“I’m asking once. Where is Jamal?”

“Jamal? Shit, I don’t—”

Before he could finish, I grabbed my gun and rushed forward. His eyes widened, but he was too slow to react. I threw my hand around his throat and lifted him onto his toes. So much for not making a scene.

As he tried to scratch at my hand, I squeezed and cut off his windpipe. Before any of the other kids could try and run or do anything else, I pointed my gun at each of them. When it was clear they understood that I’d shoot them if they moved, I put the gun to their friend’s head. He struggled even harder against my grip, but I ignored him. “If one of you doesn’t tell me where Jamal is by three, your friend dies.”

Each of the kids stood there staring at me with open mouths and looks of undisguised terror.


The kid I was holding began to flail around as he gave up on clawing at my hand.


“He’s at his usual place,” one of the other kids piped up.

I pointed my gun at the helpful informant. “Where is that?”

The kid started to cry as he pointed to the street on my right. “T-t-the bar around the corner.”

I nodded and shoved the kid I was holding to the ground. He fell on his ass and gasped for breath. “If any of you mention this to Jamal, I’ll burn your houses to the ground while you sleep.”

With that, all of the kids but the one I had choked turned and ran as fast as they could. I let them. They were all too scared to lie to me, let alone try and cross me.

As the last kid struggled to get to his feet, I noticed a large, wet spot on his pants. “Next time, don’t piss yourself if you want to be an asshole,” I said as I gestured to him with my gun.

The kid didn’t even look up at me as his jogged after his friends, coughing and sputtering with every step he took.

I shook my head and put my gun away. That was more fun than I had expected. With that, I headed in the direction the kid had pointed.