Bribe

Instead, I reached for my wallet and pulled out a hundred-dollar bill. “I’m looking for a guy named Jamal.”

The kid stared at the bill in my hand, and then looked back up at me. “I don’t know any Jamal.”

I glared at him and once more thought about grabbing my gun. Somehow, I resisted the temptation and stuffed the money back into my pocket. “Fine. Before you and your asshole friends even think about jumping me, though, just know that anybody who would walk around here with money isn’t going to do it unarmed. I don’t give a shit if you are kids; come after me and you’re dead”

As I turned to walk away, the kid cleared his throat. “I meant, I don’t know Jamal for no hundred dollars.”

I turned back to the kid and gave him a hard look. He and his friends took a step back, ready to bolt if I lost it. As much as I wanted to, I knew it was a bad idea. I’d baited the kid on purpose, anyway.

I pulled the hundred back out of my pocket and brought a second one with it. “Fine, what about this?”

The kid stared at the money and nodded. “Yeah, I think I remember Jamal now.” He greedily snatched the bills as I handed them over to him.

Before he could say anything, I spoke. “If you screw me, I will find you.”

The kid quickly nodded and pointed to the street on my right. “He’s at that shitty bar around the corner. He and his friends always hang out there.”

I stared at him and then slowly nodded. “If he’s not there, you’re going to regret it.”

“He’s there, man. He’s there.”

I blew out a breath and started off in the direction the kid had pointed.

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