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Old 04-10-2011, 04:46 PM
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BeardedHoplite BeardedHoplite is offline
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Default Expat Story

You guys seem welcoming to others putting their writings here. So I figure I put mine.
It's about a Hungarian hash-smuggler who goes to Japan to try his luck there. It was inspired by the expatriates in Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days and other crime movies.
So without further ado....

Oh God, I hope the hotels here aren’t those little boxes, Paul Ferenc thought as he stepped out of Hanada International Airport. Tokyo gleamed in the distance - its neon lights making it look like a hazy pink cloud. “Too bad I can't read them”, he muttered under his breath.
Being a tall Hungarian, Paul was aware that he looked out of place in a busy Japanese airport and moved to a less crowded part of the pick-up terminal. He looked inside his cheap suit coat for the not-so-cheap Turkish cigarettes and found he had one left. He lit it and took a drag.
“Mr. Ferenc”, a voice said. He could tell the man was French by the way he said his name. He jumbled it badly, too, saying ‘Fur-en-ik’ when it was ‘Frenk’ It was easy to hear because everyone else was speaking Japanese around him. Paul looked up from his cigarette and saw a man sticking out his hand. Uninterested, Paul looked at the man, and then around him, to see if this meeting was a trap. Frank Novak - the man he was supposed to be meeting - was a pudgy American, but this man was skinny. And French. After taking one more look around the area, Paul took the Frenchman’s hand.
“It’s pronounced ‘Frenk’ and I was told I would meet your boss, Mister…” his voice trailed off
The Frenchman laughed as he jovially shook Paul’s hand. “Frank said you’d be on your toes! He sends his apologies that he could not meet you here. Something last minute, yes? I’m Leonard. Leonard Dubois,” he exclaimed.
“Your boss send a car? I really don’t want to walk into the city,” Paul said as he looked around for the flashy car he thought most expats owned. He wasn’t disappointed; a luxury sedan of German origin pulled up after Leonard waved his above the crowd. The Frenchman then made a show of taking Paul’s bag and stowing it in the trunk. Paul just looked absently at the reflection of Hanada Airport through the car’s shiny paint.

Nothing but the best for the Novak gang, Paul thought.




“—So Frank, right, he asks me why the hell I smell so much like fish.” The lanky Swede spinning the tale stopped for effect. “So, anyway, I tells him that it’s either the herring express or the midnight one! The cops were maybe, like, this close.” He held his fingers together to illustrate his point. The Swede was Eric Bloom, a petty criminal from Stockholm with a nose for jewelry.

An English voice that remained silent until this point voice broke in. “I’ll tell you, this guy smelled so bad that Frank almost couldn’t sell the stones he lifted. Frank was just about ready to kill our friend here when some Saudi—“The Englishman’s pronunciation of Saudi was deliciously mangled. “—who probably wanted some more diamonds for his gun, or something…"

"Ah, Paul, this is Simon. A Brit—if you couldn’t tell—and our local arms man,” Leonard said. “Just tell him what you need and he'll get it for you."

Simon gave a nod of agreement and turned away.

The car crammed with expatriates continued driving alongside the Tama River as syrupy J-pop music faintly played through the speakers.

“Where we headed, Leonard?” Paul asked while staring out of the window.

A voice he didn't recognize from behind the glass separating him from the front answered him saying, “A place in Minamikamata. Good food, tolerable atmosphere.”
“I haven’t met her yet,” Paul said, gesturing to the driver.
Leonard answered him this time. “This is K, mon ami. She’s our oriental guide to this…ex…damnit, oriental place. She’s the only native in our crew, as a matter of fact; the only one who would dare associate with us, voyou.” Leonard boastfully pointed his finger around the car at everyone.
“Heh,” K snorted. “The only crime you bums done recently is butcher the language.”
“Hey, we jaywalked across the street to get the car!” Eric added hostily. For a second, anyone would’ve thought he was serious, but then the Swede stretched his arms back and let out a piercing laugh that filled the entire car.
It was silent until Leonard gestured to Paul, saying, “Look, see that neon monstrosity?” Paul looked at it. From what he could tell it was a giant neon blue sign of a winking octopus, adorned with Kana—Japanese letters. “Ah, Kurosawa’s.” Leonard seemed to drool at the very thought of the place. “Why’d you make it all secret, K?”
Without taking her eyes off the road, K responded. “I wanted the new guy to witness the horror of the octopus first hand.” The car suddenly jerked to a halt. K turned around and stared directly at Paul. In a falsetto she exclaimed, “Welcome to Kurosawa’s Delights!
“Yummy,” was the only thing Paul could think to say.


K proved to be right on at least one of the things she said; the food—a seemingly unholy mixture of American and Japanese cuisines—proved to be good, if a tad out there. The atmosphere turned out to be…less than tolerable. The walls were adorned with, per lack of a better word, Japanicana while the servers spoke in their native language—already incomprehensible to Paul—with a noticeable hillbilly drawl and, like the food, wore strange mixes of Japanese and American clothing.
“I see you noticed the Décor” K said as Paul gaped at a gaudy rug supposedly from the Meiji period.
“Yeah, I thought you said it was tolerable. This is…nightmarish” he replied. A waitress in a kimono and cowboy boots refilled his glass of water. He nodded his thanks. As soon as she was out of earshot—which wasn’t very far since Elvis’ Hound Dog blazed through the speakers—Paul gestured toward the waitress and said “See what I mean!”
K laughed “Now you know the horror of the octopus. You shoulda seen Eric when we took him here; the guy had a heart attack. Look at him now” Paul turned and saw Eric tearing into some kind of fish and hamburger roll with a particular gusto. Eric looked up from his meal and threw a grin at Paul. He returned it.
“Paul, Leo, come with me for a minute” Simon said as he snapped a phone shut.
“Leonard, its one extra syllable” Leonard muttered as both men said words of acknowledgement and uneasily got up from the table. Kurosawa’s was clearing out. Many people had to be at work in a few hours. “Not the Voyou” Paul thought.
Simon went out the door and stopped. When Paul and Leonard caught up he pointed to a fat man in a brown suit. Frank Novak smiled at the group assembled before him.
“Mr. Ferenc” Frank Novak briskly shook Paul’s hand.” I trust the plane ride was pleasant? With a moment’s hesitation he added “How are you liking this country so far?”
Frank spared all expense in bringing Paul to Japan. Paul almost winced when he remembered the plastic chair he’d had to sit in for eleven hours. But Frank didn’t hear any of that, instead he said “It was fine, I’ve never traveled by cargo plane. How’d you arrange a military flight here, anyway?”
Frank smiled sweetly “A colonel in the JSDF happens to like high-stake blackjack at the Horigome—our boss, mind you—casino. Unfortunately, the man is close to one-point five million in debt. Tha—“
“Wait, a million-five?” Leonard asked with disbelief chiseled on his face “Jesus Christ…does this guy still have kneecaps, or his job? I’m surprised we haven’t sent Eric to collect.”
Frank answered “It’s in Yen, mind you, but that’s still a good amount of money. As for the kneecaps: Probably. Old man Horigome erased some of the colonel’s debt in exchange for a free lift for our Hungarian friend here” He gestured to Paul and then his face grew serious “I wouldn’t tell Eric to put away his pipe, though.”
“Hey, Paul” Simon said as he flicked a cigarette to the ground “what kind of heater are you going to need?”
Paul looked at the glowing ember on the sidewalk then, gazing up, he said “Depends, what’s my job description here?”
Frank stepped in “Answering a question with another question is rude, but…” he stepped close to Paul “Usually we do whatever the Kumicho” Paul gave Frank a confused look “Ah, it mean ‘boss’ ‘round here” Frank answered “Well, we do whatever he needs doing. We have our own rackets, but Horigome taxes ‘em pretty bad. So we’re trying to get into drugs—quietly, mind you—so we can actually make some scratch”
Why’d he just tell me that? Paul thought, but grunted in understanding, looked at Simon and said “Alright, alright, get me a Hi-Power.” He thought for a second and added “With target sights”
“Nine or forty?” Simon looked up from a notepad with a concerned look
“Nine” Paul said
“That Belgian pistol, right?” Simon wrote something on a notepad “Okay, I’ll get it tonight. You do know nines are hard to get here.” He knew it would be a long night
“From what I heard, it’s hard to get anything here, or is that what you tell the tourists to make ‘em feel safe? Knowing they got the only gun for a while?” Paul answered
Simon smiled “No, it’s what I tell them so they pay me more, but for you, this is on the house” He gestured to Frank.
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Old 04-10-2011, 04:46 PM
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BeardedHoplite BeardedHoplite is offline
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The fat gangster smiled “Nothing but the best for my boys. Remember, we’re going to the top. This place was made for people like us. These people don’t know how to make money, the old men bounded what was left of their groups by honor” Frank said honor like it a dirty word “after the new generation all killed themselves going after the big bucks. Hell, that’s why we’re here, so the clans can get shit done without sullying their...precious honor”
Paul, suddenly enlightened on the going-ons of the Japanese underworld, said “So we’re bagmen, couriers and thugs for these men?”
“Yes, they figure we have no honor to begin with, so they give us the less glamorous jobs that are needed for a Yazuka clan to run effectively” He stopped to light a cigarette, when he was puffing he added “So, you know, extortion, murder, kidnappings, arson—quite a bit of arson, actually—an’ taking out guerentai who get too big for someone’s liking. Probably nothing you can’t handle, right?”
Paul shrugged “I just moved hash into and through Turkey for a few years. Although with the border guards and prisons being what they are; I’d bet a lot of the skills overlap.
“Good, because I don’t think Horigome can get another favor out of our colonel for a while” Frank said as he stamped the cigarette out. “Go round up everybody else, Simon. Harry’s probably pissed we stayed so long. What time is it now, anyway?”
Simon got to his watch first “Ten-till two” he said as he walked inside Kurosawa’s. Leonard followed silently behind him. Paul later learned that Eric was known to enjoy drinking and smashing up restaurants when they tried to kick him out.
As if to illustrate what Frank had said, the giant neon octopus that bathed the front of the building—and the two expatriates—in an unhealthy blue glow shut off. Paul looked at the American, all he saw was a vague black outline.
“You still with me, Ferenc?” Frank said his name like ‘fur-en-ik’, the same as Leonard had earlier.
“Yeah” he replied, “Can I take one of those cigarettes off you? I wanna sample the local stuff” He was already missing the fragrant Turkish smokes he’d enjoyed for the last ten-or-so years.
Out of the darkness came a pack of cigarettes. Paul grunted as the cardboard hit his chest and fell to the ground. “Sorry” he heard Frank say. Bending down he noticed through the dim starlight that the pack was adorned with some kind of bird and, surprisingly enough, ‘Peace’ in English.
He was taking one of peaceful cigarettes out when he heard Frank say “You know, you’re supposed to say ‘May I smoke’ as you’re pulling your cigarettes. A courtesy thing, these people are big on it…” Frank’s voice trailed off
“Hmm” was all the noise Paul made as he lit up. The ember of the Japanese cigarette stood out among the blackness that engulfed the front of Kurosawa’s. “I’ll have to keep that in mind” he said as he blew out a cloud of smoke.
It sounded like Frank was going to say something when the rest of his organization emerged from the restaurant. Leonard instead said “Paul, come with me, I’ll show you to your palace”
“Decorated in the Versailles style, right?” Paul answered as he flicked the cigarette onto a street. This got a chuckle form Simon
“Eh…more roach than anything, but it’s got running water and a black and white TV!” Leonard missed Paul’s French joke entirely. “Come on, you and me got business in the morning”
Paul sighed “You gonna cut my teeth already?” He expected at least a few days to get used to Tokyo
“Relax mon ami. I’ll fill you in on the way to the place.” Leonard seemed.
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:15 PM
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S&Wshooter S&Wshooter is offline
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Same guy?
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:35 PM
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Swordfish941 Swordfish941 is offline
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Very good. I'd advised that you put spaces between your paragraphs. And does this story take place in the future?
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:19 PM
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BeardedHoplite BeardedHoplite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S&Wshooter View Post
Same guy?
Haha, no. It actually started as a place holder last until I could find some other name. Overtime I got used to him being Paul Ferenc and just plan to deny I ever played Far Cry 2 if this gets published

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swordfish941 View Post
Very good. I'd advised that you put spaces between your paragraphs. And does this story take place in the future?
There were spaces and indents and italics on those Japanese words, but the copy-paste from the Word file got rid of most of them.
And no, the story is set in current-times. It's sad (or funny, depends on how you look at it) because I started this story about a week-and-a-half before the situation in Japan took a dump. So I've been toying to either set it a good few years before the date I have planned or a few years after.
Why you ask?

Last edited by BeardedHoplite; 04-10-2011 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:23 PM
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Swordfish941 Swordfish941 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeardedHoplite View Post
Why you ask?
It's just because I set my book in the year 2019 so I can have some advantages.
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