Episode 13: The One O’clock Jump
What the fuck am I doing here, Kodek wondered. He looked around the pub through the reek of oily fish and chips to the sign across the pub:
“Charing Cross Road, famous for its many bookshops including Foyles Blackwells & Borders” and as many words as this sign contained, the fact of the matter was that it was only 8×10 inches, framed in cheap plastic.
The storm had strews to abate for a couple of minutes before kicking right back up again, punctuated by powerful claps of thunder. It wasn’t even night out here, but I might as well have been, the overcast shadowing the entire length of the block, right down to the end of the Leicester Square tube station.
Kodek mused over his pint again, noticed it was a third short.
When the fuck did that happen? He wondered. He checked his watch and saw it was only one o’clock in the afternoon, then had a mentally misplacing thought that he may have forgotten to set his watch the five hours ahead to account for the London time difference. that may also explain why it looked dark as fuck outside. It didn’t matter, because he couldn’t even remember arriving in London let alone taking the time to reset his watch.
Time… Yeah, there was definitely something troubling Kodek about the thought of that.
He glades through the window again and across the street to the HIPPODROME and wondered if it was still a gigantic nightclub. didn’t look like it anymore – the was some king or sandwich shop that has taken over the lobby.
Kodek took a sip of his pint. The beer was arm, he’d been there for so long. Or had it come like that? He couldn’t remember. He took another sip, and now the glass was two-thirds gone, and that’s when they came in.
Kodek looked up and he almost had to laugh, they looked like they were trying to be the Reservoir Dogs. Turns out they were, to Kodek’s surprise.
The Crew came on and ordered pints, seeing Kodek sitting there they acknowledged him and ordered him a refill as well. Then the three of them sat down with him.
“Why the fuck are you dressed like that?”
Ernie glanced at Kodek over the rim of his pint, then took a sip leaving a beer-foam mustache behind while Chris and Ubert gave him the hairy eyeball, like hey were gonna get busted for something.
“There was this double-feature of at the Prince Charles Theatre,” Ernie began before being rudely cut off by Ubert:
“And prizes if you dressed up.”
“Dressed up like what?” Kodek asked. “You all look like the fucking hitmen from The Killers.”
“Only there’s three of us, not two,” Chris added.
“Yeah, okay,” he was already almost bored of this conversation. “So what gives?”
“Reservoir Dogs,” Chris went on-
“And Pulp Fiction,” Ubert added. There was a slightly uncomfortable pause at that point and Ubert couldn’t exactly tell if Kodek was pissed or not.
“At the Prince Charles Theatre,” Ernie reiterated sheepishly.
“Well, good fucking Christ,” Kodek told them, “It’s a good fucking thing you all kept your minds on work!”
“But don’t you see, Kodek…?” Chris looked away when Kodek made eye contact, but continued anyway. “It was Pulp Fiction…”
Yeah, Kodek was pissed.
“So, what’s the order of business now, then?” Kodek asked.
“Seriously, mate, we thought you were going to tell us!” Chris blurted.
That’s when Kodek whipped out his 9 mil pistol with the screwed-on silencer and shot Chris through the face.
Well, not really, but he’d wanted to do it so badly the image just popped vividly into Kodek’s mind…
The mind of violent people was a funny place, he mused. At any rate, he found that he really was pissed about not having been invited along to the Reservoir Dogs/Pulp Fiction double feature at the prince Charles, but he supposed he couldn’t let that show too much. They did have actual work to do, after all.
“Are you taking a piss?!” Kodek blurted to Chris. “Seriously, I just got off the fucking plane and Thaddeus told me that you guys were–“
“Yeah , yeah, we’re taking the piss,” Ernie told him. “Well, not about the double-feature, but about you knowing what’s going on…”
“So here’s the scoop,” Ubert cut in. “it’s a diamond heist.”
Kodek stared at him incredulously. “Are you taking a fuckin piss again?”
“Unfortunately,” Ubert said, “not this time”
“Fuck,” Kodek muttered, and he noticed that both of his pint glasses were empty now. What the bloody hell?
“We’ll get the details tomorrow,” Chris said. “We’re meeting with some bird named Vicky the Vig,” he went on, “and she should be providing more of the details. Word on the street is that she has quite the working relationship with that lawyer Derrikson from the Morimoto Corporarion in The States. You must’ve heard of him, yeah?”
Chris: “Right then, she’s got the details, and evidently she’s also in for a cut, which I can only assume is on account of the fact hat she’s fucking this American lawyer, yeah?”
Kodek could only offer a non-committal nod with a slight shrug on the side. He’d never heard of this Vicky the Vig bird in his whole life.
“She British?” he asked.
Ernie shook his head. “She’s living here for the time being, but she’s definitely American.”
Kodek glanced aside and peeked into the side of Chris’s black Reaervoir Dogs jacket and caught sight of the semi-automatic pistol hanging from the shoulder strap. Scratch that, Kodak noted win a grin — that would be a replica semi-automatic list. A pretty fucking good replica, but a replica nonetheless.
This was going to turn out badly.
“Chris,” Kodek sighed, “may I please ask you what in god’s fucking name you’re doing with a replica pistol strapped around your shoulder under that black jacket of yours?”
“Oh, this?” Chris asked and then right there in the pub, right at the fucking table, he whipped it out.
Ernie: “For the sake of baby Jesus, Chris, put that fucking thing away before the bartender shoots us!”
Kodek looked over to the bar, but intelligently, the bartender couldn’t give a flying fuck about them or their replica pistol.
“What the fuck good do you think that’s going to be, anyway?” Kodek asked, trying to get a straight answer form at least one of The Crew.
“All part of the plan that Vicky helped cook up,” Chris told him.
“Chris will be the distraction,” Ubert said. “He’s supposed to get caught. And when he dies get caught, any idiot copper will be able tossed that it’s just a fuckin replica, and henceforth, Chris here can’t rightly be charged with armed robbery now, can he?”
“Sure, good plan,” Kodek said, Rolling his eyes and seriously doubting that Chris would make it through without any armed robbery charge, if he made it out alive at all. He wouldn’t put it past the cops to shoot him just put if sheer principal. Lucky for Chris the cops in London didn’t usually carry guns around. This was getting too fucked up for Kodek already, and the bloody heist hadn’t even started yet! This was going to be a long fucking 24 hours and change, and Kodek desperately needed another pint.
As he reached for his pint before remembering that it had already been killed, and there was nothing he could do about it save for getting his ass over to the bar and ordering another. When he figured he was just about to do that he realized that Ernie had been talking the whole time. And how long had that been for? And what about? The fucking plan, probably, that’s what about. Kodek used his power of reasoning and deduction to try to pickup just where the hell they were along this conversation line.
Fucking jetlag. He was seriously feeling screwed up.
“So,” he interrupted Ernie mid-sentence and the whole Crew stopped and turned to (glare) hear what he had to say.
“When are we meeting Vicky the Vig?”
“Well,”‘Chris said, leaning over the table conspiratorially towards Kodek, “that would be tomorrow afternoon. At one o’clock.”
“Right about 24 hours from now — give or take thirty minutes.”
So, Kodek thought, he must’ve set his watch right after all. Nice one.
Twenty-four hours and thirty-six minutes later, The Crew burst into Vicki the Vig’s Soho flat, covered in blood.
(written by Vince D’Amato, July, 2011)