Alcohol By D.I. Jolly

“What time is it supposed to arrive?”

“It’ll arrive, when it arrives just relax.”

“You say that like it’s not what I’m trying to do, but it’s cold, raining, my cigarettes are wet and I swear to god I’ve seen three cop cars drive past.”

Jerome turned on the new kid, grabbed his collar and slammed him against the wall.

“Look here kid, we’re all cold, we’re all getting rained on and we’re all counting cop cars. This might be your first time but we’ve all done this before. So shut up, do as you’re told and stop pointing out the obvious. It doesn’t fucking help nobody, do you understand?”

The kid swallowed his fear and nodded.

“Good, now get in position. The shipment should be here soon.”

The rain kept coming down but as promised a large truck slowly and without grandeur pulled up to the small warehouse. As instructed the kid quickly opened the door and then closed and locked it behind them. As the latch clicked closed the lights came on and the whole room sprung into action. 7 guys, including the kid, all started quickly unloading boxes from the truck and loading them into smaller vans. Once that was done the truck got refilled with identical looking boxes and was let out to carry on its usual journey, the guys all climbed into the vans, waited about half an hour and then one by one drove off. It took a few more minutes of driving but eventually Jerome turned to the kid.

“Look, sorry I came down on you hard back there but you got to understand, what you were saying, that stuff makes people nervous and in this kind of business when people get nervous they make mistakes and to us, mistakes means for real death.”

The kid nodded solemnly.

“And I’m sorry about all that Mr Jerome.”

“But you did good kid, made sure the door was locked, carried your fair share of boxes, made sure not to drop anything or get in the way. I saw you working, proud of ya.”

“Thank you Mr Jerome, but may I ask, what’s in them?”

“Booze kid, our employer runs some of the top nightclubs and bars on the island.”

The kid frowned.

“But there’s no prohibition, booze has been legal for decades.”

“Yeah but this stuff is the good stuff, imported from all over the world.”

The look of confusion only deepened on the kid’s face and Jerome smiled.

“Look, booze is legal, yeah, and all this stuff is easily available. But when you start importing alcohol the price goes up sharpish, and it’s all duty and taxes, money that goes straight to those bastards in government, and then straight back out to those slackers on welfare. This way the boss can sell the finer things in life to the hard-working people of the city at 10% less than other places. He’s still making extra and the good folks get the good stuff for less. The only people who lose is the government.”

The kid’s face turned grave and Jerome could see thoughts coming and going through his head.

“Look kid, you’ve done good work here. Try not to think too hard about it or ask too many questions and we’ll call you for a few more jobs just like this one.”

“Well, it’s just that… I grew up on benefits sir, and it wasn’t because my family didn’t want to work it’s because they couldn’t find jobs.”

“Yeah, and you do a few more jobs for King George and you’ll be able to buy your parents a fancy new house and they won’t need to worry about benefits or a job.”

The kids face changed slightly, a subtle shift from innocent to knowing.

“So the big boss is King George after all.”

Jerome’s face turned neutral and he became very aware of his gun and how fast he could move his hands. But the kid was faster and before Jerome knew it there was a barrel against his cheek and a smile on the kid’s face.

“You see Mr Jerome, I’ve already done that for my family when I joined the police force a few years back.”

He pulled a small microphone from his pocket and leaned down to speak into it.

“You guys get all that?”

“Yeah Frank, good work. We’ve got the other vans and Kings Club is being raided as we speak.”

Frank smiled at Jerome and sighed.

“You’re under arrest and before you say anything about the way I look, let me just tell you. The benefits of healthy living far out way the so-called, good life.”

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