Two Tonys Prologue

I'm just putting the finishing touches to my book about Two Tonys, the Mafia associate who protected me in prison. Do you have any feedback or suggested improvements on the prologue below? 

The peep slot on my door slammed open. A pair of eyes gazed in. “You’ve got a legal visit. Back up to the door and don’t try anything stupid.” A key rattled. A latch clicked. A hatch unfastened.
I placed my book down, got up from the metal bunk, put my hands behind my back and fed them through the hatch. Handcuffs clicked on tight. Two pairs.
“Step away from the door with your back to us.”
The metal door squeaked open.
“Come out with your back to us. Any sudden moves and we will face-plant you into the concrete.”
I ended up between two guards packing pistols, trained to remain aloof, probably told, “If you slip and fall, don’t think a prisoner won’t grab your gun and kill you.” Chains jangled as they were secured around my belly and ankles. The door clanged shut and was locked.
“Down the corridor. Go!”
Curses and sewage smells rose from the cells as the guards boots clunked forward.
When they guided me past Visitation, I knew something was up. “Where are we going?”
“We can’t tell you for security reasons.”
They brought me to an office, and opened the door. “Can we bring him in lieutenant?”
 I shuffled inside: beige walls, a fluorescent strip light, no windows. 
“Three homicide detectives and a county attorney from Anchorage wanna talk to you,” said an overgrown redneck sweating through a tan uniform. “Have a seat.”
The plastic chair slid towards me scraped the concrete. Restricted by chains, I sat slowly. “Do I have to talk to them, lieutenant?” I asked, playing dumb.
“Then I don’t wanna talk to them.”
“I’ll call the gate to see where they’re at.” He got on his radio. “They’re on their way up. When they get here, tell them you don’t wanna talk to them.” That was his ploy to get me in a room with them.
With the three Alaskans was Dirk Taylor, a Tucson homicide detective who I’d been jousting with for well over a decade. In a beige shirt, brown pants and snakeskin boots, he tilted his cowboy hat, revealing his face, leathery and tanned, and a bulbous burnt nose.
“How’re you doing?” Dirk asked with a southwestern twang.
“Just fine, but I don’t wanna talk to you people.”
“We’re just looking to close some old cases,” the Alaskan attorney said. “We’re not gonna charge you with any crimes. We know you’re never getting out. Indicting you would be a waste of taxpayer’s money.”
Dirk steered his brown eyes, small and severe, towards the lieutenant. “Can you make him talk to us?”
 I kept my expression deadpan, but every fibre in my body itched for me to say, “What is it you wanna talk about?” But if you ask that question – I was taught a long time ago by the Mafia – you run the risk of dialogue with them, so you say nothing. It’s always best to take the Fifth Amendment, even if they only ask for your address. To come all the way from Alaska to Arizona, it had to be serious. Someone must have ratted me out for whacking members of The Brothers, a deadly biker gang that stepped on my toes in the cocaine business.
The lieutenant shrugged. “OK, you can go.”
Glad to get away from them, I stood.
“Wait! Don’t you wanna save yourself from the death penalty?” Dirk busted open a manila folder and slapped down a photo of a big bald dude on a hotel-room bed, a fucking mess, blood coming from his mouth, some of it congealed, his eyes closed, one foot on the floor, one on the bed, the majority of his brains on the ceiling. “We found your prints at the scene. Is there anything you’d like to tell us?”
Gazing impassively, I thought, Who’s Dirk trying to fool?
Dirk slapped down another photo: a biker stabbed to death in a prison cell. “How about this one?”
I shook my head.
Slap! Slap! Slap! Bodies unearthed from the Tucson desert. “How about these?” Dirk snatched a folder from the county attorney. He slapped down another photo: a biker frozen in Alaska with a chunk of his head missing. “How about this one?”
I shrugged.
Slap! Another frozen biker. “And this one?” Slap! A biker with his throat slit. “This one?” Dirk gathered the pictures together like a hand of cards and waved them in my face. I savoured his desperate expression. “You left a trail of corpses from Arizona to Alaska. Tell us something, anything.”
“OK. I have something to say.”
They gazed at me intensely. The detectives’ eyes were as cold as the corpses I’d left behind in Alaska. I wondered if hunting motherfuckers like me had injected ice into their hearts. “Don’t ever show up here uninvited without bringing me a soda and a burger.” I smiled at Dirk, who scowled. “Can I go back to my house?” I asked the lieutenant. He nodded at the guards with the pistols to return me to maximum security.
As if he’d got his fucking swagger back, Dirk said in a wise-guy tone, “When they sentence you to death, would you prefer the gas chamber or lethal injection?”

Shaun Attwood


Rosa said...

For some reason, I'd like to know the size of the room and the size of the men in the room. Were the detectives larger or smaller than Two Tonys? Were they crammed into the room? Was it hot or cold in there? Was anyone sweating? If so, how much?

And the detective's "desperate expression" doesn't fit with the ice cold eyes you later describe.

Also, I'm from the southwest (NM) and we don't twang. We sound more like mid-westerners. The twang is really a West Texas and on into the southern states kind of thing.

Also, as a bit of idiomatic English, we never say "take the Fifth Amendment," we say "take the Fifth" or "plead the Fifth" and everyone knows what it means in this context (from watching crime dramas on TV, mostly).

However, I would definitely keep going if I opened the book and read this prologue!!

Shaun Attwood said...

great feedback Rosa, thanks! :) will be incorporated :)

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