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Excerpt from "Statler's Pawn"

“Wait!" Marcus managed, panting. “Did you see-" Closing his eyes against the pain as Mickey took off down the street, he couldn’t finish his sentence. Shifting his weight to lean on the door only took a bit of pressure off of his hip.

“He’s in the back." Mickey growled. “What the hell were you tinkin’?” Giving a shaky look in the back, an unconscious form of a man was crumpled across the back seat of the old sedan. Taking too long to wrap his mind around everything, Mickey landed a driving punch to Marcus’s shoulder in frustration.

“Answer me, Statler!" He shouted, the blow rocking Marcus against the passenger window. Not appreciating the fresh assault, he groaned and swore.

“Fuck! He was alone! Who doesn’t have backup with him and keeps his back turned to the street like that!" Pulling the wet ball cap off, he threw it at his feet.

“You never just walk up to the mark, especially an asshole like Spicolli. I know he was a shithead the last time and he deserved it, but Christ, Marcus, you know better!”

“Is he-” Mickey lurched the sedan into another lane, rolling Marcus onto his left leg. Sucking in a breath, he tried to finish his thought through gritted teeth. “Donavan wanted his head.”

“I get first dibs at his head. Don can have what’s left when I’m done." Mickey shoved Marcus back towards the passenger side unceremoniously. “Christ, now I gotta take this all the way to sixty first." Mickey slapped at the steering wheel in disgust. Feeling lightheaded, Marcus knew he would have to get the bleeding stopped.

“Got anything in this car I can use?" He asked, breathless.

“All I got in this car is two mindless idiots and a bad temper." He cursed at a taxi in front of him, slamming on the horn. “If dere’s a kit in the trunk, I sure can’t pull over now. Take your thumb out of your ass and plug the hole with that." Biting his tongue, Marcus closed his eyes and tried to focus on his breathing. First things first, he needed to stop bleeding all over the place. Second, he needed to get a hold of Donavan. Third, they needed to figure out what to do with Spicolli.

Pulling off his jacket, he took his shirt and pressed it against his hip as hard as he could stand. As the river sped past his window, he tried to focus on the map in his mind. They were nowhere near Korea town where they both knew associates who would patch up a hole on the sly. It would have to be someone else.

Getting to his phone, he called an after hours burner line that Donavan gave in case of emergencies. Every breath seemed to make the pain pulse down his leg, so Marcus tried to clench against the feeling to sound like he had everything under control.

“What the hell?" Donavan mumbled.

“Statler’s Sushi Bar - your order’s ready." He swallowed hard, surprised that Mickey was quiet. “Dine in or take out?”

“I’ll take it to go and pay through the app." The line went dead with a snap. Turning and taking a quick picture, Marcus texted confirmation to his boss. Knowing payment would be wired to his account for finishing the job was of little importance. As he dropped the phone into his lap, he realized that Mickey was making a call of his own.

“Ninety-nine. Got it." Closing his phone, he came up on the exit that would take them onto sixty-first street. “Dat was Manuel’s brudda. Gotta hole in pier 99 for ten large we can use to take care of tings. I’m gonna drop you in Hell’s Kitchen ta get your goddamned hole sewn up somewhere." The idea made Marcus’ skin crawl. Nothing good ever happened to him there.

“No, I’ll go with you." He shifted in his seat as much as the pain would allow.

“You’re useless till you quit bleedin’ all over.”

“Last time we tried to get anything done in Hell’s Kitchen-”

“It’s not up for discussion, Statler! I had a plan here. You fucked up my plan playing cowboy. Now I’m cleaning it up.”

“Damnit, Mick, we need to take care of him together! I’m not-" A ring in his pocket interrupted his thought. Cursing Donavan’s name, Marcus answered the phone without looking at the number...


'Statler's Pawn' will be released later this year on Amazon - stay tuned to further teases and updates here and on Twitter @aully1.

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