“What price are we talking about here?” Snowy said to the man dressed in the Armani suit sitting across the table from him. The roadside café was packed full of people, it was lunch hour. The place was full of office types and factory grunts sat shoulder to shoulder eating the same shitty food served daily; it was a perfect place to get lost in the crowd and discuss business.
“Twenty K for the first batch and eighteen thereafter,” the man in the Armani suite said.
“Twenty?” Snowy said. “Isn’t that a little high, Sweet?”
“You can’t afford it, you go find some other nigger to supply you,” Sweet said.
Snowy began scratching his neck beneath his chin, thinking to himself he should have taken a hit first thing that morning.
“No man, I got that covered,” Snowy said, he was begging to sweat underneath his Adidas tracksuit. “It’s just a little high, that’s all.”
“You want the real shit, you pay the real price,” Sweet said.
Outside the café, a white van was parked amongst the vehicles in the car park. Inside the van were detective’s Mickey O’Neil, and Joe Sanchez. O’Neil, a fat, balding man was hunched over a laptop at a small table; listening in through his headphones to the conversation taking place inside the café. His partner was sat next to him wearing another set of headphones.
“Are you hearing this jerkoff?” Sanchez said. “This asshole Snowy’s, gonna blow the whole thing.”
“Shush,” O’Neil said, casually munching on a bag of potato chips. “Have faith.”
“Faith?” Sanchez said. “We’re trying to use a scumbag, drug-dealing, heroin addict to bring down Boston’s most notorious arms dealer. We need more than faith my friend, we need a fucking miracle.”
There was no doubt it was a risky move, but O’Neil had become desperate. Sweet was a ghost. After five years of tracking the son of a bitch, this was the closest he had ever come. If it was going to take a known drug pusher with a ten year stretch hanging over his head to get his man, then so be it.
Sanchez said, “I mean, I don’t normally question your judgement, but this is some crazy shit.”
“Why didn’t you say something before?” O’Neil said.
“What did I say?”
“You told me to stop bitching.”
“Well, there ya go.”
Inside the café, Snowy was wishing the whole thing would hurry the fuck up. His body was aching all over and he felt like he was inside a microwave oven. He unzipped his tracksuit top to let some air in, his t-shirt was soaked.
“You wearing a wiretap motherfucker?” Sweet said, looking at the small wire sticking out from the bottom of Snowy’s sweaty t-shirt.
“No,” Snowy said, making a mental note never to go to a business meeting without shooting up first.
“Well, why the fuck you got a wire hanging out your shirt?” Sweet said.
“Oh that,” Snowy said. “That’s my iPod.”
Sweet stood up, leaned across the table and pulled up Snowy’s shirt, exposing his pasty white torso with the wiretap strapped to him.
Two heavies, Snowy didn’t know were there, came around from the table behind him. One of the guys reached inside his pocket.
“No please, don’t kill me,” Snowy said. A large group of people in the cafe were now staring at them.
Sweet reached over to the guy who had his hand inside his pocket and stopped him from pulling out his shooter.
“Not here,” Sweet said, “we get this motherfucker the next time.” And then to Snowy, “Consider this a stay of execution. But don’t forget, you’re on death- row, bitch. I’ll be seeing you real soon.”
The two heavies lead the way out with Sweet close behind. The crowd of onlookers watched as Sweet exited then they looked over to the sickly looking man left sat at the table. A terrible realisation came over Snowy. This was it, his number was finally up. If the cops threw him in jail now he would be no better off than if they let him loose on the street, Sweet would get him eventually. Even though he didn’t die today, he was dead tomorrow.
“Fuck it,” Snowy said. He pulled his gun out of the back of his trousers and ran out the door after Sweet.
The sound of gunshots rang out inside the surveillance van like a hammer hitting a steel drum. O’Neil and Sanchez came charging out, guns at the ready. They spotted the bullet ridden Hummer and the two dead guys in the front - one hunched over the wheel with half his face blown off, the other sitting upright with multiple holes in his chest. Their man Snowy, standing there with his gun pointing at the cowering figure of Sweet on the floor.
“Put down the gun Snowy,” O’Neil said, his partner slowly circling to the back of the shooter.
“I let this guy go, I’m a dead man,” Snowy said.
“You shoot this guy, I will put bullets in your fucking head,” O’Neil said. “Drop your god dam weapon, now!”
“What are you waiting for?” Sweet said to the detectives. “Just shoot the motherfucker.”
“Shut up sweet,” O’Neil said.
“Yea, shut up Sweet,” Snowy said, and pulled the trigger.
The bullet hit Sweet in the chest, laying him out on the floor. Sanchez shot Snowy in the back of the head; he fell forward and landed on Sweet.
“Son of a bitch,” O’Neil said. Stalking up and down the car park, he could only imagine how this was going to look when he was sat in front of his Sergeant tomorrow morning.
Suddenly, Sweet began coughing and moaning in pain; he pushed Snowy’s body off him and got to his knees. Taking off his suit jacket and shirt, he revealed a bullet proof vest with a single dent in the centre.
“You gotta be fucking kidding me,” O’Neil said.
My name is David Gilbert and I am 35 years old. I live in Coventry, England. I have been writing short fiction ever since I was a school boy. I made the decision earlier this year to concentrate on my craft entirely by switching to part time employment to free up the time needed to commit to writing. My favourite genre is crime fiction, and my favourite authors are Elmore Leonard and George V. Higgins. I am a self-confessed film geek, and I try to emulate a cinematic style in my writing.