By Seamus O’Leary
Jack and Nubs sat at the bar at Willie’s Blues Cabaret, while a smooth sax player rolled out a tune on the stage behind them. It was dark inside like all the best bars are, and the place was filling up.
“Look, Mr.Roper expects you to pay on time.” Jack calmly explained to the pimp sitting between him and Nubs.
“I know. I know.” Shady Jones said.
“We have a way we do this. First time is a nice visit. See? We bought you drink. Nice music. A few laughs. But things get progressively less nice, the more times we have to ask for the money. Please don’t make us get mean.” Jack said.
“OK. I understand. But, I’m on to something. I’m gonna send my girls to one of them vaginal rejuvenation clinics.” Shady said.
“Virginia…what?” Nubs asked
“Vaginal rej….it’s a fuckin pussy stretcher. It makes that shit tight again.” Shady explained.
Jack rolled his eyes.
“Are you serious?”
“Yeah, and the best part is the guy wants paid in pussy. So it’s practically free.” Shady said
“Does he get the pussy before or after it’s tight?” Nubs asked.
Shady looked at him. Then, looked away, not saying anything.
“OK, so how does this tight pussy help us?” Jack asked.
“Well, I can charge more. I can get top dollar for some.” Shady said.
“Ain’t nobody gonna pay top dollar for a street rat.” Nubs said, taking a drink of his Old Style beer.
“A street rat with tight pussy they will. Bet!” Shady said. “Besides why you gotta be negative? I’m trying to do something here.”
“OK. OK. We got shit to do. Remember what I said about paying. And let me know about how that pussy stretcher goes. I think you might be on to somethin.” Jack said as he stood up from the bar and straightened his suit coat.
“Yeah, he might be on crack.” Nubs said. Standing up.
Shady looked at him but said nothing. He just smiled as Jack and Nubs walked out into the night.
Once outside they breathed in the Chicago air.
“Where to now?” Nubs asked.
“Race track in Collinsville. We got a guy who wants to hide instead of paying. Gambling addict.”
“What the fuck? Just pay what you owe. How hard is that?” Nubs said.
They both crawled inside of Nubs’s big ol Lincoln.
“Drop me off at home. We’ll get some sleep and head down there tomorrow.” Jack said.
Jack and Nubs pulled into the rock parking lot at the Fanduel race track outside of Collinsville.
They placed their guns under the seat of the Lincoln. Jack’s snub nose hammerless. 357, and Nubs. 45 1911.
Both men wore slick golf shirts with no jacket, making it hard to conceal a hand cannon.
Sure, there are smaller guns available. But not today.
They went through the gate and out to the track. People were everywhere enjoying the day in the sun.
Nubs looked up at the white bleacher section and walls of windows where people sat inside drinking and watching the races.
Horses were being led down the dirt track to begin a new race. Their colors on the dirt was a pleasing contrast to the well-manicured grass in the center of the course.
Jack pulled out his cell phone and opened it scrolling to his pics. He opened up a pic of Archie Killbaker.
The pic came from someone else. Jack had taken a pic of a pic, on another guy’s phone. You gotta be careful sending messages and calls. These cell phones are great tools. But if you get lazy. The evidence they can hold will sink you.
Jack blew up the pic and memorized the face. He showed it to Nubs, who nodded his head.
Now it was time to find ol Archie amidst a sea of Normies.
Course, it didn’t take long. They found him in line at the betting window.
Jack went and got in line behind him while Nubs pulled security across the way near a trash can, next to a white pole.
Archie got to the clerk.
“I want five on number 2 ‘Escape the gluefactory’ to win in the first and five on ‘Eatinstraw’ number 7 to place in the second.”
Jack watched as Archie walked away toward the stands with his tickets, a big smile on his face.
The clerk looked at Jack expectantly.
“Twenty on number two in the first.”
He handed the clerk a twenty. She printed the ticket and Jack took it then followed after Archie.
Nubs met him and they both went out to the stands overlooking the track.
Archie sat down and a minute later Jack and Nubs sat down next to him. One on each side.
“Archie adjusted himself and looked to the right and left. This was very uncomfortable.
“Roper sent us.” Jack said.
Archie’s eyes opened wide and he started to weave an explanation.
“Stop.” Jack said. “This is just a friendly chat to remind you that you need to pay on time.”
“What are you some kind of degenerate piece of shit gambler?” Nubs asked.
“No. I’ll pay.” Archie said.
“And their off!” The announcer said over the intercom.
Archie and Jack both leaned forward.
“Come on!” Archie shouted.
The horses powered around the track.
“And number two “escapinthegluefactory” Wins!” The announcer said.
“Yes!” Archie said.
“What’s the deal? You’re obviously not a big gambler. You only bet 5 bucks.” Jack asked. ” Why do you owe this money?”
Nubs rolled his eyes.
“The money is to pay bills for my sick wife.” Archie said.
“You could pay more if you weren’t out here wasting it on horses.” Nubs said.
“It’s my only escape. I work two jobs so and sit with her taking care of her. I come out here to the track to get away for awhile. My sister watches her so I can have some time to get away. I don’t bet that much. I just like the horses and the feel of the track.” Archie said.
Nubs nodded his head. He understood.
“A man’s gotta relax.” Nubs said.
He showed Archie his left hand missing two fingers the pinky and ring.
“But, a man’s gotta pay too.” Nubs finished.
“This world sucks. It would be nice to just enjoy the races, and life without all the stuff.” Jack said.
Archie looked up, then quickly squished down in his seat.
“Shit.” He said, under his breath.
“What’s wrong?” Jack asked. Looking around.
He saw two men dressed oddly for the track walking around below them through the crowd by the track rail.
“It’s Manny’s guys. I owe him, a lot more and a lot later than you guys. They are gonna hurt me.” Archie said, visibly sickened by his impending doom.
“Manny Rodriquez out of St. Louis?” Nubs asked. “How many guys you owe?”
“A couple” Archie said.
“You’re not getting beat today.” Jack said.
” You’re gonna help me?”
Nubs leaned over.
“How do WE get paid if you get hurt or die” He said.
“They got sports jackets on. So, they probably gave guns.” Jack said.
“I’m dead” Archie said.
“No. Here’s the plan.” Jack said, as Archie and Nubs leaned in.
Archie stood up from his seat. Jack and Nubs were nowhere to be seen.
He stretched and yawned and waved to an old friend.
Then he practically skipped down the bleacher steps to the bottom.
He noticed Manny’s guys starting to follow him, out of the corner of his eye.
Archie walked slow. He even stopped to tie his shoe.
Then, he went into the restroom.
He walked over to the wall of urinals and unzipped his fly just as the two men came into the bathroom.
The first man reached into his jacket to draw a gun.
It was then that Jack who had been pretending to urinate at a nearby urinal turned around and
grabbed the gunman’s arm restraining the draw.
With his other hand he raised a fist holding a pair of brass knuckles.
” I will smash your face.” Jack said.
The man pulled his hand from his jacket, empty.
At that moment the second guy went to draw as Nubs stepped out of a stall and held a knife to his face.
“Do it. I beg you.” Nubs said.
“OK here’s the deal. You guys are gonna leave Archie alone. I will pay what he is behind today, and take over his debt. Tell Manny I’ll get in touch with the money.” Jack said.
Archie looked surprised.
Nubs just shook his head.
Jack let the lead man go and stepped back.
The man straightened his jacket and looked at Jack.
“That sounds reasonable. I’ll take it to Manny, but if you don’t follow through, Archie is gonna be under the river.”
“What’s he owe today?”
Jack pulled out a bank roll and started peeling off hundreds…
Jack and Nubs walked out of the track towards the Lincoln.
“Why’d you, do it?” Nubs asked.
“He’s trying to do the right thing the best he can” Jack said. “He needs a break.”
“Yeah, a broken leg is what he needs.” Nubs said.
“Sometimes people need a break don’t you think?” Jack said.
Nubs held out his hand with the missing fingers.
“Yeah. If only mine had come a few minutes sooner.”
“You were a little bit more stubborn than Archie.” Jack said.
“Still am.” Nubs said with a smile.
Bio: Seamus O’Leary is a writer from Chicago, Illinois. He has written several stories posted in The Yard. “That Money“, “Friends with Benefits“, “Protecting Ginger“, “.38“, “Pole Dancer” and “Visiting Mom”
read more organized crime stories on The Yard: Crime Blog