My name is Seahorse but some know me as “Johnny nails”. I met Birdman at a local watering hole when I was working undercover. He had been keeping to himself and was sitting at a table in the corner of the establishment. His only company was a bottle of 12 year old black label Johnny walker and a scotch glass that was struggling to stay filled. I remember because the only Johnny walker I drink is the 18 year old gold label…. anything less is robbing the cradle. Any way I was there because I was a buyer in what would be one of the biggest narcotics deals to go down in 15 years. Normally for a bust like this I would have blue and whites waiting within ear shot distance for back up. But on this particular stormy night things got changed.
The commissioner didn’t want to give me the green light, so the only back up I had was my rookie partner. He was just a kid and was greener than the wall at Wrigley field. As I sucked down on a pall mall I began to wonder if this kid was ever going to see the sun come up. He was sweating like a fat man having sex in a sauna and this deal was going to happen in a matter of moments. Three men in suits approached our table. One had a briefcase and the other two were there to provide muscle. I had noticed two additional men blocking both exits of the bar. The numbers were in there favor but in my line of business numbers are for athletes and accountants and I was packing a lot more than a calculator and a ball bat.
The man with the briefcase had told me they just arrived and that’s when I knew the shit was going to hit the fan. The first thing I had checked when they walked up was there shoes and either my suspicions were correct or this guy had figured a way to walk the 32 paces from the parking lot to the front door without getting his shoes wet. They had been there the whole time…the whole thing was a set up. My partner was oblivious to the fact that something was amiss and it was probably for the best since he took a bullet to the side of his head while taking a sip of his strawberry milkshake. He never even knew what hit him. By that time I had flipped the table over and was exchanging fire while on my feet. I was packing two Smith and Wesson semi-automatic locked breached 9mm pistols. The sound of shell casings kissing the floor brought back memories of urban combat in panama. By the time I had emptied both clips the only noise heard were the faint whimpers of the wounded and dying.
As I scanned the room….there sat Birdman. He was still seated at the corner table and was attending to a half smoked cigarette. Next to his bottle was a model j9 Jennings 9mm, smoke was pouring out of its exposed chamber. There was silence for what seemed an eternity. Birdman rose to his feet and didn’t even throw a glance in my direction. He walked through the smoke over to the unattended bar and grabbed another empty scotch glass and casually returned to his seat. He filled the glass and sat it in front of the seat opposite him. Without looking up he asked “œbuy you a drink?” That night I wasn’t going to squabble over black or gold labels.