Five Talents – Benny and Narrative Voice

One of the things I play with throughout Five Talents is the fourth wall and my narrator’s direct address of the reader. On the former, I allow my characters who are Devils or have deals with Devils to breach the fourth wall (though none of them can read ahead), and my narrator (for plot reasons to be revealed at the end ), addresses the reader directly on occasion.

This scene is one such example, where my mafioso, Benny and his crew approach a lawyer about seizing ownership of the restaurant from Sally to cover losses due to a drug deal mishap.

They had announced themselves to the receptionist who was sleeping propped on her hand while facing a small TV showing The Price is Right. When they repeated their arrival she’d acknowledged and told them to take a seat without moving or opening her eyes. The wait in the empty reception area had gone on more than an hour and Benny began falling asleep on himself.

Benny was roused by a sharp set of jabs and slaps at his arm and shoulder. Maury was bouncing like a toddler on Christmas and his eyes were electric as he hissed, “did you see him? Did you see?”

Benny grimaced tiredly, “who? What?”

Claude was snoring loudly on the other side of Benny but Maury pointed excitedly, shaking his hand with a stiff pointed finger at the door that was shutting with a hiss behind someone who was fairly portly in a suit who had just left. “That was Trump!”

Benny scowled, “which one?”

“The Trump!”

Benny snorted, “if that was him, good riddance.”

“Mr. Anderson will see you now,” the receptionist alerted them, but when Benny sat up to look at her, she hadn’t moved from her upright napping position.

Benny slapped Claude in the chest to rouse him and led the trio into the office. The office they entered seemed a bit more up the real estate blowhard’s alley, it was expansive, lined with mahogany shelves and at the opposite end from the door a shining ebony desk swept fifteen feet across as a border wall between them and the lawyer. [The narrator herewith apologizes for that simile but couldn’t help it because of the possible Trump sighting in the prior scene.]

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