Bazooka 13

“I sympathize with your predicament, I do. But maybe just leave it to the professionals?” Ricardo offered a shrug. 

“The professionals are to ones I’m trying to─ look.” I leaned onto the counter and pleaded with my hands. “I don’t know of anyone I can rely on. I feel like the whole world’s out to get me.”

“That sounds like every person’s complaint.”

“I’m serious,” I said.

“So am I.” He said.

“That’s not fair.” I argued.

“Yeah, actually, it is. Listen up kid, there’s a reason you were sent here to me. Nobody moves without my say-so. I’m the king-pin. I am the one and only. I am the end all be all of bounty hunting and there’s a reason for that.” 

“So you really are the only broker in town?” I asked, sad defeat was nigh.

“Yes.” He responded almost bored.

“Just give me a chance.” I begged.

“Every other person and their mom is after Mike. What makes you think you’ll get him?”

“Sheer desperation.” I answered honestly. “It’s all I got.”

“It’s a start.” He snorted. The man looked long and hard at me, judging my worth by every blink I took and every line in my skin. He turned, opening one of his many filling cabinets and riffled through the papers. I was so excited I almost jumped for joy but stopped myself just in time for him to turn back round. “Here’s one we just got in.” He threw a file at me. I caught it just in time and opened it. Line after line of boxed info read out to me, making little sense, but there was a picture and what an ugly mug it was. “His name is Greg, but he goes by the name of Bulldog. God knows why. Dude’s wanted for petty larceny and public intoxication.”

“Nothing too difficult?” I asked, willfully.

“He’s diabetic and in a wheelchair.” Ricardo sassed. “He lives with his mom but she don’t want him no more. Lazy ass, her exact words were. She’s going to take his wheelchair and leave him for vultures to peck at. So no, nothing too difficult. You want the big dog?” Ricardo suddenly jabbed me in the chest. “Prove yourself first.” 

“Oh sure.”

“Reward’s $50 dollars.”

“That’s it?”

“I don’t run a charity house.”

“I have to get this guy.” I said seriously, looking at Ricardo. “I have to get Mike. He’s ruining my life and no one is stopping him. I have to do it.”

“I know.” He said, folding his arms. “But emotions pay for jack around here. Buck up kid. You got work. I’m going to send someone with you. Pete to be exact.” He motioned over his shoulder.

“The bird?” I asked. The grey feathered mass cawed at me.

“My partner. He’ll help you more than most men, trust me. It’s this or nothing. Take it or leave it.”

“No gun?” I asked.

“Get out.”

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