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|Got Any Twist? (standard:science fiction, 1185 words)|
|Author: Gavin J. Carr||Added: Apr 12 2005||Views/Reads: 1805/1123||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Blake Shaw, degenerate dealer and drop-out, makes his last sale to a twelve year old kid.|
In a grubby alleyway Blake Shaw was slowly killing himself. He shook another cigarette from the pack and lit it from the first, inhaling the harsh smoke. “Goddamn cheap tokes,” he wheezed, picking a piece of tobacco from his tongue. “Nobody recognizes quality these days.” It was a common complaint. He was old enough to remember the good days, the days of democracy. Back then you could get a decent cigarette; proper tobacco - not the crap they gave you now - machine rolled with a filter and everything. But that was before the Coup, before the Junta and the Transition Government. Now, they had rationing, nine p.m. curfew, spot searches and summary executions. That's progress for you. Down the alley, past the trash cans and festering rubbish, a patrol car passed. He dropped the cigarette and dived behind a dumpster. If they've got infra-red I'm fucked, he thought. He didn't have anything on him, he'd carefully stashed his stuff behind a loose brick in the wall across from him, but the Junta didn't need an excuse to haul you in. Being in an alley was enough, especially looking the way Shaw looked. He was a throwaway from the thirties, a dropout from the new Summer of Love. He wore his hair long and had a mountain man beard, a CND tattoo covering the skin of his right palm. The other neo-beatniks – the ones that were still around – had cut their hair and shaved their beards. It just wasn't worth the trouble, they said, the Man had won and there was no use kidding themselves. Better the quiet life, they didn't need the hassle. Fucking pussies. They might have given up, but Blake Shaw was a different breed. He'd never sell out, take a lower management job and beg for the Man's cash. He wouldn't be carolled in some battery farm, a two hour commute, and home to a wife and two-point four kids, getting drunk and listening to old Jesus Juice albums, lamenting his lost youth. No way, he was still living the dream – still opening the doors to perception. He peered round the dumpster and saw that the car had gone. He allowed himself a sigh of relief and got back to his feet, retrieving the cigarette that still smouldered on the ground. From the apartment block across from him he could hear the muffled quack of a TV. Some block head was tuned in to the Patriot Channel - Sergeant Well's Healthy World Workout. “And stretch, two, three...come-on, people. You're not trying! A fit body means a fit country! Keep that heart rate up...” Government TV, another blow for the Man. He could vaguely remember back to his childhood, watching re-runs from Free TV. They had that show with the dog...what was it? Lassie, yeah, Lassie, Christ he'd loved that show. And that other one, what was it now, the one in space...on the ship, the Enterprise – Oh, yeah, Space Trek, now that was quality. But now it was all propaganda – Sergeant Well, Cooking with the Commandant, Confession Time, Wheel of Fortune and that soap opera, The Informers – crap, all crap. He dropped his cigarette and crushed it with the heel of his boot. It was a slow day; if he didn't get any business soon then he'd move uptown to the park. The park was always good for business. He heard a low whistle from the mouth of the alley and recognized the signal – business coming his way. He whistled back, three notes, one high and two low and watched as a blond head ducked into the gloom. It was a kid. He couldn't be any older than twelve or thirteen, small and skinny, blonde hair carefully combed back in the style they were wearing it now. Shaw felt a thrill as the boy approached. God, he loved selling to children. A lot of dealers he knew wouldn't have anything to do with them. The penalties were stiff for dealing to kids – twelve years hard Click here to read the rest of this story (71 more lines)
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