February 1, 9:30 pm
February 1, 9:30 pm
The booth was smoky as a fat balding man sat in the shadows puffing on his cigar. The make was fancy much like his striped suite that gleamed with a blue haze from the illumination of the room. He watched perversely at the show girls on stage as they danced in their low dresses and knee high boots. Licking his lips as he nudged a black tall male with an Afro the size of a picnic basket. The man simply nodded as he dug under his fingernails with a knife, bored with the life of the party within the club. Shrugging it off the balding man sat back and rested his hands behind his head smiling as if he was already in heaven. Puffing on his cigar he leaned forward and extinguished it on the table leaving a scorched mark. Perking his eyes in front of him his face turned serious and rigid as if all matter of joy had vanished.
“So let me get this right. You want to leave my family for a better life?” The balding man began as he stared intently at a young twenty something year old. His medium length hair and long sideburns gave off a distinction of clear youth and fine grooming. His clothes pressed and clean with a jean jacket and bell bottom jeans to fit the occasion at the club.
“We both know I was only hear to get off the streets Mr. Alderman.” The man began as he rubbed his chin looking around the club. Taking in the stench of intoxicating alcohol and cigar smoke, he began to feel nauseous wishing to remove himself from the booth. His eyes drifted to the small casino and gambling den near the center stage of the show girls. Drifting his stare he watched as a familiar female danced with the other show girls looking none to pleased by the sour look on her face.
“Ahh Shawn call me Bill, no need for such a formal conversation this is a party after all!” Bill replied as he followed the mans gaze back to the stage with an odd grin. Shaking his head he reached forward grabbing a small glass of aged scotch. Sniffing it before indulging himself he sat it back down with a pleased sigh. “But as I do with all my family members I must offer a parting gift.” Bill added as he searched Shawn’s gaze to look him in the eye. Lifting his hand he motioned towards the man in the Afro. “Jerome, the gift please.” Mr. Alderman stated as he opened his hand without giving him a motion to rebuttal. Sighing the man walked up and dug in his red tight pants that matched his long collar shirt. Fishing out a small box he dropped it in Bill’s hand before giving Shawn a dirty look of betrayal.
“No need for a gift Bill.”
Reaching forward Bill placed the small brown box in front of him with a smile. Eyeing the box and then to Shawn he almost demanded in the simple silence of background music and stomping of feet on the stage. Reluctant Shawn reached forward and opened the box sighing lightly before pulling out a ring. Peering at the engravings withing the dimly lit booth, he took notice of a skull wearing a fedora and the days date of February 1st 1970. Looking up at Bill with a half smile he slowly put the ring onto his right hand knowing the symbol was the families crest given only to those worthy.
“A gift of high value and also remorse.” Bill began as he scratched his chin, neck jiggling in the process. Shawn bit back a sense to laugh, never having gotten over how such a short fat individual could also be the most menacing criminal this side of New Orleans. “Unfortunately there is one more job to bestow to you Shawn before I can just let you go.” The man began as he pulled out another cigar lighting it slowly. Shawn waited with anticipation eager but also frightened as a bead of sweat rolled down his cheek. After puffing a few times making sure the cigar lit properly Bill sat up straight and motioned to the end of the booth. Averting his eyes Shawn took notice of a black briefcase before shaking his head.
“No, No ,No I am not doing a drug run this is why I am getting out...”
“Don’t piss your pants boy this is but money to my investment in this years Mardi Gras parade.” Bill added breaking off Shawn’s train of thought. Pointing his Cigar at Shawn he chuckled softly as he shook his head. “A simple errand but an errand that needs trusting, I need you to deliver it tonight.” Bill added before he studied Shawn’s face as it slowly calmed down from the anxiety.
“Fine but after tonight Bill I am done the fuzz can be knocking down that door any minute.” Shawn added as he stood up slowly reaching for the briefcase. He eyed Jerome as he gave him a dirty look before grabbing the handle of the case. Averting his gaze back to Bill Alderman he extended a hand as if to shake in modest and respect terms. Shaking his head Bill stood up and outstretched his arms as if to hug Shawn. Grimacing with a sour look he obliged to the hug and removed himself as quickly as possible.
“Do this gig for me Shawn and you are free. Just drop this off to Margaret Moore and we will have both our hands washed in the manner.” Bill replied as he eased himself back down onto the booth looking back up to Shawn grinning in the process.
“Are you still working with that crazy old bat and her fake voodoo.” Shawn scoffed shaking his head as he took notice of the stage girls leaving the platform. Shawn left abruptly leaving Bill no room to respond, as he walked back towards the performers exit.
Bill Alderman watched with squinting eyes and a lighted cigar that illuminated his face. Clicking his fingers he motioned to Jerome who quickly smiled obliging to the request of following Shawn in the process.
“Follow him but don’t make it obvious, I am banking on him stealing that money so I have a reason to cut the sour saps tongue and feed him to the gators.” Bill added as he made a fist and quickly hit the table in a controlled anger. Jerome nodded as he threw his knife into his pocket pushing forward almost blending in with the shadows of the room. “Your move sparky are you going to get out of this alive?” Bill added under his breath as he leaned back with a sinister grin letting the shadows hide his smile.
It did not take but a second as Shawn entered the dressing room and was holding the woman from the stage. She was a petite young lass who had more makeup than an average diva and red hair that hung low in small curls. Shawn held her close as she cried earnestly shaking as if in fear and confusion.
“Lets take this outside Melissa” Shawn implied as a tall blonde woman approached them in her full body tight spandex outfit. The bottoms jagged with lace and high heel boots to appear even taller. Sighing with annoyance Shawn shook his head as she walked up.
“Listen sugar she has orders to performe tonight and no boy is gona come up in hear and stall my show.” The diva implied as she pushed out her leg arching her back as if in a mood to hassle with. “Mr. Alderman owns this bitch along with all them other girls you cant be stealing property even if you are walking out on the family.” The woman added her brow furrowed as if angered.
“Listen...Sarah right?” Shawn began but was given a blank stare as he looked back at her. “I only need a moment alone with her is that fine?” Sighing and rolling her eyes she walked past them hitting his shoulder in a rude notion.
“Ten minutes darling then shes back on stage and probably onto some rich guys lap.” Sarah added as she began bellowing out orders to the other ladies crowded around the curtain helpless to the lives they had no control over.
Raising his eyebrow he pulled one of the curtains to better hide himself and Melissa from the harsh madam. A smile quickly arose from her lips as she pressed them to Shawn’s in a matter of love and lust. Holding her close he held her like that for but a moment before pushing her away gently seeing her crying slightly. Her eyes averted to the briefcase then back to his face, a look of anger and betrayal befit her as she quickly smacked Shawn across the cheek. Standing there and letting her smack him making not a move to retaliate, but simply reached out and pulled her close to him letting her sob in his chest.
“I have a plan but you must be ready tonight.” Shawn said as he whispered to her ear instantly forcing her to shiver as if shocked.
“You cant they will kill you if you take me with you.”Melissa stated as he looked up with eyes red from the crying. Wiping her tears Shawn smiled as he shook his head as if hoped filled him to the brim.
“We have the money to escape.” He whispered as he lifted the briefcase with a cocky smile. Melissa quickly gave him a look of shock and horror backing away from him as if cursed.
“That is blood money they are testing you Shawn I seen this before.” Melissa stated as she crossed her arms feeling highly uncomfortable with the situation. Shawn reached out a hand as if to calm but grimaced as she shied away from his touch as if peculiar about the briefcase. Setting it on the ground he walked over to her and embraced her in his arms.
“Trust me baby everything will be ok nothing can stop me I already had this planned out and had Ernie prepare the counterfeit bills.” Shawn added as he pushed back lifting her chin to see into her eyes. “I will be back here in a few hours, simply say your stepping out for a joint and I come pick you up and we will high tale it out of here.” Shawn stated as he took her hand and kissed it as if his upbringing was proper. Sighing lightly she hugged him and looked up at his eyes smiling for once.
“Your my sweetheart and I trust you.” She implied as the madam Sarah began barking much louder this time as the music began to commence. “I need to go.” She stated as she tip toed and kissed Shawn on the cheek before running out of the curtains. Shawn watched her leave happy but also unsure as if it was all too easy to convince her to come along. Shaking his head he made for the exit and gently pushed on the door, briefcase in hand.
The air was muggy and dirty but still cleaner than the loud filth of a club Bill owned. Looking at the employee parking lot he fished out his keys smiling knowing they belonged to his sleek black 1960 Buick Riviera. Walking up to it he slid his hand across the grill on up to the smooth hood design before unlocking the door and throwing the case into the passenger seat. Sitting in and starting the car he knew the fine luxury and status within the family was but a few of the benefits of being a mobster. Pulling out of the parking lot he let his mind drift as he turned on the radio to the local 91.5 letting the music blare out the silence. Taking note it was 10pm he made sure to take the longer route to Ernie’s, the cops at this time had a knack for pulling people over regardless of how prestigious you were to the city. Sighing lightly as the music ended the melodic catchy tone stuck in his head, his attention turned as the commercial blurted out a quick message.
New Orleans 91.5 brought to you by Bread for the Dead come on down to The Werehouse and show your support for Fleetwood Mac and the Grateful Dead. Stay tuned for tonights hot hits...
Shawn let the message drown out as he got an unprecedented idea. Having heard the drug bust with the local band just the other day he knew this was just another rouse to keep the cops off their back as they raised some cash. Smiling Shawn spun around mid street and made his way to the Warehouse. Were it not for his lust in the music it would also prove as a diversion if he chose to hide the money. Having spent time there as a kid eating scraps out of the garbage and drinking any leftover alcohol he knew staging his future with his past was anything but poetic.
It took but a few minutes as he drove up to the crowded building hearing the music blaring from within his car. Parking along the street he grabbed the briefcase and looked at it almost tempted to count the cash. But a hesitating notion stopped him as he got out of his car locking it in the process. Twirling his key ring around his fingers he whistled along to the music as he strolled towards the back alley. Being as inconspicuous as possible he began counting the cement tiles beneath his feet as he rubbed his hand along the wood of the building feeling the music vibrating his very soul. Humming along he stopped and knelt down as he kicked at a low board. Hearing it cave in slightly he pulled it to the side as he reached in and grabbed a pocket watch and a playboy magazine.
Smiling he looked at the front cover remembering the woman Marli Renfro. Having watched the movie Psycho and digging up all the information on the subject he knew the only stunt double to stand in for Janet Leigh in the shower scene. Letting out a sigh he tucked the magazine into his jacket as if to reminiscent over his puberty years crush. Holding the pocket watch he gazed at it with a solemn look before shoving it into his pocket without a second thought. Then gently as if a new born pushed the briefcase into the hiding spot barely fitting in the process. Grabbing the board he pushed it across and kicked it back in making a snapping sound in the process. Smiling he stood up and stretched as he pulled out his keys and made his way back to his Buick. The stars shown bright along with the moon that helped illuminate the path back since the light was scarce this side of the building.
Dancing in a stroll fashion back towards his vehicle Shawn could not help to feel as if luck reincarnated as his very being. Smiling he clicked his fingers and bobbed his head as he felt the music move his very soul from the live performance.
“Hey man whatchu’ got?”
Shawn stopped dancing as two men slowly began walking up to him. A tall black guy and a gangling redneck with a devilish grin. Taking out a comb he brushed his sideburns appearing to not be intimated by their approach.
“I said watchu got cuz” The tall one implied as he pulled out a knife its blade gleaming from the street light.
“I mean if your gona cut me, least hold the knife like a man.” Shawn stated as he put his comb back into his jean jacket smoothly. Taking his hand he pointed as if a gun towards the redneck in a sarcastic manner. “Sister called, she want you back in her bed.” Shawn stated hoping the incest slur would agitate the redneck.
“Why you no good...” the redneck bellowed as he charged towards Shawn head first as if a ram defending his homestead. Shaking his head with a smile Shawn simply held out his hands as he grabbed the mans head and kneed him under his chin, instantly knocking him out. The red neck fell like a sack of beans colliding with the pavement making no more movement in the process.
“Larry! You sum-bitch your gona pay!” The other yelled as he aimed his knife toward Shawn as if a duelist. Smiling he grabbed the guys wrist and and with his other punched his elbow, instantly hyper extending it in the process. Falling to the ground clenching his arm the man cried out in agony as Shawn strutted along un-phased by the encounter.
Leaving the two behind a multitude of people began pouring out of the complex intoxicated and belligerent. Smiling Shawn pulled out the broken pocket watch and opened it to see the same time as It was fifteen years prior. 2Pm