The river was swollen from the storm that happened two days ago. So, naturally, the neighborhood children would want to play in the parts that licked the yard. A guard rushed over to shoo them but ended up flipping and falling in the mud. The children laughed as they ran off.
“Babe, did you even hear me?”
“Yeah, pick you up some aspirin and wine. Do you need anything else?”
Danny looked away from the window when the guard got up. They turned around and looked at the tiny hologram on the kitchen counter.
The tiny hologram wasn’t really looking at Danny, it just floated there on a little disc. It was literally a floating head.
“No. Thank you so much. I’ll pick us up some Chinese food for dinner.”
“No, I can cook. I gotta go grocery shopping anyway. I’ll probably be gone when you get home anyway.”
“Oh…. That’s tonight, isn’t it?”
“Yeah. I’ll be fine, don’t worry.”
“Jay. I’ll be fine.”
“I don’t like your jobs.”
“I know. I’ll see you in a few days.”
“This is a big job. Be sure to feed Jody.”
Danny turned off the disc and placed it back on it’s holder. Danny grabbed their coat and headed out of their home. It started to sprinkle.
They pulled out their earpiece and called someone.
“It’s T, speak.”
“D here. Did we account for rain?” They asked, making their way down the street to the carport.
“D, this is T, we have non-slip boots at the ready. I’ll see if N can modify some ponchos to be as snug as possible.”
“N here, I’m literally buying those right now. Please send me your sizes for waders. I saw the river. It’s going to slow us down but not by much.”
“D speaking, how is not by much?”
“N talking, at best we’ll be merging with traffic so the skin of our teeth.”
Danny hung up as a car pulled up. They got into the car.
“Perkin’s Grocery, please.”
The driver nodded and pulled away. Danny watched the city pass by. If this job went well, they and Jay would be set for a good chunk of their life. No more studio apartments with no AC and little hit, no more setting up in the basement of a dirty old factory. The team would have a reputation for being good workers and can get hired by any bigger team, solo or together if they wanted to. But Danny felt uneasy.
“Oh… Uh… ” Danny fumbled with their wallet, pulled out a card and swiped it.
“Thank you. I will wait for you for 30 minutes.”
Danny got out and did their shopping with 10 minutes to spare.
When they arrived back home, they made Jay’s favorite dinner; chicken and dumplings with homemade dumplings. It was the first meal Danny cooked for Jay when they got that apartment 4 years ago.
As Danny was cleaning up the mess they made, there was a knock on the door.
“It’s open!” Danny yelled.
Three figures walked in, carrying two to four very heavy and full duffel bags each.
“Hey,” one of them said, nodded to Danny.
“Yo. Dinner’s almost done.”
“Oh, shit, I forgot you could cook!” the short one said, putting his bags down and walking into the kitchen area. “Oh, wow it smells even better over here.”
“I made enough for 3 nights. I have oatmeal and stocked up on TP and trash bags.”
The short one, Nat, nodded but had his eye on the big pot of food.
The one that had said hello, Travis, was opening his bags and recounting everything.
The third one, the woman named Casey, was talking on her phone the entire time in a hushed voice. Danny watched her before glancing out the window. They saw the guard from this morning also on the phone, staring in Danny’s direction. Danny’s heart skipped a beat before they looked away, grabbing bowls from the cabinets and filling them with food.
“Here, Nat… Travis… Casey…”
Casey held up her index finger in a “one moment”, politely smiling at Danny. Travis watched her as he took a bite of food. Nat was getting up for his second helping that quickly. Casey suddenly looked like she was in trouble.
“I see him. He looks like he’s yelling,” Nat said to no one in particular. “Pull up on your left, should be right in front of you.”
Casey’s mouth suddenly dropped, her fingers loosening her grip on her phone. Danny grabbed the phone, putting it on speaker.
“CASEY ARE YOU THERE!? DO YOU KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING OR N– HEY, WHO THE FUCK– DON’T FUCKING TOUCH ME LET ME GO LET ME–”
“They’re driving off,” Nat said.
Travis was pushing away the couch and opening the tarp.
“W-W-W-Wait, I can explain!”
Danny smiled, handing Casey’s phone off to Nat.
“Then explain it, babe.”
By now, Casey had backed herself into a corner, her pants filled with piss.
“He just… We… I…”
“I have spent three fucking years, trying to get where I am and he sends his SISTER to try to fuck with me?! Just because he has the means to BUY people to do the work for him that doesn’t mean he works hard. It’s just ten people in my crew and we don’t give a FUCK about his disloyal employees.” Danny was in her tear-stained face now.
“Some little white bitch is supposed to be what? Hm? You hoes are sloppy. We spotted you a mile away with your shit. For three years, we’ve watched you slip in and out of his house, watched you wipe his cum off the back of your ass and leave a glob of it on the doorknob to my home. Rude and nasty as fuck.”
“He said he was trying to make you jealous! He-”
Danny slapped her. “Shut the fuck up. All those jobs that we could have had, but your ass had to run and tell him so he could take them. And for what? You still ain’t get none of that money, huh? Stupid bitch.”
Travis had made a tarp tent by now and was setting up a medium-sized stereo system.
Nat was sitting on the floor, taking apart Casey’s phone.
Danny pushed Casey into the tent.
Travis turned the stereo on.
Danny started to suit up in a poncho.
Nat went to put the food in containers.
Danny went into the tent.