Prisoner’s Dilemma, Pt. 4

Where Jimmy looks like he’s been in a bar fight, Robert looks like he was tossed into an MMA match. One of his eyes is swollen shut, his nose broken, his skin cut and bleeding. He struggles to speak through the duct tape gag and tries to wriggle his way over to Jimmy, but the Grey Man puts his foot down on the man’s throat.

THE GREY MAN

I believe you two are acquainted, yes? Anyway, Robert here said he didn’t know anything either. And, much like you, he was lying, so when I asked him again, I didn’t ask nicely. Oh, he held out for about as long as he could, but in the end, he talked. Problem is, Robert didn’t actually know all that much. Once we really put the screws to him… That’s just an expression, by the way. We don’t actually use thumbscrews. Anyway, the point is that after a little while, it became very obvious that Robert didn’t really know what the fuck he was talking about.

Beat.

But he knew someone who did. And that’s you, Jimmy. If I were you, I’d really start talking.

CUT TO:

EXT. A BACK ALLEY – NIGHT

FRANCISCO MELENDEZ is standing in front of a small group of five teens. He has two of his LIEUTENANTS behind him. He is wearing long pants and an oversized t-shirt. His exposed skin is covered in tattoos. He is hard and sharp and thin, like a knife.

The teens look at him with reverent awe. Francisco is still street-level at this time and he has chosen these boys to be his eyes and ears. They all consider it an honor. He is their General Patton.

A YOUNG JIMMY AND ROBERT are among the teens listening to Francisco’s speech with rapt attention.

FRANCISCO

Alright, listen up. We’ve got seven rules. You follow them like they’re the Ten Fucking Commandments, you got me? You follow them, or you got to face the wrath of God: Me. Rule number one, no fighting. We’re all brothers here, you got that? Any shit you had between you and another member before you joined, that’s in the past. You let it go. Rule two, no disrespecting each other’s families. No talking shit, no making moves on each other’s women, nothing. Treat each other right, you got it? Rule three, no snitching. I don’t give a shit if the cops break every bone in your body and put jumper cables on your balls. You don’t talk. Ever.

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