It had been a difficult task, but eventually an eleven-year-old Dmitri Jones had broken into The Spice Delight Night Club. Dmitri had done so on a dare from a fellow friend from the slums. His friend had bet him two creds that he could not, or dare not enter the club illegally. And for good reason, as these types of business, especially those around the poorer streets of The Imperial City, were more than willing to get physical with those that did not pay to enter. Or even worse, press those into service in the more devious establishments, and unfortunately this was one such.
That wasn’t the only part of the bet though, if only. But the other condition was to steal money from the club. “For food.” Dmitri’s friends had stated whilst grinning as a passing guard looked over, not that they had to be concerned, as the guardsmen of The Imperial City were rarely likely to take action over what they heard. They were just as poor as they were.
But Dmitri knew what his friend really wanted the money for. To get into the same club that they were planning to rob, as as long as the clientele paid, the bouncers were unlikely to stop them due to their age.
Which is why Dmitri could be found, clambering through a third story window at the back of the club, and scampering onto the fine red carpet of the top floor corridor. If it hadn’t been for the fact that he had been here before, Dmitri was sure that he would have gotten lost, a dangerous thing when he was endangering more than his life by breaking into this place.
It took Dmitri a little longer than usual to find the safe room, but when he got there, something far worse was waiting for him.
A padlock was attached to the door, barring his way from going any further than he had done on the last attempt.
“Shit.” Dmitri said quietly to himself as he stared at the obstacle right in front of him. This was bad, he had never been good at picking locks. That was his friend’s territory. But he had been sent here alone, for the simple reason that they had assumed that there would be no locks to pick. There never had been before. But it seemed that the proprietor was stepping up his efforts in the security department.
Resigned to the fact that they would be getting nothing from this score. Dmitri began to walk down the corridor. Right up until he spotted an open door.
Dmitri stopped and stared at this potential window of opportunity. His mind was telling him to cut his losses and just return back empty handed. But that was too easy, and it would mean another failure, something that could not keep going on for much longer.
So, throwing caution to the wind he slipped into the room. There was no money, but what there was, was a great view of the show going on directly bellow them.
As Dmitri walked to the observation point, he looked down and watched the show unfold. Several very scantily clad women were dancing around for the entertainment of the audience, who from what little Dmitri could see of them, seemed to comprise mostly men who looked way too old to be enjoying this. In his opinion anyway.
But before he could get comfortable to watch this performance, Dmitri heard someone walk into the room. And turning around he saw a young man staring at him. The only reason that this person hadn’t immediately raised the alarm, was that Dmitri being there had taken him by surprise.
That surprise was quickly vanishing however, so Dmitri ran, where to, he didn’t know. He was just determined to get out of that room before anything bad could happen to him. Unfortunately his attempt to flee resulted in him running into the audience of the show. Where the women on the stage were still dancing provocatively. In some instances leading members of the audience away to private rooms on the side.
Dmitri looked around. There was no sign of people looking for him, or anyone for that matter. So Dmitri thought that he may as well get something out of it.
Looking around for a target to rob proved to be more difficult than he first imagined however, the room was full of old men. Sure that meant that they were slow, but Dmitri had also come to realise that it also made them more cautious, and less likely to make simple mistakes. So he had to find a younger patron. And then, bingo.
Dmitri saw a teenager sitting with a few girls around him. He guessed that his target couldn’t be that much older than he was, maybe fourteen-ish.
Slowly making his way towards the target, Dmitri slowly took out a knife that he always carried, both to slit pockets open, and to protect himself.
By the time that he reached the victim, he was quiet alone, and looking around for another companion.
Moving the knife deftly, Dmitri began to cut a whole in this teenager’s pocket. Hoping that there was something in their that would make this whole trip profitable. Then, just as he had made a whole big enough to see the fine wallet that this teenager had. One of the many spotlights that this place had, crossed his path. And one of the wait staff shouted out.
“Pickpocket!” The waitress shouted, pointing directly at Dmitri.
The teenager then spun around, saw Dmitri, and jumped up in alarm.
“Hi.” Dmitri said as he started to back up. The whole club had gone quiet by now, and every eye was on him. Not something that he wanted in a place like this.
Before Dmitri could move more than a few feet back, the teenager had rushed forward and smacked Dmitri right across the face, catching him right bellow his right eye, then across the lower half of his face, causing blood to start running out of Dmitri’s nose. Though as Dmitri made to respond, bringing his knife up and wanting to make this teenager pay for giving him a black eye and a bloody nose, a bouncer came forward and pried the two fighting youths apart.
What was worse though, was that the owner of the club. A sleaze ball called Gorwell Jenkins came out of his large office. He was a short, thin man, with a prissy little beard and right now seemed curious as to why his latest show had been halted.
“This little bastard tried to rob me.” The teenager said angrily as he shoved Dmitri away from him and tried to return to his entertainment, but the bouncer kept a firm grip on his shoulder.
“Now. Now. Now. What have we going on here?” Gorwell asked as he arrived on the scene of the altercation.
“Not much Mr Jenkins, we caught this one.” The Bouncer started hauling Dmitri forward by the scruff of his neck. “Trying to steal money.” The Bouncer continued, before hauling the teenager forward. “This one then retaliated.” The Bouncer finished. For his part Gorwell looked almost half bored, as if he had expected something more interesting that had distracted him from whatever he was doing. At least that’s how he looked to Dmitri.
“Throw them both out.” Gorwell said, raising his hand none comity and made to return to his office.
Silently thankful that he had seemed to escape without much punishment, he would get the teenager back for giving him a black eye later on. Dmitri started to try and walk out. But the teenager, seemingly anger that things weren’t going his way, shouted across the room towards Gorwell.
“Do you know who I am. My father is Brian Wolfrick. If you throw me out, I’ll have him buy this place and make you all homeless.” The teenager said with a smirk and finally managed to get out of the grip of the bouncer and turned to Gorwell, who turned around and bowed deeply at this comment. But not before all the colour had drained out of his face.
“Of course Master Alan.” Gorwell said with a smarmy smile and began to postulate in front of him. “You are always welcome here, you and your enormous wallet of course. I’ll have this bouncer fired for treating you like this.” Gorwell continued, as he let the teenager return to his seat, and the women who had watched the whole encounter.
The owner then nodded to the bouncer who pushed and shoved Dmitri out off his establishment. But as Dmitri took one last look behind him; partly to get a look at the freshly started entertainment, but also to get a look at this Alan, determined that he would settle the score the next time that he happened to meet the brat. But he was distracted when he saw that Gorwell was following them outside.
Before too long, Dmitri was thrown to the street corner, and more importantly straight into a puddle of wet mud. That wasn’t the worse thing thought, as Gorwell, a man standing next to him holding an umbrella, leaned down and whispered into the muddy boy’s ear.
“The next time I catch you stealing from one of my generous patrons. I’ll have you performing for them, I’m sure we can fine some that are that way inclined.” Gorwell said before turning on his heal, and returning into his establishment. Slamming the door as he did so.
By the time that Dmitri walked down the deserted street and away from the club, a pouring rain was soaking his long brown hair over his eyes and looking like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders with everything that had been said to him. On the bright side, the rain had managed to get rid of most of the mud.
He reaches the doors to the small emergency clinic and walks to sit down on a bench. Taking a game console out of the pocket of his jacket and begins to play. After about fifteen minutes his uncle, Ray Jones walks up an kneels in front of Dmitri, so they are on an eye level with each other.
“What did I tell you kid. You’ll wear the battery out.” Uncle Ray said smiling at Dmitri who smiles back. He liked his uncle, who had been more of a farther figure in his life than his absent farther ever had. Dmitri puts the video game into his pocket. “Your mother wants to see you now anyway.” Ray said. Dmitri got up of the bench and the two walked into the surgery room where about half a dozen other people were around a bed.
Dmitri walks towards the front of the group of people who let him pass he sees his mother Edith Jones, lying in the hospital bed, a gunshot wound in her stomach. Her blue eyes open when Dmitri walks up to her followed by Ray. Edith notices the bruises on Dmitri nose and chin.
“Have you been fighting again?” Edith asks looking at Dmitri, who sheepishly looks at his uncle who nods at him, before turning to his mum.
“Only the bigger kids.” Dmitri said going slightly red, which did nothing other than highlight the bruises on his face. Edith smiles weakly and begins to cough.
“You’ve got something for Dmitri, sister?” Ray said looking slightly worried. Edith with her last remaining energy pulls out a silver locket with a small inscribed symbol of a hand on it and hands it to Dmitri.
“It was your dad’s, before he left.” Edith said before violently starting to cough again, this time bringing up blood. At which the monitors start flashing and Edith flatlines.
“No.” Dmitri said faintly, looking at his mum as two doctors rush in and Ray carries Dmitri who is starting to scream out of the room. “Mum? No! No! No! Mum! No!” Dmitri screaming looking into the surgery room. As Ray puts Dmitri back on his feet, he tries to run back into the room, still screaming.
“Dmitri, just… Wait here.” Ray said looking at Dmitri before rushing back into the room himself. The boy stands by the door looking in, tears streaking down his face. Dmitri looks into the room for a few moments before running out of the emergency centre.
“Stop there kid!” A passing doctor yells, but Dmitri keeps on running not hearing anything until he is outside the medical centre in the dimly lit street.
Dmitri collapses to the ground, still crying and looking around the black street. But distressed as he was, he didn’t notice the two men in black cloaks walk up and grab the him from behind and pick him up. At first, in shock Dmitri looked up expecting to see his uncle who had grabbed him, but when he did look up he saw to strangers hauling him towards a black car. Dmitri tried to take out his knife, this was what it was for after all, but before he could do little more than draw the weapon, it was knocked out of his hand. He then aims a fist at one of the men but has little effect, other than the man smacking Dmitri across the jaw, causing him to drop the video game he had been clutching, but keeping the silver locket tight in his hand. The two hooded men drop a now hysterical Dmitri into the boot.
“Mum!’ Dmitri yells but the sound was cut off when the lid closes as the two men get into the car and drive off. As a third figure walks up to a police car that was parked outside the clinic, the only witness to the event that had just happened and handed the cop inside a small stack of money before getting into his own car and drives off as well.
A few moments later Ray runs out of the medical centre and looks around the now empty street, before noticing the broken remains of the video game Dmitri had been playing. He kneels down and picks it up before staring back at the street.
“Dmitri!” Ray yells and rushes back inside the medical centre to alert the staff of his missing nephew.