Descending Doug

Doug rounded the corner, to get to the convenience store. The sign above the door read 24 Mart, the hours on the door proving they did not lie, they were always open. Which was a good thing as it was 2 AM on a Thursday night and the boy needed a few things.

The guy behind the front counter, encased in a metal cage, barely looked up as the door triggered the bell hanging about it. It was, unsurprisingly, quiet in here. Just some drunk in tattered clothing buying a bottle of whiskey and speaking far too loud about how “in his day…” and how booze used to be cheaper.

Doug paid little mind to either of them, he had his own concerns. His gambling debt had gone from worse to horrible in a short amount of time. And Sonny made sure to let him know he was late, by having his goons deliver the message by way of a black eye and a few punches to the gut.

Doug had reacted to his injuries the way one would expect, he had laid in bed all day and wined to himself. Maybe one would have thought he might think of what he had done to Melissa in the past, considering everything, maybe he would have second thoughts or felt just the slightest remorse but no, not Doug. In his mind, she was still to blame for everything that had happened to herself and to him.

Currently, he was still living above the underground casino and working for Sonny in various capacities. Sonny had thought about putting him with the prostitutes but then found out Doug wasn’t eighteen, which didn’t sit well with the boss, but did get him out of that particular assignment for now. The problem was Sonny’s hospitality was wearing thin and Doug wasn’t sure how long he would be allowed to stay there, if he couldn’t pay the man. Or how long he would be allowed to live.

Doug looked around the place, the drunk was purchasing his booze. The store clerk only paying attention to the customer. Doug reached into his pocket and felt the cloth, wool, soft, he knew the color was black without pulling out the article. In his other pocket, the feel was very different metallic, cool to the touch, small but certainly big enough and fully loaded.

His deep blue eyes glanced around the store, then looked up. Shit. He hadn’t thought about the security cameras, that now had his face recorded. It was still tempting but no he would have to come up with another plan.

He picked up some painkillers, the kind in a small jar that one for the day was supposed to suffice. Doug doubted that. Then a Coke in a small plastic bottle, with i’’s red label and white lettering. Next, it was his own bottle of whiskey, a much-needed other kind of pain reliever.

The boy made his way to the counter and showed the store clerk his fake ID, which the clerk also barely looked at. It must have been a force of habit that Doug pulled out his credit card to pay for it. The card had been blocked but it hadn’t been that long. However, this time it worked.

Doug didn’t understand or question it. He took his stuff, went straight to an ATM, and took out the money he could. $5,000 dollars, barely a dent, in what he owned. Near the ATM was a poster that read something about the Battle of the Bands, which gave Doug an idea.

The next day Doug was in front of Sonny and handed him the money and the keys to his car, which did put a dent in the amount owned but wasn’t all of it. He then told Sonny his plan.

Sonny looked at the boy, “You sure? I don’t want to waste my time and if you come back with nothing - well… I will be greatly disappointed.”

“I am sure. I mean that’s where they would hang out and I am sure I can find at least one.” Doug said. “Bring her back, maybe give me a finders fee for each, that will of course go to pay off my debt.”

“All right,” Sonny said, “I could use some fresh blood. Have one of the girls help you cover that eye.”

“Yes, sir,” Doug responded and then left the office. He had to sell it tonight, everything depended on it.

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