"Welcome to Hellview. Stop looking around like that, son, calm down, now you're a part of the family, you're untouchable. No one would dare try to kill you."

When the man sitting across from me in the table said that to me, I believed him. I thought I was a made man, a real mafioso. I thought I was going to be a big-time criminal, like in the movies.

Of course, I was also a stupid shit at the time, and still am according to a lot of people.

But, I was at least justified in that case due to the circumstances. It was the asscrack of the new millenium, and the man was Sam Jones. He was one of the top dogs of the Hellview Mafia, a group of thugs, thieves, and extortionists. He brought the new guys, the fresh meat, the "talent" into the family. He did this by convincing people with big dreams- like me- that the Hollywood interpretation of crime was the real thing. Yeah, we were gullible, and we died off in hordes. But a few of us lived. A few of us dreamers actually learned how to shut the hell up and fight.

Long story short, I fell for it. He got me like white on rice. From that day forward, I was pretty much shitting my life away, even though I didn't know it at the time.

Fast forward five years, and all of a sudden you don't see the same person. The constant neverending chain of tragedy screwed me up pretty bad, to say the least. During those scapegrace years, I was a human battleground walking onto real battlegrounds day after day. But in the end, I was one of maybe three people in the "family" who wasn't dead or in jail. So I gave up. I cut my old ties, and simply quit. But it wasn't quite that simple.

You see, when all you do for five years is be a handyman with a gun, it's really hard to get a normal job. I actually managed to, though. I then proceeded to lose it in a month due to bad luck and idiotic coworkers. After that, the downward spiral began.

Money? I had none. Job? Good luck finding one these days, pal. Friends? All in the penitentiary. Alchohol? Hey, it was cheap.

I was still a relatively good gunfighter, and I was getting desperate. I briefly considered robbing a bank, then watched a failed one happen live on the news. Dreams? Toilet? Flush? Yeah, that seemed a bit familiar.

Keeping all of that in mind, it's probably no surprise that you can already guess I was getting ready to drown my sorrows in a bottle of Jagermeister when the phone rang on one fateful day. I was rather puzzled, none of the bills were due for a good while, and it was close to midnight, so there would be no telemarketers. The thought of a personal call didn't even cross my mind, mainly because I'd only given my number to one friend, who was now dead.

It just figures that he passed it on to someone who'd need my services before he died, doesn't it? Apparently he'd given my number to a certain person called Reiria while he was working as a hitman for her. Then, of course, he went and died from a 9mm bullet in the brain. The worst part about the whole mess was that the bullet was shot by the person he was suppossed to whack.

Now, when Reiria came on the line, she was convincing. She was honest with me, something that pretty much got me from the get-go. She simply told me that she'd pay me two grand to whack this dude, and that the aforementioned dude had killed my friend. She even offered to pay for the guns and ammo, and I could keep them if I did a good enough job. It was a strange way of offering the contract to get my services, but apparently my friend had told her a good deal about me.

Did I mention I was broke at the time? I snatched that deal up quicker than greased lightening. Was that very smart? No comment.

After agreeing on a time and a place to meet, I hung up, then went back to getting drunk, staring at the neon lights in the city as I did so. Crazy thoughts wandered through my brain, and I let them fester before eventually passing out on the couch.

I didn't know it at the time, but that one little phone call would change my life, just like those few words said five years before by good old Sam did.

***

A/N: I probably owe y'all an explanation. Well, here's the plain and simple truth: This is a rewrite of Apocalypse Hellview. I hated the direction I was taking, and a certain wonderful lady left me a REAL review. It sparked an idea, which lit up a chain of others. The result? Welcome to Hellview.