The Venom Club
I spot the little man the moment the door opens. He’s nervous. He knows that he – anyone – shouldn’t be here. I watch, intently, not even blinking, as he closes the door behind him with needless care. Nobody is going to appreciate his care, nobody is going to hear him over the thumping beat of the music.
This isn’t a place that needs to be careful or quiet. We don’t even need a man on the door. Casual trade knows not to fuck with us and if they don’t at the start of the evening, they do by the end. This means he’s either here for a reason, or he’s utterly clueless. Given his care and wide-eyed fright I’m laying my money on the first.
He moves across the floor as though it is shards of broken glass, gingerly, carefully, every sense alert. I can practically see the panicked pulse in his neck and his eyes look dramatic in the half-light, wide-whites, black holes of pupils.
He edges around the serpentine sway of the slithering dancers. He can’t help but look. Who could resist? The sisters are almost identical, they move like whips and arch and twist and writhe in a way that looks effortless and boneless. When they feel his eyes on them they press their cheeks together, tangle their long, straight hair. As he’s drawn in their split tongues lap from their mouths and wind around each other.
I smile as he stumbles back in shock from the girls and I keep my eyes upon him. Finally, he notices, this stumbling, bovine man. In incline my head, slightly, to encourage him and lift my drink. A sip of burning, bitter green, the bile I’ll need to get through talking with this man.
It’s a room of corners, the club. The people who come here don’t like being on show. They like being tucked away. Something to put their back against. Here, in one of the many nooks I’m shielded from the loudest of the music and I can receive this little man and conduct our sordid little business that let’s me live my life.
“I need someone killed,” it’s the first thing out of his mouth, even before he sits.
“No. You don’t.”
“What?” I pull my drink closer, he’s he type that would drink it to ‘settle’ himself and that wouldn’t be a good idea.
“If you need someone killed you can get anyone to do that. Any sneak or footpad or thug. Or you could do it yourself. You need a problem removed and this problem just happens to have a pulse and a name.”
“Semantics…” he growls, the cow-man has a little spine after all it seems.
“Respect will get you a lot further than disdain,” I tell him and I knock back the last of the bitter green liquor, swallowing the scale at the bottom of the glass. I flick my tongue against my fangs and lean forward over the table. “So, tell me about your problem…”