Opening by @dirge
"Are you sure you want to go through with this?" Mike asked. He glanced over his shoulder, ensuring that Derek was still in the bathroom. "I mean. He's your uncle. That doesn't bother you?"
"You don't know him like I do.” Terry sipped his beer. Budweiser, working class. He snubbed his cigarette out and lit another. “He deserves it.”
“That’s not up for question.” Mike shrugged. “What I mean is, it’s heavy, is all. Taking life. It’s not a simple thing. You don’t know. Cause you’ve never done it. So don’t be doing this deal just because Derek wants you to.”
“Don’t question me.” Terry eyed Mike, his face tensing up, his pupils dilated. Guys on meth, Mike noted.
Derek returned from the bathroom, cigarette dangling from his grinning mouth. He stretched his arms out to Mike and Terry, the gristle on his chin showing. “Boys,” he said. “Let’s get over this plan a final time, then, eh fuckers?”
Derek walked over to his bar and brought back three more beers. The empty bar, Jerry’s, had been his fathers, who, incidentally, was also not named Jerry. “Terry, what are you going to do?”
Terry sipped his beer and began. “I’m going to come along on his fishing trip that he takes every Sunday. I’ll communicate it to him in person. I’ll tag along up to his favorite fishing trip at Red Top State Park. I’ll get him nice and drunk so I drive back.”
Derek turned to Mike. “And you?”
“I’ll be ready and waiting at the gas station of the 4-1-1. I put a gun to their head and demand cash. Terry says there’s cash back at his Uncle John’s place, not far off. And, if he’s right, there is, buried in the backyard. The house is off the main road, far from neighbors, so it’ll just be the two of us."
“And I’ll be following y’all there.” Derek nodded. “We get the cash, kill the old man and make it all look like an accident.” Derek leaned in close to them. Mike could smell the cheap bourbon and cigarettes on his breath. “Now, not one of you is going to fuck this up, because I’m not going back to prison. So I’m going to make this crystal-fucking-clear for y’all. You do it all like I say. Exactly like I say, and there’s no trouble. Understand? No trouble aside from you having the problem of which hooker you want stick your Mr. Franklin into for the evenin’, undestand?”
Derek extended his hand to Mike. Mike shook it, looking him firm in the eyes. This was Derek’s ritual before a job. He’d seen it all before.
Terry was next. He took Derek’s hand. But Derek didn’t let go.
“You lying to me about your Uncle Jon burying his loot in the back yard? About what he did to you? You lying to me now, boy?”
Terry stared Derek in the eyes. “I’m not. So promise me that I get to be the one to do it.”
What kind of fucking meth cook gets herself pregnant?
Derek Bryant knew the answer.
The kind that cracked like a fresh sheet of glass at the first sign of cuffs. How damn hard was it to take a pill every day? Fucking Lou. She'd cleaned him out while she was at it, all because of that pink x.
He heard chatter in lock up she'd lost the baby anyway. Fucking junkie. He'd never get back the years, but he could get back his money, and he had a score to settle. No one crossed a Byrant.
The old rage bubbled in the pit of Derek's stomach, waiting for the truck to pull in. He could see Mike in position, Terry would be here any moment now. The kid had a meth tab like a death warrant, Derek didn't doubt he'd show.
Lou had as many siblings as her dad had found women to shake his stick at. Finding the right one hadn't been easy, but when Terry had shown up on the doorstep asking if he could sort him out, Derek had noticed the resemblance. He knew she'd stashed the money. The boys he sent to take care of Lou had gotten that much, and here was just the brother he was after, handed to him on a strung out platter.
Terry still had half a tank, he knew he wouldn't actually get to refill at the station. He glanced at his Uncle Jon sprawled on the passenger seat, wondering if this was going smoothly enough for him to get away with a quick bump. Need itched fire over his skin. That was the hardest part, he couldn't get high.
Terry gripped the wheel, his muscles twitching under his skin. The smallest hit would be enough.
He just had to stick to the plan.
Derek watched from his dark pick-up, the scene unfolding as it should. Mike was reliable, he knew that, he'd taken out a kitchen across town a few months back, fired off a few shots, landed a couple. He was less comfortable working with a twitchy customer, but Terry was his in with Jon, and Mike trusted him.
The kid was coming through so far.
Derek hadn’t expected the trio to file into the house. They were supposed to go into the backyard, be digging or something. Derek sat in his dark truck, fingering a wedge of tobacco through his cheek.
He waited. Five minutes.
He didn't know what the fuck they were playing at.
His fingers touched the grip protruding from his waistband as Derek got out of the truck, making his way towards the unlit house.
He eased open the front door, stepping inside. Derek didn’t notice the plastic lined hallway.
A faint click was all the warning he got.
Light slammed on, Lou's eyes stared down at him from Terry's face. Realisation hit Derek moments before the bullet, the boys face twisting into a look he knew too well. No one crossed a Bryant.
As soon as I saw the opening, I wondered if there was enough space in that opening dialogue for it to be interpreted more ways than them talking about killing Jon. Pretty hopefully it lined up, maybe, just about. This is a seriously brilliant opening, so many little hooks, so many bits that can be pursued, so many points you could pick it up at, and there's still time to give it a go!
This is an entry to @bananafish's #finishthestory contest which is out every week! This week our master of horror and all thing dripping in blunt force trauma potential @dirge is hosting and has provided this enthralling opening! Check out the latest round for all the details on how to join in!Kaboompics who has a wide section of stock ready images