The first thing They did was kick The Guy in the face. It was done merely out of convenience as he was already on the ground when They spotted him. If someone finds themselves in the unfortunate position of being roughed up, whether by fate or design, it usually doesn't start out with a kick to the face. That tends to be more of a coup de grace than an opening move. But shit happens. It was not the end of the world. It was just a kick to the face. And It became the warm up, a pre-emptive strike, a deterrent for The Guy to not fuck around, to know They meant business. Not that there was much to worry about handling a guy like this, short and pudgy. The kind of guy you can tell pulls a string of bad luck behind him. Still, you never know. If you happen to find yourself in the unfortunate position of working on the wrong side of the law and putting food on the table by roughing people up for money, than it is probably good to not take chances. The Poor Guy never saw the kick coming, his focus was solely on finding whatever it was he needed to find, maybe car keys. The unexpected kick landed square in the middle of The Guy’s face and caused his head to whip far back. If it hadn't already been attached to The Guy’s body that kick would have sent his head flying across the parking lot. Instead The Guy cried out in pain and spew out a series of coughs and whimpers. He sucked in mouthfuls of air while he slowly crawled around on the pavement, dirtying up his dress pants. Hard to tell if The Guy knew what was going on at that point in time or not. Who knows what goes through someone’s head right after it takes a hard hit that seemingly came out of nowhere.
If The Guy’s nose wasn't already broken, and he was pretty sure it was, it would be soon. He dabbed at the bottom of it with his index finger as he leaned his head back against the front of the car, still ignorant to the presence of the two hard looking men watching him. The Guy seemed surprised as to how much blood was still trickling out his nose and running off his chin. They let some time pass for The Guy to catch his breath and take in what was happening, it was important to them that he understood both what and why this was going on. In fact, it was a part of their job.
JOB: Give The Guy a roughing up – make sure he knows why.
WHY: Hopefully he already knew the answer to that.
People don’t just beat each other up for no good reason, no one has the time for that any more. This isn't the 20s or the 50s. Time is more precious now than ever, just like money, and a good beating can take money and time. If you are the one(s) doing the beating then you are probably charging a pretty penny, it is not just about the time but the risks involved. You could physically get hurt, maybe even fatally wounded, and/or get arrested. If you are the unfortunate one getting the beatings then let’s hope whatever you did to deserve it was worth it, and/or that you are schooled in some form of deadly martial arts and you are just waiting for the right moment to strike.
The first thing The Guy noticed once he could concentrate on something outside of the blood and pain was a pair of oddly fashionable dark brown shoes. Possibly the very same pair that had just kicked him in the face. Creamy leather finished in a rainbow of hand-patinated hues. They are hand crafted loafers, the same kind of loafers Andy Warhol wore. 2,000 dollar loafers. Berluti loafers. For a brief moment The Guy forgot about his current situation and focused in on the shoes, wondering how much money someone would have to have in order to justify kicking someone else in the face with a pair of Berluti loafers on. He surely would never wear those shoes for such an occasion. Unfortunately, day dreaming although pleasant is brief and he quickly remembered that he had seen those shoes before on the feet of a man who worked for another man that The Guy knew but really wished he didn't. As the dots connected themselves an uncontrollable surge of panic welled up inside of his chest and then spilled over, forcing his body to flee out of fear. But that didn't do him any good. This wasn't their first day on the job, They knew what to expect, They knew all the tricks. The Guy made a short deep moan as he was brought back down again onto the pavement with a quick kick to the back of his ribs. Lying on his side, he struggled to breathe more dots connected.
The Guy wasn't schooled in some form of deadly martial arts, sadly for him, but one of the men sent to hurt him was. The one wearing the fashionable shoes, the one who kicked him in the face, and the ribs, The Muscle. And the other guy, the one not wearing the fashionable shoes nor the doing the hurting nor the one getting the beating, was The Talker. He says the things that need to be said, asks the questions that need to be asked, and occasionally, when it suited him, he threw in a punch or two. He hadn't started talking yet, and on some occasions he never had to. Sometimes a good beating can say enough.
The Guy stared at the two men, awaiting his fate with wild eyes. The Muscle knelt down and punched him in the side of his face and again when The Guy started talking. His head whipped to the side and the other cheek banged into the car.
‘No talking,’ said The Talker.
The Guy hadn't actually said anything coherent, he had tried but the swelling in his face made it hard to form words. Not thinking properly, maybe because of the hits to his head, he tried talking some more. The Muscle hit him with the fist on his other hand, a short quick jab that brought a crunch sound from The Guy’s nose and a new stream of blood. And just like clockwork The Talker jumped in for clarification, ‘no talking’, and pointed his finger at The Guy’s face.
‘Pick The Guy up,’ The Talker said to The Muscle.
The Guy was pulled up on his feet so The Talker could leer over him with his mean face on.
‘You know what you did,’ The Talker said to The Guy, not as a question but as a declaration of fact.
‘You know why we’re here.’
‘And you know who sent us.’
The Talker finished his speech and gestured to The Muscle with a nod that said, ‘hit him.’ Again The Guy hadn't see it coming. An expanding pain in his gut spread as his body folded forward and then collapsed. The Muscle helped him up again. The Guy coughed repeatedly; his eyes were wide open and looking every which way, maybe he was trying to think of a possible avenue out of his current situation. But before he could come up with something his head received a deafening blow directly on his ear. The contact produced a loud and deep pang sound that resonated throughout his head and was so strong that The Guy wondered if everything in his head had not always made that sound. The Muscle picked The Guy up again, this time noticing the heaviness of his body. The Guy was almost out. With a brief glance The Muscle relayed this information to The Talker who seemed to be taking it into consideration.
‘Drop him,’ The Talker said to The Muscle.
The Guy’s body flopped down quickly and for some reason after he hit the ground he started to talk again. For a few moments the only thing that happened was The Guy talking. He said everything, and he said it through swollen bloody lips that had already begun to show signs of bruising. The Talker and The Muscle just watched, tuning in momentarily. They didn't say a word as They both understood what was transpiring. A man afraid for his life and afraid of feeling any more pain was desperate and vainly attempting to talk his way out, and he would say anything whether it was true or not. He would do anything he could to make this stop. He would forget himself entirely. He would be desperate. He would beg and plead and reason and barter and explain explain explain all the while lying on the dirty black wet cement. It is pathetic and aggravating and useless as They had seen it all before. There was no point in telling The Guy that he was quite literally wasting his breath, that more pain could be caused whether he wanted it to or not. It didn't matter what he wanted. But fortunately the instructions were clear, ‘hurt him, but don’t kill him. Rough him up a little bit. A couple to the head, maybe one in the gut, a little kick to the face. You know, mix it up. Make it so he will think twice.’ The Guy would live.
The Talker and The Muscle looked at each other, some things were said without a word and then all at once it was over. The Muscle turned and began walking away as The Talker knelt down beside The Guy to say one last thing, ‘“It is our choices, Harry, that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
The Talker got up and walked off in the same direction as The Muscle had, letting The Guy go back to finding his keys and wondering whether or not The Talker had just made a Harry Potter reference.