Chapter 2:


Neon: City of Lights

The thumping of the drums through the speaker shakes The Fine Hag. It could infect a person’s entire system, forcing them to get off their feet. The people, drunk and sober, black and white, American and Polish, were on the multi-colored dance floor doing the number one pastime that the citizens of Neon City would do: Party.

So tonight gotta leave that nine to five up on the shelf, and just enjoy yourself…

C’mon, and groove, Let the madness in the music get to you, Life ain’t so bad at all…

The souls in that club lost themselves in the music. They stepped in time with the beat, stomping their feet while the neon lights on the floor flashed reds, blues, and pinks. The people, drenched in sweat, were grooving their bodies and grinding against one another. The place was packed, and the dance floor felt the mass of bodies move in harmony.

Antoni was leaning against the railing on the second floor, where the VIP area sits. He looked down at the men in their floral shirts and gold chains. The women in their dresses sparkle with diamond jewelry. He moved his head to the beat, enjoying the vibe. Behind him was a mass of women, giggling with their dresses that shined under the spotlights. They surrounded a man named John. Slicked back mullet, hairy chest, handsome, he smiled showing a perfect gold tooth. Antoni walked over to one of the women. He leaned forward to kiss her, letting her feel his shaven head and neck tattoos, showing the Rusalka off on his neck.

He pulled away, showing off a crooked smile, distorted by the scarring around his lips and green eyes. “Czy ty to zrobiłeś, Laura?”

She nodded. “Tak.”

Antoni nodded and looked at John enjoying himself with the women, kissing on their necks and freely groping them. Antoni leaned against the table, where a nice pile of cocaine sat. With the help of a shaving razor, he made a line for the special guest. “Johnny boy! I see you haven’t touched your dinner!”

John chuckled, looking at the pile, then at the women anticipating his answer. “I-I mean…I gotta go home soon, the b-babysitter could be worried a-and…”

Antoni sighed as he pushed the line closer. The group of women felt on his chest, rubbing his crotch to make him bite his lip and squirm around. “Live your life off the wall, yes! You’re an American cowboy! Big dick stallion!”

John felt the pressure. The tits on his arms, a tattooed foreign man offering him drugs. He had no choice. As the song ended, he dove in to sniff the line. He huffed loudly as he finished, holding his nose in pain and leaning back. “Fuck! Fuck…” The world drowned out almost immediately. He felt so wrong. His heart was pumping like mad, but the world still moved like it was underwater. He stared at Antoni while he laughed out like a madman, not understanding a thing he was saying. The only thing that hit him was the drums. Something that felt like a kick in the head.

Are you happy? Are you satisfied? How long can you stand the heat?

Out of the doorway the bullets rip, to the sound of the beat, look out…

With that, he passed out, body going slump in the seat.” Antoni yelled out, holding his stomach while laughing. The women awkwardly chuckled, staring at their boss making light of the situation. “Kolejny ugryzł się w pył.” Another classic joke.

He got up and looked for the guards to carry the man off. As they lifted John to take him out, Antoni leaned back on the railing to stare at the crowd. He smoked as he looked at the patrons enjoying their night. Laura joined him, leaning with him. “May I ask what you’re using him for?”

“Somebody wanted a spleen.”

She nodded. “Hm.”

He turned to face her. “What? You wanna get smart?”

“N-no, sir.”

“Listen, Laura. We have to know our place. You’re the decoy. You don’t need to know shit.”

“I just wanted to know, Toni.”

“And I want you out of my sight. Learn carefully, Laura. You as a woman must learn this lesson. Odejdź.”

She obeys.

A few minutes later, Antoni was helping himself to the extra untampered coke on the table. One of his henchmen came up to him. “Sir, Qiang would like to see you.”

He leaned back, wiping his nose. “Hm. Let her up.”

Qiang with her bodyguards walked up soon, standing across from the man. “Mr. Księżyc.”

Toni waved his hand. “Please, miss. Call me Antoni. Makes me feel younger.”

The elder sat down, with the guards still standing next to her. “I see you’ve done well for yourself.”

Toni’s eyes lit up. “Ha! Who would’ve thought? A fucking immigrant taking all the cash. Got the best club in Florida.”

“Hm, impressive. Now, how did you come up with The Fine Hag as a name?”

“Well, That describes half of Neon’s whore pool.” He hacked out a laugh.

“That doesn’t stop you from taking said whores, yes?”

“Some guys like ugly bitches. Some just want a heart. And a heart is a heart, no look to that.”

Qiang nodded. “Though I bet it’s boring though, correct?”

He squinted his eyes a bit. “...I know what you’re doing. You want me to do a job.”

“You know me too well. But I know you too well. Running guns, fighting wars. From here to Australia. Now you’re sniffing coke like a slob, wasting your potential.”

The man adjusted himself in his seat uncomfortably. He looked away. “So? I’m fine where I am.”

With a smile creeping across her face, Qiang leaned forward. “I got a job, Mr.Księżyc. It involves lots of shooting and action. Things that make your heart race. No drugs required.”

Antoni looked down for a bit at the coke. Thoughts of violence invaded his mind. Flash of his weapon. The blood spilled off his enemies. The bodies staking. He couldn’t resist smiling. He nodded. “Fuck. Fine. Give me a call, I’ll be there.”

“Glad we could see eye to eye.”

Steward McOy