For the second time in less than 24 hours, Silas’ face ached from the fist of another man. This time was worse. The punch caught him under his left eye but close enough to his nose that a dribble of blood left his nostril and his eyes watered. The same man who hit him grabbed his t-shirt lifting him off the filthy garage floor. Silas tried to focus and survival instinct made him throw a errant punch at his attacker. The man’s large hand landed on his throat and squeezed his windpipe. Another’s man’s drawl competed with his gasp.
“Relax, asshole. Just tell us where Bart is and you’ll be back across the street with that sweet thing you dropped off. Let go of him, Kenny.”
The man released his grip. Silas stumbled away from both men. He looked at the closed bay door and hoped Olive was alright. He kept backing away from them until his right hip bumped into his car. He regained his balance and stared at the two imposing figures. Kenny was huge, at least six feet four inches and thick; like a professional football linebacker. The other man was a couple of inches taller than Silas’ five feet ten inches but slender. He lit a Marlboro Light and leaned on a Chevy pick-up parked in the opposite bay. Silas tried to answer them.
“Bart sent me to drop off the stuff in the trunk. I’m just the driver, man. That’s all. I barely know Bart, okay? And I don;t know where he is, right now.”
Kenny stepped toward him but the other man got off the truck and intercepted Kenny with his forearm.
“Let’s start over, kid. You look like, what, I’m guessing 18 or 19?”
Silas shook his head then glared at Kenny. He wanted revenge for the building welt under his eye.
“I’m 19. so what?”
Kenny crossed his arms while the other man stepped to within a few feet of Silas and extended his hand. It was streaked in grease and grime. His fingernails were full of both. He smiled through cigarette smoke.
“My name’s Roscoe. This is my business. I own it with my brother, Archie. Kenny’s our cousin. My brother only cares about tires and brake jobs. Kenny and I aren’t the biggest fans of the middle-class life so that’s why we deal with Bart. Let me make another guess, kid, you have no idea who you really work for, do you?”
Silas shook Roscoe’s hand. It was a quick but firm exchange. Then, he looked at the door again and thought about getting to Olive.
“I’m Silas. I just I started today. I’m a car guy, like you, I guess, whatever. I’m supposed to drive the stuff in the trunk to y’all, pick up money, then go back to Bart.”
Roscoe leaned forward, took another puff, than blew the smoke toward Silas.
“I believe you, Silas. That girl who got out of your car looks like she requires a lot of TLC, am I right?”
Silas sneered at him. Now he wanted to deck Roscoe, too.
“Kenny, get our new business associate his money so he can complete his job for Bart.”
Kenny walked toward a large black toolbox hanging from several hooks. He took out an envelope, removed thirteen 100 dollar bills then closed the box.
Roscoe motioned Silas to the trunk of his Cutlass. Silas took his keys from his front left jeans pocket, He looked at the shiny end of the trunk key and thought about scratching Roscoe’s eyes with it but he couldn’t figure out what to do with Kenny so, he unlocked the trunk. Silas looked at Roscoe and smirked. He wasn’t going to put his body inside the trunk with two men standing behind him.
“There it is.”
Roscoe shook his head at Silas then Kenny joined him.
“Kenny, Silas and I are working on trusting each other, get the product out of the trunk then give him the money.”
Silas stared at Roscoe the entire time. Roscoe took another drag and made sure every tendril of smoke made its way toward Silas’ face. Kenny gave Silas the money and walked away with the bags of ecstasy pills. Roscoe nodded toward Silas and Silas closed the trunk. Roscoe said.
“That’s 1300 dollars because the last shipment Bart gave me was sub par. I know he’s making his own brand and that’s fine, but if he makes bad brand, then he gets paid less. Also, his employees will feel our disappointment. Okay?”
Silas wanted to take the tire iron off the wall and beat them both. He wiped left-over blood from his nose and responded with what he thought would get him out of the garage.
“Whatever. I’ll deliver the message.”
Kenny hit a button on the wall. The bay door opened, exposing Silas’ car to the late afternoon Florida sun. Silas folded the money and put it in his jeans pocket. His face hurt even more as he squinted at the glare of the sun off the front window as he cranked the car. He pulled out of Finn Brothers garage and drove across the street to Olive.
It’s been a long time since I posted some fiction without a prompt and in more than 333 words. He’s 890. You’ll live. There’s hardly anything on the internets worth reading this week.
This is a new story episode of Silas and Olive, my short story, tentatively titled Light of Day.
I’ve been listening to 1980s alternative/college radio music from my days as a DJ. Here’s one of the my favorites from then, Violent Femmes’ Blister in the Sun.
Stuff your stockings with my books:
The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com