O'Malley's

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic


Originally written for a creative writing class. Being posted here for posterity.

Submitted: March 29, 2018

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Submitted: March 29, 2018

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O’Malley’s (revised)

“God dammit.” Liam had just woken up in the alleyway. Knocked on his ass by whoever the big guy with Riley was. Now he’s dirty and wet and has no idea where the mark went. He gets up, brushes the dirt off, and makes the call to his boss. Liam was not a man in his prime. He was in his early 30’s, unshaven, out of shape, and barely knew how to dress himself. Always walking around with a sports jacket and jeans.

“Hey it’s me. No I didn’t get Riley. Well if someone felt like telling me he was friends with Andre the fucking Giant then maybe it would have gone a tad bit better! I understand how important this is what do you--okay I get it.”

He hangs up the phone and makes another call.

“Change of plans. Get the car and your ass over to O’Malley’s. The job’s gone sour.”

He hangs up before the man on the other end gets a chance to respond. He walks into the bar. Figures if he’s got to wait he may as well get a drink. O’Malley’s is a shithole. Only people who come here are gangsters, and people pretending to be gangsters. It wasn’t huge, but it did the job for its customers. About three, sometimes four, tables spread around almost at random, always with too many people gathered around seeing who could chug the shitiest beer the quickest. The place was cleaned every other full moon if you’re lucky. Barkeep will smash a fly, trap a rat, didn’t really matter what dead thing was laying around, if you came back the next week it would have its own little party of new creatures gathered around it.

Place hired pretty shitty bartenders, too. Ask them to make a margarita and you end up with something that tastes like club soda, smells like the skin of a dead cat, and gets you about as drunk as a 4-year-old having his first glass of chocolate milk. Only decent thing they served was a drink called “The Irish Powerbomb.” No one knew what was in it, but they probably didn’t want to. Liam sits himself down at the bar. Bartender notices him, remembers who he is, and opts to ignore him. That’s Liam Wayneright for you. Ten years with the family and he doesn’t even intimidate a fucking O’Malley’s bartender.

*

About fifteen minutes later Liam’s phone vibrates and he goes outside to meet up with his driver, Marco. Marco’s new to the family and it’s Liam’s burden to drag him around on jobs and show him the ropes. Based on Liam’s minimal experience he’d guess he wasn’t the most attentive student in school. Marco was definitely young. Whenever he had to meet large parts of the family he would dress up nice, but otherwise it was a hoodie and jeans. A style which may have suited him well, but only because it made him look like a child.

“So where we headin’?” Marco asked, holding back his excitement about as well as a toddler hides the fact he needs to take a piss.

“Shane’s place,” said Liam. “Need to find Riley before the night’s out or it’s my ass.”

“Cool, cool... where’s Shane’s?” Right now Liam was really wishing he had gotten that bartender’s attention. Liam tells Marco how to get to Shane’s and hops into the car. Marco’s car wasn’t the greatest thing on the road, a nineteen-eighty-something Dodge sedan with the upholstery tearing up all over the place, but it did what it needed to. Liam doesn’t drive anymore, but whenever he gets in the car with Marco he sometimes dreams of waiting in line at the DMV.

“So what’s the plan now,” asked Marco, “We still swooping this guy, what is it, Raymundo?”

“Riley,” says Liam, rubbing his temple. “Turns out he wasn’t a fan of getting kidnapped so he decided it would be best to knock me out in an alley and piss off.”

“Why we heading to Shane’s then?”

“You don’t know who Shane or Riley are, do you?”

“Of course I do!”

“Listen, Marco, I’m going to teach you a lesson. If you ever need advice on how to fuck up one of the boss’s schemes and still have your head attached, then I suggest you ask Riley.”

“Why would Shane know how to find him if some of our best can’t?”

“Because if you can’t trust your own brother then who can you trust?”

There was a bit of quiet tension in the air. If Liam could have gotten Marco to shut up for more than fifteen minutes he will have considered his tutelage a success.

“So what exactly did he do?” Liam never considered himself a very good teacher.

*

“Riley was one of the boss’s favorites,” said Liam, Marco listening better than he ever did. “If a job needed doing, Riley was number one on the boss’s list of people to call. He was a bit of shining star, came in about four years ago and proved himself nothing but competent. Riley did a lot of things under our wing. I would tell you in excruciating detail, but you would probably need to blow chunks after which, don’t get me wrong, I would love to inflict upon you but I’ve fucked up enough for one night and losing time is not something I’m interested in.

“Anyway, about seven months ago the boss asked Riley to do something he couldn’t.”

“What?” Inquired Marco.

“Not important. The important part is that Riley didn’t just deny the job, but he felt that blowing up the boss’s car would be a suitable replacement for a letter of resignation.”

“How’d the boss get out?”

“Why on Earth would you think he starts his own car? As I was saying, the boss was obviously not happy. He sent out a full-scale search for Riley, but Riley knew how the boss ticked too well and we couldn’t find him. Which brings us to tonight, where Riley slipped up and I ended up getting clogged by Arnold Schwarzenegger.”

“What makes you think Shane will tell us where Riley is?”

“You make it sound like he has a choice.”

Marco pulls into the driveway of decent looking house. Freshly watered grass, painted a few months back into this nice shade of blue, none of the windows are broken, of course that was what the outside was like, though. If Shane was known for anything it was how to keep up appearances. One of the most discreet hitmen the family had to offer. Never left a mess, always got the job done as efficiently as possible, but he lacked the flair the boss was so proud of.

Liam walks up to the door and knocks. No answer. He knocks again and shouts.

“Shane! Open the goddamn door!” Still no response. He knocks again trying to get more attention. “I swear to god, Shane, if you don’t open this door I will--” The door opens, revealing Shane dressed in a collared shirt and slacks, but not shoes or socks. The inside of Shane’s house is too clean. Imagine the inside of a hospital, but about 300 times more sterile and you’d be pretty close. Nothing was special about it. Everything was orderly and planned out perfectly to be as normal as possible. Helps keep a man sane.

“I have a doorbell, you know,” said Shane, dejectedly.

“Yes but it’s much easier to convey anger by pounding on a large wooden door.”

“What do you want, Liam?”

“Tell me where he is, Shane.”

“This again? Jesus Christ, how many times do I have to tell you guys that I don’t know where he is?”

“Depends on how much you want to lie to us, and frankly I’ve had just about enough of it.”

“I don’t know where he is. Even if I did I doubt you could get it out of me.”

As Shane starts closing the door Liam kicks it in violently. The force of the door knocks Shane down and Liam jumps on top of him. Liam knocks Shane around for a bit before Shane shoves him away, feeling his face and inspecting his clothes for blood, because he’s Shane. As he gets up, Liam socks him in the gut. While Shane is keeled over Liam pulls out his gun and points it at him. Shane knocks his hand away, but Liam brings it right back and starts hitting him repeatedly with the gun. Funny thing is he thought that knocking it away all nonchalantly would work. Eventually Shane gets knocked back down and Liam stands above him with the gun pointed to his head. Shane looks down the barrel with a very, very stern face.

“I have had enough of this shit! I am sick and fucking tired of all you people! Now tell me where he is or I will blow your fucking brains out!”

After a brief moment of Shane reflecting he looks back at Liam, smiles, and speaks up.

“He called me about fifteen minutes ago. Told me he was heading to the train station, said he was found and wanted to get out of town.”

“Where is he going?”

“He didn’t tell me.”

“I’m not fucking around here, Shane.”

“Neither am I. Riley’s important to me, but not that important.”

Liam stands there for a moment and holsters his gun. He brushes himself off and starts to head out the door. Shane gets up before he heads out.

“So tell me,” said Shane, “why are you so adamant about getting Riley. I thought you didn’t give a shit about him.”

“Shane I still couldn’t give a shit about Riley. The boss told me it was his head or mine.”

“You and I both know he doesn’t mean it. I thought you were done trying to impress him.”

“I am.” Liam heads out again. He gets back into Marco’s car. “We’re heading to the train station.”

“So, what did the boss want him to do,” asked Marco.

“If Riley had gone through with his job, Shane would have any brains left for me to blow out.”

*

Liam Wayneright was a fuckup. He always had been and always will, according to the boss. No one knows why he gets to stay around when he’s messed up more than anyone else will get the chance to. Liam doesn’t care about the other members of the family. He only looks out for himself, and sometimes that means letting one or two or fifteen marks get away. When he arrived at the train station, though, he wasn’t planning on letting the mark get away.

Riley was hesitantly waiting for the next train, pacing back and forth on the platform, when Liam snuck up on him. The train station was nothing fancy. Had a few trains coming in and out every half an hour or so, not many people take it especially not at this time of night where it becomes hobo plaza. Riley was already a little on edge, keeping his guard up so that some punk didn’t put a knife to his back, so seeing someone from the family was definitely going to freak him out enough to knee that person in the stomach. Before he got too far away Liam was able to build up enough oxygen to yell out to him.

“Riley would you wait a goddamn minute?!” This was enough for Riley to stop. “I’m not here for the family.” Riley decides to hear him out, he knew that he’d be able to take Liam if he was lying, anyway.

“I’m listening,” he responded.

“Look.” Liam hobbles over to Riley. “Where’s your friend?”

“Who?”

“The giant from Jack and the Beanstalk.”

“Oh. That was Karl. He was helping me out while I was in town. He went home.”

“That’s a shame. I was hoping to get some payback for him coldcocking me earlier.”

“You said you weren’t here to bring me in, so what do you want?”

Liam hands Riley a piece of paper. He unfolds it and is shocked after he reads it.

“You understand why I gave that to you?”

“Not really.”

“Good.”

Liam walks away, but Riley calls out to him.

“You do realize what I’m going to do with this, right?”

Liam doesn’t respond. He just keeps walking.

The next night Liam is in O’Malley’s reading the paper. The big headline reads “BOSS WAYNERIGHT ASSASSINATED IN HIS HOME”. After reading that all Liam did was smile and drink his Irish Powerbomb.















 

With this story I really wanted the beginning and the ending to stick out in people’s heads. Before I even knew what the full story was I knew that the opening line was going to be “God dammit” followed by describing a guy on the ground in an alleyway. While the line doesn’t hit very hard, it does present the reader with the question of why is this guy on the ground in an alleyway. What has led up to these events and why would someone’s first words be “god dammit” as soon as they wake up? When I finally decided on what the ending would be I knew what I wanted the imagery to be. I wanted it to go full circle with Liam sitting in the bar smiling while reading the headline and drinking the alcohol. It tells you everything you needed to know about this guy and his relationship with his boss in one image and is there to show how much smarter he is than everyone thinks he is.

I also wanted to get the characters and voice down just right. I wanted to have it distinct for all characters, but I wanted it to stand out especially with Liam. Liam is constantly getting annoyed and cracking jokes because that’s the only way he knows how to vent his anger without hurting someone. He’s obviously not a happy man and having all these people talk down to him doesn’t help the matter. I make him jokey so when he gets serious in the scene with Shane it comes off as a surprise. While Marco wasn’t very fleshed out I tried to write him in a way that made him sound like he was trying to sound older and tougher than he really is, and Shane was one that I was really interested with while writing him. When the image of Shane’s house popped into my head I knew that he was going to be this very clean-cut, smooth talking, but completely deadly person who never loses his cool. Even after he has been severely beaten and has a gun point to his face he still acts very calm about the whole manner. I used a close 3rd person perspective because I didn’t feel that a 1st person perspective worked with the story, but I still wanted the narrator to have the same annoyed quality to their voice that Liam has.

 


© Copyright 2018 Jacob Field. All rights reserved.

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