Well, here it is, a little treat for my followers - the first chapter of Crazy 8′s, the sequel to 52 Pickup. I’m sharing since it’s Day 7 (AU) of Rogue/Gambit Week 2020. I don’t know if I’ll ever finish this story, even though I got a fair way through it, since I wrote myself into a corner, and I’m not sure I like it very much. But I hope you like it anyway. Enjoy!
rule in the book.
Don’t get caught.
hear pere’s voice in my head, clear as day, literally beatin’ the words into
all of us, his snotty-nosed, grass-stain-scuffed li’l Fagin’s gang.
Don’t. Get. Caught.
then his face, leaning in towards mine, grinning, saying:
Unless, o’ course, you have a reason t’get
that was mon pere, full of good, subtle ideas. He’d usually direct them at me
cos he knew I was like the worst kind of sponge. I’d be soakin’ all that shit
up, swimmin’ in it like a gator swims in swamp water. As a kid, I’d always figured he was just
picking on me. As an adult, I realise all he was doing was laying down
challenges, cos he knew this punk-ass kid would rise to the bait every time, pushing
every damn boundary he could along the way.
You got potential, boy. But you got no
discipline. Always halfway t’ bein’ in a rage, t’ ventin’ it out on some poor trash.
You play de con, kid, you live de con. No heart-on-your-sleeve shit. Dat stays inside. Cos y’know what? Folks can
read dat crap a mile away.
pretty boy,” the man to my right grunts, as the alarms I’ve set off still
scream all around us. “Getcha arse in gear. The boss don’t take kindly to
prods me in the back with the barrel of his gun, a little too sharply than is
strictly necessary; but I get it, he has a job to do, and actin’ mean is part
well, that’s what bosses are like, mon ami,” I answer with a smirk. “Never got
time for nothin’. Mebbe you should think about goin’ freelance, neh? It has its advantages. No calls at unsociable hours… Don’t gotta do
all the dirty work y’self… Get t’ have a couple of pretty femmes hangin’ on
your every word… Still. I reckon mebbe you two ain’t smart ’nuff yet t’
graduate from the ol’ ‘Crime Boss 101’ course, am I right?”
The guy to my left gives me a crack on the back of the head with what I assume
is also the barrel of a gun. “Shut the fuck up!”
Boring, predictable, run-of-the-mill flunkies. These couyons ain’t never gon’
make it past mid-tier bodyguard material.
those alarms are still
screaming. Ain’t some asshole gon’ shut
it off already? It’s givin’ me a headache.
I do as I’m told and shut the fuck up.
Mostly because I’m busy scanning the décor of this corridor we appear to
be walking down. The walls are lined with
paintings, a mess of eras and styles that could tell anyone with an ounce of
taste that whoever’s collecting this shit has none. Taste, that is. All it tells me is that this guy has cash,
and he don’t mind throwin’ it ’round. We
walk past a Cezanne, and I grimace.
Hang on in there, li’l guy, I say to
myself as we sweep right by it. One
o’these days I’m gonna free you. Soon.
let’s face it.
think I’m gonna leave a Cezanne to rot in Cain Marko’s fuckin’ playboy mansion
when it could be on my wall?