Sunday, April 26, 2009

2 - kenny

to begin at the beginning click here

when kenny got the news about johnny, he was momentarily taken aback.
he sent nick off to doc gamus with jerry to fix jerry's arm.
every time he tried to figure out what had happened, he drew a blank.
nothing made any sense.

how could a guy like johnny get mixed up in something like this?
explanations were scarce.

when nick got back kenny was looking out the window.
"eddie's the problem." kenny announced.
"no kidding," nick thought.
to kenny he just said.

"that sounds about right."
opening the window, kenny leaned out over the street.

"let's get this thing organized."
"organization is the key," nick agreed.
"out of every ten guys on the payroll. put seven on it."
kenny took his head out of the window.

"of course we'll have to lose a little money for a few days," nick suggested tentatively.
"understood." kenny agreed.
taking his cue, nick turned and left.

talking to himself under his breath, nick went down the stairs.
he wasn' t at all sure kenny knew what he was doing.
eddie could be getting the best of it.

while nick was going down the stairs, kenny picked up the phone.
in a few seconds he was connected to his mouthpiece, sam kennedy.
nothing and everything would be said.
during his rapid rise in the organization, kenny had come to rely on sam to a perhaps dangerous degree.
on balance, things had worked out well.
well enough, anyway,

today would mark a turning point in kenny's fortunes.
he was dimly aware of this.
energy flowed through his brain.

remembering the early days he thought of johnny.
always johnny had been a loser.
i always stood up for him, kenny thought.
now i wonder why.

whenever mickey gave him a job he messed it up.
and mickey usually laughed.
sometimes he didn't though.

sometimes i had to bail him out.
two or three times he almost messed up too bad.
i came close to giving up on him.
lucky for him i didn't.
lucky for me mickey finally told him to get lost.

consolidation was the key.
organization was important too.
mickey had been smart.
i was smart to go along with mickey.
now after all these years someone goes after johnny.
growth might be a factor.

decreased opportunity due to market saturation could also be involved.
what did it have to do with johnny?
nothing that he could see.

outside, eddie had slipped down to the street.
under cover of the rain, he slipped into a cab.
tony was driving the cab.
since the shooting started, he had been waiting.
in seconds, the cab pulled out.
despite the urgency, tony kept the speed reasonable.
eddie leaned back.

on the corner a girl was standing.
nothing showed on her face as they passed her.

tony kept driving.
he didn't say anything.
eddie didn't say anything either.

cold rain fell on the windshield.
on eddie's face a narrow smile appeared.
"right here," he said.
nodding, tony pulled to the curb.
eddie got out.
rubbing the back of his neck, he looked around.

"happy new year." a voice behind him said.
eddie whirled around.

sergeant kosalski was standing in a doorway.
at eddie's surprise he laughed.
"what's up, eddie?"

kosalski was the most hated cop in town.
everyone was afraid of him.
no one could get the best of him.
not too many tried.
yet eddie kept a poker face.

war had not yet been declared.
and kosalski would deal.
in fact, that was all he ever did.
treachery was his road game.
"i am a little surprised to see you here," eddie said.
"never too early to talk to an old friend." kosalski replied.
"great," replied eddie,

kosalski nodded at the door behind him.
nothing else for it, eddie decided.
nothing good could come of this.
"you remember kenny, don't you?" he asked kosalski.

"how could i forget him?"
as he spoke, kosalski opened the door.
darkness was inside.

before eddie's eyes could adjust, kosalski grabbed by the arm and pulled him inside.
eddie stiffened momentarily.
eventually his eyes adjusted.
now he knew where he was.

harry miller's place.
in the old days harry miller had a haberdashery here.

but what was kosalski's game?
"eddie, i am sure you are wondering why i brought you here today."
"to be frank, i was kind of wondering that myself."

"frankness was always your game."
"i remember this place - harry miller had his haberdashery here."
"eddie, you amaze me. you must have hardly been born when harry miller had his haberdashery here."
"no. i used to buy my hats here."
dusting off a chair beside the window, kosalski sat down.

"all right, let's get down to business."
turning to face kosalski, eddie listened.

"concerning kenny," kosalski began. "he has got to go."
at this, eddie made no immediate response.
"my thinking," kosalski continued, "is that consolidation is the wave of the future."
perfect, thought eddie.

eddie knew this was the moment he had waited for all his life.
victory was in his grasp.
everything he had ever done tended toward this moment.
"no argument here," he answered kosalski.
"to tell you the truth, i expected a little more resistance," said kosalski.
"unless you and kenny aren't such pals as i thought".
all right, eddie thought, he's trying to set me up here.
'let's get one thing straight, detective, kenny is no friend of mine."
"let me ask you, eddie, do you have any friends?"
"yeah, i got friends."

"tell me about them"
"hey, what is this?"
"eddie, i can't do business with someone if i don't know about them."
"you're the cop, you got sources of information."

"how shall i say this?"
at that moment, as kosalski was playing with eddie's head, kenny was talking to sam kennedy.
"decisive action is required."

"decisive action," the attorney repeated.
"right, i hear you. but you can't be too careful"
"i want you to file a wrongful death suit against eddie for johnny's murder.
for good measure, throw in a pain and suffering suit for johnny's mom"
taken aback, the lawyer was almost at a loss for words.
"eddie doesn't have any money - at least he doesn't have any assets."
"doesn't matter - we are sending a message.

a message that we aren't a bunch of street punks.
perhaps eddie and his pals will see that we have other weapons in our arsenal"
"arsenal - that's a big word."
"right - and i got big plans."
turning to the window, kenny watched the raindrops sliding down.

3. lucky

1 - johnny

johnny woke up.
outside it was raining.
how it rained!
never had he heard such rain.
now he had to get up.
yet he did not want to get up.

when he went to look out the window, the rain was still coming down.
outside on the corner he saw kenny waiting.
kenny had been his best friend at camp.
eventually they had drifted apart.

unlike kenny, who had risen in the organization, johnny had fallen to the lowest levels of society.
perhaps kenny cared.

on the other hand, maybe he didn't.
up in the sky, birds and planes were flying.
taking a pair of pants off the chair beside his bed, johnny put them on.
since he had realized kenny was following him, johnny had been perplexed.
in his mind he was confused.
despite his confusion, he felt strangely calm.
everything was going to be all right.

"i can handle this". he said to himself.
talking to himself was something he rarely did.

when he went back to the window after putting his pants on, kenny was still there.
and there was someone else with him.
someone johnny didn't recognize.

right at that moment a car pulled up beside kenny and his new friend.
another person got out.
it was starting to look serious.
not one to waste time, johnny quickly finished getting dressed.
in a few minutes he was ready.
next he put his hat on.
going to the door, he checked his pockets.

he was halfway down the stairs when he heard someone coming up.
on impulse, he reached for the handle of the door beside him and turned it.
when he closed the door softly behind him, he heard voices on the stairwell.

"i know he is up here", he heard someone say.
to his surprise, it was not kenny.

"relax,"another voice said.
another voice that was not kenny.
in the room behind johnny something stirred.
next thing he knew something was stuck in his back.
"eddie," said a voice behind him, "i always knew you'd come back."
despite his situation, johnny almost laughed.

"not eddie," he said.
evidently the person behind him was not amused because he stuck the object harder into johnny's back.
"verify that you are not eddie." the voice behind him said.
"eddie's i.d. isn't in my pocket."
"right - like that proves something."

"have it your way."
"all right."
despite his bravado, johnny was terrified.

he didn't know what to do.
evidently this was the end.

how he wished he could go on living.
eddie - who was eddie?
and what had johnny ever done to him?
rage erupted in his brain.
desperation mingled with the rage.

so this was the end.
until this moment he had never realized how much he wanted to live.
considering he had never gotten a break in his life, this was somewhat surprising.
how could things have gone so wrong?

retreating into his brain, he tried to remember the good times.
anything at all would seem good under the cirumstances.
"i'm not eddie," he repeated in surprisingly calm voice.
"no kidding," the voice behind him replied.

new hope flooded into him.
oscillating with a new despair.
what was going on?

he had hardly begun to hope when he heard a shot and a hot slug ripped through his kidneys and guts.
energy and life flowed out of him.

he was dead.
all he had ever done was meaningless.
dead - totally.

tucking the pistol into his belt after blowing the smoke off it, zeke johnson grimaced disgustedly.
"of all the rotten luck.'

gus hansen nodded disconsonately.
"eddie's still out there."
"tell me about it," zeke replied.

"unless we find eddie, pete's going to be very unhappy."
"pete don't have to know about this guy."

"you might be right"
"except that i might be wrong."
"time will tell."

"help me drag this guy down the stairs."
"excuse me, but shouldn't we put him back in his room?

"dang it, you might have something there."
"i guess."
"didn't i hear someone outside on the stairs?"

"now that you mention it. yeah. i did."
"open the door just a little, see if anyone is out there."
turning the handle, gus peeked out on to the staircase.

when he didn't see anything, he gave zeke the high sign.
at that moment, they heard steps coming down the stairs,
nick and jerry appeared.
too late, gus tried to close the door.

taking a .357 out of his belt, nick approached.
on the other side of the door, zeke pulled his heater out.

gunfire blazed.
everybody in the building and the block heard it.
two or three of them called the law.

up on the roof, eddie lit a cigarette.
puffing away, he smiled faintly.

2. kenny