Stephen Ayres© All rights reserved.

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Drago Warlord:

Linwood remained silent and expressionless perusing Drago’s plans. After a few minutes, he nodded, offering the threat of a smile:

“Must say, Drago, these are more than acceptable. Perhaps a small change here and there, but your plans make good use of our meagre numbers. Adam tells me you worked freelance in the Balkans.”

“Before he was a pimp … err business man, he was a mercenary warlord,” interjected Adam, eager to earn a little reflected credit for recommending the tough Croatian. “They say his private army tipped the balance in a few battles.”

Rather than accepting the praise, Drago hung his head with obvious unease and a hint of shame. He cleared his throat before explaining in his deep burred accent:

“There is no reason for me to lie. I was never a mercenary in Croatia. They were just stories to scare customers and rivals. They give me tough image on the street so nobody ever mess with me.”

“OK, but you did fight in the Balkans, didn’t you?” asked Adam. “You know, as a regular soldier?”

Drago shook his head, grunting the negative:

“My father owned a gelateria in Dubrovnik. When the war started, he sent me to stay with my uncle in Portsmouth. I never see any fighting. Well, I see some on the TV.”

Mystified, Linwood looked again at the plans:

“But these plans are exemplary. If you haven’t had any military training then how do account for these organisational skills?”

With a clap of his hands, and a broad toothy smile, Drago explained, “Before I was pimp, I was deputy manager at Tescos.”

Stephen Ayres: Copyright 2013