This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
“Why did you bring me here?” I stopped.
I stared hard at Derrick. He has been ignoring my questions for the last half an hour. “You’re a pain in the ass.” He sputtered. “I am not walking into that goddamned building with you without an explanation.” I referred to the enormous haunted looking building in front of us. “You asked me to help you to get you a job. I’m doing exactly that. Why don’t you shut up for another five minutes and I will explain everything to you.” Derrick yelled at me in annoyance. I wanted to smack right across his face for the manner he regarded me but as he said I do want a job and that is the sole reason I’m standing here. “Why not now?” I demanded. He placed both his hands on his waist and stared down at me. “Look, there’s no man in there waiting to cut your throat off if that’s what you’re worried about. As much as I want to kill you myself, I know Marilyn would never forgive me.” I clenched my hands when he mentioned my sister’s name.
I have seen Derrick screwing many girls ever since I befriended him two years ago. He was my partner in crime, literally. We had done few larcenies together and even went behind the bars for a couple of times. He was one true friend I trusted until the day I found out there is something going on between him and my younger sister behind my back. Even though he’s taller and muscular than me, I took him down in one blow. After an endless brawl, finally he admitted the truth. I would have been so much happier if it ended there. He, together with my sister declared that they are officially dating and that I have no say about it. Derrick swore in front of her that he is serious about her. My sister trusted him blindly but I couldn’t do the same. I have seen him treating girls like plaything and that is why I couldn’t accept his relationship with my sister. He knew that well.
“Okay, here’s the thing. As you know I have been working with this guy for the past few months. It’s not easy though, you have to get his approval. He will never take just anybody. The good stuff is, you don’t have much work to do since he’s business always in some other place. You will get paid. Just remember, whatever he says is the rule.” Derrick’s voice dropped as he explained.
“He has a name right?” I questioned him. “D. That’s what he’s known as. Never heard his real name. And this is D’s den.” He pointed at the building. “What exactly will the job be about?” I asked for the specific. “Anything we are asked to do.” I would have enquired more but an explosion startled both of us.
We took a few steps backwards as we looked for the source. The second floor of the building was on fire. Wisps of silver grey smokes escaped the rest of the building. The building must be thick with the smokes and wild fire. In seconds the dead looking building came alive. More loud noises were heard and voices of men screaming started. A few men with guns in their hands ran out of the building. I expected them to run out, straight into the jungles we are surrounded by, but instead they stood around the building like guards. “What the hell is going on here?” I yelled at Derrick, who was as shell shocked as I was. “I have no idea.” He said out loud. One of the men, called Derrick. Derrick looked scared stiff but still proceeded forward. After a few exchange of words, he came to me. “Follow me.” He ordered me and started to the entrance. “What?!” I started to turn and run but stopped by two armed men. “You are here, you have no choice.” Derrick said out loud to me. I would have fought them if they were unarmed. I bit my tongue in anger and turned around to Derrick. I couldn’t stop glaring at him for getting me into some serious shit.
Both of us walked into the building cautiously. The doorway was wide open and the wooden door seemed broken as though someone had kicked it few times in anger. The building is made of bricks and wood, the interior was wrecked as expected. It was dark, even with some lighted bulbs hanging at the corner of the huge hall. There were a few wooden chairs and a large old sofa at the centre. A green carpet underneath, which seems burnt almost half its size. There’s a staircase made from wood planks. A few men dressed in black stood scattered in the hall. Derrick nodded at them and walked past them to the inner part of the building. They regarded me with curious eyes. They stood so calm that I wondered if they even heard the explosion.
The smokes made it hard to breathe as we climbed up the wooden planks to the first floor. “Where are we going?” I whispered to Derrick. He shushed me and continued to climb the stairs soundlessly. With no any other choice, I followed him and stopped at the top of the staircase. My jaw dropped open when I saw the scene unfold in front of my eyes. A group of men were standing a few feet away from us in the middle of the hallway. In the centre a man in white suits was pointing a gun at another, who appears to be a young boy, kneeling on the floor. The boy on the floor was staring hard at a girl, sprawled beside him. Her chest was bleeding but still alive barely.
The person with the gun must be D, the mob leader. There’s no fire in the room but only smokes which is thinning away as the seconds goes by. “Tell me where is the other one and I will spare her.” D said to the boy in his icy cold voice. The boy remained quiet for a few seconds and then with an unbelievable speed moved and kicked the gun of D’s hand. The gun scattered to our direction and stopped at Derrick’s shoes. Two men attacked the boy and held him down quickly. D took out another gun from his pocket and without hesitating shot the girl on her chest. I jumped at the loud bang and the cold scene. The boy stopped struggling but he was still glaring at D. D ignored his glare and turned around to face us. I took a step back instinctively. Unexpectedly, D was a young man, probably in his mid twenties. His black hair was neatly gelled to the side. If not for the stunt he pulled seconds ago, I would not have believed such a young man is the head of underground illegal activities. His gaze fell on me. Derrick started to introduce me, “He’s the one I was…” but stopped midway when D raised his hand to stop him. “Take the gun. Let’s see if you’re up for the job.” He said with the same icy voice, eyes on me. I noticed his strange accent. Derrick pushed me forward when I didn’t move.
As I made my way to the spot with a heavy gun in my hand, I noticed some of the men had put out the fire rather messily that the whole wooden floor was drenched. One corner of the second floor was burnt, now looking black in colour, there’s a huge hole on the wooden wall that made it easier to see the men standing outside. Apparently, whatever that exploded was not such a big deal if not the whole floor would not be able to support all of us on it. However that was not the important thing to focus on. “Where is the other one?” D asked. The boy looked up with pure hatred in his eyes. His lips were torn and bleeding. “I know you’re not alone. The three of you were sent here, to take me down. Only three, I feel insulted. Am I that easy?” D stood in front of him and watched him with a dangerous glint in his eyes.
“Where is he?” D asked again, in his spooky calm voice. The guy refuse to answer and one of the men kicked him right across his face. The guy fell on the floor and spat out blood from his mouth. The whole room fell silent. “Go and look for him.” D told no one in particular but half the men in the room rushed out of the place, down the stairs, including Derrick. Cluelessly, I followed Derrick but D stopped me. “Not you.” He pointed at me. “Fine, I know your kind, the kind that never sold others out. Let’s play a game.” He told the guy and took the gun from me. He took out all the bullets and then loaded only one into the gun and spun the barrel. “Now, each time you get lucky. You cost your other friend’s life unless you want to answer my question.” The guy gave a cold glare at D, fearless. “You, pull the trigger when I tell you to.” D said to me. My body went cold. I have robbed so many people but never have I killed any. I wanted to bolt but knew that would cost my life. As Derrick said, I have no choice. I took the gun stiffly from D. I could feel D’s gaze sharp on me, seizing me up. I guess this is my way to join this group, though I’m not sure if I want to be part of this. I stood in front of the guy and pointed the gun at him, waiting for the word.
One of the men from downstairs shouted, “Found him…” His voice was cut short as though something made him stop talking. A vile smile appeared on D’s face. “Shoot him.” He ordered. My hand started to shook. I had to hold the gun in both my hands but I couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger. D took a gun from one of his men after a few seconds. I had a feeling that that gun will be pointed at me if I didn’t do as I was told. As my heart slamming against my ribs, I pulled the trigger. ‘Click’, the sound was heard but no bullet hit the boy.
I could faintly hear the loud noise coming from downstairs and how the noise dying off slowly. D laughed with no humor. I cringed away from him. “You’re lucky but not your friend.” He told him. We heard the stairs creaked loudly. We turned and saw a man in black attire and mask covering his face stood still with gun pointed at us. I froze in place. My gun was still pointed at the boy kneeling on the floor and D’s gun now pointed at the man at the stairs. It was just a matter of who make the first move for all hell to break loose.
I didn’t expect the one I’m holding at gun point to move first. He kicked me on my gut and attacked D. I hit the hard wooden floor and groaned in pain. The boy and D were on the floor few feet away from me, fighting. One by one the D’s men fell on the floor as the gun spit out bullets expertly at its victims. It happened so fast, the four men were dead as each bullet hit their vital organs. Another shot rang through the building and I shrieked in agony. The bullet hit the side of my body. I have never felt such an extreme pain in my entire life. My vision blurred for few seconds. The man in the mask won the war, I thought to myself. My death is here. Both the boy and the man held D down in no time. The man in mask walked past me to the girl died earlier. He knelt down and touched her face gently. Only then I noticed their attire was the same, including the boy. D’s wicked smile was still plastered on his as they escorted him downstairs. I was left forgotten with the rest of the dead. I heard a vehicle pull up. I crawled to the centre of the room and the big hole resulted by the fire made it easier for me to see the jeep. A few men with weapons poured out of the jeep and then again gunshots cracked into the air as loud as thunder. It was D’s men that had arrived. I picked myself up in excruciating pain. I inched close to the staircase with a rifle that I had taken from one of the dead men. I went down the stairs one step at once. Both the masked man and the boy fired at the men outside while hiding in the house. They were completely unaware of my existence at the top of the staircase. D was nowhere to be seen. I aimed at the masked man in anger. Though I had just got caught in between this crazy shit, I wanted to blow his head for shooting at me. I pulled the trigger but instead of his head, it hit his leg. The masked man fell on the ground and just when the other boy got distracted, a bullet hit his head and he collapsed on the floor as well. The men swarm into the house and checked the two of them. “Tie him up. I want him alive.” I heard D’s voice as he entered the house. His eyes found me on top of the stairs. His ugly smile was back on his face. “You’re hired.” He said out loud to me.
“This room is cozier than I expected.” I said. I am now in a bedroom in the same building where I almost died. The haunted looking building is more like a mansion due to its size. There are more rooms found on the second floor. Apparently it’s a hiding place for D’s men whenever they are not out there committing crimes. It’s been almost 8 hours since the life threatening commotion. D took off immediately with the masked man, who was knocked unconscious and tied up. A few other men followed him. We were left with orders to clean up the mess which included the dead bodies. I blacked out few minutes after that and woke up to Derrick’s scarred face staring at me.
Derrick filled me in as to what had happened after I fell unconscious on the stairs itself. Derrick had a major slash across his cheek and his arm is bandaged. Derrick had been knocked unconscious when he encountered the masked man. Derrick claimed to have woken up just when the jeep had arrived, though I doubt that. Derrick might have just pretended dead until the whole thing ended but I didn’t press on that issue.
“D, that guy is a lot younger than I expected.” I said. I tried to move my body to sit but the excruciating pain from the bullet wound made me gave up moving entirely for another hour or so. Derrick closed the wooden door after checking the hallway. Then he took a seat on the only chair in the room. “If you are planning to live longer don’t go around commenting about him.” Derrick warned me. “I didn’t know you are loyal to some young boy.” I said sarcastically. “Loyal?” He asked and laughed humorlessly. “I don’t give a damn about loyalty, it’s all about money and power. When you’re D’s men, people and even the police will be afraid of you. You get paid well and you have a great hideout. Life is great.” Derrick said with such a pride on his face. “Of course there’s risk.” He added when I didn’t share his emotion.
“Do you at least know for what we are risking ourselves, what’s this mob is about and who’s that masked man?” I questioned him. I am more curious about the masked man who almost wiped out all D’s men in a blink of an eye. I hope D had killed him because I have a feeling if he comes back, we will face a lot worse than that.
“What I do know is that D’s dad was the mastermind, the creator of this mob. He started the whole thing, all these illegal business that D took over was massive and he was a gruesome man. He was quite popular for being the killer with no mercy.” Derrick explained. I listened intently. “Anyway he’s a dead man now. D, the son is in charge.” Derrick looked around once again before saying, “They say he is a maniac and he doesn’t care about running whatever business his dad left behind. All he wants to do is take revenge on his dad’s death. I’m not sure who but I’m guessing the masked man is connected with it. Just stay out of it.” Derrick stopped talking when another guy pushed open the door. A rifle in his hand, he gestured Derrick out. “Tomorrow we are heading out. Get rest now.” Derrick told me and walked away with the other.
I’m working for a maniac, great.
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Katharine Southworth: I think this is an important love story. The author tackles the highs and lows of a romantic relationship and I truly empathized with both characters. As one descends into depression the other must find ways to cope with watching their loved one suffer. This is a heartbreaking struggle that I hav...
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Maciej Rybczynski: I got into this book yesterday and could not stop reading. Good to have it finished as there is plenty other pressing matters. :) The flow of action is excellent. The author managed to keep all the boring parts outside of this book. Really enjoyed reading it.
catd69: Karim is a very talented writer. When I started reading his journey it took me into the book and I was in the story till the end. I've never felt this way with any other writers stories. If you want to read a gripping adventure, this will be the one book I would suggest you pick.
Grace Mendoza: It took me around 3-4 days to finish reading this story and it feels like I'm watching a movie while reading this. Everything is so eloquently written and this MUST be published as a book and turn to a movie. There are minute spelling problems BUT nothing to bothered about. Hands down to the amaz...
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