Thirty Pieces of Silver.
“Go on, let me have just one. You know I’m good for it.”
“Get out of my face, Scobi,” said Dave, elbowing the greasy haired scumbag out of his way. He had just gone to the bar for a beer and the little shit had latched on to him like a limpet. Dave pushed through the crowds of drinkers, making sure he had a firm grip on the neck of his bottle. It was bloody wild in here tonight. The music was pounding, and the place was packed with students, just the way Dave liked it. He bobbed his head in time with the driving base, as he made his way to a ledge overlooking the dance floor. He’d a nice mellow buzz going after doing a couple of lines earlier, after all, he was working.
“Please, Dave,” said Scobi, still following him, begging like a hungry dog would beg for scraps.
“Not a chance. You still owe me for the last lot, and I got my arse kicked for giving you that,” said Dave, knowing that there was no point in looking for any money right now. What ever Scobi had was already shot up. Tomorrow, he’d pay Scobi a visit tomorrow and remind him properly about the money he owed.
“Come on Dave, you can’t leave me hanging, brother.”
Dave turned on the little dark haired guy, watching as he danced the junky shake, his body being torn apart by the hunger flooding his veins.
“I’m not your brother! Get the fuck out of my face before I do something I shouldn’t,” Dave snarled. Scobi knew when to cut and run, which is exactly what he did.
Dave rested his elbow on the ledge and took a swig of his beer. He watched the dancers go wild to the music. He could see some of his regular customers already covered in a lather of sweat, eyes closed, ripping up the dance floor. Glow sticks made magic arks in the dark, and the night club lights pulsed in time with the music. Another bottle landed on the ledge alongside Dave’s and he looked around. A shifty looking guy had moved in beside him and was watching the floor with a smile, just like Dave.
Dave knew the guy had not ended up there by accident. This was his spot, and everyone here knew where to go if they were looking for a little something to get a buzz on. Dave kept a watch from the corner of his eye. Dave said nothing, he just waited. He didn’t recognise this guy, and Dave knew just about everyone. The guy caught Dave watching him and he gave him a grin.
“Alright, Buddy?” the man said.
“Alright,” answered Dave. The man nodded and smiled like Dave had just told him a joke and leaned in.
“Have you see Charlie around the place tonight?” the man asked, with a knowing look.
“Charlie?” said Dave, playing dumb, but knowing exactly what the man was looking for.
“Yea, Charlie. My buddy over there said you would know where he was, if he was about.” Dave looked at the guy closer. He didn’t look like a copper, and he didn’t talk like one either. Even though he had a few deals of heroin in his sock he was not going to deal class A to a complete stranger.
“Na man, Charlie stayed home tonight, too many Love Doves out and about.” Love Doves were a type of ecstasy tablet popular at the minute. They were white with a little dove printed on them.
“Too bad, but I guess if doves is all that’s out, doves it will have to be. How much for a couple?”
“Twenty,” said Dave turning away from the dance floor so his back was to the ledge. He crossed his hands so his palm was hidden behind his arm. The guy nodded his head, and also turned so he was shoulder to shoulder with Dave. Dave felt a folded note slip into his hand, which he quickly made vanish. From a hidden pocket inside his jacket, Dave fished out two tabs, by feel, and slipped them into the guy's hand still folded behind his arm. The whole transaction took less than ten seconds. The man winked, and popped one of the tablets in his mouth, before vanishing into the crowd. Dave watched the guy go but soon lost him in the throng. He didn’t like selling to people he didn’t know, it was risky, but hell, drug-dealing was a risky business.
At the end of the night, the street outside Zoe’s was littered with drunks and spaced out teenagers. Dave nodded to the security as he walked away from the building, they all knew him but pretended they didn’t. The envelope he passed to the head of security once a month assured his business would not be disturbed, as long as he was discreet. Dave had drank a half a dozen beers and taken about four lines during the night, he wasn’t drunk, but far from sober. His stomach was screaming for a Kebab, so he was wandering towards the top of the street when he spotted the guy from earlier. He was leaning against a wall chewing on a burger. The guy smiled and waved to Dave.
“Hey, man, got any more of them little birdies?” he said, through a mouthful of chewed beef.
“Sure buddy,” said Dave, walking over to the man. “How many do you want?” he asked unzipping his jacket. That was as far as Dave got, before two big guys rushed around the corner, grabbing Dave and dragging him down the alleyway.
Dave tried to shout, but one of the guys drove a fist into his solar plexus, knocking the wind, and the noise, out of him. The guy that had bought the drugs earlier followed along behind, still eating his burger. He nodded, and they went to work on Dave. By the time the pickaxe handle appeared, Dave couldn’t feel much of anything. He was starting to black out when the guy finished his burger and stopped the beating with a quiet word. He hunched down so that Dave could see him using the one eye that was still in his head.
“You tell Jimmy that he’s not keeping us out of this patch any more. You got that?” the guy said. Dave tried to nod his head but was not sure if it actually moved at all, instead he blinked his remaining eye.
“Good,” said the man, but something made him come back. He rifled through Dave’s jacket and found the hidden pocket and emptied it of tablets, as well as taking his wallet and the deals of heroin he had stuffed inside his sock.
“Oh, and tell him to keep a leash on Pit-bull Byrne, or we’ll put that doggy down, for good,” said the guy, pocketing the drugs and money before walking away, like he hadn’t a care in the world.