Vice City, Your New Favorite Vice

Getting hit with a wrench hurts.

I know for a fact—I’ve had my jaw broken twice by thugs swinging them around—which is why I cringe every time Pete and Brisko land a blow. The crunch of bone and the wet splat of blood on the warehouse floor fill the otherwise silent atmosphere.

I light a cigarette and inhale, already disgusted with the spectacle. Perhaps I should’ve been paying more attention when they questioned the kid, but I don’t know what Pete and Brisko are looking for. I’m just here in case trouble finds us.

“So how long have you been workin’ for the cops?” Pete asks.

The kid shudders and keeps his head hung. Rivulets of blood stream from his mouth and lip, dripping onto his lap and staining his jeans. His shoulders bunch around his neck, but his hands are tied tight against the back of the chair. He doesn’t have much range of movement—even his feet are secured to the chair legs, keeping him vulnerable.

Brisko grabs a fistful of the kid’s black hair and jerks his head up. “Well? You want us to keep going or are you ready to talk?”

“I—” the kid says. “I… don’t….”

The blood in his mouth gets in the way of his speech. It doesn’t help that he’s trembling something fierce either. Those two idiots don’t know the first thing about interrogating a rat. You have to give them time to recover between beatings or else they stutter, or worse, seize up from shock. Then you won’t get any information out of them.

The kid fumbles with his words, and Pete backhands him, the wrench still curled in his fist. The extra weight slams the kid’s head back, busting the skin of his eye socket good. His disheveled hair covers most of his face—the blood causing it to cling to everything—but I can tell he’s black and blue.

Pete rubs his knuckles and snorts. “We got all night, kiddo. And there’s only two ways out. Either you tell us what we want to know and we put a bullet in your head, simple and quick…. Or you keep holding out on us, like the dirty rat you are, and we go to bustin’ up your organs rather than your bones. The way people scream…. You’ll regret holdin’ out on us. They all do.”

The kid doesn’t answer. I figured as much. He looks ready to die.

“Pete, Brisko,” I call out from the shadows. “Go out and watch the door. I’ll talk to him.”

Those two thugs take a moment to process my words, like English is their third language instead of their first. It’s clear they didn’t think I would get involved, but Pete gives me a one-sided smile.

“You gonna make him sing?” he asks. “The boss always says you’re the best.”

“I’ll get the information.”

“You got it. C’mon, Brisko.”

Brisko lumbers after Pete. I wait until they both exit the warehouse, giving the kid a moment to “recover” before I get to work. I take a long drag on my cigarette and exhale. I hate workin’ late—it’s almost dawn. Street work isn’t supposed to be my thing anymore, but I can’t sit by and watch Pete and Brisko’s Three Stooges routine without intervening. They would have killed the kid and gotten nothing from it.

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About Vice City

After twenty years as an enforcer for the Vice family mob, Nicholas Pierce shouldn’t bat an eye at seeing a guy get worked over and tossed in the river. But there’s something about the suspected police mole, Miles, that has Pierce secondguessing himself. The kid is just trying to look out for his brother any way he knows how, and the altruistic motive sparks an uncharacteristic act of mercy that involves Pierce taking Miles under his wing. Miles wants to repay Pierce for saving his life. Pierce shouldn’t see him as anything but a convenient hookup… and he sure as hell shouldn’t get involved in Miles’s doomed quest to get his brother out of a rival street gang. He shouldn’t do a lot of things, but life on the streets isn’t about following the rules. Besides, he’s sick of being abused by the Vice family, especially Mr. Vice and his powerhungry goon of a son, who treats his underlings like playthings.

So Pierce does the absolute last thing he should do if he wants to keep breathing—he leaves the Vice family in the middle of a turf war.

About the Author

S.A. Stovall grew up in California’s central valley with a single mother and little brother. Despite no one in her family having a degree higher than a GED, she put herself through college (earning a BA in History), and then continued on to law school where she obtained her Juris Doctorate.

As a child, Stovall’s favorite novel was Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. The adventure on a deserted island opened her mind to ideas and realities she had never given thought before—and it was the moment Stovall realized thatstory telling (specifically fiction) became her passion. Anything that told a story, be it a movie, book, video game or comic, she had to experience. Now, as a professor and author, Stovall wants to add her voice to the myriad of stories in the world, and she hopes you enjoy.

Find out more…

Twitter: @GameOverStation

Website: https://sastovallauthor.com/

 

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