“Tea Cup get the fuck in here!”
For the record, I hate that name. These wops call me that because I like English suits. My real name is Clarence, and I’m from Providence. I’m an outsider for two reasons. I’m not Italian, and I’m allergic to polyester. The only reason Vincent hired me is because I’m a magician with a straight razor. That’s why I’m here in the back of Jackie O’s tittie bar. Some poor bastard pissed off Vincent and needs to be cut.
“Tea Cup, you prissy fuck. How you been?” Vincent says from behind his squalid desk. I nod and step inside, trying not to get any strange fluids on my shoes. Vincent has a pastrami sandwich in one hand and a big purple dildo in the other. He points the dildo at me as he speaks. “You know big Joe over at the car wash right?” I nod again, fixated on the waving phallus. “He’s got something of mine, and I want it back. If that asshole thinks I’m gonna forget…hold on a sec. Roxy! How many times do I have to tell you to keep your fuck stick outta the goddamned fridge?”
Roxy pokes her head through the curtain of the dressing room and giggles. “Sorry Vin, you know I like it cold.”
Vincent throws the purple dildo like a spear at the curtain. “Now, as I was sayin. I need you to go and get my fucking shit, and Tea Cup, make him bleed.”
Just like that I was dismissed. I stood in the parking lot and carefully wiped my shoes before I got in the car. These Edward Green’s cost more than Vincent’s entire wardrobe. I drove across town to big Joe’s and parked around back. I took a minute to brush the creases out of my suit and then hit the backdoor. Joe was at the cash register and his face went pale when he saw me. That happens a lot.
“Now Tea Cup, let’s not get crazy. I’ll have Vinnie’s stuff by the end of the week. I swear.”
I don’t say a word. I slowly take off my jacket, neatly fold it and place in on a chair. I don’t want to get it dirty, plus it freaks out the victim. “Vincent wants it today Joe. You and I both know what happens next. You either give it to me or I take something in exchange.” I pull my pearl handled straight razor from its leather case.
“Aw shit man, I told you I don’t have it right now. Give me a couple of days please.”
I open the razor and before he can say another word, I cut off two of his fingers. They land on the counter and curl up involuntarily. “Come on Joe. Where is it?” Joe falls back against the wall clutching his hand and looks at the vending machine. I give him the ‘you got to be kidding me’ look and raise the blade again.
“No I swear, it’s in a case taped to the back.”
As I turn to look at the machine, Joe grabs my hand and runs the blade deep across his throat, slitting himself from ear to ear. He slumps against the wall and just smiles at me as the blood pours down his chest.
Now I’m royally fucked.
Joe was family, and you don’t kill made men without permission. He didn’t want Vincent to work him over so he took the coward’s way out, leaving me to take the blame.
I knew it was useless to go back and try to explain, so I disappeared. I laid low for a couple of days until I could get my passport in order. I put on my best Savile Row suit, and called a cab to the airport. I rolled my bag into the terminal and stopped at a kiosk for a magazine. After I found my gate, I ducked into the bathroom for a quick piss. As I washed my hands, I saw Alexi step up behind me in the mirror.
“Hello Tea Cup.”
“Hello Alexi. Do me a favor, try not to get anything on the shoes.”