“Please, Andrew! He’s says we can meet if it goes wrong, but I’m definitely not going in there alone.”
“You won’t be going alone anyway.”
“The corpse girl does not count!”
“Well, you realize that I’d be in big trouble too?”
“But you’re a black belt in jiu jitsu!”
“I’m also a construction contractor, man. I’ve got work.”
“Well then, how about I go in and die. How would you feel then?”
Andrew sighed and sipped his coffee. He and Brian were college buddies and they’d meet up every other weekend. Today, his friend walked in nervously, wringing his hands, and looking around.
He had signed Don and Emily Standish’s contract promising he could perform this difficult heart surgery on their twenty three year old daughter, Claire. However, upon inspection, Claire’s heart was extremely screwed up with several anomalies and now Brian thought he could not perform this surgery without killing her.
“What? Why’d you sign it then?” Andy had asked.
“My ego was blinding me, alright?”
If the surgery was unsuccessful, Brian needed a backup plan to save his name. A backup plan for death? The doctor explained that word on the street was that a man by the name of John Bender could save anyone, with the touch of his hand. And he somehow managed to get ahold of him.
“Fine. But I want $500 to do this.”
Dr. Johnson’s eyes popped out. “What the hell? Why? You’re my friend, man, this should be for free.”
“$500 or nothing. I want something out of this too.”
“You have to choose the Black Lions. You realize if you don’t, we’re dead.”
“Whatever, I can reschedule them. We need the money, Ally.”
Allison rolled her eyes in exasperation. “Bender, the Lions’ corpse has been on the waiting list for almost a month now. They’ve been patient.”
“And Billy’s been patient with us paying him back. And, oh, don’t forget why we’re in his debt, Allison! Maybe if you didn’t get damn panties in a whirl, we wouldn’t be having this conversation!”
She looked down in shame, clenching her fist. Billy was brought into their group of two a year ago. John and Allison were foster siblings that stuck together through the years when she met Billy. They had had a fling that summer, much to Bender’s dismay, and it ended up hurting their business and her heart.
Billy had tried to launder their money from a big client of theirs to his own business. And who knew what his services were. In turn, Allison had tracked him down and in the process, permanently damaged his leg. He threatened the Bender to pay him ten grand by the end of the next year or he’d send his boys out to take Allison.
Bender sighed, throwing his head back. “Allison,” he said, putting a band on her shoulder as she wiped away her snot. “He’s a powerful guy. We’re not gonna let him win. This Dr. Brian Johnson is giving us more than we need, so I’m gonna take it. The Lions are going to have to wait.”
Allison sniffled and squeaked, wrapping her big brother in a hug.
“We choose the doc, we’re free from Billy, but then we’ve got the Black Lions,” Allison murmured. “We choose the Lions, then I’m dead. I die either way, don’t I?”
“Will you just shut up?” Truth be told, Bender was in fear for his life. But if it came down to Allison and him and Allison, he’ll always take the one where he had to deal the most.
Let’s just hope this was the right decision.
Andrew watched his breath in the cold air.
He was supposed to wait for Brian to show up behind the hospital with the body. The surgery was a failure. Andy had his car trunk opened and ready for the moving.
He checked his watch and shivered. 10:27 PM. It was so fucking cold.
Suddenly, the hospital’s back door banged open. “Ah, geez. Andy, give me a hand, will you?”
Together, they rolled the gurney to Andy’s car and lifted the body into the trunk. Brian, of course, nearly tripped on a patch of ice whilst trying to lift Claire’s body.
“Okay, Bender knows we’re coming, but we’ve gotta move.”
Andy slammed the trunk down and they hopped in the car. “How’d you get the body through?”
Brian shakily pulled his seatbelt around him. “I cleared my team from the operating room and, um sent another body to go to the morgue.”
“That sounds illegal.”
“Andy, this whole plan is completely illegal.”
Andrew wasn’t going to complain any further. He knew what he was signing up for going into this. At least he’d get paid.
“Bender, they’re on their way.”
Allison typed in a couple numbers on the computer and a map popped up with a moving red dot about half a mile away.
Bender came over, bending down. His long-ish hair was pulled back into a man bun. Allison often made fun of it.
“Okay. Hopefully, he won’t rat us out to the cops. I’ve never had a doctor before.”
“How’d he even find us? You think he actually went to the streets and asked a gang about it?”
“I suppose that’s the only way he’d know. You should go greet them at the door.”
They arrived at an old warehouse amongst old warehouses.
“This is the place?” Andrew asked. “You sure?”
“I’m sure,” Brian replied as they got out from the car. “I think.”
“Great,” Andy said under his breath. They spent a moment to stretch and look around.
A rattle from within the building sounded. The door swung open to present a small, young woman in dark makeup and a Prince t-shirt.
They stared. She stared back.
“Well? Aren’t you going to come in?” she asked. With that, she turned and disappeared into the building. “Bring the body!” she called back.
Andy did a once over of the building and the dark corridor there girl went. He looked to Brian who was still frozen in place, still startled.
What had he agreed to?