Tales of Gotham City: Gotham City Stories, Chapter 2: The Briefcase

by Starsky Hutch 76, adapted from Pulp Fiction, screenplay by Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary

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The three young men appeared to be caught off-guard by their appearance at their apartment. One was a black young man who opened the door. He did his best to fade back into the corner. Another was a young blond-haired surfer kid with a Flock of Seagulls haircut. He sat at the table with a big, sloppy hamburger in his hand. Last was Brett, a white, preppy-looking sort with a blow-dry haircut.

Floyd Lawton and Franko Morelli stood with their hands in their pockets. Franko was the one who did the talking. “How you boys doing?” He got no answer. He leaned into the table with a malevolent grin and said, “Am I crazy, or did I just ask you a question?”

“We’re doing OK,” Brett said nervously.

As Franko and Brett talked, Floyd moved behind the young guys. “Do you know who we are?” Franko asked.

Brett shook his head. “No.”

“We’re associates of your business partner, Ms. Harley Quinn. You do remember your business partner, don’t you?”

No answer. Franko stared at him coldly and said, “Now, I’m gonna take a wild guess, here. You’re Brett, right?”

“I… I’m Brett,” the young man gulped nervously.

“I thought so. Well, you remember your business partner, Harley Quinn, don’t you, Brett?” Franko asked.

“I remember her,” Brett gulped.

“Good for you. Looks like Floyd and me caught you at breakfast. Sorry about that, kid. Whatcha eating?

“H-hamburgers,” Brett stammered.

“Hamburgers,” Franko laughed. “The cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast. What kind of hamburgers?”

“Cheeseburgers,” Brett answered.

“No, I mean where did you get ’em?” Franko said. “MacDonald’s, Big Belly Burger, Wendy’s, Jack-in-the-Box, where?”

“B-Big Belly Burger.”

“Mind if I try some of yours? Yours is this one, right?” Franko said, pointing to one of the hamburgers on the table.


Franko grabbed the burger and took a bite of it. “Mmm… that’s a tasty burger,” Franko said with satisfaction. “Floyd, you have yourself a Big Belly Burger since you got back to the States?”

“No,” Floyd said with a half-smile.

Franko held out the burger toward him. “You wanna bite? It’s real good. Not like that horse-meat those frogs serve.”

“I ain’t hungry.”

“Yessiree, Bob,” Franko said with a mouth of the repossessed hamburger. “I sure love the taste of a good burger. Say, Brett, you know what they call a Big Belly Quarter-Pound Slamma-Jamma with Cheese in Quebec?”

“No,” Brett said, sweating.

“Tell ‘im, Floyd,” Franko said.

“A Belly Grande with Cheese,” Floyd said.

“Belly Grande with Cheese,” Franko repeated. “You know why they call it that?”

“Because of the metric system?” Brett squeaked.

“Check out the big brain on Brett,” Franko said. “You’re a smart kid. That’s right. The metric system.” He pointed to a fast food drink cup. “What’s in this?”

“A Soder Cola,” Brett gulped.

“Soder, good. Mind if I have some of your tasty beverage to wash this down with?”

“Sure,” Brett said, sweating nervously.

Franko grabbed the cup and took a sip.

“Mmm… hits the spot!” Franko said with mock satisfaction. He pointed to the kid with the Flock of Seagulls haircut and said, “You — ‘Owl Boy.’ You know what we’re here for?”

The kid with the Flock of Seagulls haircut nodded his head. “Yes.”

“Then why don’t you tell my old friend Floyd, here, where you got the stuff hidden?”

“It’s under the be–” the black kid in the corner started.

“I don’t remember asking you a damn thing!” He turned back to Owl Boy. “You were saying?”

“It’s under the bed,” the kid with the Flock of Seagulls haircut said.

Floyd moved to the bed and reached underneath it, pulling out a black snap briefcase. “Got it.” He flipped the two locks, opening the case. A small glow emitted from inside the case, bathing Floyd in light. He stared at it as if frozen at it, transfixed by the object inside.

“We happy?” Franko asked. When he received no answer, he turned to Floyd and snapped, “I said, we happy?!

Floyd jumped with a start and looked at him.

“We happy?” Franko asked again.

Floyd quickly slapped the case shut. “We’re happy.”

“Look, wh-what’s your name?” Brett stammered, trying to give an ingratiating smile. “I got his name’s Floyd, but what’s yours?”

“My name’s Franko, and you ain’t talking your way outta this.”

“I just want you to know how sorry we are about how messed up things got between us and Ms. Quinn. When we entered into this thing, we only had the best intentions…”

As Brett talked, Franko took out his gun and shot the kid with the Flock of Seagulls haircut three times in the chest, blowing him out of his chair. Floyd gave a sick smile. Franko had style — a psychotic style, but style, nonetheless.

Brett stifled a scream. He wasn’t crying or whimpering, but Franko could tell he was so full of fear his body might implode.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Did that break your concentration? I didn’t mean to do that. Your friend’s haircut was beginning to remind my associate and I of Batman. You see, we have long, painful memories of Batman. You know, you look a bit like Robin. But that’s beside the point. Please, continue. I believe you were saying something about ‘best intentions.'”

Brett was frozen in fear and could do nothing but stare at Franko with eyes wide with terror.

“Whatsamatter?” Franko said. “Oh, you were through, anyway. Well, let me retort. Would you describe for me what Harley Quinn looks like?”

Brett stared at him with horrified confusion, and Franko snapped, savagely tipping the card table over and removing the only barrier between him and Brett. Brett now sat in a lone chair before Franko like a political prisoner in front of an interrogator.

“What country you from?” Franko asked.

“What?” Brett squeaked, petrified.

What ain’t any country I ever heard of! Do they speak English in What?” Franko said loudly.

“What?” Brett said, gasping.

“English! Can-you-speak-it?” Franko shouted.

“Yes,” Brett whined.

“Then you do understand what I’m sayin’?”


“Now describe what Harley Quinn looks like!”


Franko took his .45 and pressed the barrel hard in Brett’s cheek. “Say ‘what’ again! C’mon, say ‘what’ again! I dare ya. I double-dare ya! say ‘what’ one more time!”

Brett looked like a fish gasping for breath.

“Now describe to me what Harley Quinn looks like!” Franko growled.

Brett did his best. “Well she’s… she’s… got green hair…”

“Go on!”

“And she’s… she’s… got really white skin,” Brett stammered.

“Does she look like a whore?” Franko said.

“What?” Brett yelped without thinking.

Franko’s eyes went to Floyd’s. Floyd smirked, rolling his eyes, and then shot Brett in the shoulder. Brett screamed, breaking into a shaking, trembling spasm in the chair.

“Does-she-look-like-a-whore-to-you?” Franko repeated.

“No,” Brett cried in dumfounded agony.

“Then why did you try to #^@% her like a whore?”

“I didn’t,” Brett said, twitching.

“Yes, ya did, Brett,” Franko said in a low, menacing tone. “C’mon, admit it. The spandex… the curves… the long, long legs? Ya thought it’d be a good #^@%, so you tried ta #^@% ‘er like a whore.”

No!” Brett cried. “No! I swear!”

“Sorry, kid, but you just ain’t her type.”

Brett let out a scream as Franko pulled his gun and fired round after round into his sitting form. When he was finished, the bullet-ridden carcass sat there for a moment, then toppled over.

Franko stepped forward and lifted Brett’s lifeless head. He pulled out a tube of lipstick and took the top off.

“Lipstick? Something you ain’t telling me, buddy?” Floyd laughed.

“Ha-hah,” Franko said. “It’s my old lady’s. I ain’t got access to the same calling cards Harley and her Dad had.” He took the lipstick and drew clown lips in a wide grin on the corpse’s face.

From the corner of the room came the sound of muttering. “Damn… damn… that was #^@%ed up… damn, that was cold-blooded…”

Floyd pointed to the black youth in the corner. “Friend of yours?”

“Yeah, he’s Marvin. Marvin… Floyd. Floyd… Marvin,” Franko said, gesturing between the two of them.

“Tell ‘im to shut up; he’s getting on my nerves,” Floyd said.

“Marvin, I’d knock that off, if I was you,” Franko warned.

Suddenly, the bathroom door burst open, and a fourth man, as young as the rest, charged out with a silver magnum in his hand. “Die, die, die, die, die, die!” he screamed as he fired six booming shots from his hand cannon in the direction of Floyd and Franko.

A million different possible scenarios ran through Floyd’s mind. A million different trick shots to disarm the gunman and take him down. He went with the first. He leaped to his side, firing at a metal lamp. The bullet ricocheted, bouncing into the gunman’s hand, forcing him to drop his gun.

Unfortunately for the gunman, Floyd wasn’t the only one who reacted. Franko fired three rounds into the young man, dropping him. Franko, obviously shaken, sat down in a chair. Floyd rose to his feet, smoothing out any wrinkles in his suit with his hand, and then headed toward Marvin in the corner.

“Why the hell didn’t you tell us about that guy in the bathroom?” Floyd shouted at Marvin. “Slip your mind? Forget he was in there with a damn hand cannon?”

Franko’s eyes grew big, and he said, “We should be dead right now.” He turned to Floyd and said, “Did you see that gun he fired at us? It was bigger than him.”

“.357,” Floyd said.

“We should be dead!”

“Yeah, we were lucky,” Floyd said.

Franko rose, moving toward Floyd. “That wasn’t luck. It was somethin’ else.”

Floyd prepared to leave. “Yeah, maybe.”

“That was… divine intervention. You know what divine intervention is?” Franko said.

“Yeah, I think so. That means God came down from Heaven and stopped the bullets,” Floyd said.

“Yeah, man, that’s what it means. That’s exactly what it means! God came down from Heaven and stopped the bullets,” Franko said.

“I think we should be going now,” Floyd said.

“Don’t do that! Don’t you dare do that!” Franko growled. “Don’t blow this off! What just happened was a miracle!”

“Chill out, Franko; this stuff happens.”

“Wrong, wrong, this doesn’t just happen,” Franko said.

“Do you want to continue this theological discussion in the car, or at the jailhouse with the cops?” Floyd said with irritation.

“We should be dead now, my friend! We just witnessed a miracle, and I want you to acknowledge it!”

“OK, man, it was a miracle,” Floyd shouted. “Can we leave now?”

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