The Silence & The Howl | Part 20

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§.20


“Yo. Someone asking bout you at the front.”

Damion turned from the fat man with whom he was sharing a beer to the lanky, bejeweled man before him.

“And he is?”

“Don’t know. Never seen him before. Some white boy.”

“What about me is he asking?”

“Asking to speak to you.”

“Everyone wants a piece of the pie.”

“Not quite everyone,” Harmon declared, striding impassively beside the lanky man who reached swiftly for his gun. Before he could fully unholster the piece, Damion swiftly raised his hands in entreaty.

“Take it easy. Think our boy here is just lost. Ain’t that right?”

“No, Mr. Strake, not lost at all. Came to talk. If you’ve got a moment.”

“I’m afraid I don’t.”

“You don’t look afraid.”

Damion looked to his bodyguard with a raised brow. The lanky man shook his head and turned to Harmon derisively.

“Who the fuck you think you are?”

Harmon ignored the flustered guard, his eyes fixed on Strakes.

“I’d like to speak to Mr. Strake in private.”

“I’d like to be a millionaire.”

“With a mouth like that, I find your prospects doubtful.”

The lanky guard opened his mouth to repost the verbal jab but before he could speak, Damion interrupted, gesturing towards the door.

“Kelly, wait outside please.”

“Whatever.”

As Kelly and the fatman made their way out the door and sealed the pulsating electronica behind them, Harmon took a seat, upright, eyes level with his host, hands folded upon his lap.

“Thanks for calling off your dog.”

“You’re lucky I did. He bites.”

“I suggest a muzzle,” Harmon replied as he studied Damion’s face and then straightened once more, “You don’t remember me.”

“You don’t look familiar. What is it you want?”

“Does the name Sprawls ring any bells?”

“That ratfuck… yeah. He a friend of yours?”

“Used to be.”

“My condolences. Wait. I’ve seen you before.”

“Yes. We met – what was it – two years ago, at a music festival not far from here. You sold Sprawls something. Were secretive bout it.”

“Just some gas. You know how it is.”

“I don’t. That’s why I’m here.”

Damion rolled his eyes and leaned over the table, pushing a unopened can of beer toward his guest.

“Gas. Pot. Marijuana.”

“He buy other things from you?”

“Maybe. Why you asking? You buying?”

“Maybe. What other things does he buy?”

“Ya know, that’s the kinda question that only really dumb niggers ask. You ain’t no dumb nigger are you?”

Damion assumed an aggressive posture, his bleary eyes narrowed and he leaned out even further over the table, his mouth crinkling into a grimace.

Harmon cracked the beer and raised it to take a sip, responding before he did so.

“Do I look like a dumb nigger to you?”

Damion smiled humorlessly and shook his head.

“I don’t know what you look like. You on some bullshit.”

“Still haven’t answered my question.”

Damion gave the man a wary look before continuing.

“China Town.”

“He buy a lot?”

“Woulda if he could afford to. Last I heard that broke ass nigger was scrubbing toilets.”

“He come lately?”

“No. Why the fuck are you so interested?”

“Will you be selling, or not?”

“Depends on if you’re paying.”

“Course. You accept checks?”

Damion paused, furrowing his brow before he spied Harmon’s mocking expression.

“Very funny. You know you fucking lucky Karst ain’t here.”

“Don’t know him.”

“You should, this is his building. He ain’t quite so accommodating as me. Month ago, some dude named Luke Rawel comes up in here, talking shit, bout how much TNT he got and whole buncha bullshit. We tell him he needs to leave. He decides not to and says if we didn’t do business he’d have to have a word with the cops. Karst, well, he calmly told him there was no need for that and that they should talk about it in his office in the basement. Don’t know what happened, but ain’t no one seen Rawel after that…”

“That a threat?”

“Fuck no. I’m just telling you like it is.”

“Your boss’ personal affairs don’t concern me.”

Harmon removed a thick clip of hundred dollar bills from his belt and waved it before the pill merchant enticingly.

“Bring me what Sprawls last bought. Whatever he paid, I’ll pay double.”

*

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