Friday, May 11, 2012

A Moonlight Stroll

Two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane. Edmond cursed to himself. They had already seen him. It was too late to walk away. Edmond had planned to visit Big Mike earlier today. He only had some of the money he owed and hoped Big Mike would go easy on him if he was upfront about it. But things got too busy at work. Now he was meeting Big Mike in an alley with his younger cousin Little Mickey.
Big Mike was the brains of the operation and the ironically named Little Mickey was the muscle. Both had the same thick black Irish hair and pale skin that was quick to flush with anger. Unlike Big Mike, there was no spark of intelligence in Little Mickey’s blue eyes. A heavyweight boxer in his youth, the years in the ring had taken their toll. He was loyal to Big Mike and followed orders without asking questions.
“I was hoping to run into you gentlemen tonight,” Edmond bluffed. “It’s a fine night for a stroll.”
“It’ll be a fine night for a swim in the Quincy quarry if you don’t have the money you owe me.”
“Indeed,” he reached into his pocket for the cash he had scrounged that day.
Mistaking his intentions, Little Mickey pushed Edmond against a wall. His forearm pressed into Edmond’s windpipe.
“Easy now Little Mickey. I’m sure our friend wasn’t going to do anything stupid. Were you Eddie?”
“No! No!” He said, barely able to speak. “Pocket!”
 “Check his pocket Little Mickey.”
The big man loosened his hold on Edmond long enough to pat him down. He found the envelope in his inside pocket and tossed it to Big Mike.
 “I still owe you the interest,” he explained as he gasped for air. “I was just coming to see you.”
“Were you?” Mickey asked as he counted the money.
“Of course. Why else would I be walking around with that much dough in this part of town?”
Mickey shrugged and waited for Edmond to continue.
“I’ll have the rest in a couple of days. I swear it.”
“Eddie don’t be stupid. It don’t work like that. The longer it takes, the more interest you owe. It doubles every day that passes.”
“I know. I’ll have it. I will.”
“You better. Or that pretty wife of yours will be collecting life insurance. Little Mickey, give Eddie something to help him remember.”
            Edmond heard the nauseating crunch of his nose breaking just before the searing pain shot through his face. He slumped against the wall, too stunned to think straight, but desperate for an idea. There was no way he could scrape up the rest of the money. And next time, Mickey would break more than his nose. Edmond fumbled for his shoe and pulled out the cash he had hidden there. He had no choice. There was just enough left for a bus ticket and a pack of cigarettes.

This week’s Write on Edge prompt asked us to start a story with the opening line from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, “Two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane.” This is more background for the story of Karen. Edmond is her father. She won’t be seeing much of him after this. You can read more of her story here.