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News & Features » August 2017 » “The Hong Kong Deal” by June Lorraine Roberts

“The Hong Kong Deal” by June Lorraine Roberts

Mondays Are Murder features brand-new noir fiction modeled after our award-winning Noir Series. Each story is an original one, and each takes place in a distinct location. Our web model for the series has one more restraint: a 750-word limit. Sound like murder? It is. But so are Mondays. 

This week, a dangerous deal consists of more than a woman had anticipated.
 
The Hong Kong Deal
by June Lorraine Roberts
Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong

I braced myself on the backseat as my red taxi careened around the corner. When they hit a run of green lights in Hong Kong the drivers go for it. Time was money here like no other city on earth.

The wet heat was staggering as I exited the cab and made my way through the streets of Lan Kwai Fong. I manoeuvred past the bars where patrons, and those with beer picked up at the 7-Eleven on the way up the hill, stood outside drinking.

Reaching the tiny alley closer to Mid-Levels I waited chaffing my hands together, anxious and shaky. A drop of water hit the top of my head. I glanced up, not rain but one of the typical leaky air conditioners.

It was a short distraction. I was flagging, terrified my intention had been discovered. I saw him then coming down the alley. He was moving in that way only hard men can, with heightened awareness and confidence.

The street behind him was still. He was a recommendation from someone in the nebulous world in which I move. He had what I needed and the price was agreed upon in advance.

I felt like I was being smothered in a wet towel, gasping for air. May through September is like that. In the summer months, many expat wives are in cooler climes. That’s how problems begin for the women and men left behind.

It was supposed to be a brief affair. One night of raw sex in a darkened corner of a private club where no one paid much attention to uncivilized gwailos.

Afterward he said, “I will see you again.”

“It’s not possible.” I adjusted my clothing.

Anton grabbed my hair bringing me face to face, “I will see you again.”

And he did, in the men’s washroom at the Shangri-La, days later in a park at Diamond Hill. Like the men before him he had agreed to the deal—that I always had to be satisfied first. It was me, then him. Anytime I was unsatisfied he would never have access to me again.

He liked that arrogance and certainty, and kept the deal during our escapades. That was before I knew who he was, before his face in the newspapers: crime lord, drug baron, murderer. Before he made his mistake and brutalized me, leaving me lacerated and bloody.

The day we met I amused him asking that he stand up and turn around. “Do you like what you see?” he asked as he turned.

“I like what I feel more.”

Now weeks later I was here in a dark alley waiting for a gun to be delivered by a man I didn’t know referred by another man I didn’t know, and praying this chain of death remained undiscovered.

The man came closer. “Hello.” English accent softened by living elsewhere.

“Do you have what I asked for?” My rigid jaw barely allowed the question.

He didn’t answer but moved closer his eyes traveling my body like a map for the lost. I shivered, if Anton was polished danger this man was rough danger. He was lean and muscled, and his eyes read of untellable stories. Who was he really working for, me or Anton?

“Yes, you have the money?”

I gave him the envelope and his eyes never left mine putting it in his back pocket. Even in my tense state I raised an eyebrow.

“If it’s not all there I know where to find you.” The threat was evident.

He removed a semi-automatic tucked into the small of his back. “Have you used a gun before?” At my nod, he handed it over. “It’s loaded, take off the safety, and…” He shrugged without finishing.

I put the gun in my handbag and began to move away. His hand shot out and stopped me. “We’re not done.”

I trembled and stiffened to hide it. “What else can there be?”

“Unfinished business.” His voice was harsh.

“We have no other business.” I moved abruptly to shake off his arm.

“I understand that every deal has a satisfaction clause.” Came the reply.

I felt the sky twist overhead in my vision. Anton knew I wanted him dead and now it was me who was going to die tonight.

“Of whose satisfaction do you speak?” I asked as coldly as I could.

He pulled me to his chest, breathing in my ear. “Why yours of course.”

And his hand slid under my dress and up my thigh.

***

JUNE LORRAINE ROBERTS writes at MurderinCommon.com, a website about crime fiction books and authors. Her flash fiction has been published by The Flash Fiction Press. In addition, she is a beta reader for emerging crime fiction writers. She is a graduate of the London School of Journalism and her features have appeared in Tengri and Aware magazines. She works as a freelance communications consultant for major financial services companies and large retail operations.

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Would you like to submit a story to the Mondays Are Murder series? Here are the guidelines:

—We are not offering payment, and are asking for first digital rights. The rights to the story revert to the author immediately upon publication.
—Your story should be set in a distinct location of any neighborhood in any city, anywhere in the world, but it should be a story that could only be set in the neighborhood you chose.
—Include the neighborhood, city, state, and country next to your byline.
—Your story should be Noir. What is Noir? We’ll know it when we see it.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—Accepted submissions are typically published 6–8 months after their notification date and will be edited for cohesion and to conform to our house style.
—E-mail your submission to info@akashicbooks.com. Please paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.

Posted: Aug 14, 2017

Category: Mondays Are Murder | Tags: , , , , , ,



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