I SAW YOU STRUNG
UP A TREE A WOMAN OUT
THERE SAID TO ME HOLD YOUR TONUGE
The story ends, and Moon is the first to react. “ They need to get the fuck out of here, after what they did!”
“ SHUT UP MOON!” Ren stands up in a fury. He’s showing her whose boss and wants her to remember that. She backs down without a fight. She goes back to the wet-bar to finish her drink. “ You killed a woman with a heap of deadly associates..” He said heap, how cute. “ Norma Ramos.” aka Abuelita “ She’s high up the food chain.”
“ How long do we have until the heavy hitters know what I’ve done.” I ask him.
“ The word might get to them before tomorrow morning, they’ll probably come down to see what happened themselves a day after. They’re going to turn L.A over until they find you.”
“ They’re going to know you’re hiding us.” That’s a given.
“ Yes they will.” He chuckles. “ But I’ll be here to great them when they come through that door.” He flashes that mischief grin, which gets me wondering what’s going through that crazy mind of his.
“ Care to share with the class?” He burst into laughter.
“ I gotta make some calls, I mean there’s going to be a big party coming.” Now he’s talking my language. “ You guys must be tired. You should get your rest. I own an apartment complex not far from here. I’ll keep you there. I’ll make sure Moon watches your back.” “ Me?” She’s a bit scared, I guess she’s heard the stories of the Sinners.
“ God damn it, Moon, yes!” Ren snickers at her. “ You got our friend here as well, just give him a gun if things get hot, he’ll paint the walls red.” Aww, that almost brings a tear to my eye. I wonder if that’s healthy?
“ Sorry for all this.” Ren waves me off. “ You’re taking a risk.”
“ I recalled a man who did that with me.”
Julian steps in. “ Do you know his name?” She asks Ren.
“ No, he’s never told me.” Ren admits
“ Are you fucking kidding me!” She’s upset by that, really?
“ All you need to know is that he’s got your back.” He points his finger at Julian. “ In this world, that’s a rare trait.”
We say our goodbyes and follow Moon to the SUV parked in the back alley. Nothing is said during the drive to the safe house, but I can see Moon eying me constantly. The moment the car is parked outside the apartment complex, she barks her questions at me. “ Why come back after so long?” Her eyes glare through the rear view mirror at me. “ Ren doesn’t need shit like this, he’s starting to stand on his own.”
She’s protective of him. “ He was the only one I could turn to.”
“ And why stay here and fight, why not take the girl and run?” Her hands are gripping the steering wheel tightly.
“ Cause running will never fix this.” I know that well. “ I need it to end here.”
“ Then what?” She says to me.
“ Julian lives her life.” I say.
“ And you, what are you getting out of this?” She’s confused by my actions.
“ A reason to keep looking.” I smile at her.
“ You’re crazy.” She gets out of the car and does a quick fly by, to make sure the coast is clear.
“ What are you looking for? “ Julian asks me as we sit alone in the car.
“ I told you already.”
“ But.” Julian doesn’t get to finish. Moon whistles at us to get out.
Ren’s apartment complex isn’t too shabby, it’s gated and is smack dab in the middle of the booming district of Korean Town. The moment we past through a..GOLD FENCE..How much money is he making?
The moment we’re inside, we get hit with a alluring smell of jasmine that looms in the lobby, a very nice high end at that. Tenants are swarming the area, all on their laptops enjoying the free wi-fi, as the big screens plays softly the Lakers vs Heat. The size of the lobby makes it look like a nice little bar lounge.“ Why buy this?” I ask Moon.
“ It was his dream to own an apartment complex.” She tells me.
“ I thought that was a nightclub?”We’re led to the elevator.
Moon hits the button to call it down.“ That was his first, this is his second.” She says to me.
“ What’s his third?” I have to ask.
“ A Chuck-E-Cheese.” Now I heard it all.
“ Does he own that dream yet?” Come on, I have to ask.
“ He owns three.” She says as the elevator doors open.
“ Can we go?” Moon stops to look at me, wondering if I’m joking. I’m not, a giant rat and pizza, how can you say no?
“ Follow me.” Julian and I follow her in. The doors close and she hits the ninth floor button. “ Try to stay away from the windows, don’t make outside phone calls, don’t even bother walking outside. Stay indoors until Ren get’s a handle of this.”
“ That’s not going to be a problem.” Julian says. Well maybe not for her. I’m more of the outdoors type of guy. I can’t stay in too long without feeling a bit claustrophobic.
Moon takes a hard gulp as we past the seventh floor. I can see this night is weighing on her. “ Don’t worry, Moon, I’ll handle this. Whatever happens, you and Ren won’t be hurt.”
“ The Sinners aren’t people you fuck around with. Ren doesn’t have the man power to save you. He’s just getting up there. Two years ago we were nothing but a bunch of wannabes. Today people see us, but we’re nothing like them. Not even close.”
“ I’ll handle it.” I promise her.
Ren and Moon came to this country illegally, they both had the craving to live the American dream. Ren was just a small time hustler, trying to make it big, Moon was just this pretty face girl with a darkness to her, Together they got along well. Even before I met them, they were trying to rise of the ranks of the street gangs in L.A. Their gang was called RED MOON, mainly cause it came close to Ren and Moon, but people always assumed it hinted at the full moon, which some people believe causes chaos, chaos turns into blood, thus you had Red Moon, not even close.
Ren was working to get notice, hoping one day his group would be feared and respected, so he did what had to be done to reach that mountain top
* * * * *
Two Years Ago
“ Keep your hands up.” I remember the red glaring moon hanging above us, how ironic. He’s younger, he’s hungry to make something out of himself, how he’s changed. “ You know who sent me?” This time he’s working for a Russian mob boss name Yuri, he’s an asshole, but he’s an asshole Ren owes a lot of gambling debt to, he’s not the only one, there’s a long list of people he’s in debt to. He needs to kill me, to square things with Yuri.
The reason Yuri wants me dead is cause I killed over dozen of his men and ended his child trafficking business he was running in San Diego two weeks ago. Children we’re selling high here in the states and overseas, Yuri wanted to invest in that lucrative business before the Mexican mafia started to.
I came into Yuri’s warehouse one night, every where you could hear the cries of children, God only knows what they were doing to them. I walk the halls gunning down everyone I see, men with their pants down, others with freshly made dvd’s, others with video cameras. They thought it was business as usual, but they never saw me coming. Once the night is painted red, I free the kids, call the cops, news, papers, anyone to see the horror. And like that,Yuri is facing a long list of charges, charges he won’t be able to shake off, but nothing that would end him, people like him always found a way to beat the rap. His cash flow on the other hand was going to take a massive drop.
“ I have to do this.” I can see a story in his eyes, I can see a man who thinks I did the right thing, but can’t let me go, there’s too much in stake for him.
“ What if I could help you.” I said to him.
“ Nobody can help me.” His hand is tightly gripping the gun pointed at me.
“ I can.” I smile at him and he lowers the gun. He see’s something in me too. A week later his problems are gone. A month later he puts his money into something that can make him money. FIRE. Opening night, it was pouring. I see her there.
* * *
“ I’ll be down in the lobby making a call.” Moon is talking, but I have no clue what about. I hate when that happens.
“ Will you be back?” Julian asks, but Moon close the door behind her. We’re alone to sit with our thoughts. “ What do we do now?” She looks at me.
“ Watch tv?” Hey, maybe the game is on.