Hey everyone. Just so you know, this is set in the 1920's. If you don't know what a speakeasy is, you're not going to get this story, because that's what it's about. I know I said I'd put something up soon, but I have literally eight projects, all due on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week. AND it's my birthday on Monday... some birthday treat, yeah?
Anyway, I found this in a file and figured if I couldn't give Born to Be, might as well see what they think of this.
"Check this out." My associate slid a small, stiff tab of paper across my desk, and watched me carefully as I picked it up and read it.
A member of the
I stared at it for a couple seconds, until Ralph realized I wasn't going to give my opinion before he gave his.
"Seems like a speakeasy, don't it?" he asked, scratching his nose.
I nodded. "Where'd you get this?" I inquired tiredly. It was the beginning of a long day, after a long, sleepless night.
"Found it on the floor of the home of a Jake Marquette. He was reported missing three days ago by the neighbors."
"Find anything else?"
Ralph reached into his pocket, drawing out another slip of paper. It was an unmarked web of lines that I immediately recognized as New York City. I'd seen my fair share of New York maps when I was still in the Secretarial Unit, and wasn't about to forget what I learned anytime soon, even though I was now the Chief of the Prohibition/Speakeasy Reinforcement Crew, part of the NYPD. This map had fourteen dots on it, each a separate color. Ralph pointed to a yellow dot at the intersection of Broadway and what I estimated to be thirty-eighth.
"I'm guessing it's here, because the word Speak tipped us off that it could be a speakeasy, so the word Star probably indicates the dot on the map."
My friend's reasoning made perfect sense, but you never know if you're right until you bust the place. I nodded decisively. "Let's bust it."
Ralph seemed slightly surprised. "Tonight?"
I made my way to the office phone to call up my wife, not wanting her to worry if I came home late. She didn't seem upset that I was late for the second time that week, only resigned. I hung up the phone and glanced out the window at the cars and people outside. A Model T, rushing down the street, a woman with two grocery bags, a man staring at the Police Station…
Wait a second; is it normal to sit there, staring at a Police Station? I turned back to the man, to find he had switched his gaze to me, as if he were trying to catch my eye. When he found that I was staring back, he moved his hand slightly in a beckoning motion, eyes darting everywhere. He had shifty eyes; he was nervous.
I couldn't help it; curiosity bloomed in my chest, and I nodded slightly. He caught the nod and turned his back, undoubtedly still glancing around nervously. I made my way to the exit of the building.
I reached the man and tapped him on the shoulder. He whirled around, but, upon recognizing me, calmed down a bit. His eyes still darted everywhere at once around the block, though, refusing to focus on my face alone.
"Word on the street is that you are going to bust a speakeasy tonight," Shifty Eyes said lowly. I noticed that he didn't use first person, as if he were simply a messenger. And I don't even want to guess how he knew about StarSpeak, and my decision to bust it.
"What of it?" I asked in response, trying not to betray anything with facial expressions.
"Someone is willing to do a lot to keep you from busting it," Shifty Eyes answered. I tried to look like this happened to me every day, and questioned him silently: How much?
"Ten thousand," the man said, trying to match my cool face.
"You expect me to shirk my duty for only ten grand? Give me a break." I silently congratulated myself; it was the perfect response. It told the man that I could be bought, but not quite yet. He gazed at me calculatingly, then, as if making a sudden decision, beckoned for me to follow him once again.
We ended up standing in front of a Model T that was- hopefully- his. He rummaged through the dark blue car and produced a dark green book. I stared at it blankly.
"Open it," he said, and I did so. Inside there was a small, flat flask, the type that you used to see for whisky. I shook it, and could hear the alcohol swish inside. Just to make sure, I opened it and took a sip.
It was undeniably whisky. After going so long with alcohol completely cut from my diet, it tasted sweeter than it used to. Shifty was glancing around again, and I followed suit. Nobody would suspect me; I was the Chief of the Prohibition Reinforcement Crew, but that was a double edged sword, and if I were caught with alcohol, my name would become dirt. I carefully replaced the flask into the book, licking my lips. Shifty, seeing my expression, withdrew a suitcase. I snatched the suitcase and opened it, to see it full to the brim with whisky flasks.
"Is it a deal?" Shifty knew he didn't have to give me any more, he had read the excitement on my face. I wiped the expression away.
"The ten grand?"
Grumbling, the man withdrew a packet of twenties from his pocket, which I deposited into my wallet, after counting carefully. "It's a deal."
Grinning, I walked off with my wallet heavy in my pocket and in my hand a suitcase, my step bouncy and light.
That night, I found myself on Broadway and thirty-eighth, surrounded by my squad. I checked the unmarked map, and, sure enough, we were in the right place. "Bust it," I said, my voice cold as flint. My squad charged into the flat, arresting people right and left. As we loaded them into squad cars, a dark haired man looked up and glared at me. Recognizing him, I smirked back.
Perhaps next time, Shifty Eyes wouldn't be so naïve to believe that a cop would pass up the opportunity to both bust a speakeasy, and earn ten grand at the same time.
Lol, and the rest of the story should be how he dodges bullets for the rest of his life. Anyway, tell me what you think of it, because I really don't know if I like it or not...
Hey, I just realized that this is my first non-depressing story I've posted! It's a breakthrough, folks.
Tata! Time to work on my projects again. How depressing.