Okay... I'll confess. Can you just tell that copper to stop staring at me, okay? People who stare, it's bloody rude.
It was me and V.V., we started the bar or club or whatever you want to call it. But it was just a joke, you see? We were just playing a prank. Nobody was going to get hurt. I didn't want anyone to die...
V.V. and me, we became friends when we were students in England. He was American, but people didn't think of him as American. We always cooked up practical jokes and gags. It wasn't like anyone of us was the leader. We acted together. I knew him since I was... eighteen, I think.
He told me that in America people like us, guys with ideas, had opportunities. Not like in stuffy old Britain. The more I heard it, and the worse our grades got, the more I believed him.
After we dropped out of the university and moved to America, we shared a cheap apartment near the old industrial park. Great view of an abandoned warehouse just outside our window. Over on the next block, some of the old warehouses had been converted to rave clubs. Five and six in the morning, the doped-up ravers walked home beneath our window.
V.V. and me, we shouted at them sometimes: "Come buy best Jamaican spliffs, ya? Simpson's the name, mon!"
Simpson was the guy living next door. We heard the occasional raver ring on his door and ask to buy drugs, and almost wet ourselves laughing.
Then one morning, we were on our way to our jobs, we saw the clubbers stagger home past the abandoned warehouse... and I got an idea.
"See that door?" I told V.V. and pointed to the graffiti-covered door right across the street. It was made of solid metal plating with bolts around the edges, and it had no door handle. "What if we put a sign on it: 'New Club Opens Tomorrow!' Imagine the rave-heads standing in line all night, for nothing!"
V.V. and me, we were on the same wavelength about these things. He continued my train of thought and said, "Yeah! And let's nail a broken security camera on top of the door, so it looks authentic!"
"And maybe," I riffed, "we pay some moron to stand in front as a bouncer –"
"I'll do it," V.V. said. "I was a bouncer once."
"Yeah, for a whole two hours!"
V.V. had lost his only bouncer job when he started collecting phone numbers from the girls who stood in line, and he only let blondes in.
"So what're you gonna tell the clubbers who want to come in? That it's real exclusive?" I asked.
He thought about it for a moment, and burst out laughing. "Better! We can't open that door, right? So I let nobody in!"
"Nobody gets in?"
"Nobody gets in! That's the joke!"
So we high-fived each other and almost forgot about going to work.
I came home from my burger-flipping job around eighteen o'clock. V.V. had gathered all the stuff we needed for the prank, and carried it home. From the paint shop where he worked, he'd taken a few cans of spray paint. From the dumpster outside an electronics shop, he'd salvaged a broken surveillance camera. Hell, we'd scavenged practically everything in our apartment. You Americans throw away stuff that's practically new.
The Salvation Army had provided V.V. with a worn-down leather jacket for that "tough and stupid" bouncer look. He already had shades.
And so we went to work in a hurry: the clubbers mustn't see us.
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PRECINCT 20: Dead Strange -- Short StoriesHorror
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