“Marcus tried very hard to keep his name in a good light.. like Tony Montana memorably announced, “all I have in this world, is my word and my balls” The sentence has been used in music and generally abused but still sounds “legit” Marcus based his aura on and around the phrase without trying, he always made sure to repay a borrow. Sounds petty maybe but the amount of people that will go into hiding rather than return a loan is ridiculous. Don’t imagine for a minute that a good talking to would help a lot of borrowers see the common sense in repaying asap, some people can not be understood by every day methods. Marcus took one day at a time as far as he could manage and generally enjoyed the benefits his few grey hairs afforded locally. This day  the sun was present again, the fifth day in a row, making the area look wider and cleaner, he was dawdling by the park. Just beginning to feel uncomfortable stood by the park he turned and shuffled toward his front door. Typically the dealer told him to be at the park in five minutes but that was fifteen minutes ago and as Marcus made his way back indoors he heard the sound of an engine spluttering at the far end of the street. Instinctively knowing it was the dealer he fished in his trouser pocket and pulled out his notes, turning to face the approaching car he sidled over and held his money low as the exchange took place. “You good, Marcus” usual pleasantries, “Yeah man, are you” Marcus appraised the items professionally before turning and stepping inside his house. The sound of the engine pulling away could be heard behind the two closed doors.  “Listen to what I am saying to you, Marcus, it could happen to you no matter how careful you are, you can still get caught up in shit” Leon broke off a fair sized piece of crack and loaded up his pipe lighter drawn and ready. “Look at what happened to scotch John the other day, did you hear” he blazed the lighter and inhaled every bit of smoke, his face gave the impression he was concentrating intently as he strained to hold in the smoke from the crack. “Yeah, yeah, summat to do with the canal, wont it”? Marcus absent minded finally broke his rocks into four good sizes and put the first one on the foil. “Whats the stone like” Leon exhaled and panted out of breath before replying, “Its alright, you know”  Marcus put fire to the crack and took a line inhaling deeply. “Better in it, thank fuck, that was a nice hit man” Marcus was pleased the crack was good quality. The dealer swore the crack was better than his last batch but the proof is always in the tasting. Happily Leon and Marcus smoked crack cocaine and discussed matters at hand while seated around the kitchen table. Leon insisted that a person can be caught up in the middle of drama without even trying. Marcus disagreed and was trying to explain why in between measuring out small pieces of crack to put on his foil next. “Keep messing about with it like that and you will end up losing it, why don’t you put it all on at once, that is about one good pipe to me” Leon managed to speak without drawing breath. “I got an idea” Marcus mumbled, “Yes”

“Why don’t you smoke your thing and let me smoke mine, yeah?”

“Funny, just saying though Marc, the way you put little bits on each time you may as well do it all at once bro” Leon took a breath. “Remind me what occurred with scotch John” Marcus switched the subject. “Did not bring it on himself, it was just one of them things bro, could happen to you and me, think about it” Leon had a knack for using too many words when he spoke, “I don’t know, maybe karma was in effect and we don’t know what caused the effect to happen” Marcus teased, “Aw c’mon, you could say that about any one at any time and not prove anything” Leon dismissed Marcus and banged his empty pipe on the side of the ashtray on the table.

Is that your name being called outside Leon instinctively picked up his crack pipe while Marcus opened the front door. Silver Golf parked outside as Marcus shielded his eyes from the bright sunshine, “Now then, what’s gwanin'” Marcus knew the lads in the car. “Where’s them strimmers Marcus?” referring to a strimmer that had been left in the back garden, “I just gave them to Josh about an hour ago”

“What d’you mean? That’s our strimmers you cheeky cunt, you sold our strimmers” The driver, Bobby, shouted at Marcus. “Yo, what the fuck, the strimmers was broke, man, I fucking gave them to him to clear the rubbish out my garden, I would not sell some one elses stuff and you know I wouldn’t”

“We paid for them Marcus, you will have to pay us for them” Marcus agreed but he felt like he had been set up. Only an hour earlier he gave the item away knowing it was broken. Five thirty in the a.m Saturday morning, Marcus heard tap tap tap on the glass panel in the front door. Allowing two strimmers to be left in his garden till later in the day would reward him with two stones, Marcus agreed. He helped to clean them up and discovered one did not work. Later that day the best one was picked up and the other left behind. Now five days later Marcus assumed that the second one would be left in his garden to rot so when he saw Josh passing he knew,  One hour later and this happens, that is fucking Leon’s fault chatting all that bullshit about drama. Marcus thought to himself wondering how to get out of this situation. He confirmed that he was telling the truth by asking his neighbour to tell what she knew, “I aint some fucked up junkie with no morals mate, I would not sell summat that want mine” Marcus pressed the point while Bobby just said, “You still got to pay for them though Marcus”

“Yo, I aint bothered about that bro, I did not sell your things, at all” Marcus turned to go indoors. At the door he turned and shouted, “I’ll bell you Monday when I get paid” then he sat down and drank half a cup of lukewarm coffee. ” “What was all that about” Leon who had stayed indoors asked, Marcus went through the story with Leon. “So you knew they were broke?” Marcus thought back to Saturday when checking the strimmers at six in the morning and being told they will still be sold. By the time they come to pick them up I will have been paid and will say I didn’t know they were broke, Marcus was told. “Why did you let Josh take em?” Leon seemed puzzled, “With the first one gone and nobody coming for the other I assumed they hadn’t been sold and they were rubbish” Leon turned away and brought his hands up to cover his mouth and began laughing. “Who  are you”? Marcus asked all sarcastic, “Who does that Marcus, who are you mate”? Leon could not stop chuckling, “Anyway fuck all that, how much have you got”? Marcus counted out some money, “Go halves on three”? Drug speak for shall we put our money together and buy three stones for twenty quid, one and a half each. “I’ll phone the locals, they will be faster” Marcus phoned for three.

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