Thursday, December 16, 2010

POP17: “The Trap”

The Big Boy Saga Continues


Sal the Hood was a young guy with attitude, his confidence bolstered by two pistols kept on his person. He outlined to Fake Face his plan of how to use Merrily the coffeeshop girl. She’d innocently arrange a meeting someplace with Big Boy, then when Big Boy arrived, she wouldn’t be there. They would be.

“Sound good?” Sal asked.

Fake Face’s head moved in an agitated way, though of course the mask that was his face to the world smiled as always. You never knew where you stood with him, Sal realized. He couldn’t be fathomed.

“A nice plan,” Fake Face said. “But in my outfit I make the plans.”

He pointed to himself. His gloved finger jabbed himself several times.

“ME! Me me me me me. This is what we do. We don’t wait. We move right away. Right now. This minute. Speed is everything. You think I want to wait wait while maneuvers are created against me and flanking takes place on all sides in this game of mouse and cat? We go grab the girl now and once we have her Big Boy is ours!”

Sal the Hood shook his head.

“No, I’m against it. This girl. . . . No can do. It’d be kidnapping, Boss. You heard it on the cd. Big Boy’s aunt is the friggin’ District Attorney! That’s the trap. They’ll fry you for sure if we do that.”

“And I say we go NOW,” Fake Face insisted, holding a gold plated pistol against Sal’s head. “We go, just the two of us.”

The irony wasn’t lost on Fake Face (he was nothing if not ironic) that he was kidnapping Sal. But Sal was a thug, while he himself was a much beloved celebrity in Killtown. Rules were made for those with power.

Sal drove the two of them to the girl’s place, in the chaotic neighborhood of Anarchia. Fake Face couldn’t wait for other gang members. His greed and his hunger were his strengths. He was hungry to grab the girl. She lived with another woman in a tiny basement room which could be reached only from an alley. It was early afternoon. She slept late. She was undoubtedly there now.

Another cloudy day, so dark Sal had the car’s headlights on. The sky moved; purple: ominous. The car pulled into the alley and stopped in a side space against a fence so to not block the way of possible delivery trucks. Sal had described the small door leading to the basement. The door waited fifteen yards ahead. The two men looked at each other.

“Boss, I . . . ,” Sal began.

Fake Face hit Sal across the side of the head with the gold pistol, then again.

“What?” Fake Face asked the dazed figure. “WHAT?! You don’t want to go with me? Is that what you want to say? Or maybe you do want to go. A bad idea! Ha ha. Don’t you think I noticed when you played the recording? Methinks you fell for the girl yourself! No, no, a bad bad idea. You wait here. When I come out with her I only hope you’ve recovered.”

Fake Face left the car and stepped into the alley.

Here is where his plan had gone wrong. A trap had been set, yes. For him. He was the intended victim.

As Fake Face moved confidently forward, three large men in green appeared at the other end of the alley. Big Boy was one of them. They held, in order, an AR-14, an Uzi, and an AK47. They saw the hatted figure pause. In a moment orange flame and gray bullets jumped from their muzzles and tore through the alley to kill and destroy any living thing. For three minutes the weapons fired—the shocking noise of a war.

“Enough,” Big Boy finally ordered.

They ran forward to verify their victim and discovered—nothing. Nothing except the shreds of an expensive burgundy derby, which Fake Face had looked to be wearing when he approached. But where was the man himself? Where was the blood?

“Here’s a few red drops of something,” one of Big Boy’s men said.

The drops went right up to a wall. Fake Face couldn’t have gone through bricks!

For all they knew it was a rodent’s blood.

The three former college football players wondered if, as in a game, they’d been too slow—if they’d hesitated just a moment; full of too much eagerness—before pressing the triggers of their weapons. Had they fired too high? They didn’t know.

To the side sat a car with the gangster Sal half-passed out in the driver’s seat. A few stray bullets had dusted the car’s fenders. It was otherwise untouched. Big Boy and his men looked underneath the vehicle and behind it. Sirens sounded in the distance, growing louder. The three men were puzzled. The sirens grew louder.

“What do we do?”

The sirens grew louder.

“We beat it,” Big Boy said.

That evening Big Boy had a drink with his aunt in the District Attorney’s private office. He filled a plush red armchair as if it were a toy. The man was visibly shaken. A collection of nerves which no amount of whiskey could cure.

“Get ahold of yourself, Maxwell,” she scolded him. “It’ll do no good to fall apart.”

“But—,” Big Boy said.

“But—yes,” she countered, looking away from him toward the vulnerable window. “If Fake Face is alive we’re in trouble. He’s the kind you have to finish. Otherwise, he’ll be after us.”

The beetle-browed woman shuddered at the thought.

(NEXT: "The Armory")

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