Updated: Apr 27
John Martin smoked a cigarette outside the hotel after arriving. The streets were somewhat quiet but a small group of teenagers passed by on the far side of the street. They were drinking and having a total blast. It was four of them, the three bigger teens carrying the smallest one and tossing him up in the air. John watched them. The spirit of the youth. It never changed, he dwelled. He was lost in his thought when he felt a small tap on his shoulder. It was Maria. So here you are. Did you have a good dinner? I read your message.
The smile on her face was flirtatious and her hair was tied up in a loose bun, allowing some locks of brown hair to fall down past her high cheekbones and past the collar of her black shirt. She was wearing washed out jeans. A green tie hung loosely around her delicate neck. In her hand she was holding a bottle of Vodka. Yes, I just had a curious dinner with an old acquaintance. Then I shared drinks with some very strange people afterwards. John crushed the last of his cigarette on the pavement. They entered the hotel and took the elevator to the top floor. Maria led the way through the big corridors and soon John could see two big Asian males guarding a stairway that led upwards. They looked like actors from a gangster movie. The suits they wore looked too small. Their guns bulging through the thin fabric of their black jackets. Maria took out her iPhone 11 and showed them something. The Asian on the left side took her phone and checked. John noticed a small tattoo on his hand. It looked like a small dagger. Inked in black and red. The Asian was content. He nodded, returned her iPhone and stepped aside. Whose party is this? John asked as they walked up the broad stairs towards the roof of the hotel. The sound of rap music was growing louder the higher. You will see. Maria had opened the bottle of Vodka and had a swig. She offered it to John. He took it and looked at the bottle. Hangar 1 Straight. A Californian brand he had before. He drank it pure. It tasted good. John liked the hint of grapes he got from this peculiar brand. He also felt in in his body. His heart pumped harder, the adrenalin rose in his system. At the top of the stairs more guards were waiting. John and Maria were searched briskly and then let outside. John took it all in. The roof was big. A bar had been placed in a horseshoe style along sides of the roof. He estimated that two hundred people were dancing to the heavy beats that the DJ was playing from the stage that had been elevated five meters above the crowd. The night sky had just turned dark and big lights had been placed around the rooftop. They changed color patterns every other seconds. Maria took his hand and he followed her towards the dining. It was set up like a tiny restaurant with golden ropes around it. Two bouncers stood in front of the entrance. Mean Caucasians with golden teeth, bare chested. Black leather, big boots. John noticed the same tattoo on the top of their left hands as the ones he had spotted on the guards downstairs. Maria and John were both whisked, past the waiting crowd and entered the small eating area. Maria seemed to know them. The people at the table were all unknown to John. All but the one sitting at the end of the table. John Martin recognized him immediately. The man was Parysh Tambein. He was of Moroccan decent but mixed with the bloodline of a French mother. Parysh had quickly rose to greatness in the early 1990's by designing the basic coding that later would become the basis of all the apps that now are part of every day life. John had not met him before but he certainly knew of him. John could now feel the gaze of the man on him. It felt like being x-rayed.
He was offered a chair and sat down. Maria blew him a kiss and left. He was perplexed. The vodka had done it's job and his mind was working slowly. Was he that drunk? His body started to feel heavy. The voice of Parysh was like the crack of a whip. We finally meet John Martin! I feel like I already know you. Do you know why you are here? John looked at him. Well, I though I was here to party, get waisted and get some pussy, he countered. All the men at the table laughed, including Parysh Tambein. He snapped his long fingers and then cigars were swiftly offered to all the men at the table by a woman that was almost naked. Her hair was bright red. She wore a black robe made of silk with the front open. A small banana logo was at the back of the robe. Her breasts were full, her torso seemed to carry all the secrets of the entire womanhood of time. It led down to a small, black bushy nest of female nectar. Her skin was caramel brown and her legs endless. John took the cigar clipper beside the cigar and clipped it. A glass of champagne was offered to him. It was Dom Perignon Rose Gold. He tasted it. The aroma offered the instant bliss of a stream of lilies drunk from a river of women's kisses.
John lit the cigar and let the smoke fade into big wheels that slowly dissolved into the night. So why am I here? He asked. Parysh smiled an easy smile. The big teeth shone through his mouth like diamonds. He looked like he was in his fifties perhaps.
His eyes were the color of dark honey. His hair was cropped short but the small curls moved with the easy spring breeze. His shoulders looked thin but the arms were powerful and the hands were long. His nose was like that of a hawk. He wore a tailor made black suit with a white tie. His shirt was also black. The other three men around the table seemed to be his bodyguards, John now realized. Private firm perhaps? No, John changed his mind. Too expensive suits. Mercenaries? More likely! You are here because you possess something that I need. A secret you keep. Parysh's voice was a very loud whisper. He could have shouted and it would still have sounded just as powerful in a John's ears.
Parysh spoke again. The reason you are feeling drowsy is because you have been poisoned, my dear fellow. Do not worry, it will not be fatal. But you will soon pass out. John heard his voice but it seemed further away now. He tried to stand but his body did not react. The cigar dropped from his hand and the gray ashes landed silently on his lap as John's eyes closed slowly and his body slumped to the back of his chair.