That Story, or Ten Reasons Why Priestly Doesn't Like Chicago
1. The Little Old Lady | 2. The Weather | 3. The Computer Genius | 4. The Bars | 5. The Crazed Psycho | 6. The Women | 7. The Tripper | 8. The Lost Boy | 9. The Skateboard | 10. The Little Old Lady (Again) | 11. Epilogue
Before they headed to the bar, they made a pit-stop down by some less-than-stellar apartments where Jake assured him the best forger of fake IDs resided.
Banging on apartment 2D, they were greeted by a half-asleep roadie in worn jeans and a shirt that hadn't been buttoned correctly. "Hey Jake, what's up?"
"Need ya to rustle up an ID fer Bo 'ere," He jerked his thumb in Boaz direction.
After blinking the last vestiges of sleep away, the man took in Boaz with a yawn and said, "Shouldn't be a problem." He turned around and headed back into his apartment. "Mi casa e su casa," He called back, prompting everyone else to follow.
It wasn’t that the room was messy, per se. It was just that there wasn’t a whole lot in it besides empty cans, bottles, take-away boxes and some salt that had been spilled by the doorway.
They all found themselves seats on varying items of furniture - the couch, a chair, and in Buzzer’s case, on the coffee table - leaving Boaz to find a nice piece of wall to lean against.
"So, uhh..." Boaz started.
"Ash," he replied, snatching up his laptop and plonking himself down on a giant beanbag.
"...Ash, where'd you learn how to... counterfeit?" It was a weak attempt at conversation, but Ash didn't seem to mind.
"What college teaches Counterfeiting?"
"Wasn't really the college, more the people at M.I.T."
Boaz blinked. "You went to M.I.T.?"
"Yeaaaaah," He drew it out. "Listen, uh, Bo - you wouldn't happen to have a last name, now would you?" He paused in his typing.
"Uh, yeah. Priestly." The tapping started up again.
"From California, Maine or California?"
"Right." Ash buried himself in the laptop, typing away efficiently. "Does that mean that your full name is Boaz Liddell Priestly?"
He muttered a regretful "Yeah" at the same time Buzzer echoed "Boaz?"
"I prefer Bo, alright?"
"I can see why," Tom muttered.
Thankfully Ash derailed the name conversation before any more comments could be made. "And would I be correct in assuming you were born July second, nineteen seventy-nine?"
Boaz frowned. "Yeah. How did you know?"
"Not anymore, you're not. You are now born on July second, nineteen seventy-eight. Congratulations on being twenty-one."
By this time Ash had already stood up and disappeared into another room with his laptop.
"He's like a genius hacker," Tom explained, "He can hack into the records and change your date of birth."
"Once there was this person who hacked into London television and interrupted the broadcast. They never managed to find out who it was." Buzzer ticked his head towards the door as if to say that Ash was the one that did it.
Delia was filing her nails, unimpressed. "Or he lied about it."
At that moment Ash reappeared. He set his laptop down on the small table and handed Boaz a card. "One new and as-far-as-the-government-knows legal driver's licence."
Boaz looked at it. It was exactly the same as his current one in every detail, except a nine had been changed to an eight. "How did you...?" He trailed off, realising he probably wouldn't want to know. Instead he asked, "Why not just create a fake ID?"
Ash shrugged. "That's a lot of hassle, man. You gotta come up with a name, and an address and everything. This way you don't have to remember anything. Less likely to get caught out that way."
Boaz took one final glance at the card before smiling. "Thanks man."
"No problem. Will that be cash or cheque?"
"Uhh..." Boaz looked to his newfound friends. They hadn't mentioned a specific price. "How much is it?"
"Two grand, same as usual."
Two thousand dollars? He didn't have two thousand dollars! All he had was what he'd been paid today and that was a wall short of two thousand dollars. "I don't have it," He blurted.
"Well then, that's a bit of a problem." Ash snatched the card back.
Before he could stumble over an explanation, Jake interrupted.
" 'Ow's about ye give 'im the card, an'ee'll pay ye back when he gets it. I'll give ya me word on that."
Ash shrugged, "Okay," and returned the card to Boaz.
Feeling obliged to say something, Boaz stamped down the “What the fuck just happened?” and mumbled a feeble "Thanks, man" before following Tom out the door.
Once outside, Jake pulled him aside to speak to him in a serious manner, which did nothing to alleviate his confusion and growing panic. "You best be paying 'im, Bo. I gave 'im me word ya would."
"I will," Boaz assured him, a little unnerved by the sudden change in character.
"Good, good. See, 'cos if you dun't, I gotta pay 'im outta me own pocket, 'cos I gave 'im me word, see?"
"Yeah, yeah I understand. Thanks for that." Boaz’ mood slumped. His newfound ‘friends’ had just managed to swindle him out of two grand, and he’d only known them a day, if that.
"Cheer up," Jake smiled. "Now let's go 'ave that drink, yeah?"
Boaz realised that if he had to pay Ash a shitload of money, he probably shouldn't go wasting what little he had on drinks.
"Not to worry, first night's on us, innit boys?"
Buzzer and Tom didn't seem to mind. Delia just raised an eyebrow, and Boaz wasn't sure if she was asking if he was serious, or implying something else.
So he pretended he didn't notice and followed them to the bar.
[ cont>> ]