Tuesday, 3 December 2013

The Deal (short story)

About 'The Deal'
I was very much obsessed with the movie 'Memento'. Being an ardent fan of Christopher Nolan I have watched that film several times and it continues to impress me every time I watch it. You might be wondering why am I bringing in 'Memento' and what connection it has got with this story? You might find the similarity in the narration that goes in reverse. At first I zeroed in the name 'Reverse' for this story but I felt that title doesn't suit the story and hence I ended up with 'The Deal'. Do read it and share your valuable comments.

The Deal

He managed to hold his grip and ran through the wet narrow street. The other guy followed him. Reaching the end of the narrow street, he turned to his left and ran towards the subway, which was exactly 200 feet away from him. The other guy noticed the same and ran after him. He reached the subway entrance in less than 40 seconds and the other guy, on noticing him entering into the subway, ran faster. Bypassing the security check, he rushed to the platform. To his rescue, the train arrived at the station. He immediately got into the train. The other guy, as he entered the platform, saw the train leaving the station. As the train departed, he took a deep breath and looked at the other guy who was searching for him at the station.

… ‘Where is the bag?’ asked Henry.
‘I gave it to Aftab,’ said Charlie.
Henry dialed Aftab's number but the call wasn't reachable. 
‘If you lie to me, Charlie, you’ll face worst consequences,’ said Henry.
‘Trust me, Henry. Why would I lie to you?’ said Charlie.
Henry and Charlie were conversing inside a coffee shop and all of a sudden, Aftab entered the place holding a bag in his hand. His head was heavily injured and was tied with a bandage. Henry, on looking at Aftab, did not react as it will alert Charlie. Aftab slowly walked to their table and Charlie, on noticing this, began to tremble.
‘There’s nothing in it, Henry,’ said Aftab.
Henry took out a gun from his pocket and aimed at Charlie’s face. Charlie, on noticing this, kicked his hand. The gun rolled on the floor. As Henry bent down to pick it up, Charlie ran away from the location. Henry ran after him. Charlie ran through the main road and entered a narrow street that was completely wet. He managed to hold his grip and ran through the wet narrow street.

… ‘Did you get the bag?’ asked Aftab.
‘Yes, here it is,’ said Charlie as he handed over the bag to Aftab.
The rain drizzled all over the place. The meeting was held at an empty street in the mid afternoon. Aftab began to make a thorough search of the bag. On noticing this, Charlie took in his hand a steel rod that lay by his side and hit Aftab’s head with it. Aftab dropped the bag and held his head tighter to stop the bleeding. Tears rolled out of his eyes as he yelled with pain. Charlie looked at Aftab who in turn lost his consciousness. Leaving the bag there, Charlie walked away from the location. He then walked into the coffee shop where he was supposed to meet Henry. Henry was already there at the shop waiting for Charlie to arrive. Charlie walked to the table where Henry was seated and sat opposite to him.  
‘Where is the bag?’ asked Henry.

… ‘Charlie, are you there?’ it was the voice of Aftab from the other side of the telephone.
‘Yeah,’ Charlie then looked at his pal, Steve, and continued over the phone, ‘yeah, Aftab.’
Steve looked at Charlie and winked his eye at him. Steve then walked out of the place with a bag in his hand.
‘Charlie, bring the bag to street 21. I’ll be waiting for you there,’ said Aftab over the telephone.
‘All right, I’ll bring it right away,’ said Charlie who then hung up the call.
He wore his jacket and took the bag, which lay on the table, in his hand. He then walked to the door and locked it from outside. Charlie then walked all the way to street 21 where he was supposed to meet Aftab. The rain kept drizzling from morning and it was almost post noon. The streets appeared less crowded due to rain. Charlie arrived at street 21 and saw Aftab already there waiting for him. He noticed Aftab walking towards him.
‘Did you get the bag?’ asked Aftab.                                                                                                                           

… ‘Steve, this is unbelievable,’ said Charlie.
Steve looked at the packets of cocaine that was arranged on the table. There were almost seven packets of pure cocaine and Charlie was supposed to handover those to Henry and Aftab.
‘How did you get these?’ asked Steve.
‘Man, I don’t know. I was asked to get this bag from someone named Hawkins and I was supposed to deliver it to my bosses Henry and Aftab,’ said Charlie.
‘So, you didn’t know what you were carrying?’ asked Steve.
‘Yeah, I didn’t know,’ said Charlie.
‘This is fucking unbelievable, Charlie. This is worth a million dollars,’ said Steve.
‘What am I supposed to do?’ asked Charlie.
‘I have a plan,’ said Steve, ‘finish off your bosses and the cocaine is yours, sorry, ours.’
‘Impossible!’ said Charlie.
‘Nothing is impossible, Charlie. Listen to my instructions carefully,’ Steve lighted a cigar and explained to Charlie, ‘you said that Henry is more dangerous than Aftab. So, Aftab is weaker and hence we must get rid of him at the first place. Do that and then bring Henry to the subway station. I’ll have our guys ready at the station.’
Charlie’s cell phone began to ring as Steve transferred the cocaine packets into a different bag. Charlie looked at the cell phone display. The call was from Aftab.
‘It’s Aftab,’ said Charlie looking at Steve.
‘Remember my instructions?’ said Steve as he put the cocaine packets into the bag.
Charlie picked up the call and looking at Steve he said, ‘yeah.’
‘Charlie, are you there?’ it was the voice of Aftab from the other side of the telephone.

… ‘Good day, Mr. Hawkins,’ said Charlie as he left the place.
Charlie got into his car and drove away from Hawkins’ office. By the time he reached his house, he had a visitor waiting for him. It was his long gone friend Steve. Charlie was surprised to see him after a very long time.
‘Steve… Steve, this is fucking unbelievable,’ said Charlie as he hugged Steve.
‘Long time, old friend,’ said Steve.
‘Yeah man, it’s been a long time. Where have you been for so long?’ asked Charlie.
‘Well, that’s a long story,’ Steve then looked at the bag in Charlie’s hand and asked, ‘what are you holding in your hand?’
‘It’s my job,’ said Charlie waving the bag to Steve.
Charlie escorted Steve into his house. Steve removed his jacket and placed on the table.
‘Want some whiskey?’ asked Charlie.
‘The rain makes me sick,’ Steve said as he looked at the drizzling rain through the window. He then asked Charlie, ‘what was that?’
‘Whiskey, you want some whiskey?’
‘No thanks, I’m fine,’ said Steve. He then asked, ‘tell me about your job, Charlie.’
Charlie poured the whiskey into his glass and said, ‘well, I work for two people, Henry and Aftab. I do the work of transporting, usually a baggage and sometimes electronics. They pay me well for each assignment I do. Henry is the most powerful guy over here. His contacts are all high level. Aftab is Henry’s partner. He is simple and polite, not like Henry. It’s more or less like a private courier service.’
‘Hmm, sounds interesting,’ Steve said as he opened the zip of the bag that was brought by Charlie, ‘what about the other employees?’
‘We are 4 in numbers…’ Charlie saw Steve looking into the contents of the bag and then he said in a stressed tone, ‘what the hell are you doing, Steve?’
‘Just curious about what you’re transporting,’ said Steve.
‘We aren’t supposed to look at the contents. Leave it closed,’ said Charlie as he walked into the wash room.
Steve took out some packets from the bag and placed those on the table. Charlie came back to the room and was stunned to see the packets lined on the table.
‘Steve, this is unbelievable,’ said Charlie.

The Beginning
Henry and Aftab were busy arranging papers in the files while Charlie walked into the office.
‘Did you forget your manners, Charlie?’ said Henry, ‘are you aware of the fact that you should knock the door before you enter?’
Charlie lowered his head and answered, ‘I’m sorry, Henry.’
‘Yes, you should be,’ said Aftab.
Henry handed Charlie a piece of paper and said, ‘go to this address and get the bag from Mr. Hawkins, and then bring it back to us.’
‘We would like you to be on time. We would like to see no delay, understand?’ said Aftab looking at Charlie.
‘Yeah, I will be on time,’ Charlie said and walked away from the office.

Charlie drove his car to Mr. Hawkins’ office. On reaching the venue, he found Mr. Hawkins’ secretary already at the entrance waiting for his arrival. He then escorted Charlie into the office. Charlie was made to sit at the reception while the secretary went in to get the stuff. After five minutes, the secretary came out with a bag and handed it over to Charlie. Charlie took the bag with him and saw Mr. Hawkins standing at the door.
‘Good day, Mr. Hawkins,’ said Charlie as he left the place. 

Mr. Hawkins, once after he saw Charlie leaving the premises, took his cell phone and dialed a number.
‘Hello, Mr. Hawkins,’ it was Henry’s voice from the other end.
‘I just delivered the stuff. Transfer the money to my account immediately,’ said Mr. Hawkins.
‘Right away, Mr. Hawkins,’ said Henry, ‘could you just hold on for a couple of minutes while I make the transaction?’
‘Go ahead,’ said Mr. Hawkins.
Two minutes later, Mr. Hawkins’ secretary confirmed with the transaction. Mr. Hawkins then spoke over the phone, ‘thank you.’
‘Anytime, Mr. Hawkins,’ said Henry.

The End
Charlie took a deep breath and looked at Henry who was searching for him at the station. As the train moved away from the station, Charlie heard someone whispering in his ears, ‘you need to relax, Charlie.’ The whisper jolted him and he turned back to see who it was. It was his friend, Steve.

Meanwhile, at the station, Henry was waiting for the arrival of the next train.
Meanwhile, at the coffee shop, Aftab ordered a cup of espresso.

‘You look worried. What’s wrong with you?’ asked Steve.
‘Steve, this isn’t a joke. Henry is after me. I don’t know how far I’m going to make it. He will kill me if I get caught.’
‘Don’t worry about him,’ said Steve.

Meanwhile, at the station, two guys laid eyes on Henry and were observing his movements. Henry appeared to be worried about the stuff.
Meanwhile, at the coffee shop, Aftab sat there sipping his coffee.

‘How can I not worry, Steve? It’s Henry and you don’t know about him,’ said Charlie.
‘You don’t know about me, Charlie.’

At the station, one of the two guys hid behind the wall, hid a gun behind his jacket aimed at Henry. The next train arrived at the station and Henry was all set to board the train. The doors were opened, and as Henry was about to board the train, a bullet traversed through his head leaving him dead instantly. The guy who fired the bullet walked away from the location without getting noticed.
At the coffee shop, Aftab was poisoned to death.

Charlie was confused. Steve then said, ‘you want me to explain what’s going on with you, Charlie?’
Charlie answered nothing. Steve then continued, ‘I have a step dad and you’re familiar with his name.’
Charlie sensed that something’s wrong. He then heard from Steve, ‘it’s Hawkins.’
Charlie began to tremble once after he heard what Steve said. He then asked Steve, ‘what about Henry and Aftab?’
‘Well, we don’t prefer competition, Charlie.’
‘They’re dead, right?’ asked Charlie.
The train arrived at the next station. The doors were opened. Steve smiled at Charlie and got off the train. He then said, ‘yes, they are dead.’
The doors were closed and the train departed. Charlie was looking at Steve as the train left the station. Two guys, who were sitting inside the train, got up from their seats and walked to Charlie. One of the guys took out a gun and pointed at Charlie’s forehead.
Steve heard a gunshot from a distance as he saw the last compartment of the train exiting the station. He then took out his cell phone and walked towards the exit.
‘Dad,’ Steve said this over the phone as he got into his car, ‘it’s over.’

Written by Ashwin Kumar       


  1. wow aft a while an interesting story from u. awesome narrative style :)

  2. Narration was quite brilliant and amazing. I did not lake my eyes off till I complete the story. The climax was totally heroic.

    1. haha.. i'm quite excited after reading your comment. glad that you were impressed!!

  3. Hi Ashwin! Very interesting writing style it kept me on my toes. Ha,ha! I enjoyed the story.