Click here for previous "Royce."
"So how old are you anyways?" Lady asked. She and Royce were on their way to 'work' under Anne's insistence. She tricked Royce into it by asking him to say yes or no, knowing that he chose not to ever speak. "I know Anne is older than you but that's not saying much because she is just a few years older than dirt."
Royce just kept his eyes on the road and scratched his neck. Lady looked at his dashboard and reached for the glove compartment. She heard a click and saw that Royce had a gun aimed at her head. She slowly placed her hand in her lap.
"You could've just told me to not look in there. What's in that anyway? Guns? Knives? Body parts? Yeah, I bet that's it. You look like the kind of guy that keeps body parts. You know John the Baptist? Not the religious dude, the Mexican one Juan Baptista. They say he keeps body parts. That shit is gross. How the fuck you gon' keep heads and shit?" she asked Royce.
He just signaled left and turned slowly.
"You drive like an old man, old man. How fast does this thing go? It looks older than you. Does it run on hope? Come on! I know you never talk but you could at least laugh. Why don't you talk anyway? Is it some secret oath or something? Did you say one thing once and never chose to again? I wonder what your voice sounds like. Is it high? I bet it's high and that's why you never wanna talk. All squeaky and shit."
Lady's cell phone rang with a digital tune of "Nowhere To Run" by Martha & The Vandellas. "Hello?" she asked. It was Anne. "No, I'm cool. Yeah, he's here. He ain't saying nothing. Sorry. He is not saying a word. Why am I even here? I don't need anymore training. Okay. Yeah. Yes. I will. I don't know, maybe ten minutes." Lady put the phone to her chest. "Royce, how much longer till we get there?"
Royce suddenly slammed on the breaks. He opened the door, climbed out, and closed the door in one fluid motion.
"I guess we're here. Okay, I will call you when we are done. Bye."
Royce opened the trunk and pulled out a plastic bag and handed it to Lady. She struggled to hold it. He then walked to his door and checked his hair in the side view mirror.
"Is that really necessary?" she asked while barely keeping the bag off the ground. Royce grabbed it from her and sighed heavily. "You are rude. Anyone ever tell you how rude you are? I bet they ain't. I'll tell you though. You rude. Like you weren't taught manners. What kinda mama you have?"
Royce stopped mid-step. Lady bumped into him. He turned to her and squinted his eyes. Lady backed away slowly as Royce dropped his bag. She raised her hand and lowered her head.
"It's cool, man. Ain't no need to get all violent" she said as Royce stuck his hand inside the bag and pulled out a machine gun. "Dude, what the fuck are you gonna do?!" she screamed. Royce spun and fired into a window of a three-story window. There were shouts and return fire immediately.
Lady dove behind a nearby car. She reached into the back of her pants and started firing at the window. She heard a scream and knew she hit one of them. "Come get some, muthafuckas!" she shouted. "Royce, why didn't you wait until we got inside?" She then saw the front door leading from a dingy lobby fly open and four men come out holding guns. One of them had a bag. "You're good."
Royce threw his machine gun down and pulled a gun apparently out of thin air and picked off three of them, leaving the one with the bag running. He looked at Lady and sighed. She looked into his eyes and a chill ran down her spine.
"Am I supposed to...?" she asked while motioning towards the running man. "Damn it." She began to run and Royce snatched her gun from her. "What the fuck?" Royce took her gun and emptied the clip into the air. "How am I supposed to catch him? He's a block away now." Royce looked at his watch. Lady sighed and ran to catch him. Royce went back to his car and sat behind the wheel and lit a cigarette.
Lady was running full speed and could barely keep up with the guy. She reached into her back pocket and pulled out a straight razor. She flicked it underhand and it landed in the back of his knee. He screamed and went down hard. She slid to a stop and kicked him in the jaw.
He grabbed her leg and brought her down. She hit him with her metal stump and heard him try to shout through a now shattered jaw. He scratched at her eyes and she pulled the razor out of his leg and was about to slit his throat when his face disappeared.
Royce was sitting in the drivers seat a few feet away with a smoking gun in his hand. He opened the passenger door and exhaled smoke. Lady grabbed the bag and slowly climbed into the car.
"Why the fuck did you take my gun away and then turn around and shoot him yourself? That makes no goddamn sense!" Lady shouted. "I don't ever wanna 'work' with you again! Anne must be crazy thinking you could teach me anything, I swear!"
Royce pulled over to the side of the street and cut the engine. He took the bag from Lady and opened it. It was full of clothes. "What the fuck we chase some nigga down just to take his clothes?!"
Royce grabbed a pair of jeans from the bag and checked the pockets. Empty. He took another pair. Empty. He took another pair. Bingo. He held it up to the light. Lady gasped.
"How much is that worth?" she asked.
Royce just started the car and drove off.
"If we gonna be ridin' together you are gon' have to start talkin', man" Oberon told Djinn as they were driving down Sunset Blvd. Oberon had been 'working' with Djinn for almost four years and thought that eventually Djinn would open up and become friends with him. But the only time they were even this close to each other was during business. "I am gonna take you to the club one of these days. Get your ass out on the dance floor and see what you got. I be seein' ya'll on the news after blowin' shit up! I see how ya'll be screamin' and dancin' in the street! Is that what I gotta do? Blow some car up?"
"Please stop talking" Djinn said. He sat in the passenger seat of Oberon's black Cadillac. "We do not have to talk or be friendly to do our job. So, please. Just stop talking."
"Man, fuck you. We gon' be friends whether your crazy ass wants it or not. You need me more than I need you. Remember that shit. I've been doin' this shit since I was in elementary school. I was doin' this when you were in the desert makin' bombs and strappin' em to your ass."
Oberon was genuinely annoyed with Djinn. He last partner when he was still pimping homosexual men and selling drugs as "The King of the Fairies" died of AIDS a few years back. He missed having someone to talk to for hours on end. It made the time go by faster.
"I never made bombs. Why do you think I did?" Djinn asked.
"Because that's what ya'll do over there" Oberon replied.
"I don't know! In them desert places. I see on the news how ya'll be blowin' shit up and actin' all crazy. I do watch the news" Oberon said proudly.
"Sadly you do not listen to it" Djinn said. "I have never blown anyone up. If I am going to kill someone it will be up close. I will cut off your head sooner than detonate any device. This..." he said while removing his three inch blade, "...is all I need unlike you. You people sit in your car and fire shots from your window, killing more of the people you are trying not to hit than the ones you intend to."
"Hold on. What you mean 'you people'?" Oberon asked. "You don' know shit about my people."
"I can say the same except I can back my statements up with facts." Djinn rolled down his window and closed his eyes.
"I outta deport you. I need to call the president and tell him you a terrorist. I bet if I asked Albany about your past it would be all 'bout crazy terrorist shit" Oberon said as he rolled Djinn's window back up. "Why did Albany even hire you? You barely even do anything. I do all the work!"
"He did not hire me. I am indebted to him."
"You owe him money? You need some cash just holla atcha' boy! I will gladly pay him jus' to get rid of yo crazy ass!" said Oberon.
"He gave me a chance to honor the memory of my family" Djinn said.
"What? He bought them some gifts? Took ya'll to Disneyland?" Oberon asked jokingly. He was enjoying the fact that he finally got Djinn to say more than five words.
"My infant daughter and wife were murdered in the street. Albany found out. Told me where to find the murderers. I killed all forty of them with my blade. I owe Albany" Djinn said as he rolled the window back down.
"Shit" said Oberon. "Remind me not to fuck with you."
"Don't fuck with me."