The following paragraphs are taken from early drafts of one of David Morisset's current projects - a novella set in a dystopian but recognisable future.
“I’m here on a mundane business matter, actually.” Hushang tried to appear calm. He had not fully understood what Kelly had said to him but the bully’s tone and ferocious presence was not enough to rattle him.
“Oh. A business matter, actually.” Kelly almost sang the last word. “Ain’t we f***in’ posh, actually.” This time Kelly added an effeminate hand gesture and fluttered his eyelids.
Hushang was silent for a while. He wished he could use his martial arts skills on the pathetic overweight tyrant standing in front of him. Tearing the chain from under Kelly’s flabby skin would be so satisfying. For a while Hushang tried to justify in his mind the use of force but then he decided that it would be easier to take advantage of his antagonist’s evident stupidity by negotiating.
“So?” Kelly pulled a face that mimicked exaggerated curiosity and cocked his head to the side like a puzzled dog.
“You’ve got two new people here. Their governments want them back. I’m here to arrange ransoms. I can assure you that you will be well paid.
“Come with me.” Kelly led Hushang towards a large marquee of discoloured canvas. Several large motor cycles were propped up outside. Most of them seemed to be missing parts. Kelly looked inside the dingy space and smiled when he found it empty. He invited Hushang to sit on the dirt floor and plonked himself down in an old leather lounge chair with a clear view of the entry to the shelter.
“I’ll stand.” Hushang was ready to set some boundaries.
“You can please yourself, actually.” Kelly made another lady-like hand gesture.
Hushang handed him two photographs. Kelly recognised Mai immediately but he had no recollection of Sohrab.
“And the ransom?” Kelly was grinning in anticipation.
Hushang took back the pictures and wrote two figures on each of the blank sides before he gave them back to Kelly.
“Didn’t come down in the last shower, c**t. Add those two numbers together and you can 'ave the bloke. And the same again for the shiela.” Kelly was serious and his face showed it clearly.
“The woman’s price is not negotiable. I can give you 50 per cent more for the man.” Hushang knew this offer would not be acceptable but he still had some wriggle room.
“Yer must be deaf. Double or nuffink.” Kelly chuckled. “And why am I not surprised that you only really want the bloke.” He laughed again with a sound so false that it almost made Hushang cringe.