Sounds of Leaving By D I Jolly

Jones stood in the middle of his favourite bar, gun in one hand, nearly unconscious goon in the other and the lingering sense that the ice in his glass was rapidly melting, ruining the quality of his drink, drifting through his mind.

“Now,’ he said to the room, ‘if it’s alright with everyone else, I think I’m just going to…”

A sudden echoing gunshot rang out through the room cutting him off, and while outwardly he did his best to look little more than annoyed at the interruption. Internally he was mentally mapping his body, checking for new holes. Satisfied that he was, in fact, still alive, he let out a bored sigh and said.

“Go. Just going to go, is what I was going to say.”

Jones then dropped the goon and turned to the source of the gunshot, a man known as ‘Coffee Bean’, because ‘Coke Fiend’ was both to accurate and to cool of a name for that specific human.

Coffee Bean looked at Jones with the wild eyes and manic smile that had made him famous, and insufferable to be around.

“Jonesy, Jonesy, Jonesy I know you didn’t just mess up one of my boys, did you? Why would you do something so fucking stupid Jonesy? Don’t you know this is my part of town? Huh. What’s up with that, Huh? Well? Huh?”

Jones looked down at the bleeding goon and decided that despite the tension in the air, he could afford to do what he always did when he had to deal with Coffee Bean, which was slow himself down, take breaks and drag the conversation out for as long as possible just to piss the little manic wannabe hard boy off.

He then stepped over to the bar and picked up his drink. A nearly perfect combination of good vodka, freshly squeezed lime, and maybe a little too much ice water. It was so good that Jones decided to take another sip while Coffee Bean bounced in place waiting for his reply.

“Well Beanie… There are a couple things I want to address about what you just said.’ Jones paused to take another sip. ‘First of all, if this is one of your hired hands, then we might just have a problem, you and me. Because if he speaks for you, that means that what he just said to me, was actually a reflection of what you think of me.’ Jones let out a long breath and shook his head, still deliberately taking his time. ‘And in that case, I want to know why it is that you’re being so very disrespectful.”

Jones smiled and tried to lock eyes with Coffee Bean but the man was bouncing too much to really get a proper focus on, but it was clear that he had switched from confidant chemically induced jitters to something a bit more organic. Coffee Bean had known of Jones for years and while they had crossed paths a few times, they didn’t really know each other. They both knew each other’s reputations though, and while Coffee Bean was insane, and had done some truly hateful things, Jones didn’t respect him at all, nor was he particularly afraid of him. He kept goons to look tougher than he was, and they only stayed because Coffee Bean could pay, there was no loyalty there.

Jones on the other hand, had a proven record of being fair, honest, and ruthless when he needed to be. He knew his business well, he knew what side of the law he played on, and he stood just as well with the cops as he did the criminals.

Jones stepped over the goon and came a few steps closer to Coffee Bean, raising his drink in a salute. Ensuring that what focus Coffee Bean had, was on his drink and not on his gun. Jones then smiled and continued to say,

“And secondly, Walter ‘Coffee Bean’ St Claire, this is The Jazz Bar.’ Jones took another moment to raise his glass as if taking as sip but instead snapped it forward throwing the drink and the glass into Coffee Bean’s face, blinding him for a second as the lime and vodka stung his eyes, and taking him off balance as the glass hit him in the nose. Jones then lunged forward grabbing him by the collar and pushing his gun into Coffee Bean’s open mouth.

“This is my neighbourhood, and my bar. So when one of your guys come in and tell me that I’m sitting in their spot at the bar, calling me by my name like they know me, like they deserve anything more than a slap on the back of the head. And then you come out of your white cloud firing into the air and speaking like you own the place. Well then, you and me have a problem. And since you’re numb to subtlety, let me be very clear.”

Jones pulled the hammer back on his gun and pushed it a little deeper making Coffee Bean gag.

“The only thing I want to hear from you for the rest of the night, is the sound of your footsteps leaving my bar. And the next time I have the great misfortune of seeing your pockmarked face and manic eyes, I better hear some respect or I better hear you leaving. Now give me a thumbs up to show me you understand.”

For the first time that night Coffee Bean’s eyes were stable and locked onto Jones’s, and his hand came into view in a slow and shacky thumbs up.

Around them Coffee Beans 4 other hired helpers stood on watching, trying not to laugh at their less than fantastic employer. A fact that both made Jones smile and wonder about the state of organised crime in his city. But all the same he pulled his gun out of Coffee Bean’s mouth and wiped it clean on the man’s expensive looking shirt and jacket.

“Now get the fuck out of my bar, or I’m going to call Frank over and report you for reckless endangerment.”

Jones gestured with a nod at the chief of police who stood silently in the corner of the room with a gun in one hand and his badge in the other.

Coffee Bean then sent his eyes around the room actually taking in what he saw, and the grim realisation that not only were some of the most powerful, influential and dangerous people in the city casually sitting in that bar, but that every single one of them would back Jones.

“S…. sorry. Sorry. Okay.”

Coffee Bean scrambled to his feet, and without even returning to his booth to collect the women he’d hired for the night, he quick stepped toward the door and left with his goons not far behind him, including the one who’d had the misfortune of making a rude comment to a busy man having a specifically bad day.

Meanwhile Jones made his way over to the bar, ordered himself another drink and went back to quietly brooding over a case he was no closer to solving.

Like this story? Let me know in the comments and on Social Media.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *