This was intended to be the first 2 chapters of a story I’ve long since given up on. I was just wondering what you thought of it. Any and all comments, no matter how harsh, are greatly appreciated.
Sunday Afternoon at the Sutton Arms. So quiet it was almost serene, almost. But then it was always this way in the Arms. A lone barman, a few drunks, a few hard men, a couple of working girls and a ticking clock. The air in the pub was thick with acrid smoke, it infested the air and stank the life from it, burning your nose. The two men, however, sat by the bar, unaffected. They didn’t notice because it was their local and they were in there all the time.
The taller of the two men who liked to be known simply as Guv’nor and who wouldn’t tolerate anything else sat, supped his pint, talked to his companion, wiped his thick lips, drank some more, talked some more, kept his eye on the clock.
He leaned over to his slight companion in the beige jacket and said conspiritorially
“The one thing you’ve got to remember is that it’s all just business”
Flash back to the night before. Pouring rain. The guv’nor, pounding away at some poor pretty boy wannabe hood. Covered in blood. Not his, loving it.
“These guy’s don’t take it personal like, they know you’re just doing a job”
The guv’nor, raining blows on pretty boy.
“They don’t take it personally, so why should you? Don’t beat yourself up about it, no pun intended there” the guv’nor lied, sniggering at his sparkling wit, coughing up tar.
The guv’nor, brandishing the now not-so-pretty boy by the scruff of the neck. Like a trophy. Roaring to the night sky. Victorious.
“I see guv’nor” the thin man said back, trying but not quite succeeding to look the guv’nor in the eye
The thin man, looking on at the carnage as the guv’nor prepared himself for a fresh onslaught, praying for it to end fast, for the sake of the poor lads face if not his dignity.
“I’m glad. I weren’t so sure of you last night, but if you’re one of Angel’s you can be counted on, so if you’re sure you can handle it, you can do the rounds with me again tonight”
“Sure guv’nor, no worries” The thin man replied, staring straight ahead resolutely. He needed the money after all, so he’d just have to put up or shut up. They paid the fat barman and walked out together, single file.
Another pub. In walked the guv’nor and the thin man followed, they made a bee line for the bar, pushing another man aside roughly. The man turned angrily, turning back again once he saw who’d elbowed him.
The barman briefly glanced up. When he saw who’d come in the pint glass he was cleaning slipped from his hand, spinning, tumbling and orbiting until it shattered into a thousand fragments, tiny and delicate.
“Sheila, clean this up will you? I’ve got to have a word with some people”
As Sheila cleaned, the barman, whose name was Sean, invited the two men behind the bar and together they briskly walked into a living room. There was a small TV with a white doily in the far west side of the small room, next to the window’s faded net curtains. Other than these cheap attempts to bring fancy, the room was squalid, almost empty. The guv’nor had to stoop under the low doorway, then he paused for a brief moment, surveying the room, adjusting. He sat on a small sofa and turned back towards the doorway, waiting for Sean and his lean companion to enter.
Sean sat slowly in a small armchair and waited for the guv’nor to speak.
“Well?’ demanded the guv’nor aggressively “What’re you waiting for?”
Sean shuffled nervously in his own front room and slowly, hesitantly, moved for his back pocket. The thin man standing next to Sean knew as soon as Sean brought his hand back from his pocket that there was going to be trouble.
Sean handed a roll of creased and shriveled of bills to the guv’nor who counted them slowly and purposefully, then once he’d finished, paused and counted them again. His brow furrowed, giving the appearance of intense concentration. Then he rose to his feet, slowly stepped over to Sean and put his face close. Sean pushed himself back into his seat and turned to avoid the guv’nors intense, violent stare.
“What do you call this?” The guv’nor whispered, barely able to contain his wrath.
“L…look guv’nor, I was meaning to tell you but ___”
“Well why didn’t you then?” interrupted the guv’nor.
“I…I…” The words stuck in Sean’s throat and choked him. He could hardly breathe and sweat made his fat face shine.
“WELL?” The Guv’nor roared “WHERE’S THE REST OF IT?”
Sean’s terror could not be contained. He half whined, half sobbed into his chest as the man mountain lurched towards him and punched him hard in the gut.
“Tomorrow” said the guv’nor “I wouldn’t like to see this place if you disappoint me”. To punctuate the point, the guv’nor whipped out his gold cigarette lighter and lit it under Seans nose. He then walked out, the thin man following behind, shoulders hunched.
What do you guys think? Should I carry on with it?