“Mister Latino!” yelled Marcos!

“Exactamundo, Marky!” replied Barry as he lazily pointed a finger at him; one eye closed, another one open, “Exacta-f*ckin’-mundo!”

“Oh god, I’m gonna need another drink to replace the puke you’re cleaning up, Bazman,” said Mickey as he turned a little green. Janelle returned with a tray drinks, she slowly came over and began to lower them.

“So yeah, the captain is stark naked and out of nowhere comes this-“

A sound, something that cut the sound barrier exploded suddenly. The scotch drinks exploded as something blasted through them in a straight line. Barry’s words were cut short; an explosion of blood shot out as the Bazman was launched from his chair. His limp body hit the floor with a thud. We all shot up and looked down at Barry; a massive hole where his forehead used to be gaped up, his eyes were white and empty... Oh, god!

“WHAT THE f*ck!?” I heard Mickey yell over the screams of Janelle. I turned quickly as a piercing scream rang out; my back suddenly heated up. An ear-shattering explosion rattled from behind. I flew over the poker table that was blown back. Marcos was thrown across the banister of the raised floor. Mickey landed behind the table with me. Ringing; constant ringing in my ears. What the f*ck’s happened? Oh god. I looked across; Mickey had his snub-nose out. I crawled out of the cover of the poker table. The entrance to the place was half gone; somebody had fired a god-damn rocket at it and from the gaping, burning hole a barrage of muzzle flashes followed. Bullets filled the bar.

“Seriously!? What the fuc-“Mickey’s body was pushed back as hundreds of bullets suddenly riddled his body; by the time the bullets had stopped moving him, he was already dead. I looked across, the ringing still strong. Oh god, what the f*ck did I do? Hit another Don’s kid? Janelle screamed my name but no words were audible. I looked at my hands that shook.

“MAX! MAX!”

“I’m...I’m here Janelle!” I screamed back. I reached across and grabbed the snub-nose that had launched out of Mickey’s grip like a frightened bird. I checked the rounds with my heart racing; three shots. I was still in shock; my body burnt like the gaping entrance. The alcohol didn’t help. Was this really happening? It was like the god-damn Brazilian army had come down on the joint.

“Max, save Marcos!” I heard her scream, her voice broke through the ringing. Where was Marcos? He’d jumped over the banister! Hopefully still breathing, hopefully not punctured and riddled like Mickey and Barry. I crawled down the back of the bar as bullets continued to spray above my head. “Marcos!” I screamed before a series of coughs took over. No reply. Christ, he’s dead. Janelle popped up from the bar, a shrill scream escaped from her as somebody ran in with a pistol screaming Brazilian. I turned and fired; as a single round made a course for the man’s head but a force blew him to his left; launching him. From behind the door behind the bar, Marcos appeared with his smoking double-barrel. Janelle ran to him as they both fell to the floor; a barrage of lazily fired bullets skimmed the bar. Ping! Crash; shattered drink glass.

“CAN’T YOU READ THE SIGN? WE’RE f*ckING CLOSED!” he said as another man ran in; pellet-shot knocked him back out of the hole onto the street.

“Marcos, are you okay?” I yelled over the blaring tone that filled my head.

“Max, I’m alright, get out of the way!” he screamed back, a single bullet flew in, shattering the poker table into two. That was no pistol round. I turned around and crawled over to Barry; my arms becoming stained and red. I’d just been talking to this guy; how could this be happening? I couldn’t look at these men like this. I couldn’t deal with anything at this particular time. Bullets skimmed the bar; between the ringing and the yells, glass-shatters and pings filled my ears. These men weren’t firing with aim; they were making sure the entire place was coated. I dived behind the bar where Marcos and Janelle were.

I slumped down. Marcos reloaded; Janelle’s hands covered her ears. “Marcos, we can’t stay here!” Ping! Zing!

“Max, these fools have destroyed my bar, they have killed two of my friends! I am not letting these punks get away with it,” he screamed yanking out his Colt; he fired several rounds; each one exploding out of the gaping hole.

“Marcos, you have to get Janelle out of here! These aren’t punks! Look at the guy you just plugged!”

Marcos raised his head over the bar and peered over at the very dead man. I lifted my head and peered over too. The man was geared up with some kind of flak jacket; a blue cap covered his face and hanging loosely from an almost detached ear was some sort of communication wire. These weren’t punks, they were financed soldiers! Images of Cracha Preto flickered in my mind but my hands trembled so violently that the imagery didn’t stick. I slumped back down; Janelle’s hands caught me as I fell.

“Marcos! Please stop!” screamed Janelle; I put my hands on her young face, tears streamed down it. “Max, he’s not gonna stop!”

“Janelle go...go in the back!” her face contorted into more cries. She didn’t know what was going on. I let her face slip away as she crawled into the back; she looked up at Marcos who continued to fire at the barrage of muzzles that slowly died down. As the door slammed shut I grabbed him and yanked him down.

“WHAT THE FU-“

“Sshh!” I said as the bullets suddenly stopped. I waited for more to follow but an eerie silence followed. A calm before the storm; like the Alamo These ‘Mexicans’ were going to take it all. A flicker of a megaphone clicked and then a barrage of Portuguese as violent and snappy as the previous-bullets hailed the bar.

“What’s he saying?” I asked.
Marcos tilted his head as he began to reload his Colt from the box under the bar. “He say...Come out unarmed and nobody else gets hurt. He says...” his face went deathly white. He sighed and slotted the magazine back up, “He says he wants Max Payne!”

“You’re kiddin’ me right?”

“I sh*t you not! He says he wants Max Payne!”

“Well,” I began to stand but Marcos’s tanned hand gripped me and brought me back down; freezing me to the spot.

“If you go out there, they’re gonna kill you, man!” his eyes had genuine fear in them. I knew what it was; he didn’t want to lose three friends in one night. I looked across at the destruction of the bar with a sigh and stared at Barry and Mickey, both now bloody messes of their former selves. It hurt to think just minutes ago we were all laughing here. Something deep down in me ached, seeing your loved ones laid out was something you could never truly stomach. The stench of hot lead and scotch nauseated me; or maybe it was the shock. I couldn’t tell anymore.

“If I don’t go out there, they’ll kill you and Janelle!” I whispered back.

“No man! You can’t go out there. Slip out the back; I’ll cover you!”

“I can’t leave you.”

“Go, Max!” he said as I crawled through the backdoor. Marcos continued firing; more bullets flew in. I slammed the door and looked around. Still trembling I climbed up the wall and took a deep breath. I had no time to mourn; I had no time to do anything anymore. Time had slipped out the back before the guns had started their symphony of lead.

“Janelle?” I whispered with a gasping cough. The explosion had rattled me. In here, the place looked untouched. The staff-room was well lit and clean. It resembled a hospital waiting room; one littered with uncomfortable chairs. A cheap coffee-maker was placed on top of a washing machine. I stumbled through the hallway and yanked out the colt. What if they’d gotten in this way? What if they’d spotted Janelle and popped her two for good measure?

“Janell-“

“Max!” she said weakly as she strolled from down the stairs. She came forward slowly, “Is Marcos?” she held her stomach and gave a weak yelp.

“No, no,” my hands found their way to her face that I cradled again, “They want me, not Marcos. We’re leaving. Marcos wants me to go.”

“Wh-what? Wait, no! You can’t leave him!”

“If I stay, they’ll kill you both. I need to get out of here!” I budged past her but she didn’t take the hint. She followed after me as I stepped out of the back. But I was yanked back in violently; I fell to the floor; my face landing with a thud that rattled the headache within. I was drunk. Christ. I wasn’t pulling any punches.

“Ack, sh*t,” I spat as I found my feet. The bump on my noggin’ hurt like hell.

“I’m sorry!” she said with a gasp; her hands reaching her mouth. Tears poured down her cheeks, she turned back to the door as muffled screams of bullets hit the doorway.

“Hide upstairs with me, they’ll think you’ve ran!” It was a dumb move, but like we all knew, I was a dumb move guy. I let her lead me upstairs into Marcos’s apartment. She slammed the door behind me and ran into the living room. This place was beautiful; everything reeked of expensiveness. A 60 inch widescreen TV eyed me from the living room. Janelle grabbed the remote and clicked it, the TV flickered to life. A blue screen flickered after the start-up.

“Marcos had CCTV installed after that bad night back when you first showed up,” she said with a sniff. Poor girl, she’d never been under fire before. I weakly came forward and took the remote as it flicked to a grainy channel of the bar. “There! Marcos! He’s alive!” but as my eyes studied the screen, I realized that things had taken a turn for the worse. “Oh god, they’ve got him!” she screamed as she slumped onto her knees, watching intently.




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