Whenever there are long periods on here with out posts, it’s most likely because I’m working on other writing projects. For the past year I’ve been working on a series of short stories about the world most powerful crime family. Because I have the near hopeless dream of one day getting them published, I normally can’t share those stories on here.
This, however, is one story that doesn’t really stand well enough on its own to warrant publication. So I’ll share it here.
Dirk Garrizo is one of the sons of Nephii Garrizo, the world’s most powerful criminal.
This is the story of a man with anxiety problems trying to buy a cake.
Buying a God Damn Cake
By Taylor Scott
Dirk Garrizo was sweaty. Pacing outside the grocery story, one hand clenched into a fist while the other relentlessly clawed at it as if there was treasure inside, his condition only worsened.
“Arthur,” he said to the man standing by his car. Each word came with a heavy breath as if every syllable took great effort to produce. “I can’t do this. I can’t I can’t I can’t! It’s too weird, it’s too much. Oh geeze, oh god, why? Why is this so hard?”
Arthur’s eyes followed his boss going left to right. A worried frown decorated his face. “You don’t have to go in if you don’t want to, sir.”
Dirk bared his teeth and looked to the sky. “Noooo, I do, I do! I’ll be a coward if I don’t! You and Wallace are good bodyguards, and when one of you has a birthday you deserve to have your boss acknowledge you, but this is tough.”
“It’s just buying a cake, sir.”
Dirk’s whole body spasmed. “It’s not just buying a cake! There’s a whole stigma behind it! There’s something weird about a grown man buying a cake. It’s like telling people I have something to celebrate. What if they think I’m looking forward to something? People always hate people who are excited about something! What if they start thinking about what I’m doing with the cake? I DO NOT WANT THOSE PEOPLE THINKING ABOUT ME! Christ, I just can’t handle them staring at me with a smirk on their face. I don’t know what I’ll do if one of them makes some comment! Aghhh!” His hands went to his head and dug into messy black hair. “Fuck this to hell!”
“I can go in and do it for you.”
“No, that’s worse. If I have you do it then I’m giving in to the fear. I’ll be a shameful fucking pussy. It’ll haunt me for freaking ever!” Dirk started gasping. He walked to the car and banged his head against the window. “I have to do this, I have to do this, I HAVE TO!”
Arthur took out a cellphone. “Do you want me to call your brother? He might be able to help.”
Dirk groaned. “Cedric is no good in any situation that doesn’t involve killing people.”
“… I was talking about your other brother.”
Dirk perked up “Victor!” He resumed pacing. “Yes, Victor’s good with these things. Victor always has good ideas. Call Victor.”
Arthur dialed the number and put the phone to his ear. He could hear someone speaking French in the background.
“Hey, hi, hello, this is Victor. Make this quick, cause I’ve kinda got a thing going.” Someone in the background shouted. “HEY! We can’t talk until the translator gets here anyway so calm down!”
“Sir, your brother is having another crisis. He needs you to talk him down.”
“Wally, is that you? C’mon, can’t you and Arty handle his moods by now? That’s one of the reasons I hired you.”
“I’m Arthur, sir.”
“Arty, Wally, whatever. You’re both just stock employees anyway. What’s D freaking out about this time?
“He’s trying to buy a cake for Wallace’s birthday.”
Victor sighed. “Ohhh boy. Well, Arty, I’d need about forty minutes to properly psyche him up, but I don’t have the time right now. I’ll try to give him an abridged version, but I’m not making any promises.”
Arthur handed the phone to Dirk.
“Vick, help me. I can’t sit still. There’s no way I can go in there!”
“Yeah, yeah we’ll get to that, but first, do you know any French? I keep telling this guy my shirt is fuchsia, not pink, but he’s not getting it.”
“Ah, I don’t what to tell you.”
“Damn, oh well. So, D, having some problems buying a cake? Let me guess, the whole ‘there’s a stigma behind it, they’ll think I’m weird, it says something about me bla bla bla,’ right?”
“That’s a lot of it.”
“D, you gotta remember who you are. We’re Garrizos, we rule the fucking planet. You think Dad would be scared of buying a cake?”
“I don’t think Dad would ever buy a cake.”
“True, but if he did nobody would think twice about it, you know why? Because Dad has an aura about him. He walks in a room and everybody knows he’s the fucking boss. We’ve got that too, D. I know it’s hard for you to see, but if you dig down you’ll find it. You’re a master gambler and stock shark. You think anyone in there can look down on you? That little bakery bitch ain’t got shit on you. You’re top dog. Own it.”
“Nobody knows any of that stuff about me, though.”
“The point is that they can tell just by looking at you. Stand strong, D.”
“I don’t think I can do that.”
Victor sighed. “Ok, I’ll tell you something a friend of mine used to do. Take a look at your hands.”
“Will it work if I only look at one? I’m holding the phone with the other.”
“Just hold the phone between your head and shoulder.”
“I feel sore for hours after doing that.”
“Then put it on speaker! Jesus Christ.”
“Alright, now look at your palms. Inside those hands is limitless potential energy. Those are your tools to do anything. As long as you have those hands no one can stop you, no one can put you down. You can punch, and claw, and climb your way past any obstacle! Fuck those people inside, you’re Dirk Garrizo! Your hands smack other people down!”
Dirk stared at his hands in silence for a few seconds. He groaned.
“Vick, this isn’t working.”
A distant voice in the phone called out to Victor.
“What do you mean fuchsia is the same in French as it is in English? Then why is this asshole looking at me like he’s got no clue what I’m saying? Tell you what; let’s find out if a bullet through the kneecap is the same in every language.- Hey, D, I’m sorry, but I gotta go. Just power through, you can do this.- Alright, you fu-”
The phone clicked and Dirk handed it back to Arthur.
“Ahhh, I don’t know what I’m going to do.” Dirk once again balled his hand into a fist and clawed at it with the other. “This is so hard.”
Arthur sighed and rubbed his eyes. “Sir, this is ridiculous.”
Dirk went stock still. All his twitching and pacing stopped and he sat down next to the car. His eyes drooped.
“You’re right. God, what’s wrong with me? I can’t do the simplest thing without panicking over it. I’m such a failure…”
Dirk’s head sunk into his knees. Arthur stared to say something, but stopped himself. It was quiet for a moment.
Then the phone rang. Arthur answered it on the first ring.
“Arthur,” an icy, female voice said from the other end, “Are you and Dirk almost here? I can’t give my reports to his father until I get information from him.”
“Well, actually, Miss Cho, we’re stuck at the grocery store right now.”
There was silence for a second. A cold wind blew.
“The boss wants to buy a cake for Wallace’s birthday and is having another one of his panic attacks. I offered to-”
“Shut up. Put him on the phone.”
Arthur handed the phone to Dirk.
“Dirk, what the hell do you think you’re doing? I have plans tonight and I can’t put them on hold because you won’t act like a man and do something hundreds of people do every day!”
“But, Susan, there’s a whole stigma behind-”
“No, stop. I’m not listening to your ridiculous rationale behind being scared of something that’s not a big deal! What kind of boss are you? You can’t put your employees’ lives on hold because you’re a coward!
“And what’s Arthur doing? No doubt standing there twiddling his thumbs and offering a moronic comment every couple of minutes. Your brother really knows how to pick body guards. Who needs a man who can take charge when you have a dickless imbecile who’s more of a coward than his charge!”
“Sir, could you maybe turn off speaker phone?”
“It is off.”
“Now, stop acting like a jackass and go in there and do what needs doing! Either that or give up like the pussy you are, and get over here to help me finish these reports. You’re the only person in this whole organization smart enough to keep track of your father’s finances, and I’m not waiting arou-”
Dirk hung up the phone and handed it to Arthur. His face was stoic, and without a word he walked into store.
Arthur stared after him until the phone vibrated. He opened it and saw there was a new text.
“That’s how it’s done.”
A few minutes later Dirk walked back to the car holding a large box.
“Okay, that’s done. We can go now.” He handed the box to Arthur and jumped into a driver’s seat.
“Well done, sir,” Arthur said as Dirk started the car. He looked in the box. “You didn’t get anything written on it?”
Dirk’s hand froze right before putting the car in drive. Both men were still for a second. Dirk shut off the car, stepped outside, and started to pace.
“Oh man, oh geeze, oh god. Can’t anything be simple?”