Head hunted

‘How many?’ He asked out of the darkest corner of the pub. His face was completely shrouded in darkness,  the only light came from the occasional flare from the angry red bulb of his pipe.
He was a big one, and wore a large rimmed hat of sort, like I said, he was sitting in the dark.
‘How many what?’ I knew exactly what he meant but his sudden question and spooky appearance in the corner behind me had pirked my temper slightly. I don’t like surprises.
‘How old are you?’ Again the bulb glowed. I had to think. I mustn’t have looked any older than late twenties, what a bizarre question to ask me. Unless, of course, he knew exactly who he was talking with which disturbed me even further. If I disliked surprises then I hated uncertainty.  I slammed my glass down on the bench and approached the big man in the corner who stayed exactly where he was, still puffing on his pipe. He seemed relaxed but I couldn’t tell either way.
‘Are you going to answer any of my questions, Mr Game?’ Now he leaned forwards, his eyes hidden beneath the rim of his fedora hat.
‘Not until you have answered mine first. And think carefully because the answer to this question could determine the rest of your life, or to be more precise, how much of your life you have left to live.’ His response was raucous laughter which must have cleared the bats out of the loft it was so loud. And, despite myself, I found myself laughing along with him after a moment or so.
‘He said you were a wild one, but shit boy. Go on, ask away’ he clapped his big hand down on the table. I was impressed with the size of this man but I was far from intimidated.
‘How do you know who I am, and who said I was wild, am wild?’
‘Now, now! That’s two questions Mr Game.’ He laughed again. I found myself relaxing,
‘Just fucking talk.’ I sat down.
‘Ok punchy. You ever heard of the Iron mask?’

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About Henry Game

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