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Night Call

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Night Call

Post by Ush on May 29th 2017, 7:00 am

"'Ay, Irish, I got a lady out in the Bronx who had a break in. Place got cleaned up, still a bit of a mess. I'd ask someone else, since I know it might get a little dodgey for a man without colour like you, but everyone's out on call."
John checked the time. 8:34 AM. Not like he was doing anything else today.
"Sure, send me on the address. I'll be there in an hour."
Slowly, painfully slowly, John stood up from his bed. His back let out a low cry of agony, but it wasn't as bad as it had been in recent months. Meant that today was going to be at least somewhat warm, he thought.
The shower calmed him. It always did. The water was hot, even if the funnel was a bit strange and leaky. John absentmindedly rubbed the scars across his back as he stood there, feeling it pour around him, watching it go down the drain.
The Bronx. He'd driven through it before, but he'd never stopped. In Ireland, there weren't many people of African origin. John wasn't a racist guy, and driving through it he'd been shocked at both the level of poverty and the almost universally black populace.
A little limbered up from his shower, John set out to get ready for the day. He went into the kitchen, where his little rigged-up kettle allowed him to make himself coffee at exactly 8:45 every day (he liked to leave for the gym at 9 AM on his off days). Good Irish coffee couldn't be made in machines. Coffee machines weren't really a thing back home. It wasn't that people couldn't afford them, it was just that they were seen as a piece of life that would turn you into a bit of a bitch. Like air conditioning, owning a gun for self-defence, water-based lubes...
John drank his coffee quickly, then brushed his teeth and shaved as well as he could. He dressed in his work clothes, heavy jeans with a black polo-necked t-shirt, and then he was out the door with his tools.
His van was blue, at his own insistence. He wasn't going to explain to the cops why he had duck tape in his white van, after all. 'I'm only a carpenter' might not fly when he was in the shape he was in, especially with his history in the army.
John's drive took him down the 9A, past the Hudson. Nothing like the Lee, the river he had grown up with. The Hudson would kill you if you drank it. The Lee would just give you polio.
He turned onto the 95, then up Jerome Avenue. The apartments here weren't in a bad state, which was good. He parked at the sidewalk, making sure that one of his many illegal parking tickets (which he never paid, just like his general taxes) was proudly presented at the windshield. As long as that was there, he'd be okay.
The receptionist sent him up without a second glance. He was a well-groomed young man with a carpenter's belt. No one suspected him of anything, which was good. In this world, you had to be able to remain anonymous even if you did nothing wrong.
"Miss James?" he said, knocking on the door. "Eli Phitz sent me, the carpenter?"
The sound of a chain-lock coming undone, then the door opened. A black woman of maybe sixty years of age stood there in hair curlers and a dressing gown, looking him up and down.
"Ah, yes, Eli said you'd be coming. He's a good man. Forgive the state of me, I'm... I'm a little shook, is all."
"No need to worry, ma'am. I'll get to work," John said, smiling at her in a way he hoped was non-threatening. Really, though, it was probably a little off-putting, as she backed away into the apartment quickly.

Miss James, first name Mary ("I have Irish blood," she had said with a smile) explained to John slowly throughout the day what had happened. She had come home to find her door smashed down and her wardrobe smashed. She'd kept a small safe back there, she'd explained, but that was gone now.
John worked carefully, listening to what she said to him. He was a good listener. Able to get details from people. And she gave him a few. The man, who'd been wearing a mask, had had a weird eye. Lazy, she'd said, as she told the police. She also said he'd had a weird star-shaped scar on the back of his hand. "Like those ones the Nazis made the Jews wear, the star of David."
The description had seemed weirdly familiar to John, but he hadn't said anything. Wasn't his business. Mary paid him well when he was finished, the wall repaired and the wardrobe mended, and he went on his way at exactly 4:00 PM.
As he drove home, John couldn't help but think. Star-shaped scar. Lazy eye.
Oh, fuck, he realised, opening his glove compartment and taking out the little wallet he used to hold the IDs of troublemakers at various clubs he bounced at at the weekends.
Davis Maine. Small-time crook, according to a bouncer John sometimes worked with. "Good at not getting caught, though, so there's no point phoning him in."
He'd started a fight in the little bar John had been working in, gotten a hiding at the hands of the Irishman, had an ID and fifty dollars confiscated before being sent on his not-so-merry way.
That ID had an address on it.
John thought about Mary James, living alone, and the terror she must have felt with this guy bearing down on her. Maine was a big son of a bitch, tall and strong.
Another part of John thought about what might have been in that safe.
As soon as he was home, he got into his 'work clothes'. Setanta's gear. Nothing fancy. A rashguard, a tightly-fitted black coat that gave him just a little bit of padding, some black combat pants and some light gloves. His balaclava went with him, hidden in his pocket.
John drove back out to the Bronx, and parked just two streets from Maine's apartment.
In the front door, or up the fire escape. John thought for a second and then went up the stairs inside the building. No need to act all guilty before he'd done something illegal.
He knocked.
"Davis Maine? Carpenter, you called?"
A sound of a chair scraping across the floor.
"I didn't call for a carpenter," a voice called out, but the door opened anyway.
John socked the big man straight in the mouth, his balaclava already on.
"Maybe not, but someone else sure as hell did," said Setanta in his accentless voice as he stepped across the threshold.
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Re: Night Call

Post by Johanna Sharpe on May 29th 2017, 8:34 am

It was early, perhaps too early for Johanna as her hand descended with a mighty fury on her alarm clock. She had to get ready for school, definitely something she did not look forward to. The young girl sat on the edge of her bed for several minutes as she tried to wake up. The long nights she had been pulling recently were beginning to get to her, or so it seemed at the moment. Taking a moment to stretch, Johanna rose from her bed and approached the dresser at the far end of the room where her phone sat. Reaching down for it, the young girl quickly checked through her messages to see if she had missed something.

Johanna let out a loud sigh as she turned around and threw her phone down on the foot of her bed before retreating into the bathroom for a nice warm shower. Moments later she would come rushing down the stairs where she would meet her parents who had just sat down to breakfast. *One of the many perks of owning your own company* she thought to herself as she passed by her parents. The smiles they flashed her and the well wishes they offered her on her way out the door all seemed to fake to Johanna now after discovering their secret.

She left her house and made her way down to the corner where she waited exactly twenty minutes each day for the bus to arrive. The idea of going to school had all but lost its impact on the young girl, the classes were boring, her fellow students were all but apes compared to her, and last but certainly not least, Johanna felt she could be spending her time doing much more exciting things, but alas, going to school was a necessary evil she had to commit to if she were to continue her double lifestyle without her parents ever catching wind.

As expected, about halfway through her first class, Johanna was ready to strangle every one of her classmates, but luckily salvation came in the form of a text. Feeling the slight buzz in her pocket, Johanna looked down at her phone simply to find a message reading “The boss wants a word with you.”

When school had finally let out, instead of heading straight home, the young girl headed down town to meet with an old ‘friend’ of her parents. The man was an older gentlemen who had managed to escape the wrath of her parents when they had decided to turn to the good side. After Johanna had learned about their past, she had sought out the old man in hopes that he would provide her with the type of excitement she had been missing out on her whole life. Johanna phoned her parents to inform them that she was going to be hanging out with friends and that she would be home late, just so she could go see the old man and find out what it was he wanted with her.

Johanna enjoyed theatrics and wasn’t one to simply arrive at the old geezers night club on foot. Instead, she chose to suit up and swing her way through the skyline till she made it to the club. Everything the old man did was discrete and that included where he liked to conduct his meetings. Johanna dropped down off the roof of the club and slid in through the back door before walking into a side room next to the kitchen. “You wanted to see me old timer?” she asked nonchalantly as she waltzed through the door to the meeting room.

The young girl received several looks of disgust and anger from the old man’s henchmen, but with a simple raise of his hand, they all backed down and backed slowly into the corners of the room.
“Yes, yes, come in Johanna, take a seat. I’ve got some business to discuss.”
The young girl cautiously approached the chair the old man had pointed to, but did no sit, instead she leaned against the back of the chair and shrugged, waiting to here what the man had to say.
“Right….down to business as usual, you know you get that from your father, cold S O B that one. Anyway. I have this ‘associate’ that I ordered to do a simple payment collection for me. Wouldn’t you know it, the stupid bastard thought he could double cross me and decided to keep the payment for himself. Perhaps I could persuade you to ‘take’ back whats rightfully mine? I’ll let you keep a quarter of the payment for all your troubles.”

Johanna’s cold and calculating eyes glared at the man. For being as young as she was, there was a serious amount of intimidation behind those eyes of hers. With a light sigh, Johanna leaned off the chair and straightened herself out. “Just give me the address, and I’ll make sure you get your money.”
The old man clapped with glee and motioned for one of his goons to hand Johanna a piece of paper with the address on it. The target was all the way across town, but that was no biggie for Johanna.

It took the young girl about half an hour, but she had finally made it to the building in question. She did a quick run by the front of the building to find out what floor her target was on, and then proceeded to use the fire escape to reach the window to the man’s apartment. Just as Johanna was sliding the window open, she heard the sound of a knock at the door. It was like this break in had been gifted to her, but just as soon as she began to climb in through the window, she witnessed the man get his lights knocked out by another man. Johanna stared awkwardly at the man in the balaclava. “Well uh….this isn’t awkward or nothin.” she said flashing a nervous smile.

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