Today I Lost a Brother Quadrilogy; Part I: The Betrayal

“OK! EVERYONE, GET ON THE GROUND! NOW!”

I fired a shot into the air.

I looked round and smiled at all the terrified faces. Each one not knowing what I was going to do next. Slowly I pointed my gun at each of them, forcing them to keep their hands up. If I wasn’t careful, one of them could set off the alarm underneath their desk.

“LET’S GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE!”

Jonny had returned with the money. Quickly without thinking, I grabbed one of the cashiers and pointed a gun to his head.

“This guy is coming with me! If any ONE of you calls the cops, he WILL die!!”
Of course, this was an empty threat. I couldn’t care less if this guy died or not. But you need to have one up on your targets. You need to make them believe that you mean what you say.

Together the three of us ran out and hi-jacked the nearest car. I laughed as I drove our new ride with the guy we stole it from still hanging onto the door for dear life.

Eventually we shook him off. Ended up throwing our hostage out of the car as well. Pretty good of us considering he could have ended up with a bullet through the skull instead. We unloaded the car with our winnings.

$100 K.

Jackpot.

A couple of days later I decided to relax. Went on a date with this girl, picked up prostitutes, seen a movie, did some coke, you know, the usual stuff.

Out of the blue I get a phone call from Jonny.

“Hey it’s me. Something’s happened. Can’t talk about it. Come over as soon as you can.”

Something weird was going on. Jonny was never this secretive. For a drug fuelled, alcoholic, murdering psychopath, Jonny was usually pretty easy to get a straight answer out of. It was probably nothing though. Perhaps the drugs had finally turned him into the paranoid junkie he swore he’d never become. Ah well. Was bound to happen someday I suppose. Nevertheless, I jumped into the car (same one we stole a couple of days ago. Waste not, want not eh?), and sped off to Jonny’s apartment.

The door was unlocked so I let myself in. The lights were off. I turned them on and as I did, I heard the door shut behind me and felt a pistol at the back of my head. The next thing I heard was “Sorry bud…”

A thud.

And then total darkness.

I don’t know how long I was out for. But when I finally came round I was greeted to the sight of Jonny. Jonny, a man I had worked with for nearly 10 years. A man with whom I had pulled off the biggest robberies in history (according to our egos anyway…). A man, who right in front of me now, was laughing and wiping the blood off the end of his gun.

Presumably it was my blood.

He continued to laugh. I went to lunge at him but fell not realising my hands were tied to a chair. Not very well tied either I noticed.

Jonny lifted me back up. He was pissing himself laughing. I could tell by his pupils he had been on the coke. His manic laughter and jerky mannerisms also confirmed this.

“So…” I said, “Care to explain?”

I could tell this had thrown him. He was paranoid enough without me acting calm right now. It was the real life equivalent of sending a smiley face in reply to a devastating text.

He walked over to the table and took some more coke. Probably the last thing he needed but I really wasn’t in the mood to be giving him helpful hints like that.

Finally he walked straight up to me. His face was pressed right up against mine. The pungent smell of whisky from his breath, filling my nostrils. He pulled back and looked at me.

“How long have we known each other for? 9? 10 years?”

I nodded. For the past ten years we had did everything together. Every heist had been a team effort. Admittedly I probably could have accomplished these “tasks” myself. Jonny was not as skilled as myself with these matters. One time we went to rob a bank. Jonny was off his face which explained why he came running into the bank with his balaclava on backwards, blocking his view… this caused him to panic and pass out which in turn led to me holding an entire bank full of people at gunpoint by myself whilst my partner lay in a crippled heap on the floor. It wasn’t funny at the time, but looking back it was kind of. I think that’s why we were friends. His buffoonery forced me to work out plans to ensure it covered most of his drunken antics. In the end though, he would always come through for you. Need a lift? No problem. Jonny will have your back. Plus I had known him for so long that I couldn’t not involve him in anything. He was like a brother to me. My best friend (by default really due to my dislike of most of the human race, but still…) and yet here he was. Staring me in the face, whilst I was tied to a chair and threatening me. Where was he going with this?

“And in all that time not ONCE have I been credited! It’s always been YOU! Mr Big shot. The cool guy. Always gets the women. Whilst his ‘assistant’ merely follows him around picking up the pieces and making sure he doesn’t fuck up!”

He was right. I was the better crook. No point denying it. But why should that be a bad thing? I’m more likely to be a target for the cops than him. As for me getting all the women on the other hand…I guess I’m just a lucky guy.

“It’s not my fault you’re a fucking junkie! I know I join in now and again but I never let it affect my work! If you focused more on the task at hand rather than which hooker’s tits you’ll be snorting coke off of afterwards, then maybe you’d be fucking credible and you’d get women who don’t refuse sex if you’ve only got 100 bucks on you!”

Jonny looked at me. I could tell this had riled him. When we first met, it was me who got him into this game. He was less confident than he was now. I thought I could mould him. Create a secondary (not as impressive) version of myself. He took it too far though. He thought it was going to be like playing Grand Theft Auto. Really, he did think that. Once when he was on another planet somewhere he actually asked me the cheat code to make a tank appear. At the time I laughed and thought “What are you like!” Now I look back and think what I have created. For a psychopath, I consider myself a relatively nice guy. I’m not sociable but I’m not nasty about it. Perhaps part of me thought that moulding this shell of a man would help me become a better person myself. It has, but only because I can compare myself to Jonny now and take great joy in knowing I’m nothing like that train wreck.

“Shut up…SHUT UP!!”

His eyes were wide. His hands were shaking. I thought he was going to shit himself.

“You think you know it all don’t you?? Well did you know this? That money we stole the other day was from Leone’s personal safe! They’d like the money back please!”

The Leones are one of the biggest crime families in the city. Jonny wasn’t only a drug fuelled, alcoholic, murdering psychopath. He was also a fucking moron thinking he would get away with this. We’d had run-ins before with Don Leone. Jonny and I might be psychopaths but this man was pure evil. He wasn’t just some cheesy mobster you’d expect to see on T.V. This guy was intent on controlling everything he seen. Even if that meant murdering countless, innocent lives to get his way. He’s been funding an underground army for months now. Once he has enough he’ll deploy it into the city and slowly gain control of everyone and everything. The whole city fears him. Cops won’t tackle him for fear of making their wives/husbands widows. Those that were brave enough to take him on were never heard of again. This makes him sound like a mythical dragon or something but it’s the only to describe him. Put it simply, he’s a bit of a bastard.

I looked at Jonny in silence for a few minutes. I knew he was shit at this line of work but I had no idea he was a coward. Leone had obviously got to him and promised to spare him if he turned me in. So much for brotherly love, eh?

“So what’s the plan Jonny?” I asked, calmer than ever. “You get Mr Leone over here to pay me a visit? He then kills me. Then what? Only I know where the money is. I’m not fessing up. He’ll kill you too for an answer. Even if he doesn’t, you’ve lead him right to your fucking apartment! He could come back anytime he wants with his goons and take you out. But hey. It’s your plan. I ain’t gonna meddle.”

Jonny looked terrified. He’d realised his mistake. This is why he never got any credit. This is why he needs me on a job. I erase his stupidity from any plan.

“H-he wouldn’t do that… he respects me… unlike you!”

He ran towards me and smacked the side of my face with the butt of his gun.

“Tied me up and now you’re hitting me? I didn’t realise you were this kinky!”

Jonny looked at me with a confused look. If I kept remaining calm and upbeat, he would eventually break. He wouldn’t shoot me. He might be a back stabbing traitor but he’s too much of a scared prick to know when to pull the trigger on someone he knows. That’s why he arranged for Leone to get me here. To get the biggest crime boss in town to do his dirty work for him. I’ve got to admit though, that’s some feat.

“Think about it Jonny! Do you think he genuinely wants you as a partner? He knows you’ve sold me out. A guy you’ve been partners with for ten years. You don’t exactly seem like the most trustworthy person in the world right now…”

This was it. I had him. I decided now was the time to act. Whilst he was stood worrying and off his face I broke free from the poorly tied ropes and punched that coked up nose of his. Half expected a key of it to come avalanching out. Startled, he staggered about. I took the opportunity and grabbed his gun.

“E-e-easy b-b-buddy!” he stammered. I could tell he was bricking it. “Can’t we w-w-work something out here?”

I looked at him, my gun still pointed at that pathetic face. Ten years I had worked with him and now he wants to betray me? Over something so petty? Memories flashed before my eyes as If someone had recorded our adventures and was showing me “home movies”. The time he walked into the bank with a backwards balaclava. The time he shot me in the leg because he thought he was being robbed. The time he…ok these aren’t exactly memories that show why I keep him around. I only kept him around cos like I said, it was me who crafted what he is today. That and the fact he was always there for me, no matter how badly he fucked up. I appreciated that. He would always stand by me through anything. Like a real brother member would. But can I really be family with someone who was willing to give up my life to make themselves look better?

No. I can’t. But I can’t shoot that person either.

Quickly I took aim and shot out the one light that was on the in the apartment. Jonny would be too disorientated in the dark to get to me. I ran out of the apartment, into the street and jumped into the car.

As I drove away from the traitor’s house, I noticed three black Sedans going the same way I just came from.

I may not have been able to shoot Jonny.

Doesn’t mean I can’t let someone else enjoy it.

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