‘A City Tale’

00:00 Wed 05 Jan 1994. Updated: 23:40 10 Jul 2007
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“… so anyway, eventually I got it off the fucker. Some fuckin’ nerve, though, enh? Uh-huh. Three fuckin’ weeks! Ahhhh. Whac’n ya do?”

“Should’ve gotten heavy with’m early on, you know, that’s the way—”

“Ahh, not with this guy, ya know. Hell, shouldna given’t ta him inna first place. Jesus, he was a smartass, too. Heyyy, Leo, gladja c’d make it. Siddown. Hey, Otis, gimme a beer here! Yeah. How’s work, Leo, not too bad? That’s good. Heard ya got ridda that cocksucker of a boss, too, that’s good.”


“Preddy good, preddy good. Money’s no problem. Only thing’s my little brother, Mike. I mean, he’s okay an’ so on, ’s just he’s been hangin’ around with some preddy low characters, ya know, like those.. ya know, Tizzers, izzat what they’re called? Yeah? Well, them, an’ Jaguars—ya know, gang members. Got nuthin’ against ’em except that some of ’em are psycho dickheads, but I don’ wanna see him in trouble. I think he’s just doin’ it for kicks, or for curiosity or some shit, ’cause y’know he’s doin’ some degree at ahh New York’s Underarm, huh huh heh, anyway he’s not that kinda people so I figure he’s just into some liberal kick, ya know the way college guys get, right. Anyway, he’s mostly outta that now, ’cause his kinda best friend in that scene, a Tizzer, got out, ’cause… well… lissen, this friend a his is a guy by the name a Johnny. I been out with him an’ Mike an’ a coupla his other friends a coupla times, Johhny’s a preddy good kid, an’ he told me all about his uh, well, his… luck. Good fortune, ’at’s what I’d call’t. Tol’ me all aboud it. Happened to’m like five weeks ago now.

“He was out this one night, see, supposed to meet some Tizzer friends a his. A Tuesday night, he said. Dark. Dark as The Man Downstairs could wish, ya know what I mean? So he’s walkin’ to a subway station, see, the one at Pelham Parkway, and he gets kinda hungry, so he goes into this store, right? So he’s at the counter buyin’ his stuff, and they got those security mirrors, y’know, the kind to stop shoplifters, an’ Johnny just happens to glance into wunna them an’ what does he see? Three fuckin’ Jaguars comin’ in, guns out. So he dives behind a row a food, and the owner dives behind the counter. Johnny starts to move towards the window, tryin’ to get around the side a the counter, an’ the owner comes up with an assault rifle, a big fuckin’ gun with laser sights an’ all this shit, an’ Johnny swears there was a grenade launcher on the bottom of the fucker. But it don’t do him any good, ’cause the Jaguars just shoot him as he comes up from behind the counter wavin’ this thing. Johnny was at the side of the counter by now, so he could see the owner. Owner takes a bullet in the chest and goes smack against a shelf a cigarettes, and they go everywhere, an’ he drops this monster of a fuckin’ gun he was holdin’. Then BAM! a shot in the shoulder, jerks him along the wall a bit, BAM!, a shot in the throat, blood goes fuckin’ all over the place, then the Jags start shootin everywhere, through the rows an’ all, an shots start zingin around Johnny, and then there’s this loud shot and the owner’s blown right back against the wall again, then CHIK-CHAK an’ as he starts to fall he’s blown sideways and back, kinda holdin’ him up, and like this Jag with the pump action keeps shootin’ him to see how long he c’n keep him up, and eventually, the other ones still shootin’ everywhere, Johnny just lyin’ there watchin this owner gettin’ shot over an’ over, the owner falls over right next to Johnny. Johnny looks down, he’s covered in blood, his gun’s still in his fuckin’ pants, then he looks up and there’s these three Jaguars standin’ over him with these big grins on their faces.

“Yeah, gimme another one, Otis. Just hold on a sec, guys, lemme drink my fuckin’ beer f’chrissakes… So, what happened, enh? Yeah, well, like I say, Johnny’s lyin’ there covered in blood three Jags standin’ over him with guns an’ grins and no way he could get his gun, no way. Well, Johnny starts gurglin’ a little, figurin’ there’s no way they’d click that blood wasn’t part his. He says those three were spaced on somethin’, fuckin wild looks from all’f’m, so he thought they might just decide he was gonna die an leave ’im… but they started sayin’ things like aawww izze wounded an’ maybe it’d help ’f we gave’m a shot and laughin’ and so he figures he better come up with somethin’ quick. The window of the store was about five feet away, no way he’d make that. Then he notices that right next to his hand is this big red button set into the wall with a power line goin’ to it. So he decides to hit this an’ fuckin’ run. He hits it an’ all the lights go out an’ he gets the fuck up fast an’ goes for the window, and the two with handguns miss him, and he hears this CLICK and then shit! shit! an’ this CHIK-CHAK an’ this CLICK and the stupid Jag’d wasted all his shots on the owner, and Johnny dives through the fuckin’ window.

“So he goes through the fuckin’ window, gettin’ cut all over an’ shit, an’ lands on his ass on the sidewalk. He gets up real fast and goes off down the street, cause those Jags ain’t gonna let’m go like that, no fuckin’ way. They shoot some more, then they come runnin’ after him. They’re all wasted on somethin’ an’ they’re just shootin’ up the whole neighbourhood, runnin’ after Johnny. He makes it to a corner an’ pulls out his piece, a Beretta 9mil, an’ takes a coupla shots back. So they stop for a sec, an’ next thing he knows machine-gun fire and pump-action shots are flyin’ all around him, so he figures he’ll fuckin’ run for it again. He cuts through this alley, sees a fire ladder, starts ta climb it but they come around the corner an’ he jumps off an’ runs again. He cuts left, lookin’ back over his shoulder t’see where these crazy Jags is at, an’ THUD runs straight into a car. So he loses the gun an’ goes flying over the hood a this car. Not just any car, though. This is a cop car, an’ these two cops hustle out while Johnny gets off his ass again an’ makes about ten yards before a shot goes past his legs an’ a cop makes him freeze. Cop says somethin’ about Johnny runnin’ from a robbery at a store, an’ then these Jags get around the corner. Johnny sees ’em an’ turns an’ runs, then the cop shoots, an’ Johnny swears he felt the shot go past his fuckin’ ear. Then there’s all this auto weapons fire. The cop car fuckin’ explodes—BOOM!—like that, those cops are fuckin’ gone. Johnny gets a sec while the Jags get away from the flames, then it’s a chase again. Johnny boy tears through the streets, runnin’ behind cars, divin’ around corners, passin’ by some ol’ homeless dude who takes some shots Johnny should’ve, an’ scramblin’ for his goddamn life. Then he comes around to White Plains Road.

“Imagine it, guys. Johnny, a young kid. Smart, but still a kid. Dark night. Bad neighbourhood. Chasin’ him are these three crazies with who knows what kinda guns. He’s covered in blood. A trail a one storeowner, two cops an’ one old guy behind him. He’s gettin’ tired, outta breath, no gun, no ideas, no friends inna vicinity. Bad way t’be. So he sprints, gaspin’ f’air, inna middle a the street, comin’ down White Plains. He’s ziggin’ an’ zaggin’ around the poles, ya know, the supports for the el, runnin’ in an’ out from behind ’em, little ZINGs as the bullets hit th’ metal an’ th’ street. An’ then he comes t’ the station. He goes right up those stairs, I c’n tell ya dat. Up those stairs ’s fast ’s he c’n go, an’ I c’n tell ya he don’t stop t’ pay either. Jumps the ’stile an’ runs for the platform. Whatever them Jags ’s on is damn good stuff, ’cause they’re all right behind Johnny, still. He makes it t’ the platform. Some of it’s even lit. Is there a train comin’? Yeah, like fuck there’s a train comin’. Johnny stops for a sec, then runs off down onta the track. He’s gotta bit’f a lead here, ’cause the Jags take a sec to figure which way he went. Lucky for him it’s a dark night, ’cause there ain’t much cover on an elevated line. He runs along, makin’ sure t’ avoid the power track, an’ also the gaps in the tracks. A while after Pelham there’s a corner, an’ Johnny’s takin’ this corner, occasional shot still comin’, an’ he knows he can’t keep runnin’. He figures he’s too tired, more tired than they are. He’ll just tire out, an’ they’ll shoot him. So figurin’ they can’t see him too well, he gets between the tracks and lowers himself so he’s hangin’ from th’ unnerside a th’ el. He gets a spot where he thinks it ain’t too easy t’see him from on top, an’ hangs there.

“Both hands on a rusty ol’ bar, just hangin’ there, lookin’ down at the street—quite a drop—tryin’ ta figure out how long he c’n last there. Then he hears voices. They’re slowly comin’ down the track, sayin’ that he couldn’t be that far ahead, they lost track a him about here. They start talkin’ more as they get closer t’ Johnny, tryin’ ta figure out where he went. An’ Johnny c’n hear ’em gettin’ their guns ready, y’know, little click noises an’ shit. An’ then, they’re just about right above him, one of ’em says what if he’s under the track, an’ they all go quiet. They all start lookin’ down just past where Johnny went under, so Johnny figures he better turn around an’ go back the way they all came. His arms ’r fucked, but a time like that, ya kinda get a little extra strength from somewhere. So he slowly shifts one arm th’ other way, then swings around so he’s facin’ back the way the Jags came.

“There he is, hangin’ way above the street, killer Jaguars with guns above ’m, arms ready t’give out, about t’ try an’ make the effort to get away one more time. He’s just turned around, an’ what does he see, right in front of his fuckin’ face? Huh?

“I’ll tell ya.

“A bat. That’s right. A fuckin’ bat. Not just any bat. No. This is a huge, totally black, shiny, smooth, evil motherfucker of a bat. Just hangin’ there, like Johnny, ’cept lookin’ a lot more comfortable, an’ upside down so it’s eyes an’ Johnny’s eyes are about level. Now Johnny doesn’t have time t’ react t’ this when those eyes flick open.

“This mother of a bat, has these totally red eyes, man. Totally red. So hangin’ there in fronna Johnny is this serious Bad Dude of the Bats, y’know? This was like Satan Bat, with these evil eyes lookin’ right at ’im. Right at ’im

“So if you suddenly had this fuckin’ King Bat shoved in your face, what’d ya do? Ya’d step back, ’at’s what ya’d do. That’s what Johnny does. But he can’t do exactly that. He would’ve stepped back an’ screamed, but he let go a th’ bar t’ scream. So he goes down, fast, an’ realises that was such a dumb thing t’do he doesn’t scream at th’ bat. An’ by th’ time he was gonna scream at fallin’ he hits the ground. He hits an’ he feels this CRACK an’ he falls t’ his side, heavy like, says he knew right away his ankle was gone.

“But he didn’ have time ta think about that, cause there’s this SCREEECH! an’ this black car stops about two inches from his fuckin’ head. He looks at it, well at the front fender anyway, hears the door bang open, this big black sports car, a fuckin’ Ferrari. Yeah, inna Bronx. A Ferrari. Next thing he knows this tall lady’s askin’ him what the fuck he is doing, exactly, in front of her Ferrari, having fallen out of the air to land there.

“He real quick explains about the Jags, who’re just about figurin’ what’s happenin’ and tryin’ t’ aim down at ’em. So she helps Johnny into the car, real fast an’ businesslike, an’ they zoom off in this big black Ferrari. Into the night.

“That’s it. Th’ lady’s name is Monica. Believe it or not, they been together since. She’s rich, as ya could prolly figure. An’ she’n Johnny got on real well. He’s moved outta th’hood, inna her place in Manhattan. Upper East Side. She’s settin’ him up ta go ta college. Incredible, huh? That’s crazy luck, man.

“Says he owes it all t’ th’ bat.”

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