CDL Blogoversary Day Five: “Simon Velour Retaliates”

We’re celebrating Claire De Lunacy’s First Blogoversary, and I’ve invited some very gracious and awesome friends to contribute to this mess, sharing their words with you, my beloved readers. Through June 10th, there will be a new post from a different guest each day, culminating with a new, full-length short story by yours truly. I hope you enjoy my guests’ work as much as I do, and I hope you’ll stick around to see what happens during the NEXT year.

[Today’s Guest Blogger is Stuart Beaton. Stuart’s something of a mystery to me, I only know him through his strange – well, to be honest – warped persona on Twitter. He masqueraded as a stuffed monkey for several month, then threw in the towel, to move on to “somewhere else”.

Somewhere else, it seems, is China. There he pretends to teach English, whilst trying to do as little work as possible.

Judging by his website, “The Small Picture” (http://rastous.spaces.live.com), he’s succeeding. It seems he’s a plump little thing with a penchant for food, guns and an expanding collection of Totoros, Spongebobs and Doraemons.

Which leads me to think he’s probably right round the twist, but, hey, who cares, right?

Anyway, Stuart’s Australian by birth, educated at Adelaide Uni, and has lived and worked in both China and Japan.

It seems that occasionally, he’s struck by brilliance – so here’s a short piece of fiction, weeded from the normal dross he produces.]

The man opposite Simon was unusually tall for a Japanese, and muscle filled out the lines of his Armani suit. He gripped a tumbler of whiskey and ice in one hand, and a punch corona in the other.

“Velour-san, let me understand what you’re asking of me… you are asking me to help you to recover something stolen from your government, by a rival clan?”

Simon sipped at his drink, and shuffled gently on the soft leather sofa. “Er, well, yes. It’s rather embarrassing really… I can’t make it official, but I must get the briefcase back. And I understand that you have no love for this other mob, anyway.”

“Ah, Velour-san, perhaps you do not realise that your request, as it stands, is very unusual. Why should I help you with this endeavour?”

“Oh, Kenichi, you have such a short memory… who saved your arse last year, when those bastards tried to blow your head off in the bar, eh? Weren’t  you glad that the lads and I were there that night?”

“Verlour-san…”

“That guy did have the barrel of a pistol to your head, Kenichi, when I hit him with the bench.”

“Ok, Velour-san, we’ll do what we can to help you. Now, what do you need?”

“Kenichi, old son, I’m going to need a light for this cigar for starters….”

*

The black limo rolled to a halt outside the office block, and Simon stepped out of it onto the footpath.

“Jesus, this is their headquarters? At least the Guineas have a little more style.”

The grey block was two minutes walk from the Kashiwa train station, but a world removed from the department stores that the Station Mall housed.

Barely 15 stories tall, it was a light weight beside its Shinjuku cousins.

The ground floor housed a run down bar and a florist, which were separated by a small lobby.

Simon stuck his head into the limo, and told the driver to keep the car running.

“Ok, Kenichi”, he muttered under his breath, as he strolled across the lobby, “we’ll try it your nice, polite way first.”

A reception desk was located next to the lift wells, and pretty young lass behind it rattled off a string of Japanese at him as he approached.

“Sorry, M’Dear, I didn’t quite catch that – come again?”

“I said, sir, can I help you?”

“Yes, you most certainly can. Get on that phone, and tell Mr Suzuki that Mr Velour is here to talk to him about a briefcase.”

“Er, sir….”

“Do it. Now.”

The woman picked up a phone, and held what sounded to Simon like a rather heated conversation, before she replaced it again on its cradle.

“Mr Suzuki will see you now, sir. If you’d like to take that lift to the top floor….”

As if by magic, the lift doors glided open, and a pair of heavyset guards stepped out. Simon got in, and the goons flanked him as the doors closed.

Simon was quickly but efficiently patted down for weapons before the lift arrived at the top floor. When the doors opened, Simon was stunned for a moment by the subtle opulence of the place – a far cry from the shabby exterior of the building.

“Ah, the remarkable Simon Velour… you honour us with your presence. To what do we owe such an honour?”

Simon slipped walked across the polished floor towards a large mahogany desk, by which a short man in a dark black suit stood. Behind him, a pair of cleaners worked diligently on a descending rig, polishing the large plate glass window.

“Mr Suzuki, I presume?”

“Yes.”

“I believe you have something that belongs to me… a briefcase one of your lot lifted from a cargo terminal at Narita. I’d like it back… and I’d like it back now.”

Suzuki’s face flushed red, and he snarled, “You have a lot of impertinence, even for a gaijin, Velour. What is to stop me from simply killing you now, and keeping the briefcase?”

“Because, you idiot, there are two men with machine guns standing behind you.”

Suzuki turned, and gazed at the smiling faces of the two “cleaners” who stood holding H&K MP5’s outside his office window.

“No use calling for help, either, Suzuki mate, your lads are a bit tied up with a punch up in your bar, too. Now… about that briefcase?”

Suzuki’s face was a mask of rage, one that would have suited any samurai’s armour, as he walked towards a large bar against the wall of the room. Simon crossed the distance to him, careful not to interrupt the line of fire of the two gun men.

“Ah, ah, ah, not so fast Suzuki”, Simon said as the man unlatched a concealed panel. “A smart man would have a weapon in there, too. Open it nice and slow, and don’t make any sudden moves.”

The panel slid silently open, revealing the plain black leather briefcase – and a pair of 9mm Glock pistols. Simon picked up the case, and gave it a careful heft.

“I trust you’ve not been stupid enough to open this? No? Good. Then I shall bid you adieu, Suzuki….”

“Velour, you gaijin dog, how do you expect to live long enough to even take that case out of this building?”

“Oh, please, Suzuki, no idle threats. Do you remember that hotel you took that little schoolgirl to in Shinjuku? The one that had all kinds of closed circuit programmes to watch on the TV?”

Suzuki’s face blanched.

“Well, smile, dickhead”, Simon deadpanned, “you’re on candid camera. I’d love to see what the other clans would say if that video became public….” He turned on his heel, and strode back in to the lift.

“Next time, you might want to dispense with the Superman outfit, too.”

The lift doors closed.

*

Still clutching the case tightly, Simon walked past a raging brawl that had erupted in the bar, and in to the waiting limo.

Kenichi handed him a cigar, and asked, “Well, Velour-san, you have the case, and I have a nice little video tape in case that little prick Suzuki decides to throw his weight around. I do hope my men aren’t getting hurt in that punch up you engineered, though.”

Simon took a draw on the cigar, and nodded. “Thanks for your help, Kenichi, I reckon that makes us even. Nice of you to lend my lads the cleaner’s outfits… just how long have you had the maintenance contract on Suzuki’s building?”

“About six hours, Simon – long enough for your purposes… and ours. By the way, what’s in the case?”

“Promise me, Kenichi, that you won’t be angry if I show you?”

“I give you my word, Simon.”

Simon extracted a slim key from his coat pocket, and unlocked the case.

Opening the lid, he revealed to Kenichi eight large black jars, each with a bright yellow label.

“For this, Simon, you would have my clan go to war, and risk your life?”

“Oh, c’mon, Kenichi, everyone knows Vegemite’s worth more than gold in this country….”

[It’s me again. He’s a funny sort, isn’t he? Pay him a visit at his site, I’m sure he’ll appreciate the interaction – it’ll give him something to talk about with the guards.

Coming up tomorrow: A fascinating piece on something I’m sure nobody ever expected to see on this blog – breast reduction surgery. See you then!]

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