This is a creative writing experiment, shamelessly stolen from the Chopin Manuscript: a serialized story where each author writes a different chapter. The members of this blog are each writing their own chapter, and we’re calling ours the “Cakepan Manuscript”.
You can start reading at Chapter One, which began with the premise: “An unemployed teacher, in a wine store, runs into a former student.” Each week we will post a new chapter until we reach the thrilling conclusion!
We hope you enjoy!
Chapter Three: Pay to Play
It was a frozen moment in time with a deep red floral smell permeating from the Merlot. Zack was furious and at the end of his patience but he couldn’t pull the trigger. Holfinger had given him away and he couldn’t shoot pretty little green-eyes at the cash register anyway. His plan had been simple — grab the cash and deliver Victor Tomasso’s message. The message was simple too. If you want to run a business in his neighborhood, you have to pay to play or suffer the consequences.
The Merlot was beginning to smell like blood, and Zack needed to do something so he yelled, “Everybody out!” waving his gun to and fro at the line of customers behind Holfucker. That’s what the students called him, Dickface Holfucker, because the dude was a loser, one of those teachers who thought he could hang with the home boys, a failure, wannabe artist, all talk and no walk, getting himself fired and Zack kicked out of school at the same time, all over that freakin’ game.
He should have shot the dumbass, put the sucka out of his misery but Zach couldn’t — the gun wasn’t loaded. Instead he shouted, “Except you,” and aimed the gun at Holfinger when he started to move. A pool of pee formed between the older man’s feet.
Zack jerked his head side to side, directing a straggler out the front door, and then spun his gaze to green-eyes who he could see desperately wanted to join the departing crowd. He’d never seen her before, and realized she must have started working at the neighborhood bodega in the last few weeks, in the time since his father had tossed him from the apartment for getting expelled, in the period when he’d realized he either earned a spot on Tomasso’s team or he’d starve on the street or maybe become something worse than dead.
“Who’s in the back?” he asked her.
Zack moved to the front door,turning the lock, never taking his gaze off the young girl.
“Where is Mr. Nyguen?”
She shook her head side to side, mumbling, “He didn’t say.”
Zack edged around the two of them and ducked into the back room where he quickly found the rear door,
unlocked and ajar.