I’m working on a short story for a project. In an alternate history Tokyo, Yakuza first in power, and largely unchecked. A gaijin’s daughter is kidnapped from her private school, and he is in search of her. I present my excerpt:
He made it to the darkened storefront of Jimmy Fong’s Authentic Chinese Emporium. The glass of the storefront barely contained the gaudy baubles stacked in tall, thin rows. It looked as though the store wanted to forcibly eject the tackiness onto unsuspecting passerby, pulling them in and digesting them into yet more effigies of cheap plastic promises. Paul knew better. He reached out and pulled on the door, which squirmed like a friendly dog trying to wheedle more pets from a stranger. It was the easiest thing in the world to pull the door just that much farther, feeling the locks give way to the kitsch.
“Excuse me! Excuse me, we’re closed..” Jimmy Fong’s round face fell when he saw who he was interrupting. His small, pearl handed pistol was quickly secreted behind his back when he recognized his client. “Paul Bitaendo. I should have known. My shop has a soft spot for you.”
“Nice place.” Paul said quietly.
“It’s retarded, do you hear me? Fucking retarded! It should never have let you in here.” The Chinese man growled and shook his pistol at the wall. “You hear me! Some help you are.”
“If you don’t mind, I’d feel much better if you stopped waving that antique security device around.” He knew Jimmy wouldn’t actually try to shoot him, but he had no faith that the gun wouldn’t go off by mistake.
“You’re fucked, Paul, and you brought it on me now.” Jimmy scowled. “You can’t cross the Itchy Gitchy clan, they are Big Medicine around here. If they took your girl, your girl is theirs now.”
“I won’t let that stand.” His words were measured carefully, and distributed thoughtfully. “I can’t.”
“Dammit man, you are looking to get yourself killed. I know your wife’s death make you crazy, but you have daughter still. If you take on the Itchy Gitchy’s to steal her back, they kill you, they kill her, they kill Jimmy.. we all smears on pavement.”
“Better free in death than the slavery they’ll put her in.” He looked down when he heard the snap. A little porcelain figure he didn’t realize he’d palmed lie in two pieces. The little kitten’s head snapped clean off.
“I put it on your tab.” Jimmy said dismissively. “I have no more information. I give you what I had. I’m sorry, Paul. They run drugs through here, not girls.”
“You led me there. The bartender was going to talk.” Paul couldn’t keep the frustration from rising in his voice.
“There is a wisdom here, if you only look hard enough.” Jimmy said wisely.
“Fuck you, Fortune Cookie. I need information.”