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Red Triangle - a GTA Fanfic

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slimeball supreme
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Posted 26 March 2017 - 07:09 AM Edited by slimeball supreme, 2 weeks ago.




Heads up: This is a GTA fanfic, and there will be plenty of lore and universe expansion relating to locations, brands, and, like, other stuff also. I'll be linking a Google Doc I'll update with some of the more niche brand references or new ideas.


Thank you for reading, by the way. Your attention and hopefully your criticism is appreciated.


Prologue - Overture



One - Slaves of Babylon

Two - Aqua Vitae

Three - Princeton Offense

Four - Glare

Five - Matryoshka

Six - Tocsin

Seven - The Brothers Cohen

Eight - Employment Opportunities

Nine - The Bond of all Bonds

Ten - Young Turks




The room stank of mosquito repellent and dust, the beginning of summer's heat beating through the windows of the building. It was a messy space, littered with the clutter of busy people - yet nobody had came here for real work in years. Nothing legal, anyway. The old music playing on a nearby portable radio reflected this idea, the concept of a time both easily remembered and far away. A time when this neighborhood wasn't a quickly gentrifying sewer. A time when this place was more than a laundry used for dirty bills.

The slow tick of a running printing press could be heard behind a wall, the voices operating it speaking Spanish and chattering with Cuban slang. There was an immediate contrast between the workers and the two men in the office, white guys wearing summer clothes and sunglasses, grim faced. They weren't from here. They hadn't said anything for what seemed like hours, the two of them staring at the ground in silence as the air become tighter around them.

"I'm sorry," one said. His voice was guttural yet nervous, simultaneously worried and threatening, with a light accent that could be placed somewhere in Eastern Europe. He motioned his head up, his tired face, his sandy hair, his pockmarks and sunken eyes that flickered. His uncertain gaze that regularly focused on other parts of the room. “I… I understand this is touchy subject. I do. But it is necessary precaution.”


"Bullsh*t." The other sneered. He, on the other hand, was younger. Late twenties or early thirties, slim faced, with a shaved head and unruly facial hair. His voice was unaccented, American, somewhat nasally and well pronounced, much different than the man seated in front of him. He sat there, wearing a Mambas cap, a pair of gold Rimmers sunglasses, and an exasperated, gnarled expression. "You know..." he grunted. "You know I, just... I don't want to. I don't want to. There has to be, like, someone else. Anyone else."

"No." The other replied quickly. "Extinguish the flame before the fire spreads. You are just going to relay communications, A. I get you have a history, but that's exactly what we need. You have leverage. You have people. We both know that. I would go myself, but you know our situation here is not exactly flexible, especially with those degenerates from Tampa o-"


"Okay," A said, begrudged. He stood up and turned away, defeated, walking towards the door before coming to a sudden stop.


"Just... I'll call you, Mak. We can talk about this... later, alright?"
"Okay, alright. Just, please... do not disappoint me."




The Gloss' - For New Lore and Locations

A Guide to Liberty City's Geography

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slimeball supreme
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Posted 26 March 2017 - 07:20 AM Edited by slimeball supreme, 08 December 2017 - 10:26 AM.



Slaves of Babylon


“You’re a scumbag, Abbot. A real dick.”


“F*ck you.”


“No, no, no - really. You are. What type of degenerate drinks decaf?”

Abbot snickered and took a sip, smiling. It had been a long day, time ticked slowly at the office as the light murmur of keyboards clacking could be heard in the background. Conversation helped the time go by, he thought. He gripped his coffee mug, green with stripes, with one hand as he leaned with the other on a bench in the break room. In front of him stood his colleague, Lawrence.

“Like, the whole point of coffee is that it’s supposed to, uh…” he made a quick motion with his left hand, his right clutching a white mug reading ‘Don’t interrupt me when I’m boring you’. “Wake you up. Energize you, you know? I mean, getting rid of the caffeine is like getting the nylon out of a rug. It’s a key component. Otherwise it’s just trash.”


“Not if you drink the right kind of coffee,” Abbot said. “If you get that Bean Machine brand stuff, no sh*t you’re gonna hate it.”

Enter Lawrence, a twitchy guy with light hair and of average build. Round faced, brown eyed, wore his clothes right and talked fast. Abbot himself was lanky, careful, dark glasses and short hair matched with disheveled stubble. Lawrence shook his head, chuckled, and took a sip from his mug.

“That’s not the point. It tastes like dirt regardless," he said.


“Again, not the case. I don’t wanna have to reiterate myself here.”


“Okay, sure, whatever. Point taken. That’s not what I’m getting at here. What I mean is that one of the perks of coffee or whatever is the energy, the caffeine. I mean, you aren’t pregnant. Or prepubescent. You don’t really need to limit your intake.”


“But there’s the health factor,” Abbot replied. “You know, I heard it was healthier or something. Caffeine is a drug, you know.”

Lawrence put his mug on the bench. “Where did you hear that? I mean, I know the drug part, but uh... I- I don’t think that’s the case. It boosts metabolism or something.”


“I mean, I don’t remember, but I read it somewhere.”


“Or are you assuming it? I mean, coffee gets a heap of sh*t but I don’t think it’s the case. I don’t think it’s deserved is what I mean.”


“Look,” Abbot laughed. “I’m just gonna assu-”


“Nope, f*ck that.”

Lawrence made a grab for his phone, a Tenshun with a cracked screen and a Righteous Slaughter case. “I’m gonna Duplex it. I know for a f*cking fact that I’m right here.”


“Man, it's no big deal.”


“No, no. No. I know I’m right here, man. Watch, check it out.”


“Yeah, yeah, sure.” Abbot was already disinterested. He stared out of a nearby window, a large glass aperture with a good view of the street below, the pedestrians and the yellow cabs ambling on 34th Street. The people down there were bugs, grains of sand among the asphalt. He sighed, somewhat quietly, Lawrence not looking up to respond.

The office the two were in could be called almost palatial. Classy designs, rigid lines, open windows and open cubicles in monochrome and rich browns. Men in suits hurried through the halls of the establishment, some clutching manila folders and others holding paper cups emblazoned with the Bean Machine logo. The duo, along with a few others, lounged in the familiar walls of the break room, some seated and others near the water cooler or the vending machines. Abbot took it all in - the atmosphere of professionalism, of competence. Of sheer c*ntiness.

Nouwens & Visser LLP and Affiliates. You could feel the slime drip down the walls, the stench emanating therein. It was a poetic way of referring to the place, Abbot thought.

Lawrence laughed. “I f*cking knew it. I knew it. Eat sh*t.”


“What?” Abbot asked, pulled out of a trance.


“And I quote, and I f*cking quote; Despite having been demonized in the past, the truth is that coffee is mostly good for you. It is linked with numerous health benefits, which are mainly attributed to its antioxidant content and other active substances.”

“Yeah, yeah. I promise to never doubt you again, in, like, coffee related discussions.”


“What can I say? I can’t help being always right.”

He grinned, jokingly smug. Abbot, in turn, craned his neck back to the window and kept staring.

“You alright?” Lawrence picked his mug up from the counter and moved closer. “You seem kinda… quiet.”


“I know.” Abbot furrowed his brow and sighed. “I’ve just-... I’ve been thinking.”




“Y-… you know.”


“Oh not this again, man.”


“What? What do you expect, dude?” He paused, momentarily. “Second time I haven’t kept up with my share. I mean…”


“Just because you don’t make enough to pay the rent every month doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. sh*t, that’s why you share the rent. With a roommate.”


“Well, yeah, but still. He usually isn’t very happy about it.”


“Okay, sure, he might be pissed off, but if Rahim has enough to take you and his yuppie pals to nice bars and big parties, then he sure as sh*t can occasionally pay slightly more. I mean, doesn’t he work at some counseling place or something? Pretty sure it was therap-”


“Yeah, okay. We’ve been through this. But even then… I just don’t know if this whole thing is working out. I mean, I sure as sh*t don’t like people here. I don’t… man. It’s hard to explain.”

Abbot muttered, setting his mug down and leaning on the bench. Lawrence sighed, looking up at Abbot and making a weird face.

“Okay, um…” Lawrence sighed, again. “Okay, okay. I get you. I think. Prospects aren’t great, job is dead end schlock, that stuff. I get that feeling. Everyone does, but, man, look out the window, for once.” He made a gesture, pointing toward the window, slightly grinning. “Look at that view. You can see the little f*ckin’ ants down there, man! Sure, for a law firm, for the IT stuff, the pay is… eh. It’s eh.”




“Yes, eh. Not the point, though. Okay, um…” He tried to get his train of thought back. “Right, uh, sometimes the guys working the computers can be complete dicks, but, like… look at all the cool sh*t. We have loose work hours, we can go in and out, like, f*ck it. We can go to the boss right now, say ‘we’re going out for a while, call us!’ , and we can just head out. I know a great Korean place that’s literally a couple blocks away, on 35th and 6th, y’know? They have gr-.”


“I’m not a big fan of Korean,” Abbot said.


“Okay, then we can just take the train to Lucky Plucker or something - it doesn’t matter, this is purely hypothetical. We can just head there, eat or whatever - and then if the suits break their HDDs or something, they can just call us! We’re lucky, dude. It’s the dream job.”

Abbot mulled after this for a moment, swirling his mug and frowning. “Ok, sure. Let's just say that's actually going to happen, that Isaac's actually gonna let us do that. But again.”


“Again what?”

“The pay. The money.” He scratched his nose. “I mean…”


“Then man up. Pull up your socks and talk to the bossman. Ask for a raise. I’m sure Isaac won’t mind. And sure, sometimes you can’t keep up with the rent, sure. But who c- who cares? That's why you have a roommate. Things are still cozy. Rahim doesn’t mi-”


“Well, I don’t kno-”


“Please don’t interrupt me. Anyway, uh… look. Where else are you gonna go? What else are you gonna do? I don’t think you should give this up, dude. You - we - have been doing well, we’ve been pushing through it. Where else would-slash-could you work? You wanna flip patties at BoltBurger? Make sandwiches at that deli? Move carpets at your dad’s f*cking rug store? That sure as sh*t wouldn’t fix the rent problem, would it? I mean, come on, A!”


“Whatever, man,” Abbot muttered. “I just… I just feel this isn’t working out. For me, anyway. A-a- and you don’t have to bring up my f*cking dad and all the other sh*t, okay? I mean, f*ck.”


“Okay, okay, sorry,” Lawrence piped, running his hand through his hair. “I’m sorry. Look, man, I’m… I’m as frustrated as you here. Really. I’m sorry if I get really pushy with this sh*t, man. I am. Heat of the moment and that sh*t.”


“Yeah, yeah.”


“No, really. I went too far with your dad. I get he’s still working sh*t out. It’s… it was insensitive.”


“Yeah. Thanks.”


“I just don’t want you to go. I don’t. You keep talking about this sh*t, like, every single week and it f*cks with me.” He grinned. “We’re like the dream team, you know? We work great together. I just… there’s job security and payment stability and… I just don’t want you making the wrong choice here. That’s all.”




“Yeah, man. Of- of course, f*ck.”

The two said nothing for a while, silence as they occasionally glanced over at each other after taking sips. It took a while for Abbot to break the silence.

“Uh… you coming to the bar?”


“Nah.” Lawrence took a slightly obnoxious sip, setting the mug down. “I… nah.”


“C’mon, man, I asked Rahim to invite you this time. It’s gonna be fun.”


“I don’t like Rahim. I don’t like his sh*tty cocktail runs either, he’s a f*cking pain.”


“Dude. Don’t be a dick.”


“A dick? Come on, man. I mean, he’s just…” Lawrence sighed. “Sorry. Here I go again. Just, I don’t and can’t. Family stuff.”


“Family stuff?”


“My mom’s moving tonight. Helping with the furniture.”


“You coulda just said that.”


“I mean, it’s family stuff, Abbot. Just, private.”



Lawrence got up, mug in hand. He was less than pleased, it seemed, feigning a smile and scratching behind his ear.

“We should probably get back. We’ve probably missed a few calls at this point.”


“Yeah,” Abbot laughed, uneasy. “Time to get to work, I guess.”


The Gloss'

Chapter 2: Aqua Vitae

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slimeball supreme
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Posted 08 April 2017 - 06:33 PM Edited by slimeball supreme, 08 December 2017 - 10:35 AM.


Aqua Vitae

The band was off. They'd just finished a set, some punk song with a harsh bassline and a vocalist who sounded more than a little stoned. Three guys; a drummer, a guitarist, and the aforementioned singer. All some grungy 20-somethings wearing dark denim and colourful jacket pins. They were going to come back on 'soon', something to do with a pulled muscle or a disagreement of some kind. Abbot wasn't really paying attention admittedly, the low hum of conversation that followed the performance was more of an interest to him. The smell of wood and sweat seemed to filter through without the distraction, and as soon as the crew got offstage, the penny dropped, a cacophony of Friday night chatter following suit.

She’ll Be Fine. Hedgebury’s premier live music bar, or so they said on the website. It was a nice place, sandwiched into a little crevice between two buildings on Roadbed Avenue - distinct by the use of a giant green neon sign stuck on the roof. It had good reviews, usually good music, and cheap drinks. Abbot was honestly surprised Rahim hadn’t taken them there sooner. He smirked, focusing more on the man seated next to him rather than the Puerto Rican couple having a dispute by the bar.

“F*ck work, man,” Rahim grinned. “F*ck work. I mean, f*ck. Just... f*ck. I get so tired of these, uh, these f*ckin’... these guys, sometimes.” The alcohol was talking, vodka mixed with frozen grapefruit and cimarrón. Too exotic for Abbot’s tastes, hence why he was stuck with a cheap glass of ‘whatever’s on the counter’ - the bartender picking out a yellow bottle of Cerveza Barracho and pouring it into a nondescript glass. Par for the course, he hadn’t even touched it.

“Okay, dude, cool it.” Abbot said. “Don’t want you getting, uh, worked up. Or, y’know.”


“Sorry, sorry.” Rahim feigned a smile before downing the rest of his glass. “It doesn't really, like, suck or anything… but just, man. This stuff really clears your head - yeah?” He laughed. “What’s it called again?”


“The drink?”




“A pink baby.”


“Really? Huh.” His lips curled as he started to fiddle with the glass. “Good name.”

Rahim was young faced, stood out usually. Big grin, olive skin and attractive features. Moroccan descent, Steinway bred. He sat there, red Rearwall puffer jacket thrown over the seat, revealing a white Sand Castle shirt. Abbot himself sat next to him, wearing a tasteful gray long-sleeve and a pair of dark skinny jeans; the nicest clothes in his wardrobe. Rahim drunkenly smirked.

“You know, I’m glad we came here tonight. Good band on.”


“Eh,” Abbot grunted. “Not my thing.”


“Man, you listen to JNR. Like, Mingus sh*t.” Rahim retorted. “So automatic, uh… discarding. That.”

Abbot rolled his eyes.

“But that’s not the point, man,” Rahim continued. “I love t- uh… the energy here. I live for this stuff, this bar sh*t. You, like, you go in and out and… man.” He grinned. “I just love it. This is my sh*t.”

Whatever Rahim had said wasn’t exactly coherent, Abbot thought. He simply nodded in approval, getting a good reaction out of Rahim. “Y-... yeah.”

“Hey, where’s Bheru?” Rahim queried. “And wait, where’s Lawrence? Wasn't he coming?”


“I told you about Lawrence. He’s moving furniture.”


“What?” Truth be told, even after the music had ended, the chatter of the bar’s patrons still seemed to overpower conversation at some points.


“His mom’s moving. Like, houses. Apartments.” Abbot was sort of half-yelling at this point, talking over the crowd that seemed to be getting louder. “And, uh… Bheru's still in the bathroom.”


“Really? Damn.”


“Damn what?”


“I wanted to talk to him again... Lawrence, I mean. He seems cool and… yeah. He’s cool.”


“H- huh,” Abbot meekly muttered in response.


“But, no. If he’s helping his mom or whatever, that's fine. Like, I get it.” He slightly laughed, frowning before moving back into a slump.

Nobody said anything afterwards. Well, not nobody. The patrons still stirred, kept talking. The band was still off and the crowd was not happy. People kept going to the bar and complaining, the murmur of dissatisfaction getting louder by the minute. Abbot shrugged and looked back at Rahim, looked at him messing with his napkin and sighed.

“What?” asked Rahim.


“Why do you always, uh,” Abbot started. “Play with your… whatever, your napkins and sh*t.”


“Why are you always, uh... stopping?” Rahim responded. “Like, constantly. You, uh, you say something and you don’t continue.

You don’t say anything. You just stop.”


“I, er, wouldn’t say that.”


“No, no. Yeah. It’s an awkward silence. That’s what it is. You love them, huh? That’s why you start a conversation… and then just,” he pushed his hand out. “Stop.”


“You don’t have to be a dick about it,” Abbot sniffed. “Always, always. When you’re drunk you alw-”


“Drunk? Oh, ho ho! I was just f*cking around, man - but of course it gets personal with you.” He scowled. “Drunk. I’m not f*cking drunk.”


“You’re not? Christ, you f*cking shmendrik. Listen to yourse-”


“What the f*ck is a shmendrik? What's with the f*cking snake tongue bullsh*t?”


“Snake tongue? Really? Is this what we’ve co-”

“Hey, uh… what’s going on?” Bheru asked, interrupting both.

He’d come back, oblivious. Thin, scraggy, with neatly combed hair and a clean shaven face. Bheru, even when he wasn’t at a desk, seemed to be always working - whether it was because he tried to dress 'sharp' (a mixture of dress shirts and fitted, stonewashed jeans) or always seemed like he needed another coffee.

“Nothing, Bheru.” Rahim pushed his hand through his hair, buzzed. “Abbot just can’t take a joke.”


“Nice," Abbot scoffed.


“Great. Great. Glad to see you guys are super f*cking peachy, as per usual.”

Bheru sat down opposite, in front of both his friends and his Coco Ortiz - rum, ginger, lemongrass and coconut. Half full. The obliviousness had melted, and mild annoyance remained.

“Oh, come on, dude,” Rahim said. “It's just banter.”


“Banter? What the f*ck is banter?” Bheru pushed his glass slightly forward, agitated. “Like, you guys have been… you've been on each other's asses since the rent thing. Do you people just thrive on tension? That feeling, like, when the air is tight and you wanna claw each other’s throats out?”


“Can we please not ta-” Abbot began.


Bheru swiftly cut him off. “No, Abbot, no. You both need to just… f*cking chill. It's constant. You both mutter something to each other or talk sh*t. It's getting boring. Just f*cking kiss already, jeez.”


“Oh, funny guy.” Abbot snarked.


“Just… f*ck.” Bheru sighed. “I’m j- I’m just sick of it. Really. Can we have a discussion, one f*cking discussion without you two trading insults?”


“Alright.” Rahim looked at Bheru for a moment and then back at the table. “Fine. Fine! Let’s have a normal discussion. So uh…”

Nothing for a few seconds. No thoughts. Bheru looked unimpressed from across the table as the two fumbled for a conversation starter. There was still tension, it hadn't quite faded, but Bheru’s presence seemed to burn away any current grievances and slow the mood.

“Uh… work?” Abbot began.


“Well, I can’t say much.” Rahim sighed. “Confidentiality… uh…”


“Privileged communication, right?” Bheru guessed.


“Yeah, yeah, sure.” Rahim snorted, quickly. “Uh… how about you, B? What have you been, uh, up to?”




“Yeah. What’ve you been doing at work? Any, uh… updates?”


“Well, I don’t know exactly what you mean, but, uh, yeah. Yeah. We recently had to update some UI stuff.” He took a sip from his glass. “There was a general interface bug that needed to be, er,  ironed out - functional issues. Someone messed with the coding and broke one of the main contact links, so we had to go through th-”


“Okay, sweet,” Rahim said, abruptly.




“All you need to do, is like, speak English.”


“Speak English? Speak English? Are you f*cking kidding me? Like, did you even do, like, 10th grade Computer Science, or- or did you jigg it to roll joints at Kamerios Square? This is simple sh*t. Like you'd know, f*cking... rubbing rocks together or whatever.”


“Hilarious,” Rahim grunted. "It's spiritual. You connect with the f*cking soul. It's still therapy."


“Sure," Bheru scoffed. "How about you, Abbot? What have you been up to? Make sure to dumb it down for Wittgenstein over here.”


“Wow, Bheru.” Abbot sighed. “Way to have a normal conversation.”


“Look - guys.” Rahim perked his head up. “Like, sorry. Sorry for putting you all in, like, a bad mood. Can we please chill? Please? I’m… I’m just glad we’re all here, okay? Can we have a nice night, a good time out? I wanna enjoy Friday before I… whatever. Before the hangover. Alright?”


“Look,” Abbot began. “I th-”

Ring ring. The sound of muffled jazz, the opening riff from Slippin’ & Slidin’ by Yusef Lateef, filtered through Abbot’s left jean pocket and sent conversation to a grinding halt. Abbot pulled it out, Duplex make, no case - one word appearing over a picture of a brightly lit Tokyo alley. The other two looked on, interrupted.

“Uh, sorry,” Abbot pardoned, reading the contact’s name. “It’s dad.”


“It’s fine,” Rahim murmured. “I get it. You, uh… you get to it.” Bheru nodded in agreement.

Abbot got up, walking to a more quiet end of the room, away from the crowded tables and chatty guests. Bheru and Rahim looked over at him walking away for a moment, before turning back to each other and attempting to jump start the conversation again. Meanwhile, Abbot tended to the call.

On the other side of the receiver was a dazed, confused voice. Elderly, slightly accented, strained. “He’s home,” he said.


“Huh?” Abbot perked up. “Dad?”


“What?” he responded. He sounded choked up, like his head was spinning and he couldn’t think. His words came out muddied, mumbled, on the verge of tears.


“Are… are you okay?”


“No. Yeah. Yeah, I’m fine. I…”


“W- who’s home?” Abbot meekly asked.

There was silence over the line for a few seconds. “... come to the carpet store.”

“What? Why? Is ever-”


“Take your time,” He laughed, weakly. "Take your time."


“Dad? ...Dad, hello?”


In return, silence. Dead air. And then, a repetitive, low beep. The caller has disconnected. Abbot slowly slid the phone back in his pocket before spinning around and heading to his seat.

Meanwhile, the band was back. All three of them seeming down, annoyed. “Uh, hey everyone,” the vocalist said. The crowd responded with clear enthusiasm, hollering and the occasionally shout of 'finally'.

“Uh… sorry to keep you waiting,” the vocalist continued. “Er, we had a little… a little disagreement. But it’s nothing.” The bassist half glared before switching his gaze back to his instrument. Abbot stopped paying attention at that point, returning to his seat - his two friends seemingly happier than when he’d left.

“Hey, man,” Bheru said. “They're finally back.”


"Huh?" Abbot asked.


"The, uh, the band," Bheru replied.


“Hey, you don’t look too good.” Rahim glanced over at Abbot, brow raised. He was right, Abbot didn’t look so good. Mouth slightly open, his brow furrowed. “Something up?” he asked.


“Yeah… dad called.” Abbot scratched at his head before sighing. “I need to go.”


“What?” Rahim straightened himself out, focused. “Why?”


“He sounded… f*ck. He was really just, uh…”




“Vague. Unspecific. He sounded choked up, and… I’m just confused. He doesn’t sound in trouble or anything but I need to chec-”


“No, no,” Bheru said. “It’s fine.” Rahim nodded.

The group exchanged goodbyes, Abbot giving his share of the tip before walking out of the bar, Rahim and Bheru staring and murmuring. As Abbot pushed open the door, the band began to play a new song. A cover, he thought. Not that Abbot could hear much of it, he was already a block away a minute into it.

The heat seemed to beat down through the clouds, the sky black and starless, illuminated by nearby buildings and the tips of skyscrapers across the Humboldt River. The occasional pedestrian or several walked by, the street filled with parked mid-range cars and more of the same driving up and down Roadbend. Abbot, UnderPass in one hand and phone in the other, hastened his walk towards the train station, panic beginning to settle in.
The Gloss'
Chapter 3: Princeton Offense

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 08:46 AM

This has been sitting on my phone for the last 2 and a half weeks. Bout time I got round to reading it!

From a technical aspect, its mostly solid. No real spelling errors, grammars mostly good; boy nitpicks I won't bother with.

It did feel different to much of what I read here. The narration voice much more casual, and coupling with the dialogue, I can believe we're seeing things through perhaps abbot's viewpoint.

The dialogue runs with a heavy style, I assume to show the characters' inebriation, and that's fine, but I did feel at times I was walking through treacle; the ums and errs did feel like they got in the way a little - but as said, they're there for a purpose. Maybe tone them down a tiny bit.

The onlyy real gripe I can say I have is that there's little other than setting the scene here. We're introduced to the characters, and there is a degree of character to them, but there's not a strong sense of that hand pulling us in - only really the question about his father. The conflict between the characters is minimal and drunk speak - perhaps that'd be expanded later. Obviously there's more to this, so get that up when it's ready and let's see where it goes!
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Posted 11 May 2017 - 10:59 AM Edited by slimeball supreme, 08 December 2017 - 10:41 AM.


Princeton Offense

Hey.. you done?

The phone glowed, white on green in the messaging app as Latrell stared at the text. It had been a sequel, a third message following ‘Yo’ and ‘Knot man’. No responses from either, leaving him in the dark. He muttered, placing his iFruit on the dashboard and staring out at the passing cars and passing headlights across from him.

He was seated in a van, Vapid Make. Speedo. Gray with a little dent on the metal behind the left door handle, the words ‘Beijing King - Eat-In & Take-Out’ printed on the right side in faded red text. The thing was parked near a diner a block or two away from a YouTool warehouse near Firefly Island Creek, sort of haphazardly on the curb of West 17th Street as late night busses and random cars paced along the nearby Casey Avenue.

“Back me up on this one, Trell.” A voice hollered from the back. In turn, Latrell was kicked out of his trance and turned around.

In the back of the van sat two men, guys suited up in nondescript clothing and shrouded in the darkness of the poorly lit vehicle. To the left, Xavier Mills. Had a sort of mischievous look, like he was always thinking, always planning. The rest of him told a different story, however. Dry hair that stood up, bags around the eyes, and haphazardly shaved facial hair gave him the impression of being disorganised, erratic. He was anything but.

"Huh?" Latrell yawned.


"Eh, you listening? We taking bets on the finals. Second game comin' up."




"No sh*t," DB replied. "X here having trouble thinkin’ clearly. Renegades is gettin' through, easy.”

On the other hand, DB, Delmar Belcourt, was younger and newer than the other two. Clean features, fierce eyes, nappy dreads, and a competitive mindset. He worked locks, cracked safes, broke chain link. So on.

“Sh*t, dog,” Trell cut in. “You finna make a grave mistake if you f*ckin’ with the Rens.”


“Exactly, Trell,” X said. “See, big R suck dick, at the end of the day.”


“Son, f*ck outta here. They got DeShawn, my mans.”


“That don't mean sh*t.” X straightened himself out and leaned back. “Venturas is pickin’ the Bandits. LSN, The Post, Eyefind Sports, all in favour. Thing is, they just got a better team all ‘round. For real, got niggas workin’ the lanes, got the best defence in the LOB, so on. I mean, it's a closed case.”


“How good is a good defence gonna do when you got the best player in Basketball running through? Ain't nothin’. Can't f*ck with DeShawn.”


“Bullsh*t. He ain't runnin’ the team,” Xavier remarked. “It's one guy.”


“Sure, one guy. Rens also got two of the best Point-slash-Shootin’ guards in the league, facts.”

“Delgado and Ingram?” Latrell queried.


“Deadass.” DB replied. “They versatile as f*ck, work the lanes, all of that. Next, you have the backbone - Center and Power Forward. Skimmer and Orlov. The royalty, son.”


“And? That all fine, but back in the BAB, we got Braxton, Cruz, Lamar. Sweet ass back line to compliment the two niggas in the front who bust sh*t.”


“F*ck that, man. C’mon, L, you gotta back me up.”

Trell thought for a moment and sighed. “Sorry, dude, ain't feelin’ it.”


“Ah, f*ck that,” DB replied. “When Knot come back, yo, he gonna get it.”


“Where the f*ck is he, anyway?” Xavier sniffed.


Latrell coughed, “I don't know, man. Might be takin’ a while at the storage locker, who knows.”


“He takin’ long enough, man. Time he's out, it gonna be 10 am and the opportunity gonna just vanish.”


“Speakin’ of,” DB began. “Can you go over the plan one more time? Gettin’ lost in this basketball sh*t. We got sh*t to do.”


“Yeah, yeah. One more time.” X smirked. “As always.”


“Man, f*ck you. I know the gist.”


“We all know the gist, b. Break the door, shoot on in, grab as much as possible.” X sighed. “What the f*ck is there to clarify?”

“I dunno. What we’re nabbin’, maybe?”


Come on.” X tutted, shaking his head. “Meds, electronics, guns, credit cards, f*cking shoes.”


“Anything with value, D,” Trell chimed in.


“Exactly. House is two stories, enough shrub to cover the windows, one nigga inside. Simple.”


“How you sure that there ain't a burglar alarm or some sh*t?” DB asked.


“Been scoutin’ the place for ages. Posted fliers, stayed across, whatever. Nigga don't got sh*t in there, no alarm, nothing. The delivery van’s gonna help us get past the gates, the sh*t K’s gettin’s gonna help us get in the house - it’s foolproof. You'd have to be retarded to f*ck this sh*t up, but then again…” His eyes darted to DB.

“f*ck you, X. Fine, I get it. Simple. Beachgate jakes gonna notice?”


“Doubt it. Pretend to knock n’ just go round back. Friend of a friend told me that if there's any cameras, they ain't pickin’ up the sound. You’d th-”

Suddenly, vibration. A buzzing noise, the phone on the dashboard making a quick ring and lighting up.

Hold up at gate. Security guard 730, prob won't last long. Drive into the yt parking lot so we can meet rq

As Latrell read over the text, he swore, muttered. “Rent-a-Cop holdin’ sh*t up.”

“He say that on the jack?” Xavier asked.


“Yeah,” Latrell replied, quickly. “That it, too.”


“F*ck!” DB said. “Now what?”


“We takin’ the car round into the YouTool parking lot. Meet him or some sh*t.”


“Man,” X muttered. “Told you motherf*ckers, shoulda come before closin’. If he f*ckin’ gets caught, I ain't know either of you. Swear.”

While Latrell began the process of starting up the car, he snuck a quick glance in the rear view mirror. Soft eyes, shaved head, goatee. You woulda thought he was just another guy, only coincidentally dressed up in purple. But underneath all that, under the striped polo shirt, the tattoos told a different story. He blinked, shaking his head - out of a trance, and twisted the key in the ignition, noting the little dog paw key chain dangling through a hole between his index finger and thumb.

The van itself didn’t handle very well, a brick with wheels. Floaty, hard steering and weighty handling that made hitting speeds above 40 a challenge. As he tugged out of the street, he took a moment to survey the area.

Barren. The first word that would've come to your mind would've been barren. Parking lots, gas stations, a scrap yard - this entire stretch was just a glorified truck stop, the dictionary definition of urban wasteland. The van, wheels rolling over aged asphalt, seemed to have a mind of it’s own as it chugged through the slog, right after left after right as Latrell gripped the wheel as tight as he could.

As the three drove up, Xavier looked towards DB and tried to tap him on the shoulder, missing the hit by a few inches, although he got his attention anyway. “How ‘bout that thing, eh?”


“Huh?” asked DB.


“Y’know. Birmingham.”


“Oh, man. Can we not talk about Carolina, please, dude?”


“Wait, you ain’t goin’ to Alabama?” X said. “Damn, mean Noodles talkin’ sh*t.”


“Oh, f*ck. How’d Noodles figure?”


“Everyone figured.” He half-smiled, eyes front, studying the road as Latrell searched the parking lot for a place to stop.

“Look, man,” Latrell said from the front. “Can y’all be easy? Big sh*t comin’ up, can’t let this sh*t f*ck it.”


“What sh*t?” Xavier asked.


“F*ck, pressin’ DB, that’s what. Y’all gonna argue all the way to the f*ckin’ spot.”


“Yeah, X,” DB added. “It’s private sh*t, man, let’s just… cut it.”


“We needa talk ‘bout this sh*t tho-”


“No.” DB said, matter of factly, trying to sound as authoritative as he could. “We don’t. Not now, not ever.”


“Ever? We finna organise, finna get sh*t straight. How we gon’ do that if we ain’t even know if you stayin’?”


“Holy sh*t, X.” Latrell was raising his voice now. “Shut the f*ck up, for real.”


“Since when was you the boss, L?”


“Since motherf*ckin’ right now, dog. Shut the f*ck up.”


“Oh, well excuse me, Mr. Palmer. Mister f*ckin’ bossman. I apologise for defaming a big shot nigga who runnin’ the whole gig, mast-”


“Please, man. We makin’ mooga, ain’t time to f*ck sh*t. Needa chill, be easy, calm the f*ck down.”


“When the f*ck we makin’ them notes, then? Takin’ long en-”

With that, the driver side door swung open, unexpected. Nobody heard the pounding footsteps or the clinking in the duffle bag wrapped over the man’s shoulder - the man now on the other side of the door.

Long faced, small nose, a grey LC Rampage hoodie, and a little pattern shaved into the left side of his head. Kavon Nelson, otherwise known as Knot. “Yo,” he began. “Move over, we gotta go.”

So, Latrell moved. Shuffled himself into the passenger seat and said; “What the f*ck happened to your bitch at the self storage spot? Runnin’ the reception.”


“Dog, she talk the guard outta goin’ further. She a life saver, swear.”


“Damn,” DB said from the back. “God bless.”


“Lucky I still got a favour, black. Otherwise, finna be held up by bars down on Precinct 60. Them boys, nah?”


“You got anymore favours to spare, bruva?” X said. "Thinkin' a' gettin' me some good, y'know. Celebration after this lil' lick R been throwin'."


“Nah, used up.” With that, Knot flashed a quick grin putting his hands up on the wheel. “We gotta jet, for real. Don’t want no BG cops gettin’ sus over the whole ‘delivery truck’ joint - and we ain't gon' be celebrating nothin' in a jail cell.”


“Son, I told you,” X said. “Sh*t foolproof.”


“Who the f*ck orders Chinese at 2 am?”

A quick pause followed before Xavier finally replied, smug, just before Knot started the engine.

“This nigga.”
The Gloss'
Chapter 4: Glare

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slimeball supreme
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Posted 18 May 2017 - 10:10 AM Edited by Mr. Fartenhate, 25 June 2017 - 08:35 AM.



It was 2 AM.

Streetlights and the occasional car illuminated the dark thoroughfare as Abbot hastened his pace, boots pounding the pavement, eyes darting, jumping from building to building. Beat down signs and newly painted apartment blocks, old sedans with rusty paint and graffitied walls.

14th Avenue, District Park. The heat pelted against the skin, if Abbot’s rolled up sleeves were any indication as he sprinted down the street. All Abbot could think, as he ran past the religious goods store on Old New Bunnik Road, or the kosher place on 38th Street, was the regret.

The train ran about 50 minutes, got delayed at the stop on Settler Hill after some guy puked on the train platform. No big deal, he would've usually thought. It's Friday night, same old. Some dumb schmuck overdid it at the bar, accidents happen.


This was sort of a different situation. Time seemed to be ticking slower, every second, every millisecond counting as Abbot’s mind flashed between all random scenarios and horrible situations he could be walking into a while from now. What he could've missed. According to Duplex Maps, he could've reached his father’s carpet store in around 23 or 25 minutes if he drove. Should he have taken a cab? It would've been surge pricing on Zurst right now, a taxi might've been cheap if he just called them. Apparently, it was the same with taking a bike or something. He would've had to rent a LomBike, sure, but he still would've gotten there within 40 minutes at best. That would've been something, better than this.

But no, he continued to think, racing down the street as the familiar blue sign above his father’s store got closer and closer. He had to take the f*cking train.

Speaking of, the store. Cute little place, cooped up between a synagogue and some unlabelled café, aged walls and chipping paint on the window frames. Right on top, the aforementioned blue sign, ‘Cohen Family Carpets’ written above in white Cooper Black. The establishment, of which felt like it was miles away only minutes ago, was right up close now, Abbot himself only 20 feet away and getting closer and closer, Hinterlands pounding, eyes darting, mind racing as his feet did the same.

And there he was. It probably only took around 6, 7 minutes to get to the store after he got out of the train. But to Abbot, the time had been on fast forward, every single jiffy seemed like an opportunity he missed. But here he was, he thought, staring down the sign like it was staring back at him.

Was there anything out of the usual, anything that could've caught your eye, made you think ‘my father is now dead’? No. Nothing of the sort, just cars lined up and down the street, just empty road and dark windows - the only light apart from the lamps and apartment windows being a dim yellow spark radiating from the inside of the store. His father’s car, a black Pinnacle with a little air freshener dangling from the mirror, was untouched, no broken windows or dents from bats. At least it wasn't a car thief.

Abbot looked in, surveyed, studying the interior, the shabby carpets lined up on the walls and piled up on the floors. The dried, off-white wall paint. The little chip in the wall near the rear exit. But, shadows among the store’s light, two talking heads moving around the back room. The possibilities, while they still seemed to be ever present, ever dangerous, only seemed to shrink as he came closer and closer to the light.

Thus, he pushed through the unlocked door, half crouching as he came nearer and nearer to the back room door, trying as hard as he could not to make a sound. In lieu of a knife, he pulled out an aged pen he had stuffed into his back pocket as a sort of makeshift weapon, something to thrust into the neck if the other guy was a crook. He winced at the thought. Was he gonna be on the news?

He didn’t wanna be on the news.

And so, back to the wall, eyes on the door, he waited for noise. For any indication, anything that he hoped, nay, prayed would show this was all for nothing. He heard chatter, sure, but what was the intent? Was this some loan shark, some weird gun-to-head talk? He'd watched gangster movies before, he’d lived through 2008, and even though he couldn't make anything out; his mind was going a million miles a second.

All these thoughts, all those questions, culminated in one action. Hunched over, ready to pounce, he gripped the door and pushed it open.

But, no. There was no thief, no mobster, no crook. No guy with a gun or some weird cartoon character in a mask holding a money sack. His father, grinning, almost shocked in his joy, was in no danger. But what stood in front of him was worse than that.

There was a guy. Tall, gaunt looking, shaved head and more recently shaved beard. He seemed almost relaxed, calm. Unbranded work boots, grey cargos, white shirt, and a beat up green-and-yellow Mambas cap.

“Abbot?” He said. “Hey, man!”

His father, the same tired, frail man with the beige sweater and patchy beard, he looked towards the two with warmth, with a smiling, surprised happiness that radiated the room, a feeling that hurt. Achban was back. His brother was back.

Abbot couldn’t help but glare.


“What took you so long?”

He continued to glare as he drove, knuckles white on the steering wheel as the car lurched through familiar neighborhoods, old apartments passing by and blurring together as Abbot focused on the thick black line in front of him. The car, a rental. Little yellow Escalera sticker slapped onto the dashboard and a couple scattered bits of paperwork in random spots, mostly the backseat. Abbot looked at his phone in the cup holder, the one currently telling him to ‘turn left on Dartford Neck Rd.’, and then at the figure to his side.

The man, Achban, who seemed more and more foreign every time he caught a glance, was more than happy to kick back in shotgun and admire the scenery, the townhouses and little corner stores. To him, he was home, chewing the scenery and admiring his old stomping grounds. His mind going back to the little things, the newsstand on Goatherd where he used to work part-time as a clerk, the basketball courts at Sunrise where he'd meet with his friends, so on. If his brother knew what he was thinking, he would've puked.

“Huh?” Abbot asked.

“You took, like, an hour to get to the store. What happened?”

“Train ran slow. What can I say?”

“Yeah… y- you’re right.” Achban scratched his neck, sighed, and turned his attention toward Abbot. “Look, I don't want to get off on the wrong foot.”

“Wrong foot?”

“Yeah. Like, dad’s happy. Dad’s very happy. But… you don't seem to be. Is something wrong, dude?”

“I don't know, Achban.” Abbot’s grip only tightened. “I don't know.”

“C’mon, dude. You do.” He smirked. “Is it… is it a relationship thing? A work problem? I mean, I don't mean any offence, but, like, when I'm down it's usually beca-”

“Don't talk to me like that,” Abbot said.

“Like how?” Achban’s smirk faltered. “Dude, we can always talk. Always come to each other, right? That's what family is. I mean, you're my brother, man.”

“Are you?”

Red light, couple of cars in front. Traffic crossing, Abbot noted.

“What's that supposed to mean?”

“What's what? Like, what the f*ck do you think, Achban? What the f*ck is this?”

“I- I don't know, man. I missed you guys! I missed you, I missed dad.”

“No you f*cking didn't. If you missed us, you would've called. Would've Gryped, would've emailed, would've… I don’t know.”

“I was busy, man.”

“Busy? For a couple f*cking years, for this huge period, you were just constantly, endlessly busy?”

“Look, man, I get you're bitter, and you have every ri-”

And that’s when the nuke dropped inside Abbot’s head, the thin ropes snapped, patience wore thin, so on.

“Then why the f*ck didn't you come to the synagogue?” Abbot spat. “When mom died, when the stroke happened? Where the f*ck were you? When dad and I were both low on cash, when I had to pay a share of his f*cking rent so he didn’t get kicked onto the goddamn street, where were you? If you missed us - if you really were f*cking sorry, wouldn’t you have said something?! Wouldn’t you have done something? Helped us?

“I- I know, dude. I know. I just didn’t want you to get mad.”

“Mad? Mad?!” Abbot seethed. “Too f*cking late. I’m mad. You usually get pretty f*cking mad when some dumb f*ck decides to come back home after 3 or 4 or however many years of f*cking around in Florida, in some sh*thole in Vice City, and just… nothing! Saying, telling us, telling me, nothing. And here he f*cking is! Sitting there, and staring, and… it’s like I don’t even f*cking know you!”

“I know, I know, I know! I’m…” Achban sobbed, his voice light. “I’m sorry. I know I haven’t been here for you guys and… f*ck. I know.”

“Oh, man,” Abbot spat, brows angled, eyes focused on the road. “You don’t know. You don’t know anything.”
"I'm trying to! I'm trying to get it," Achban was pleading.
"Oh f*ck off. F*ck off. You should have tried. Don't you f*cking get it?" Abbot was red in the face, eyes watery, on the verge of explosion. "Time is up. Game over. No more chances. You had however many f*cking years worth and you wasted it, threw it away. It's over. I'm driving you to the f*cking spot, and then it's ov-"

“I’m begging you, dude. I am. I really am. I just… I don’t want it to be like this.”

“You should’ve thought.”

“Dude, dude - please. Please! I know I should’ve thought, I know. This all looks… it looks bad. It is bad! But I just want us to be friends, you know? To be good with each other. I missed that and I miss it now. I missed dad, I missed BK… I missed everything. I want to help now, help dad, help pay fees, do whatever. And I’m sorry I haven’t, and I’m sorry I haven’t been here, and you don’t know how sh*t I feel right now. I… we need to-”

“We’re here,” Abbot grunted, cutting him off, like he wasn't even here before. Like he wasn't shouting a minute or so ago.

“What? We’re here?”

“We’re at the spot.”

Achban looked outside the window. He was right. The car was parked, right where Achban wanted; a little apartment building on Pathway Court in Goatherd, nice little brick facades and a pink potted plant next to the stoop, alongside one or two 5 gallon water bottles perched on a little brick wall. Homely.

With that, Achban sighed again, looking back at Abbot and trying as hard as he could to pull off a ‘please don’t hate me’ look. Whatever that is. “I think I need to explain things. Everything.”

“Sure,” Abbot replied, monotone.

“It’s Saturday, right? Look, how about we meet somewhere tomorrow, around 3 or something. Or Sunday! Sunday. A coffee shop or something.”


“Uh… are there any Bean Machine’s around or-”

“No,” Abbot said. “Like… I’m pretty sure there’s, like, an Uzbeki place or something on Firefly Avenue.”

“Oh. Really?”

“Yeah. On the maps app or whatever. Probably cheap.”

“Oh, is that the Claypan?”

“Uh…” Quick glance, right name. “Yeah.”

“I know the place,” Achban replied. Abbot mulled over this for a moment, but left it. He didn't want this to go much longer. “Look, are we going to be okay?” Achban continued.

“How am I getting home? I obviously can’t take the car, Achban.”

“Uh…” In turn, Achban, surprised, pondered for a few seconds before reaching into his pockets and pulling out a little brown wallet, from that a couple $10 notes. “Here, I guess. I’m sorry.”

Abbot stared for a little while. “Nice,” he replied.

“Look, I’d drive you but-”

“No.” Abbot stopped him, yet again. “It's fine, Achban.”

“Look, you can text or whatever when you're ready to go."

“You still have my number?” Abbot asked.

“Oh sh*t, right,” Achban said, almost surprised. Suddenly, another reach into the wallet. This time, the fingers pulled out another note; not a bill, but a little piece of paper torn out of a book, his digits scrawled on the blank side in blue pen. The other side was a torn out page from a newspaper, the words making no sense without context.

“Wow, Achban.” Abbot continued to stare, stare at the paper, stare at Achban, just stare. Things seemed to be colliding into themselves, the world spinning, everything happening at once. He felt funny. “You continue to amaze me.”

“What can I say?” Achban joked, half heartedly. “I’m a classy guy. I’ll call you, okay?”

“Yeah, Achban, okay.” Abbot sighed, “I’ll see you.”

The door opened and shut, the two leaving on their respective sides. Achban, a couple feet away, waved and smiled, sort of closed lip, and an unsure glance as he walked away. Abbot just kept glaring as his brother walked into his place... 'his' place.


The Gloss'
Chapter 5: Matryoshka

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slimeball supreme
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Posted 25 June 2017 - 08:34 AM Edited by slimeball supreme, 20 July 2017 - 09:43 AM.




“How many more days you think we gonna be here?” Xavier asked, arms crossed, eyes focused on DB’s twitching hands and strained expression. “Because I don’t know if Mister Whoever gon’ be okay with us picking the lock tomorrow.”
The three stood by a back door late at night, or early in the morning depending on how you view it. No cameras, no car in the driveway, nothing. Just the sound of the ocean and the smell of dry, chopped grass. Beachgate was house after house, narrow buildings and long streets crowded with nice cars. Gated community nonsense. You’d think this was more of a Connecticut blue blood thing, right? Apparently not. Anyway, the trio huddled around the door, backpacks slung over their shoulders, garbage bags and winter gloves in hand, bandanas over the face, waiting for the lock to click.

“Can you f*cking shut up?” DB replied, eyes narrowed, speaking cautiously. “You’re messin’ up my rhythm here.”

“Rhythm?” Latrell asked.

“Yeah, dude. Rhythm. Clocking one of these things…” He breathed hard, wiped his brow. “...is like playing a song. Everything has to be in the right place at exactly the right time, b. Otherwise, the sound be f*cked. Or, uh, you bend the rod. No homo.”

“C’mon, son,” X said, eyes rolled. “Simple lick, don’t OD it. Crack the lock, get the sh*t, leave. We lucky the nigga at the gate likes green or we’d be filin’ reservations. Sh*t, we lucky Knot didn't get his ass got at the storage locker.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Latrell muttered. “How many times you gonna say that?”
“How many times we gon’ be lucky?” He shook his head. “Yo, D.”
“Move for a minute.”
And so he did, pulled a slightly beat up lockpick out of the door lock and moved to the right, probably annoyed. Xavier of course did what any sane man would do: rear his shoulder, brace himself, and sprint for the door.
It broke.
“What the f*ck?” DB exclaimed.
“Keep your f*cking voice down,” Xavier replied, dusting himself off. “Ain’t matter. He ain’t home, not like breaking the door down leaves finger prints or some sh*t.”
“Coulda scared the neighbors.”

“Oh, because they heard it. For sure.”

“Whatever, man. We in,” Latrell said. “Go time.”
“You heard zambarau,” X affirmed. “Move it, motherf*ckers.”
And so they did. The three, slightly shook up, walked over the now splintered and flat door lying on the home’s laundry room floor, turned on the light, and moved into the property, an aging place, flaky paint and old plaster. There were lines around parts of the walls written in black marker, buckets of paint and newspapers lining the tile. Repairs.
To the north was a door, and considering that the room didn’t seem to be a hiding place for blood diamonds or heroin, the crew moved through into a little hallway, of which stretched outwards towards the front door and the staircase to the second floor.
“You know the drill, right?” X asked.
“Yeah,” Latrell replied. DB upstairs, you take right rooms, I take left.”

What a f*cking plan. Xavier quickly explained the idea shortly after they got past security, sounded as improvised as it was. Nonetheless, for Beachgate, a house like this was pretty quaint. No garage, only two stories, so on. It was a simple enough spot, which probably factored into picking it anyway. Nonetheless, Latrell hesitated while the other two made their way to their respective cordoned parts of the house before he scurried over to the west.
The first door opened a kitchen, gleaming clean floor tiles and monochromatic table tops. Metallic fridges, spice racks, big cupboards. Would be a shame to mess a place like this up, but he did so anyway, throwing open the closet drawer, where the silverware was kept, and started flinging forks and spoons out to check for hidden goods, before moving onto the next. The process stayed like this until he came across his first find.
Near the fridge, to the left of the room, near a small window, a row of cupboards were nestled into a little corner for food preparation, cutting stuff, that sort of thing. Naturally, after hitting the first few, he swung down to his last target, the one on the far right, the one with a little vase on top.
Inside: meds. Deludamol, Zombix, Alad-in, Fentanyl, Ritalin, Mollis, Adderall, Oxycodone. Reds, whites, blues, so on. Enough painkillers to knock out an elephant. Latrell swore, wiped his eyes, and threw them into the bag. Apart from the downers, the uppers and so on, there wasn’t really anything of interest in the kitchen. So, he moved onto the adjacent room to his right.
The living room, much like the rest of the house, had a sort of weird, wood paneled mystique to it. Apart from a relatively modern kitchen, the rest of the abode felt antiquated. Dated, almost, strange wallpapers and old technology. It felt like he’d stepped through a wormhole, back when TV still had antennae and sofas were still plaid. It made Latrell feel uneasy, the contrast between the two rooms.
To boot, there was nothing interesting here either. Not in the stand, under the pillows or furniture, not on the little shelf next to the hallway door. Things were cheap and would go for cheap at the fence. He moved on.
The final room, at least to his understanding, was the study. More wood but newer stuff, a tablet that was placed carefully on a desk, charging, and a recent looking PC. Otherwise, the study was still disorganized: loose paperwork strewn on what felt like every flat surface, the paper bin that had been re-purposed as a waste bucket, and a flag, red white and blue, crumpled into the corner. Russian or Dutch or something. It seemed like the mood in this room was one of frustration, stress.
It wasn't Latrell’s business.
After throwing the tablet into the garbage bag, and scanning the drawers (where he just found more paperwork), he went for the filing cabinet in one of the room’s corners, a green-grey box that clashed with the room’s colors. Without any thought, he threw open the second compartment, labelled in Cyrillic, and looked inside.
When you go to a presumably rich person’s house, you expect to find something out of order. Always. People with money have something to hide, whether that's a stash of whiskey in the garage or a dildo under kitchen sink. What Latrell didn’t expect to come upon, especially after finding a pill stash, was a loaded gun, a plastic bag filled with bundles of cash, some bullets, and a note.
The gun: a Noch 23, 40 caliber, clean, serial numbers filed off. Usually, a piece like this would net you around $600 at least, more depending on whose car trunk it was or which dumpster you were told to find it under. This wasn’t a middle of the road gun: it was reliable, sharp.
Along with the money, too much considering Latrell couldn't even count it, was a note. Mostly in Cyrillic, again, but with three numbers on the back.

13C, 42AC, 29C. Something was very, very off.
As he examined the gun, looked at the rest of the empty drawer, he thought this over for a minute. The guy who owned the place was out at five in the morning. The was a bag of cash along with a gun in the filing cabinet. A bunch of drugs in the kitchen. A note with numbers on it. They’d stepped into something, Latrell thought, they’d stepped into something big and th-

“Trell, yo! Come up!” Xavier shouted from upstairs.
Looking back at the cabinet, he stuffed the sh*t into the garbage bag and moved through the room’s eastern door, which led to the staircase.
Matching the rest of the seaside manor, the bedroom was old, wood paneled, timid. Muted colors, browns and greys. Contrasting with this: said furniture was overturned, clothes were strewn across the room, bed sheets and rugs discarded on the floor. Alongside the wreckage were the others, Xavier trying to push the bed on it’s side from underneath while you could hear unzipping in the closet. DB’s bag.

“What the f*ck we walked into?” Latrell said, ironically as he walked into the room, agitated. “And what the f*ck you doin’?”

“Son, you wanna find gold or not? Nothin’ downstairs, so I went up.”

“Bro,” Latrell replied. “I found gold. We need to get going.”

Xavier sighed, pulling himself from under the bed. “F*ck you talking about?”

“Found a stash. Cash, gun, note. Russian sh*t. Meds.”

“So?” X quizzed back. “People hide sh*t all the time, ‘specially these rich dudes.”

“What the note say?” DB queried, poking his head out of the closet. “Hand it over.”

“What?” Latrell shook his head. “Y’all mu-”

“We ain’t leavin’ ‘till we crack the safe,” X barked. “Now give him the note.”

“Who put you in charge?”

“L, please,” DB began. “Just h-”

“Fine! Fine, fine.” Latrell stepped forward, handing the note to DB, sighing. “I’m just saying.”

Latrell diverted his attention moved for the closet, leaned against the wall and watched DB study the note. The closet itself was strangely spacious, a different coat of paint on the back wall indicating that it had been expanded, pushed out for more room. Everything in this house seemed to be pushed out, expanded, renovated with varying degrees of quality. And inside, presumably behind now moved boxes, was a little safe. Probably not enough room for much, but it was there nonetheless. Suddenly, DB beamed.

“This a lock combo, dumbass.” He pointed to the numbers on the back. “How the f*ck didn’t you think of that?”

“I dunno,” Latrell muttered. “Wasn’t really thinking about that. Just…”

“What he find?” Xavier asked.

“Combination. Letters and numbers, sh*t stands for something,” DB grinned back. And so, he crouched down, put the code in (13 clockwise, 42 anti-clockwise, so on), and pulled it open.
They’d hit the mother lode.
The vault contained a bunch of things, all of them expensive. More cash, around nine or ten identical bags filled with a couple bundles, six plastic baggies filled with ecstasy (four pill bags, two powdered), more bullets, and a little duck. Porcelain or something.

Everyone just beamed, grinning and staring as the goods stared back. Almost everyone. Latrell stood a little ways away, more worried than in awe.
“Dude…” DB almost laughed. “We hit it.”
“You regrettin’ wantin’ to leave now, L?” Xavier turned his head. “Guess we learnt.”

“Sure, X.”
“... Man.” DB grabbed for the garbage bag and started stuffing the baggies inside, “We need to pack this sh*t, fast,” he said.
“Aight. Latrell, just… keep watch.”

“How the f*ck am I supposed to do that?

“Keep out the window,” Xavier continued. “Watch for a car. We finna check out the rest of the house, man, this can’t be it.”

“Yes it can,” Latrell admonished. “No f*cking sh*t it can. Big dude keeps a stash in the study and an extra one, if cops or some sh*t come knockin’. Ain’t rocket science, nigga, this guy has to be packin’.”

Xavier mulled over this for a little. “Maybe,” he said. “But like they gon’ figure out it was us.”


“What if they do?”
“Then they go through the rest of the dogs. Ain’t nothin’, guy probably has some more sh*t stashed.” Xavier looked like his mind was racing. “Yo, how much ‘scrips you found?”
“F*ck ton,” Latrell replied. “Downers, uppers, an-”
“Then what’s stopping this motherf*cker from hiding some sh*t in a pillow or something?”

“Ain’t you checked the pillows?”
“It’s an example. Point being, nigga could stuff sh*t anywhere. What’s stoppin’ him?”
“I mean…”
There was a noise. Everyone sort of jumped, X ducked down and DB went for the window. As it turned out, judging by the headlights appearing from down the street, there was a car coming. The owner’s car, this slick looking Benefactor, rolled down the street but slightly slowed down as he approached the house. That’s when it hit DB.
The lights were still on.
“Times up, niggas, it’s time to roll!” He shouted.
“What, he’s here?” Latrell said, confused.
“He’s f*cking here! Get the sh*t, we need to leave, now.”
“What?” X asked.
“The owner, he's home, he's home!”
With that, X made a mad dash for the safe, started stuffing stuff into the bag as the other two prepped, ready to burst out the door as soon as X said he was ready. Latrell stood by the door, while DB looked out the window. They waited.
The car got closer.
“Sh*t’s in! Let’s go, c’mon!”
The stuff was in, so they ran out. Xavier threw the sports bag over his shoulder, holding the trash bag in his hand like the others.  Through the upstairs hall, past doors. Meanwhile, the downstairs door creaked open, a man with blue-ish tattoos on the hands and partially visible chest, a man with rugged features and nice clothes. He stood in the doorway, examined the hallway, and stopped. His shadow, burly, menacing, blocked the porch light, a barricade to the outside world.
There was a pause. The men upstairs stopped at the stairway, hiding behind a nearby wall. The man downstairs got expressively more worried as time ticked on, as he pondered.
“Дерьмо́…” he murmured. His eyes widened. “Дерьмо́! Блядь!” He ran into the study.
“F*ck,” Latrell whispered. They waited for a moment before moving on, slowing their pace as to not alert the man in the other room, who was shouting and raving, audibly mad as his voice moved into the next room.
Creak, creak. It felt like every footstep was a brick being dropped on the floor, pinching and pulling. Their fears, their worries, they were less sound when he hit the kitchen.
“Мои гребаные таблетки!”
As soon as he said this, they knew it was time. The tippy-toeing, their creeping through the hall turned into a sprint, running down to the backdoor as the Russian burst out of the kitchen behind them. He screamed, pulled a revolver out of his jean pocket and pulled the trigger.
Bang. The bullet seared, missed the trio and hit the wall, drilling a hole into the plaster. He fired another, missed again, hit the wall. He roared, racing out of the hallway as the three hit the backyard. The wind hit the face hard as they rounded the house, hedge to the left and wall to the right. The van was at the other side of the road, Knot had it idling as he waited for the trio to come by. While none of them thought about it at the time, of course he would, he’d heard gunshots.
The Russian, who’d only gotten redder, followed suit, but seemed to have difficulty navigating the narrow path to the side of the house. They’d cleared about 20 feet, since the guy had slowed down to fire shots in the house and was now slowing down as not to trip on anything. By the time he’d gotten through, the three had already jumped into the van, slammed the door, and were in the process of speeding off. Tires skirted and left marks, edging by. In that split second, he contemplating shooting again. Trying to hit the window or a tire.
He opted to swear instead.
Concurrently, and as predicted, Knot wasn’t impressed. Nobody was impressed, really, but Knot especially so.
“What the f*ck were you doing?!”
DB sighed. “Finishing up, turns out…”
“Turns out X is a f*ckin’ dumbass,” Latrell sighed.
“Hey, hey! We got the sh*t. Mission passed, son.”
“Well?” Knot asked, cooling off. We’ll check the candy when we drop off the van. Pick it up if and when this sh*t cools down, but you niggas f*cked up.”
Xavier f*cked up.”
In return, X glared, dipped his hand in the bag, and pulled out the porcelain duck.
“You call this sh*t a f*ck up?”


The Gloss'

Chapter 6: Tocsin

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slimeball supreme
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Posted 20 July 2017 - 09:42 AM Edited by slimeball supreme, 04 September 2017 - 07:04 AM.




Latrell was tired. He’d had patchy sleep, woke up a couple times, didn’t know why. Right now - he was running on half a gallon, getting himself up with a can of eCola, currently on it’s side on the table, and a cigarette, positioned in between his fingers as he stared out the window.

They’d passed the van off to Ramon. He’d fixed up the thing in return for a cut of ‘whatever you get’ and ‘a little help now and then’, which meant whatever. Who cares. Their plan needed that little adjustment, he had a couple garages where people could get fixed up, and in return he’d take anything the set didn’t want.


Slip was less than pleased about the gunshots, but whatever he thinking changed when he caught a glance at the merchandise. Knot had counted the bills in the car and had given Ramon’s boys a relatively small cut, around a bag of the dough and some of the pills, while the four of them left their meetup with around eleven or twelve grand. When he got home, little bag in hand, his mom wasn’t awake to see, and wasn’t there when he woke up. Typical.

He was gonna reach for another smoke, right from the shiny pack laying face down on the table, when he heard a knock on the door. It was Knot.

“Ay!” He shouted, voice muffled. Latrell sighed, straightened his shirt, and put down his cigarette.

“‘Sup, homie?” Latrell greeted, opening the door and putting on a smile. Right now, Knot was in this plaid blue shirt, tan shorts and kinda aged Hancocks, standing a little ways away from the door, visibly annoyed.

“Hey…” he said.

“Somethin’ wrong, bro?”

“We gotta go to the library.”

There was a beat. “Sh*t… already?”

“Yup,” Knot sighed. “Wants to 212. ‘Go in depth’. Whatever.”

“Well, gimme a second, son, lemme just-”
“Yeah. I’ll wait.”

The hallway itself, and by extension the complex, didn’t change and probably never would. Greys, concrete, barred, small windows where you could only faintly see the outside. Not that there was much to look at, in here or out there. Broker sprawled, miles and miles of housing and roads. The projects sprawled, miles and miles of disrepair and the sweet smell of urine.

Welcome to the Milden Houses. LCHA. To say that hustlers lined the halls would be a lie, because these weren’t hustlers. They were professionals, men with an ideology, a mindset. Brothers allied, loving life and spirituality.

Ballas. The BOB, Bobby P, they owned Milden, or specifically Trell’s home crew did, the A Nines. They had a patchwork presence in the borough, a few guys in South Slopes, a bunch in Schottler, a few in Fort Benedict, all over Liberty. But it wasn’t about turf, hadn’t been for a long time and wouldn’t ever again. It was about money.

 “So… why we goin’? Latrell asked.

“Don’t ask me.”

“Because, you know, thought we ironed out this sh*t back-”

“I know. I ain’t the best person to ask here, b,” Knot sighed. “We gonna be… f*ck, and X ‘n D can’t come either.”

“Why not?”

“Same old. DB got sh*t from his gramma, ‘n Xav’s gotta look after Reggie. Runnin’ his shift I guess.”

“They runnin’ shifts, now?”

“Might as well be, son.” He looked to the right a bit, lost his concentration, and then looked straight ahead. “Just ain’t sure what to say.”

“I dunno, man, why you askin’ me?”

“Who I got to ask?”

“Nobody, man… look.” Latrell sighed. “I ain’t sure why we even goin’. Thought we ironed sh*t out wit’ Slip. I mean, I just ain’t-... you gotta put on a face. Don’t disrespect, don’t talk back, whatever. Respect the generals, nah?”

Knot paused for a moment, processed the information. “Yeah,” he nodded. “Yeah. Respect the generals.”

“You got it.”

They walked for a little bit more, passed a couple other guys, said a few things, so on. This floor, and a few others like it, were locked down like a fortress. Guys propped up on the stairs and in the hallways, lookouts, you name it. People didn’t come in or out without somebody knowing about it, and right on this floor was where things came together.

“Ey, yo!”

“‘Sup, Sean?”

The library always had a guy out front, no matter what time, except when the LCPD vertical patrol started rolling through. Made sure nobody came in with any bugs. Today, the guy outside was Sean, this big dude with kinda beady eyes, always wore a beanie. “You here for the little throw down?”

Knot sighed. “Yeah.”

“Aight, aight… and where’s-”

“We’ll explain when we’re in, okay?”

Sean eyed him up for a moment. “Sure,” he said. “Head on in.”

The library was an apartment, this cramped little thing on the 14th floor, nothing out of the ordinary. Standard couches, a little TV, samey kitchen, maybe a prayer mat in the bedroom and a crib for the kid. But one thing that did stand out in the library was the curator.

Teflon was this mangy looking guy, beard, bald. Kinda chubby, but built, ‘I can break your legs’ kind. He stuck to tank tops mostly, today it was this stripy blue Fruntalot sleeveless he got cheap up in the city. Most of all, he was charismatic, even if he stayed imposing. The 2 Star General, or any general for that matter, had to be. “As-salaam-alaikum,” he greeted.

“Yeah, er-”

“Wa ‘alaykum al-salaam,” Knot said, quickly, cutting Latrell off.

“Yeah,” Latrell mumbled back. “Wa ‘alaykum al-salaam.”

Teflon stared at Latrell for a moment. “Where’s the other two?”

“Uh… well, X is-”

“They can’t come,” Latrell said.


“I was just saying,” Knot said. “It’s familial sh*t, son, X’s got-”

“A’ight, sure,” Teflon said. “Whatever...” Teflon motioned them over. “Sit.”

When they were seated, Latrell taking one to Teflon’s side and Knot taking one facing him, he began: “So… y’all wanna borrow a book?”

“Uh,” Latrell began. “Are you sure we sh-”

“Nah, nah. I insist, son. Gotta thank you for gettin’ that Noch, you know, another for the shelves.” He laughed. “Uh… got these sick Caldwells from up in Cottonmouth. Wait, hold on…”

He reached over and searched under his chair for a moment, pulling out a brown shoebox. Inside, opening it, he revealed a pristine looking .45, little decal on the grip. Untouched. “Got a few more from the homies down south, man. Couple H ‘n L’s, some Deadeyes, sh*t, we even gettin’ s-”

Knot stopped him. “Look, don't mean to interrupt you or nothin’, but… why we here?”

“Right, right,” Teflon replied. “Well, okay, uh… well we been lookin’ for fences. Offloading the goods you dogs got last night.”

“Who you givin’ it to?” Knot asked.

“All over, you know? Bone’s, Ricky’s, you know. Ain’t a lot to give apart from the fruitPad and the duck.” He stopped, smirked. “The duck.”

“I mean, it was in a safe, Tef, we thought it was worth somethin’.”

“Why? I mean, it’s a f*ckin’ duck, b. I ain’t mad or nothin’, but-”

Latrell feigned a smile. “Something to make up for next time, right?”

“Right… how much you give to the E’s during the trade off?”

“I thou-”

“A bag of the cash, two of the X,” Knot piped.

“Powder and pills, right?”

“Yeah, Tef.”

“I thought we spoke up to Slip?” Latrell asked. “Ain't he know, ain't he told you?”

“Nah. You know, NDA. Gotta get it from you boys, yeah?”

“A’ight…” Knot murmured.

“Speakin’ of… the NDA. Y’all know it, right?”

“Yeah. We know,” Latrell said. “Why? Only been about a day, and we always k-”

“Look out the window.”


“Check it. Get up, dog, f*ckin’ look out.”


“You heard him,” Knot said. Latrell shot a glare back.

On the sofa, Knot stared, uneasy. On the other side of the room, Teflon stared back, expecting, eye cocked. As the two looked on, Latrell braced, got up, and pulled open the curtain.

And right outside, on Van Benthen Avenue, right near the bustop on the intersection, was a car. An Oracle to be exact, black, tinted windows, sketchy as f*ck.

“You mean-”

“The Uber, yeah,” Tef said. “You seen it?”

“...Yeah, Tef,” Latrell said. “I seen it.”

“Been out there for a few days. Skulkin’. I ain't askin you to approach it or nothin', but if it's Feds or what - then somebody ain't keepin' they mouths shut.”

“I mean, how that matter to us?”

“The thing in Beachgate? Too loud. We gotta keep our noses clean down there, son, end of. Let Ramon’s boys or the niggas in Goatherd take care of sh*t there. Not us.”

“Why not?”

“If he’s Russian, the guy you robbed… if he’s connected? Then we’re done. That’s it. You don't f*ck with the f*cking Russians. They've already got boys in Salmond City, we don't need any more of them here. And if that's their car in the street, that sh*t goes right back to you.”

“Ain’t it already been out there?”

“What if they seen you with Ramon? What if they put two and two together, scouted his auto place? What if they tracked your f*cking whip? Push comes to shove, don’t matter who done it. If that’s the case, if that’s a Russian car? Or worse, a f*cking cop car? Then we’re f*cked, L.”

Nobody said anything for a little while. Knot sat back, Latrell stood at the window: both concerned. Teflon sighed, “Look, it’s fine, y’all did good,” he said. “But seriously. If this is your mistake, you know I can’t let that sh*t fly, a’ight?”

Latrell nodded. “A’ight.”


The Gloss'

Chapter 7: The Brothers Cohen

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slimeball supreme
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Posted 11 August 2017 - 09:20 AM Edited by slimeball supreme, 08 December 2017 - 12:17 PM.


The Brothers Cohen


2:15 PM. June 7th. Sunday. 2015.

Abbot kept looking at the display and up at the building in front of him. Back, front, back, front. Anxious.

Cars passed up the avenue. Occasionally people walked by, maybe a car went into the repair shop to the right or the bicycle place to the left. Still, nobody paid attention. It felt weird. It felt like people were ignoring something important, like they were in the middle of something big and were avoiding it. At least that’s how it felt to Abbot.

He’d talked with Rahim yesterday, about it all. About Achban, about his father, about the time and the place. He seemed almost concerned, which was out of the ordinary. When he said 'go', Abbot went, and now he was here: about a 50 minute train ride out from his apartment in Rotterdam Hill, right outside some tacky looking Uzbeki joint. The Claypan.

Time to face the music, Abbot thought.

Inside, the place was more rustic. A lot of wood, surprisingly, flags and pictures here and there, wreaths hung on the walls, light leaking through antique looking curtains, so on. At the front: an aged looking woman, distracted by something out of vision, lines on the face and tired eyes. When she saw him, standing by the doorway like a moron, she beckoned him over.


“How can help?” the woman asked, straightening herself out. Her name was Guldasta apparently, according to a little nametag sagging off her shirt.

“Is there an Achban Cohen here? He’s my brother, and we’re-”

“Oh. Over there,” she pointed, right out to a table near one of the windows. Right there, Achban, shorts and an overshirt draped over the chair, was tapping the table and staring at nothing in particular.

“Thanks,” Abbot said, turning. The woman mumbled, sighed, and sat back down.

When he was only a little ways away, Achban smirked. “What took you so long?” he asked.

Abbot stood. “I’m sorry?”

“Second time I’ve asked you to come down and you’re late, man,” he said, smiling crooked. “Is this a habit or something? Or like…”

“I don’t have time for this.”

“No- no! You got it wrong! ...It was a joke, dude.”

Abbot nodded. “Okay.”

“Look, I, uh, I got the seats. It’s a good place, I used to come down here when-”


Achban sighed. “You know I’m not talking about the chairs for no reason. Sit, man.” Abbot hesitated, glanced, and then sat down. Achban, almost uneasy, drummed his fingers on the table. “So…”

“Did I come here for a reason, Achban? I thought we were gonna work things out. Talk. Not...”

“Sorry. Way hotter here than I thought it would be, kinda out of it. Let’s… let’s talk.”

Nobody spoke for a little, the air still. Abbot glanced over a few times, Achban scratched his neck, but nothing happened. “You’re bad luck,” Achban murmured, slowly, quietly.


“You’re bad luck. A friend of mine… well, it doesn’t matter, but I wake up and his house’s been thrown apart. Some guys ran in and took his stuff, Mexicans or Puerto Ricans or whatever. I’m half awake and the guy I’m bunkin’ with-”



“Who’s the guy you’re bunking with?”

Achban paused. “You remember Kaz?”

“You mean Kassian, the Ukranian? Who used to-”

“Yeah, yeah. House you parked up at is his. Working full time with his dad, and-”

“What? Selling newspapers?”

“Uh… look, we’ll get to that later. But he’s working full time with his dad, doing some things, so I’m staying over at his place. I’m making coffee yesterday morning and he comes down shouting, like, ‘Paulie’s been robbed, Paulie’s been robbed!’, and we’re like, we’re-”

“What happened?”

“I’m telling you, Paulie, Pavel down Firefly. You know Pav-”

“No, Achban,” Abbot said. “In Florida. I don’t… I don’t know him, and really, I don’t care. I don’t. I want to know what happened. Answers.”

Achban nodded, frowned. “Okay… like I told you, like… what I told you back when I left.”


“Yeah, Mackie. Mak. Like I told you, he made the investment and-”

“Why did you… man,” Abbot sputtered. “So you stopped calling because of what? Did your phone magically stop working, did you spill some f*cking printer ink on it, or, like, what?”

“Because… look, Abbot, I’m sorry. I did the wrong thing, right?”


“I f*cked up. I get the news about the… whatever, about the-”

“You can say it. The stroke.”

“Yeah, sure,” Achban shook his head. “I… back in Florida everything seemed to just spark up at once. I get the call and I’m crushed. Can’t get up, you know? And then, like, the shop is getting looked at and Mak’s getting divorced and all this sh*t just piles up. It’s like, like a f*cking avalanche. Next thing you know I’m helping another guy with his stuff, and working part time at his joint, and the years melt away,” he snapped his fingers. “Like that.”

“And you couldn’t call?”

“I could and I tried, you know? I never… I never stopped thinking about it, right?”

“For, what, a couple years? You never even thought to look but you kept thinking?”

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I didn’t mean to f*ck with you guys. Push came to shove and I couldn’t even find your number, remember your email, whatever.”

“A phonebook might’a helped.”

“An LC phonebook? In Vice City?”

Beat. “Yeah. Yeah… sorry, A.”

“No, Abbot, you’re not the one… you’re not supposed to be apologising. But, yeah. Yeah.”


“You need anything?” an unfamiliar voice said.

Abbot turned: a waitress stood. She was younger than the woman at the register, brown hair. Felt like she’d just materialised. “You two have wait here for long time, and-”

“We’re fine,” Achban said.

Xop. Call if need anything.”

She left, Achban strummed. “Nice,” Abbot said.


“We’ve come to a restaurant. Are we gonna eat? Or..."

Achban let the question linger. “Doesn't matter,” he said.

Abbot said nothing back.

Silence was punctuation, it seemed. The two sat, eyes barely meeting, fiddling and tapping. Again. It was all too much, Abbot thought. Maybe he should've left. Walked out the door, said goodbye, tried to talk again when it wasn't so tense, if he ever would. Achban wouldn't have it: "Well, uh, what've you been up to?" he asked.

“Huh?” Abbot shook his head. “I still haven’t go-”

“Look, I’ve told you. We both know, right? I go up to Florida to work at the print shop and I didn’t come back. Now I’m back. It’s not hard to get, Abbie. Your turn.”

That wasn't the answer Abbot wanted. “Uh… okay.”

“Sorry. I’m sorry. I just want to know how things have been, right?”


“How was college?” Achban beamed. “You’d just head off when I went, man, I wanna know, how’d it go?”

“Uh… not very well I guess.”


“I mean, after whatever, uh… I started working at that computer repair place in Fulham, by the Parkway. Moved in with another guy, Rahim, he does therapy, but, like, it’s spiritual or something.”

“That make a lot of money?”

Abbot waved his hand, “Kinda,” he said. “Up and down. It’s not a very lucrative industry, he does sh*t with rocks and… whatever. As soon as you say ‘therapist’ you think he’s making millions.”

“Are you, Abbot? How much are you making at the store?”

“Uh… what’s with the money questions?”

“Dude, please,” he shrugged. “I’m your brother. You complain about the money in the car, look, I need to know, right?”

Abbot thought this over. “Okay… well, I’m not working out of the store anymore. Me and these guys from work, Lawrence, Gabe, a few others, we started working in house for this law firm.”

“Doing what?”

“IT work. Fixing computers, you know? They’re on a high floor up in Midtown, nice office, we have our little cubicle space in one corner and we…”

“Do you like it?”


“Do you make good money?”

“Oy, no,” Abbot laughed. “I made more money with, uh, with Kassian.”

“Yeah, about that...”


“Look Abbot, I, uh… if you need money, if you’re on your ass… I have options.”


“Kassian’s dad. Teddy. I’ll give you his phone number, his newsstand address, whatever.” Achban, in turn, leaned in: “He can let you have a little extra work,” he said, voice lowered.

“Like what?” Abbot said. “Like stocking the fridges or whatever?”

“Nah, I mean…” he sighed. “How do you think Kassian got the stuff we used to sell? You know?”

“Oh my f*cking god.”

“It’s good money! It’s good money, and you’re just moving stuff. It’s delivery work, just-”

“Is that why I f*cking came here?” Abbot spat back. “A job offer? To move f*cking-”

“No! No… kinda, okay? I wanted to iron things out before, y’know? I wanted to talk to you. And then we get in the car, and you’re going on about how you needed money, how you need money.” He sighed. “It’s good money, okay?” He assured. “Better than what you’re pulling fixing computers. I’ll put in a good word, tell him you don’t wanna do anything serious, right?”

“Dealing drugs isn’t serious?”

“Keep your voice down,” Achban hushed. He looked around a little, jittery, before continuing. “It’s a lot less serious than the other stuff he does. Which you can do! I mean, if you want. I understand if you, like, don’t want to. If you think I’m being a moron right now.”

“You are,” Abbot said.

“So that’s a no?”

Abbot paused. “No,” he said. “Write it up, I guess. I’ll think about it.”

Achban smiled again, grabbed for his wallet. “Sweet,” he said. “You’re not making a mistake here, really.”

“Never am, am I?”


The Gloss'

Chapter 8: Employment Opportunities

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 09:28 AM Edited by slimeball supreme, 28 September 2017 - 05:12 AM.


Employment Opportunity


“So… you have experience? Your brother tell me you do work with Kassian, no?”

Abbot was looking at a stocky, tall, Ukrainian guy. Square jaw, greying blonde hair, moustache, brown polo, apron over a pair of grey slacks, so on. A lot of words, really, but he wasn’t a looker. No tattoos, no scars, just an old guy with an accent who talked fast. You wouldn't think he was involved, really.

It was after work, a couple hours after on a Wednesday, so Abbot’d went home, changed into more casual clothes (a pair of jeans, a shirt, and some sneakers), and taken the D line down to Goatherd Station. About 50 minutes, give or take.

It felt like Abbot might as well move down to South Broker sometime, everything seemed to be here now. The restaurant, the newsstand, Achban’s apartment. For the center of the world it sure wasn't a very interesting place. It all felt almost suburban, the houses-turned-apartments and the working class people that lived there. It was a lot different than his usual haunt up in Rotterdam Hill, busy streets and that uneasy feeling of gentrification.

Teddy’s ‘newsstand’, more aptly a convenience store if anything, was right by the El-station, 1500 Goatherd Road. Green sign, a couple misspelt words (newspape, convinient, etc.), looked like every other place on the block. Normal. Inside, exactly the same, stocked shelves, a couple ads for the state lottery, way too cold, nothing out of the ordinary. Abbot almost thought he had the wrong address.

And out comes the aforementioned Ukrainian. “Oh,” he’d said. “How can I help?”

Abbot replied with something along the lines of “I think Achban sent me,” showed the guy the card Achban wrote up at the restaurant, something to let him know he wasn't bullsh*tting or at the wrong place. Next thing he knew, he was at the back of the store.

Abbot’s mind snapped back to the present, with the store owner, Teddy, staring back at him from behind a desk. “Yeah, that's right,” Abbot responded. “Achban explained, right?”

“Of course. So if you’re familiar, you know how all of this works, yes? What to do when cops show, how to present, whatever.”

“I’m capable.”

He paused. “And you know what to do when things get hairy?”

Another beat, “Yeah,” Abbot said.

Teddy smiled. “Good.” He got up, “This is background check,” he continued. “Nothing serious, I trust you. Your brother tell me good thing about you, tell me what I need. You work for lawyer?”

“Just computer work.”

“Huh. Anything-”


“That’s fine. Nonetheless, I get glowing recommendation. You know this isn’t high school, yes? You know they’re not going to just pull knife on you?”

“I’m not an idiot.”

“I thought so. Not like you’ll need that anyway,” he nodded. “Let me give you rundown, yes? I want to see how hot the sh*t is.”


He laughed. “I like you.” He opened a drawer, took out a little taped up box, like a birthday gift wrapped in butcher paper. “I run a little… delivery service. There is quite a bit of the big H in here, yes?” He tapped the box, smiling. “Enough for full bundle, good sh*t. I need you to take that to man named Osip Prokofiev, yes? Lives on corner of East 21st and Avenue O, big apartment building near Vlackwood with a guy named Slava, only 10 minute drive. Ring him up at door, give him the package, come back with cash. Simple job, child could do it.”

“I got it,” Abbot responded.

“Beautiful,” he said, sliding it over the desk. “We agreed on price, no need to ask. He’ll have the money ready at the door, don't even have to go inside.”

Abbot grabbed for the box, picked it up and put it right under his arm. “You sure this isn’t too hot to carry?”

“Not if you have a car. You bring car?”

Abbot shook his head. “No. I took the train.”

“Sh*t,” Teddy tutted. “I mean… f*ck, okay.”


“I’m gonna do something I no do to my own son,” he said. “Look, take my car. The BF parked on other side of road. I cannot let you get caught by metrocop with that on you. What time is it?”

“Uh… probably around 6:20.”

Дерьмо… okay, okay. Get back to me within hour with car. I’m trusting you with pride and joy, okay? You scratch that car, or worse, take the junk for yourself, and I come to your apartment with butcher knife. Catching the drift?”

Abbot stared for a moment. “Yeah,” he said. “This is going a little different than I expected.”

“What were you expecting?”

“I’m moving a full bindle, right?”

“Yes. The guy is distributor, take some, move some, bring back some, yes?”

“But that’s a lot of weight to move in one go, though.”

“Of course!” he answered, leaning back in his chair. “But how do I know if you are good or not?”


“Confidence will get you far, my friend. Hey, you do good job, great job, then I can let you in on more work. Yellow jackets, anasha, whatever. You follow?”

“I think,” he replied. “One more thing.”


“How much am I making? Getting paid.”

“For you, if you do good job, couple G. It little more inflated than usual, but I always like to get more bodies.”

Abbot nodded. “For sure.”



The door opened. In it’s way, stood a skinny, bald Russian guy, Star of David chain over a baggy grey shirt and blue track pants. He smirked, surveyed the hallway, and looked straight ahead, right towards Abbot.

It was Osip. Local yokel, apparently. Abbot didn’t know the guy but the moment he laid eyes on him, he knew he was a seedy character. Osip squinted: “I am assuming you are delivery guy?” he said.

“And you’re-”

“The guy you’re looking for, of course,” he interjected. “In flesh and bone. Stay quiet. You have delivery, da? My pizza or whatever the f*ck Teddy is calling it.”

“Piping hot,” Abbot smiled, tapping the box under his arm. It wasn’t a long drive of course, nobody bothered him, but he still felt anxious with this much brown on him.

“Well, you have merchandise. Превосходный,” he laughed.


“Excellent, I say. Now… hand it over.”

“The money?”

“Ah, well… this is where you’re mistaken.” In turn, he smiled, almost winked, and pulled up his shirt.

Right there, tucked in his waistband, a snub nose, handle up. He tapped it, grinned; “I want you to go back to your employer. Teddy, Benny, whatever. I want you to tell him, right to his face, that I am no scared of him. You give me money, you give me the smack, you walk.”

Abbot gulped. “Uh…”

“I hope you understand that if you stay here for any longer, you will be making grave mistake. You don't want to make mistake. Not like this.”

“You don't want to do this. I don't want to this this.”

Osip laughed. “Do what? Тощий человек думает, что он Джек Гаубица. This isn't The Redeemer, придурок. What are you going to-”

Crunch, the leg went. Osip crumpled, screaming, clutching his shin, eyes watery. Abbot, growling, kept kicking, another crunch as foot connected with his face, throwing him to the floor. Abbot stepped through, over Osip, grabbing at his nose and shouting.

Inside, the apartment was marred by disarray and disorganization, discarded food and clothes draped on furniture, that same musty ‘didn't take out the trash’ smell you'd find at a halfway home. These guys were dealing H by the ton in a neighborhood like this and they couldn’t even keep the apartment clean. What would the landlord have thought?

Meanwhile, Osip wailed, “Блядь, сука! Слава, иди сюда!” He had more than enough occupying his attention, specifically the waterfall of red pouring out of his broken nose and the f*cked up leg. That, paired with the bad headache he probably had, meant he wasn't really much of a threat anymore.

If he was to begin with.

Abbot pulled up his shirt while he writhed, pulled out the revolver, aged, and examined the print. 38 caliber, Hawk and Little, and to his surprise, unloaded, light in the hand.

“I told you.”

Abbot stomped, hard, and the guy stopped moving. For now, anyway.


Slam, bat to the wall, little cracks in the plaster and a dent in the aluminum. The guy, a 6’2” brute with grown out hair and a Heat track jacket, snarled. His voice was hoarse, like gravel, his panting like scraping a rock against a brick wall. This man was probably Slava, the roommate, square jawed and stubbled when he turned around. He wasn't pleased, obviously.

Abbot barely had time to react. Flipping the gun around, crack, butt of the gun straight in the temple. Slava screamed, grabbed for his forehead, right until the wood grip slammed against the back of his head again. It cut deep.

He toppled back, fell on a wooden table and onto the floor, moaning. Abbot, breathless, stared at the body below him, almost gasping for air. He was speechless. Slava oozed, blood out the back of his head, and like Abbot, also couldn't say a word.

“You don’t… I didn’t mean...” He thought of saying more, he did. Taunting, maybe. But one was out cold and the other was… well, it was better not to check. He didn't wanna risk waking him, or knowing he wasn't gonna wake up. He did risk, however, raiding the cupboards, found a couple bundles under the sink, a stash of what seemed to be Oxycontin under a loose floorboard, so on. They were hiding it, yeah, but they weren't hiding it right. To Abbot, he was just doing what the cops were gonna do anyway. Mostly.

In the hallway, he mulled it over. Kept looking at the box. What happened in there, what just had happened, none of it felt right. He didn’t feel bad, or remorse, or shame. Just shock. Shock, and… that rush. Back when he was in school, back when this was normal, he felt the same. That same feeling. He didn’t feel empty.

The past few years, he had felt empty. The work, the bar runs, all of it - it just made him feel empty. There wasn’t anything to it, no talk, no conflict, nothing. But this? With the cash, and the skag still in the box, he felt alive. He felt free, like there was air in his lungs. It felt selfish to think that, to think that going back to something like that made him feel better.


But it was true.

He returned to the newsstand with the drugs, the money, more drugs, more money, the car, the any real evidence, and a few disorderlies leaking on the ground who wouldn't do it again. Teddy was surprised, really.

“How did you do that?” he’d asked. “You no seem like the type.”

Abbot didn't know how himself, and he said the same. But from then on, well, Abbot had a new employer.


The Gloss'

Chapter 9: The Bond of all Bonds

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 05:11 AM Edited by slimeball supreme, 08 December 2017 - 10:24 AM.


The Bond of all Bonds

“So what you saying?” Xavier asked.

Right through the window, Noodles stared, idle. The car, a dark blue Presidente, was parked by the curb by the playground on Norman Avenue, adjacent from the tennis courts at Milden Park and a couple of the bigger towers in the projects. Latrell, who’d got in just before this joker decided to push his head through the window, stared back, unamused.

Noodles, or Noland, was a sort of courier, if you will. Some skinny kid who wore baggy clothes and thought he was authoritative, spoke with a big voice. The top guys used him as a relay, so if anyone wanted to talk, most likely he was gonna show up and talk for them. The kid had loose lips anyway, of which he was currently using to try and persuade the two guys in the car.

“I’m sayin’ Kenton wanna talk with y’all,” he explained. “I know you’ve been busy f*ckin’ with the Es, but these guys, his guys, they got the mooga, man, for real. Business, dude.”

He was a hookup. Kenton, a middle aged Jamaican who ran a little smoke shop in South Slopes, sourced weed, heroin, girls, whatever he could get his hands on. This guy had business sense, realised that he needed a distribution outlet, and a couple years back had decided on a burgeoning outfit in East Liberty, Slip’s little branch of the A9’s There were enough West Indians in the BOB for it to feel comfortable, and , so to him it must’ve felt right. Latrell didn't know Kenton personally, however, aside from dealing his dope and seeing him around the towers with some of the generals and his own goons every now and then.

“Everyone wanna f*ckin’ talk, b,” Xavier sighed.

“Everyone wan’ talk because everyone wan’ do business, nigga. Work. Y’all respectin’ them power dynamics or some sh*t.”

“f*ck outta here. Bound to be a couple other dudes like that, I got a laundry list of kids from wherever who ready to do odd jobs for ‘em.”

“But you niggas is reliable. Your little crew’s the only peoples gettin’ sh*t done these days. Self centered-ass, disrespectful types, you know? G’s too easy with the sh*t, balla. More importantly, they too scared to move thanks to our little problem.”

“You mean the feds?”

“Son, the thought of goin’ back to the clink for doin’ sh*t makes niggas freeze up, man, what can I say?”

“That the rather be movin’ sh*t in rather than actually bein’ in?” Xavier here was referring to one of the BOB’s best rackets, moving weight into prisons which were distributed by their people on the inside.

With the nature of the job, it was easy to get locked up, which in turn, spread their distribution even further. People went in unaffiliated and went out balling, selling dope on the inside to people who needed another fix. It was a good gig, and something everyone got involved with at some point. More than half of the B’s in the towers had went purple in prison, a lot for a bite of the pie.

“I mean, sure - I guess, man,” Noodles replied. “Slip only got out a few months ago, so, like, usually you get kinda paranoid. So he’s offering this one to y’all.”

“He knows?” Latrell asked.

“Who you think settin’ this sh*t up, man? Kenton’s paying, and Slippy won't tax nothin’ if you do it in for him,” Noodles offered. “He wants dudes he can trust, Kenny too, that's why y’all takin’ it in and it ain't one of the BG niggas.”

The two froze. “So you're saying…” Xavier trailed off.

“I’m saying if you guys go in, Slip won't shake none.”

Usually, a little cut of the payments on anything went down to the top guys for ‘gang purposes’, that type of thing. Sale proceeds, robberies, whatever, a cut always went to the top guys, it got ‘shaked’. This was different.

“A’ight,” Latrell said.

“So you niggas is in?”

“You heard Trell, man,” X replied. “Money’s money.”

“Exactly. Who don't need money, son? This good work, and it's good money. Big money. Y’all driving ‘round in the Albany, man, but think Benefactor type sh*t. An’ nobody’s making big money these days, not Families, not Lords… unless they doin’ some tight ass sh*t.”

“We get it.”

“So you in?”

“Whatever, man, sure,” Latrell snapped. “Now, you goin’? We got a little thing going on. Meeting with peoples. So I’m suggesting you f*ck off.”

“Fine then, nigga,” and with an attempt at bouncing back, the kid moped away. Almost as a reply, Xavier sped off, the proverbial dust in the wind as the ghetto around him blurred. Or, well, ‘blurred’ as much as it could at 9am traffic in Liberty City.

East Liberty. Not as in the direction, but the neighborhood; nearly 100,000 people squeezed into about 1,850 square miles of concrete, asphalt, and the occasional bit of marshy goo, most of which in less-than-prime condition. Otherwise known as ‘The Murder Capital of Broker’, or at least in second place, behind the similarly beautiful neighborhood of Suydam (which coincidentally was the destination the two were travelling).

“So…” Xavier’s voice broke a silence that had subsisted for a minute or so. “Who’s goin’?”


“We gon’ tell the others, or is this whole ‘no taxes’ thing gon’ be a you-and-me thing?”

It was a tempting idea. “You sure?” Latrell raised.

“They don’t have to know,” Xavier proposed back. “I mean… Kenton’s a busy guy, you know: plus we both need the money. We gon’ be gettin’ enough with the boys down south. I got Reggie and Jazz, you got your mom’s…”

“DB got his grandparents ‘n sh*t.”

“And he’s moving away to South Carolina, b. He ain’t gon’ be around by the end of the year. Might even drop his flags, so who cares?”

Latrell exhaled, hard. “Maybe.”

“You flinchin’?”

“Nah, like, I’ll tell ‘em he called. I might leave the ‘no taxes’ thing out, tho’. You know... conveniently or somethin’.”

“Mmmm…” Xavier couldn’t help but chuckle. “I’m likin’ that.”

“But, yo, how is Reg?”

“The little guy?” Xavier shrugged. “He’s, uh… a handful. You know.”

“I guess.”

“It’s just… you need dollars to get it working. I need dollars.”

“I get it. How many times you gotta say it?” Latrell laughed.

“Well, I’m just sayin’,” Xavier spoke, a hint of frustration in his voice. “I’mma need some big money soon. Cleethorpes type sh*t, you know… more than just living.”

“I mean… we all gotta eat.”

Xavier gripped the wheel tighter. “Yo, f*ck that,” he said. “I mean, I just…”

“Nah, I feel you. I get it.” Latrell added: “Yo, though, you heard he runnin’ for President?”


“Cleethorpes, man. You know, announced, like, yesterday.”


“I mean, it doesn't matter, he gon’ lose anyway, but, uh… just funny you bring that up.”

“Yeah…” Xavier switched the subject quick: “Anyway, why we meeting at this chicken spot?” he asked. He was referring to the meeting place, a fried chicken restaurant on Moses Avenue, Burnett Chicken, some old ghetto spot with nobody around.

“I’unno. His moms probably lives around here or somethin’, plus it’s somewhere where they ain't gon’ notice a tradeoff,” Latrell replied, motioning towards the duffel bag at his feet. “We can have our little sit down, make sure we got some privacy.”


“Whether that's bystanders or them blacked-out-windows types, yeah, them. These blocks is F turf, anyway, so cops is-”

“Yeah, yeah. I get.”

They talked for a little more, nothing important. The playoffs, which DB and Knot were watching back at the towers, came up as sort of a passing note. The Bandits were set to win. And of course, when they'd passed enough run down liquor stores, bodegas, and angry-looking guys in green, they reached the spot.

Moses Avenue was a Main Street, went all the way through this part of town right up to Dukes, which mostly meant there were a bunch of shoe stores and a lot more people, which meant traffic of both foot and vehicle. About vehicles, Xavier’s Presidente slowed into a side street by the restaurant, wheel almost hitting the curb, prompting X to pull the brakes.

Parked up, they said nothing, waited. “We goin’ in or what?” Latrell asked.

“Yeah, man, just get the bag in the back.”

While Xavier left and went inside, Latrell opened the backseat: a duffel bag with ‘ProLaps’ printed on the side, grey and red. Latrell grabbed it, hitched it over his shoulder, and entered the chicken shop.

Inside, the radio blared. Words came up, little tidbits nobody paid attention to, ‘Cleethorpes debuts Presidential campaign’ here and ‘Police discover body in Vlackwood’ there. Thing’s he’d heard before, the president thing crowding the headlines for a while now, and the Vlackwood thing an old case from last week. Some guy killing his roommate over fentanyl or something. Latrell didn’t remember exactly.

Inside, the place was kinda grimy. One or two people in the booths, tired cashiers, faded blue-and-yellow paint and an older looking menu in serif font. And in front row center, the man of the hour, Gerardo Lozano, grinned as they entered.

The guy was kinda scruffy; greasy hair like the chicken on his plate, balbo, kinda dirty Cadet tank and baggy shorts. Olive skin. Like everyone here, he just sort of existed, toying with his food with a plastic spork, sitting at the far back of the joint.

“Well, well,” he started as the two approached him. “Took you long enough, homes.”

“Few days,” Latrell shrugged. “Had to slow it down so nobody was sus’ about what we said.”

“Right, right… take a seat.” Nodding, the two obliged, sliding into the same booth, cordoned off from each other by the duffel bag. Gerardo, meanwhile, kept toying with the chicken. “There is a Cluckin’ Bell up the block, but this place is closing down in a month or two, so might as well give ‘em a little mileage, right?”

“Uh huh,” Latrell affirmed. “Might as well be at CB, zambaru, all this yellow and blue.”

“Yeah, no,” Gerardo laughed. “They do that kind a’ sh*t on purpose. It’s… I think the word is homogenisation. But yeah, so… how much you say you handed over, man?”

“Just a bag of the green,” Latrell explained. “Don't think I was exact with the pills.”

Smokey chortled at that. “You snake-ass motherf*cker.”

“I’m better at this whole lying thing than I thought, I guess. Got myself believing in it.”

“And,” Xavier interjected. “They gave us back the merchandise.” He patted the duffel bag at his side.

“Well, sh*t, man, unzip that sh*t!”

Latrell almost threw the bag onto the table, unzipping; revealing the treasure wrapped inside. The porcelain duck.

The duck itself was kinda beat up, old. White with faded paintwork, looping blues and pinks that had become fainter throughout the years. If the thing still had any value, it was purely sentimental. The seemingly permanent Cheshire grin on Gerardo’s face widened further. “How’d this thing not get pawned off already?” he laughed.

“No sane fence is gon’ take somethin’ like this, dude,” Latrell spoke, like he was stating the obvious (which, well, he basically was). “sh*t’s tacky as f*ck. Get it for, like, 20 bucks at some cheap ass china shop. Surprised Ramon even wants this thing.”

“Righ’... he’s got this thing for souvenirs or some sh*t, dumb motherf*cker. Luckily, I ain’t the one keepin’ it. You get the tablet?”

“Nah, sorry,” Xavier admitted. They were able to get that one, one guy’s cousin knew how to reset it or something. Ain’t too clean on the details.”

“Damn…” Gerrardo muttered back. “That coulda been useful.”

“How you mean?” Latrell asked.

Gerardo hesitated, scanned the store for open ears, of which there weren’t any. “Well, we have a gig lined up,” Gerardo explained, getting in closer. “Huge. That’s why we picked out that house.”

“Yeah?” Latrell’s brow arched. “So you knew we was walking into some freaky ass dragon den?”

“When you put it like that...” Gerardo chuckled. “You guys… you guys is okay wit’ that, right?”

“Sure, man,” Xavier said, nonchalant. “Rich niggas like they sh*t, who woulda thought? Now you gon’, like, explain this little ‘gig’?”

“Uh… yeah. Yeah. The tablet had a manifesto or some sh*t on it, for real. Drugs, or guns, whatever. Maybe it’s the Mona Lisa or some sh*t, who knows - Russians use it for all kinda sh*t. It’s somethin’ me and R been cookin’ up for a while, but… we need more bodies. You get me?”

“So you want the other guys?”

“Need, yes,” Gerardo nodded. “Need. The problem is trust factor, though. We need peoples, but I ain’t sure ‘bout the other two. They still ‘loyal’ to that BOB nonsense?”

“Knot, pro’lly,” Latrell exposited. “DB moving down south by January, though, so…”

“Yeah. We’ll think about that later, right? For now, we’re trying to mosy on in: Ramon is cooking up some sh*t with the Russians, tryna mosy on in. We gotta do some snoopin’.”

“So we’re robbing the Russians?” The same few words echoed in Latrell’s head, Teflon’s warning. “You sure that’s a good idea?”

“You’ve already done it once, man,” Gerardo laughed back. “Just because they makin’ dollars don’t mean we can’t take it.”

Latrell thought for a moment.
The Gloss'
Chapter 10: Young Turks

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 06:39 AM Edited by Money Over Bullshit, 17 November 2017 - 06:40 AM.

Finally getting around to reading this properly man. I've only gotten three chapters in so far (I know I really need to catch up) but I just thought I'd leave a comment while they're fresh in my mind. First of all I really love the contrast between the black guys in chapter 4 and the white dudes in the earlier chapters. Somewhat stereotypical some might say but scarily true to life. I think you've summed up the different personalities and mind states perfectly and I think the lackluster flow of consciousness really worked when Abbot and his friends were talking to one another. Some might not be able to relate to it but that's exactly how'd I'd expect those type of guys to interact with one another. I'd also go as far as to say that chapter 3 was probably one of the best pieces of writing I've seen on here. That last line.. Absolutely brilliant :D
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Posted 18 November 2017 - 11:37 PM Edited by slimeball supreme, 11 December 2017 - 09:59 AM.

to preface this chapter i just want to apologize for the, like, 2 month absence, as well as thank you for reading this far (or at all). i appreciate the criticism/praise ive gotten and i'd appreciate more so i can improve my writing, so please, do that. anyway...



Young Turks


The door shut.

“You seen him?”


“Harry. In the hall, going door to door.”

“Uh… yeah. What's up?”

Rahim sighed, exasperated. “Extortion, Abbie. Extortion.”

It clicked. “He's raising the rent?”

“Yeah. Again. A few hundred, which I, we, can manage, but whatever. Just… f*ck, man.”

Harry Gillespie: landlord. Scruffy old guy with sandpapery skin and a gravelly voice. Abbot only saw the guy occasionally, whether that was rent collection or utilities repair, characteristically just spending time in his suite on one of the higher floors. Something like this, however, was expected.

Abbot was still in his work clothes, wet with sweat from the cramped subway ride. He was bored, again, a long day at work doing nothing and staring out the window, waiting for the shift to end. As Abbot threw his lanyard to the kitchen bench, Rahim looked on.

The apartment itself on the lesser side. Two bedrooms, a bathroom, the main living area, so on. It was cozy, but it was expensive: about 2.3 thousand a week… or 2.5 now. The rent hikes felt hourly at this point, and even Abbot wasn't sure how much it would be next month.

“You’re going to that work thing, right?”

“Yeah. Why?”

Rahim shrugged. “I dunno. You've been going a lot recently, I guess.”

“You don't mind?”

“No… just saying. You’re getting caught up in it.”

“I mean, not really. It's a temporary thing.”

Abbot brushed it off. He’d knew it had been a week. Or two. He’d kinda lost track. After whatever happened in Vlackwood, he’d been heading there after work every chance he could. It was good money for relatively little labor, what could he say? It was basically postal service, pizza delivery with better tips - a part time job.

“You're making enough cash, though, right?”


Relief. “I’m glad,” Rahim replied. “Because, y’know.”

“Not really, Rahim.”

“I mean,” Rahim sighed, let out a laugh. “The rent, man.”

“Oh. Right.”

“It’s just… sh*t, you’re going there, like-”

“I know. It’s better than restarting computers I guess.”

“Yeah. You guess?”

“I dunno. Larry’s nice, but…”

“How’s he been, by the way?”

“He’s been fine. The move was fine.”

“Yeah. Does he wanna talk?”

“I dunno. I’ll ask.”

Rahim nodded, and Abbot moved on. Truth be told, work hadn’t been occupying his mind much. He was busy with other things, he supposed. A few minutes later, he was changed, headed to the door when Rahim stopped him. “You taking the train?” he asked.

“Nah. Might take a cab. Faster.”


It was too warm outside. Muggy, humid, sticky against Abbot’s neck as he crossed the street. The Zurst had parked a little ways up the block, for some reason, which meant Abbot had a few blocks of storefronts to clear before hitting the bodega.

The fan was on. Several actually, kinda necessary in this weather; the elongated, windowless design of the store not helping to keep things colder. It was a cramped place, hole in the wall, kinda dated. It felt like it had, and probably had been, around here for decades: a few old magazines from the 2000’s still on the shelves being suspect.

“Hey! Abbot! Good to see you, man!”

That was Teddy, perched on a stool behind the counter, originally watching a tiny box of a TV but now turned to face his subject. “Hi, Ted,” Abbot greeted.

Teddy chuckled. “You seen Kassian around?”

“Uh… no. Not recently. Not for a while.”

“Kaz! Ходи сюди!”

From behind one of the shelves, there had been a few noises: cans rattling or something. Poking his head out and standing up, the source of this became apparent. Kassian.

“Hey, Abbot,” he said. “Long time, no see… I guess.”

Kassian was blond, like his father - and unlike his father, hadn’t carried over the accent. He was beak nosed, clean faced and a little younger looking than he let on: a thirty-something year old kid. Dressed in weathered jeans, a blue baseball cap and a Heat t-shirt, he glanced over from the other side of the store, almost forgetting what he was doing.

“Right…” Abbot muttered.

“Right!” Teddy added. “You seen the news?”


“Nah,” Kassian said. “Look.”

Abbot spun around to face it, the CRT TV buzzing by the counter. While fuzzy, Abbot noticed the figures: a stubby, tired, older looking man, identified as ‘George Giordano’ from the ticker below the image, was being escorted from a courthouse with federal agents in tow.

“Gangsters, man. Lupisellas,” Teddy laughed (though Abbot wasn’t sure why). “Their guy got locked up on some construction thing, plead guilty. Spending another few years in the jail.”

“Yeah,” Kassian affirmed. “Funny thing, too, this wiped the Vlackwood thing off the block.”

“Huh?” Abbot perked up at that statement. “Wha--”

“You been listening to anything? Turned on the radio?”

“No… not really.”

“Your playdate with Osip made tri-state. Good sh*t,” Kassian laughed. “Doesn’t matter, though. Old news.” He turned away, dismissive. “Hey, pa?”


“I was gonna do that thing, you know. The roof repairs.”

Teddy leaned over. “Uh huh?”

“Yeah. Vadim isn’t here, so how about you put him to work on the shelves? I’ll take Abbot. See if he’s capable for a little more work, right?”

Teddy thought for a moment, but nodded. “Yes… Alright. Good thinking. Is Vadim-”

“He use to work with his uncle, at the thing. He’ll be fine, pa,” Kaz replied. He motioned to Abbot: “C’mon,” he said.

Across the street, a foot or two in front of Teddy’s car, Kassian had his parked: an unremarkable silver Fathom sedan with old plates, had a rattly engine that jingled for a moment before they drove off, the short silence between starting the ignition and driving off being peppered with an occasional clunk.

“So…” Abbot began, breaking the silence. “The news thing.”

Buddy. You’re not gonna ask how I’ve been? Abbie, c’mon.”

“Fine. How’ve you been, Kaz?”

“Well… good, really. Now, moving on - you were there. You should’ve known what happened.”

“I dunno… I just kinda hurried out of there. Checked under the sink and all but that’s about it… y’know, they wasted my time.”

Kassian chuckled. “That’s cold.”

“What’re you gonna do, I guess. But what happened?”

“Well, uh… sh*t. The big guy, Stanislav or whatever--”


“Yeah. He bit the dust. Hard. Blunt force trauma f*cked him up on impact apparently.” Abbot bit his tongue. “The other one’s still missing,” Kassian continued. “Osip or Iosif or whatever. Cops think he killed his buddy and ran for it. Pops went crazy when he heard how it turned out.”

“Crazy how?”

“Crazy, as in, like, good crazy. The whole situation was wrapped up without loose ends, whether you meant to or not, so there’s that. Plus, he likes you, a lot. I mean, sh*t, he lets you call him Teddy. Half my friends can’t do that.”

“Uh… yeah.” It was humbling, being ‘liked’ by a drug dealer, it seemed. “And the mob stuff?”

“Oh, right. Dad actually met the guy, funnily enough. Gerry or whatever, moved some brown with him back in the 80’s or 90’s or something like that. They all come down from Bantonvale or whatever, you go into this business and you almost expect them to come and ask for taxes and favors and all. But, er… this whole ‘15-to-20’ sh*t is gonna set off a few sparks, though. Always does…”

“Yeah,” Abbot muttered back. “So what’re we doing? What’s this whole roof repair thing?”

“Well… okay. We’re heading down to Bialann Avenue right now, Restaurant Row, you know.”

“Yeah.” Bialaan Avenue was a main road by Goatherd Bay, home to a few boat clubs and a few bait and tackle places originally. But as of late, the place had sort of become a hotspot for Mediterranean food: Greek, Turkish, Persian, so on. Enough for the place to literally be known as ‘Restaurant Row’, at least. “So… some Greek wants some smack or something?”

“Nah,” Kassian said. “This guy, Yusuf Tiryaki, he’s not paying his dues, hasn’t for a very long time. Too much time playing poker on top of existing debts, I guess. Runs a seafood place with his son on the row, so we’re paying him another visit.”


“It’s basically weekly. Always excuses, can’t touch the guy or anything either, place is usually packed and he’s a friend of a friend.”

“Sh*t... didn’t know Teddy was a loan shark.”

Kassian shrugged. “We’re full of surprises.”

The restaurant, Tekne, was this nice place by the boat dock, classy wood panels with the name printed on the roof in blue lettering, right up on the street next to a fishing supplies place and one of the many local boat clubs. Inside, pushing open the establishment’s door (the sign behind it marked closed), it was similar: a pretty view of the bay surrounded by murals and wall mounted fish.

“Must’ve been a big loan,” Abbot mused.

“You bet,” Kassian replied. “People… they have their vices. You?”


“Nothing. Forget it.” Kassian stopped in his tracks, pointed out towards the dining area. “That’s the guy,” he said.

A few people, workers, were rushing around, fixing up tables, setting up cutlery and menus, rushing in and out of the kitchen; the most notable of which being a stumpy guy near the windows, suited up in a sports coat and a striped dress shirt, sweating like a pig. He wasn’t doing much, if anything he was directing it all; pacing around the room and yelling in a foreign language.


“Yeah,” Kassian clarified. “Let’s say hi.”

With Abbot in tow, Kassian approached, heading down a small staircase to the dinette. As the two loomed, Tiryaki turned: expression going from ‘angry boss’ to ‘desperate’ in a matter of seconds.

“Thought I left the door locked!” he exclaimed. “We’re busy!”

“Why’s the place locked up? It’s 6 in the afternoon, buddy, you keep it closed and you’re gonna have a harder time paying up.”

“We have accident. F*ck you.”

“You know why we’re here,” Kassian said. “My father, as generous as he is, is getting impatient.”

“Look: I will get you money as soon as I can,” he spat. “I will. But the interest, it is f*cking extortion! You and are being very unreasonable.”

“You wouldn't be here if you played a better hand,” Abbot snarked.

“And who the f*ck do you think you are? Piece of sh*t. The f*cking game was rigged.”


“Why you provoke me? I ought to call cops.”

Kassian’s cocky smile faltered for a second. “Let's not get hasty. We’re trying to be--”

“Do not give me that sh*t. Here you are threatening me, coming in bullsh*t goons who speak of sh*t to me. I do not care if your father is good man, or generous, or anything. Next time you f*cking come here, with dumbsh*t goons, I will call police. Now, please--”

And at that precise moment, Abbot flipped a table.

It was to his right, one of the few that had been completely set up. Without warning, the thing was on it’s side, forks and napkins all over the floor. Splintered.

The fat one, Tiryaki, was in shock. “What the f*ck?!” he cried. “You have any idea how much--” blah, blah blah. In that instant, his panicked justifications turned into a tirade, blabbering on about how Abbot was a ‘psycho’, how he needed to clean up the mess. At the same time, the rest of the restaurant had stopped; people who were previously darting around the place had frozen up. Dead silent, in awe. Kassian included.

When the ringing in Abbot’s ears had mostly subsided, he span around, faced the guy. “I call f*cking cops!” he was still shouting. “This is insult, embarrassment! You know who I know?!”

Abbot’s retort was grabbing ahold of Yusuf’s neck.

“Listen here,” Abbot growled. “Listen. You listening?”

Yusuf gurgled back.

“You call the cops and I’ll be out the doors within a day. They're with us. Always have been. Do you understand?”

Another gurgle.

“Good. Now I hope you understand that you best be paying soon, otherwise we call up the PD; and I swear to god, they’ll be helping us bury your body too. You even try, you even f*cking try, and we’ll cut your face off. Clear?”

“I think he understands,” Kassian said.

Abbot nodded, letting go. “Sure,” he replied.

With Yusuf’s panicked nods corroborating, the two left, Tiryaki still lying on the floor as they walked out. When the hot, unfiltered air was whipping at their faces again, Kassian laughed.

“You’re good.”

“I try.”

“Seriously. This is your first time, right?”

“Well, yeah.”

“How'd you come up with all that?”

“I-... sh*t, I don’t know. I just thought--”

“Doesn't matter. You weren't that far off, actually.”
The Glossary

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