Deal or No Deal

            The leaves began to change from a luscious green to a sickly brown. The cool breeze ran through the streets, dropping the temperatures down from 55 degrees to a mere 40. The sun began to set and the people of a small suburb outside of Oakland drove home from their usual workday. Yet one man rose from his bed, yawning after a deep slumber.

“These goddamn knees!” the man said. Those knees had been replaced after a motorcycle incident 5 years before. Getting up in the morning was difficult for this sixty-year old. The arms of this ex-convict were huge, but he had gained his fair share of weight after the incident.  The flared nostrils that never seemed to relax, the sun burnt skin from the Vietnam days and the grey stubble that surrounded most of face proved his old age.

 It was six o’clock in the evening, as the man washed his sun-dried face. The wrinkles on his face showed the presence of time. After taking a quick hot shower, he puts on an old v-neck and a leather vest with some washed 501 jeans. The leftovers of steak were his late breakfast. He put on his leather Red Wing boots and slammed the mahogany door of his town house. His Harley, all black, was parked in the garage. Tools and motorcycle parts are all over the ground. The ignition of the motorcycle created the roar of an enduring past.

            The old man resembled the original American spirit found in the youth of the 1960s. Hands showing signs of arthritis, he could hardly manage to move his bike swiftly. He rode down the highway to an industrial district in Oakland, close by the docks. The freeway was clear, no cars in sight. When he reached the docks, he was met by one of his former biker gang members.

            “Rick!” one of them called to the old man.

            “Steve!” Rick exclaimed back, with a raspy voice. They greeted one another and began conversing about the plans for the night.

            “So, is everything in place?” Rick asked. 

            “Yes, everything is running smooth. The shipment should be coming in any minute by now,” Steve responded as he stared at his watch.

            At that moment a black Cadillac Escalade came, the windows tinted in the color of an abyss. Four men came out of the car; their motions were synchronized perfectly. Three of them, wearing all black suits, carried an AK-47 each and had a thick Russian accent. The other man was of a small stature but had a cigar in one hand and a suitcase in the other. The grey turtleneck and the balding of his head matched him perfectly.

            “Who are these guys?” Rick asked Steve as the men were beginning to come closer.

            “These were the guys I told you about. They are buying all of our cocaine that we couldn’t sell to the Mexicans. This deal will make us the richest men in Oakland.”

            Rick knew that this would indeed make them wealthy yet he his intuition told him that this was total bullshit. How could someone agree so quickly to a deal where they never had met or heard about the buyer previously? Sweat began to from on Rick’s face, more coming down by the minute.

            The men stopped walking towards Rick and Steve. No noise could be heard and both sides just stared at each other.

            “Where’s the money!” Rick asserted.

            “In this briefcase,” the small man replied. He opened the briefcase to insure Rick that there was money.

            “Holy! That must be over five million dollars!” Rick exclaimed to Steve.

            “I told you. These guys were the real deal. We are going to be rich I tell you. In a few minutes we’ll be among the richest men in Oakland,” Steve replied. He showed the Russians the drugs, enclosed in small bags inside fifteen black duffel bags. Both Steve and the short man nodded at one another. They walked up close enough to each other and made the deal. Both men smiled and greeted one another with a hard handshake.

            “Good dealing with you,” Steve said.

            “Same to you,” the small Russian sneered.

            As soon as they made the deal, the Russians moved their guns slightly and shot at Rick. At the same time, Rick noticed the ambush and ran behind some cover, but not without getting shot in the leg. Catching his breath, he knew that something was not right about this deal. No one would offer five million dollars for cocaine. From previous deals, Rick knew that Russians would never do cocaine deals because of how risky they were. Knowing that he had to make a run for it, he searched for his bike. It was on the other side of the docks. The fact was that the Russians were going to hunt him down, dead or alive.

            “You can’t go anywhere Rick!” Steve screamed. “The water is freezing cold and the only way out of this shithole is death. This is what you get for leaving everyone dead back in Oregon!”

            “I was going to come back. I left to go find some help and to get ourselves back on our feet. I was unable to reach anyone because of the snowstorm. I am sorry if you thought that I left you!” Rick answered.

            “Bullshit! No one leaves the gang. We either all live or die as one!”

            Rick realized that he had to risk his life by swimming. He had to make it across to another nearby pier but the fog was hindering his sight. Diving into the chilling waters, he began to swim towards the other dock. The temperatures made him exhausted, but he had to keep swimming. After twenty minutes in the 10-degree water, he eventually passed out. He began to stop breathing, slowly closing his eyes. Feeling heavy, he knew that this was the end. The heavy throbbing noise he heard was his heartbeat. Trying to move his arms and legs but he had no luck.

            The morning sun rose and police arrived to the scene after a morning walker saw the body on the shore, half a mile from the docks. The police looked at Rick’s body and checked his personal belongings. His name was Richard Michael McDonald, sixty years old. He resided in Alameda, California. He had no family and was an alcoholic. His previous profession was working at the local mechanic shop, fixing cars and motorcycles. There was no proof of any foul play. The assumption was suicide. His case to this day is open, his death shrouded in darkness. 


© Ryan CaĖete

Ryan Mayuga CaĖete is a high school writer from Cerritos, CA. Sparked by music and art, he takes a unique approach to all of his work. He’s very found of retro and vintage goods like records and sneakers.