Saturday, January 23, 2010

Flash Fiction Extra: No One's Yes-Man

“Forget it, man. No.”

Calixto set down his glass and stared. “You’re kidding.”

Vince shook his head of thick black hair and a gold earring flashed in the dim light of the pub. He took a gulp of his whiskey and wiped the back of his hand across his mouth. “You heard me.”

“But…” Calixto leaned across the table. “…the payoff will be huge. Everyone knows you’re a money-whore. Quit playing around.”

“There are some things I just won’t do, no matter how good the money. Why is that so hard to believe?”

“Do you want all the details of your notorious career, or should I just hit the highlights?”

Vince tossed off the rest of his drink and looked around for the waitress, but she was nowhere to be seen. “Running drugs and guns is one thing, but what you’re asking is totally different. I have standards.”

“Now I know you’re lying.” Calixto sucked down the rest of his whiskey, then shoved the glass aside with a black-gloved hand. “If it’s the percentage that’s bothering you, just say so. You’ll be putting your guys at more risk than usual, so how about an extra five percent? Ten?”

“I’m telling you. It’s the deal itself that’s the problem, not the money.”

Calixto sat back and pondered. “There’s got to be some way to get you on board. Your folks are the only ones I would trust for this kind of thing, and it’ll be worth your while.”

Vince stood up and rested both hands on the table, leaning over Calixto with an ugly light in his eyes. “I gave you my answer and it’s final. Do you have any idea how many of the world’s problems are caused by people who say yes when they should say no?”

Without waiting for an answer, he strode across the barroom and out onto the street. The streetlights weren’t working again, but that was no matter. Nothing had been right since El Duque came to power. Not that things had ever been right in Vince's lifetime.

He rested a hand on the handle of his Glock and felt secure, then tipped his head back and gazed at panorama of stars. There were times when “no” was the only right answer. Because there was hell to pay when the answer was always yes.


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Hmm. Interesting. I'm gonna have to think about this one.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed this, very thought provoking.

Stan Ski said...

What could be worse...?

Americanising Desi said...

tickled my thoughts!


Dee Martin said...

I like a man that sticks to his guns :) Drew me in and made me want more!

Thomma Lyn said...

OI! I'm sorry I'm so slow on the uptake. I just checked this blog and realized you've been posting short stories over here, and I've been completely oblivious!

Ya know, I really ought to start using a blog reader. :)

Anyway, I like this very much. Good and gritty.

Alice Audrey said...

So, what was the deal? I'd love to know where he draws the line.