At 6 am, the cleaner finally came round. She gazed helplessly at Dickie. She knew who held all the power here.
“Why you didn’t tell me. You could have call me,” she wept. “Why you didn’t call? Why you didn’t? We have more people coming, and… and… and…”
There was not the slightest twitch from Dickie.
“If they… If they will be going to fire me…”
She burst into a fit of uncontrollable sobbing.
Worse was to come.
In came the second-rate former police chief (by the fairly low standards of the day), now a twenty-second rate ‘order monitor’ for the Amber Hornet Gentleman’s Club.
“The fuck goin’… goin’ on here? Tell me… oh for fucksakes, girl… The fuck did you let them… Didn’t I tell them they could call you if they… The fuck-fuck-fuckety-fuck was your phone, bitch? Ohhh, for Chrissakes, lady! You for fuckin’ real?!”
Su Chun’s lip quivered.
“Sir… sir… Last night, I am by my phone all night…”
The blow to her cheek barely hurt, so terrified and afraid was she by now.
“Bitch! Shut the fuck up! When the bossman is talkin’ to ya, ya wanna shut this fuckin’ noodletrap, a’right? The fuck good is it havin’ your phone next to you, when you’re not fuckin’ wakie-wakies? I swear, I swear, you fuckin’ Chinky bitches…’
Su Chun weakly grabbed his sleeve, weeping in terror.
“Xiao Zhou, he was crying all night, he… he is, he is ill, I need the money for… for, for, for the…”
The mediocre asshole screamed at the top of his voice. Palmer Miller wasn’t having it.
“Guess… how…. many zero fucks I give? … Fuckin’ zero!”
Could things get any worse?
It was him.
With a face that just went paler than Dickie Klindel’s.
As you could tell from his face, as he strode over and grabbed Dickie by the lapels, slamming him up against the wall.
“You… you fuckin’ gook…”
Dickie hissed in displeasure.
“Shhhherpently shirrrr… Sheeeerpently shirrrr, but Dickie duzh believe it izh Kazzzzhak, not…”
The boss could not believe what he was saying.
“Kazakh? What the fuck is that? Is that a new way of saying Khazar? Cos I know what you folks…”
Ugly strode over, and tried to remedy the situation.
“Nah, boss, listen! That boy ain’t no Jew guy! Deffo one of us, boss! He does have a Kazakh grandfather, but past two gen…”
The boss threw him a warning glance.
“Dickie is mosssssshhht shorry, shirrrrrr,” Klindel peevishly spat, “But zhe bosh and hish friend were determined to do azzzzh zhey may. It izh not Dickiez fault. Do not, if you pleazhe, be so inconshiderate azh to… Well, Dickie izh doing the vezzhy, vezzhy besht he poshibly can!”
The boss strode over.
“Sho zhere!” Dickie spat out as one final petulant parting shot.
Nobody gave a fuck.
The bossman’s voice remained menacing, but he could still whoomph ‘er down to a slower simmer.
“How much does an apartment cost in Chinatown for a year?”
If it was possible for Su Chun’s heart to sink any further, then this was surely it.
Asshole got the hint and strode out, with Dickie slinking out behind him, having already fallen back into his customary reptilian state.
Su Chun trembled at the coldness of his gaze.
“OK. There is one way, and only one way alone, you can keep your apartment, and your job.”
Su Chun spread her hands, imploring him for mercy.
“I don’t do sentiment, bitch!” He hissed. “Now get down your fuckin’ Chiney ass and whistle me some Benny fuckin’ goodtimes!”
Su Chun took a step back.
“Your choice. We can always get Benny Pilder to make it just that, shall we say, a little xiao-xiaaaaaaaoooooooobit less satisfying for you. Hao ma, tongzhi?!” He roared, exploding in laughter at his not-so-witty joke.
Su Chun turned away. She took a step.
She could go no more.
Just then, a broad and tall figure emerged from the shadows; and leering, stalked towards her.
It wasn’t Benny Pilder.
She had no idea who this new tormentor was.
But perhaps if Marta had been here, she would have known well enough…