Chapter 3 - Donny in Wonderland by Bob Jamison

Donny took a deep drag of his cigarette and let it out quaveringly.

He considered his lot in life, sitting in a turd-colored Lincoln with a yappy little man, Kirkland, who can't keep his mouth shut...or his fly, and...and...what the fuck is his name?...a Russian who never talks but is trying to win the cold war one street punk at a time.

"Okay, you guys ready?"

They sat parked in a lot across an alley from The Wonderland, a dance club that was only popular because it was so spectacularly shitty that it scared the crap out of it's hip young party-goers, which of course meant every cool kid desperately needed to go there to prove their cred.

Donny stepped out of the car, flicking his butt on the ground and grinding it into the pavement with a foot.

"Yeah, I'm ready.  How are we doing this?", said Kirkland, eyeing the back of the club.

"If he's in there, he'll be in the VIP section in back, probably with his crew.  I think the door on the alley leads to a hallway that goes by the kitchen and some bathrooms.  There'll be a guy at the door.  Probably a line of girls there to, so keep it cool."

"Got it."

"The Russian"

"The Russian"

"Da."  The Russian slung his rifle in front of him, buttoning his oversized coat around it.

It took Donny an effort not to sigh.  "Alright then, let's move it."

They moved slowly towards the club, picking their way through puddles and trash.  A bass beat grew louder as they approached.  Donny beat a fist against the door and almost immediately the door popped open puking a spatter of neon light and loud music onto the street.

Donny yelled, "We're with Santo, here to take care of some business."

The bouncer was 6 foot 6, probably 350.  Good for plugging up doors, Donny guessed.  The bouncer said, "Yeah, I know you.  Donny Fitz.  Go on in."

He let the three pass inside, sucking in his gut to let them squeeze by in the narrow hallway.  He let the door slam shut before hiking himself back up onto a ridiculously flimsy stool.

Donny walked slowly down the short hall, the other two lined up behind him.  He saw a mass of shadowy figures gyrating on the dance floor ahead of him, backlit by a swirl of pink and blue light.

As he reached the end of the hall, he looked left and right as the sound enveloped him.  He froze as he spotted Ray-Ray, holding court with his entourage around him and a bottle of champagne raised in the air.  

Kirkland and the Russian stepped out from behind him and Kirkland pointed.  

Donny swung around, raising his hand to slap down the other man's.  "Stop!", he hissed, but it was swallowed up by the noise of the club.  

His stomach dropped when he looked past and saw the Russian lifting the AK-47, bringing it to bear on their target.  


The entire club seemed to freeze for a heartbeat as the report of the gun and a burst of flame from the barrel slapped aside all music and light.  

Chaos erupted.  The unified mass of dancers dissolved into ducking, yelling, crying individuals scrambling for the closest door or cover.  Ray-Ray, un-hit, dived behind the raised floor of the VIP area, one of his crew un-luckily standing between the Russian's gun and Ray-Ray going to his knees burbling blood.  Only two of the half-dozen men seemed to get it together fast enough to react by pulling out their own weapons.


Blood spattered everyone and everything.  Kirkland pulled out his piece while Donny backed up around the corner of the hallway, drawing his 9mm from his shoulder holster.  The back door banged, the bouncer long-gone.


Donny peeked back around the corner and watched a banger collapse across a table.  He caught a glimpse of Ray-Ray's backside disappearing between a crush of people massing by the door.  The Russian turned in that direction peering calmly down the rifle sight at the crowd.

"STOP!", Donny screeched.  "Don't kill any fucking civilians!"

The Russian lowered the gun slowly.

Kirkland stepped up to the VIP area and grabbed Ray-Ray's surviving crew member, roughly by the hair.  "We got you, you shit!"  He pistol whipped the kid across the face.  "You shoulda never set foot in the Points!"  A fist this time.

"Both of you, chill the fucking fuck out!", Donny spit out.  "Ray-Ray booked it, we've got to go after him."

Kirkland grinned nastily, pointing the gun at the kid's head.  Donny started, "Kirkland sto...", before the sound of the pistol cut him off.

Donny rounded on the little man.  Slapping the smoking pistol out of the way before smacking him across the face.  "You sick stupid bastard!"

Kirkland's nostrils flared, and he jerked his gun up to Donny's chin.  His words hissed through clenched teeth, "You..don't...talk...to me...like...that..."

Donny froze, but spoke evenly, "You work for me, and I work for Santo."  The two locked glares.

"Da."  The Russian interjected, snapping in a new clip and leveling the rifle at Kirkland.

The moment held, Kirkland trembling with rage, when the music suddenly cut out, leaving a roaring silence in the empty club.  A distant siren started to wail.  Kirkland put away his piece looking away from both the other men.

Donny holstered his gun and turned towards the back entrance.  "Let's go."