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Todd's Great Adventure Started by: ToddChavez on Mar 28, '24 17:45

Part 1


 

   Early one morning, Todd was walking down the street in Philadelphia, as he often does. However, things felt different on this day. The sun didn’t seem to shine as bright as usual and the air felt mistier than on most mornings. Then came the rain. About ten blocks from HQ, it started raining. And this wasn’t just a little drizzle or anything, the water was pouring down hard. With each drop, Todd could feel the rain hitting his head like knives, even through his hat. Todd wasn’t sure what he’d do this morning but he needed to find something to do to keep his mind off of the weather. He decided that he’d first try to seek shelter and maybe find a place to buy an umbrella. And what do you know, just to the left of Todd was a dimly lit shop called “Umbra’s Umbrellas”. Todd looks up at the shop’s sign. It had a logo with an old smiling woman wearing a green suit holding an umbrella. “Must be Umbra” Todd thought. Todd thought it was a bit peculiar because he’d walked this route everyday for quite a long time and had never seen this shop before. Maybe it just opened up or perhaps he just never noticed it because of the miniscule size compared to the much larger buildings nearby. Well, I guess it can’t hurt to go in, he thought to himself. 

 

   Inside the shop was just as small as it looked on the outside. It also seemed quite old and run down. The walls were made of some type of wood and were poorly painted red; the paint was very thick in some places and in others there were clearly unpainted spots.  Along the walls were also loads of umbrellas hanging on racks. They all had a variety of colors and designs, which was quite appealing to Todd. He had no clue that there were so many different styles and types of umbrellas. The light in the room was relatively faint as it was only lit from small candles, both hanging and on the hardwood floor. No one appeared to be in the shop but Todd could hear someone moving in the back. Todd walks about seven feet forward to the counter, where a bell resided. Todd noticed that behind the counter was a painting of the same woman on the sign outside the shop. She looked younger here; she had less wrinkles and her hairs were no longer grayed. However, Todd could recognize her easily from the same green suit and the same puffy hairstyle. It wasn’t just her in this painting though, there was also a much younger man next to her. He had fiery orange hair that was greased back like the Italians often do it, an all black suit, and was wearing dark sunglasses. Unlike the woman, who was smiling, this man had a blank and almost angry expression on his face. 

 

   “HMMMM” Todd thought. “Maybe I should ring this bell”. Todd hovers his finger over the bell and BANG BANG- Just as Todd was about to hit it, the sound of two loud gunshots came from the back of the shop. BANG. It happened again. Todd quickly grabbed out his colt and jumped over the counter into the back. In the back was a much larger room full of crates and bags, some which clearly held money in them. However, more importantly, there were three people. The woman on the store’s sign and in the painting was there, wearing her signature green suit. However, there were splatters of fresh blood on it. She had a maddening look in her eye and was holding some sort of lever action rifle (perhaps a Winchester 1984, Todd couldn’t be sure). Behind her was a chair with an untied rope around it. On the ground beside her foot was the body of a man. He appeared to have been shot in the face and in the chest twice, which explained the gunshot sounds. He looked about mid-30s and had brown messy hair and scruffy beard. He was wearing a typical business suit, the kind which Todd sees often but doesn’t wear except for on special occasions. Another man, who looked almost identical to the other one but with combed hair and no beard, was leaning on some crates stacked up. He was holding a colt (pointed at the woman) and seemed very distraught. His mouth was wide open and was almost in tears.

“WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?!!” the woman shouts at Todd. She aims her rifle at him and looks at him intently, clearly ready to shoot at any moment “DROP YOUR FUCKIN’ GUN”. Todd didn’t want to drop his colt because it’d make him very vulnerable to these two armed strangers but he really had no choice but to agree because he knew the woman wasn’t playing. He dropped it and it made a loud clunk as it hit the wood floor. 

 

“NOW ANSWER MY DAMN QUESTION. WHO ARE YOU? WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?”

 

“I”m Todd. I- uh- I came here to buy an umbrella.” 

 

For a moment, no one says anything. Todd could distinctly hear the drops of rain loudly on the roof.
 

BANG

 

The woman falls to the ground. The other man had shot her.

 

   “You kill my brother, you bitch…I’ll fucking gut you like a fish.” He walked closer towards her hastily and threw her gun to the side. He started kicking her over and over. She was clearly still alive, it seemed like the wound had only hit her in the side, perhaps a bit below her ribs, not far from the heart. Todd, at this moment, was unsure what to do. He picked up his gun while he had the chance but didn’t know if he should stay. After all, this clearly didn’t concern him and he didn’t want to wrap himself up into whatever this was. However, he couldn’t let the man kill this elderly woman, even if she did murder his brother. Todd walked over to the man, gun in hand, and said “Stop” lightly. However, the man seemed completely unaware of his presence and was only concerned with kicking this woman, who now had blood spewing out of her mouth. “STOP” Todd shouted louder.

 

The man looked at Todd, seeming confused. “WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?”\

 

“I’m Todd. Now, please stop, you are gonna kill her.” He points his gun at the man.

“I know. She deserves to die. Kill me for all I care but I promise you she is a thousand times worse than I’ll ever be. And I have no reason to live anymore anyway.”

 

“Don’t say that. There’s always a reason to live. You can-”

BANG BANG

 

The man gives a blank look and then falls forward and Todd backs up so he wouldn’t fall on him. 

 

“Hahaha” cough  “Hahaha” cough cough cough The woman starts laughing while hacking up more blood. Todd notices she’s holding a colt which she must have had on her. The man has two bullet wounds, both on his back.

“You…you shot him!!!” Todd said.in shock.

“Of”- cough “Course I did”- cough “Honey”- cough - “What else was there to do? Now take me”- cough - “to the doctor and I’ll pay you well.”

Todd thought for a second. He could just take the money and leave the woman here to die like the two men she just killed. However, even though he’s a gangster, he always considered himself an honorable and fair man. He would hope that if he was ever in a situation where he had an umbrella shop and just killed two people and there was a stranger, that they’d help him (although, highly unlikely scenario. What is he thinking?). She looks like she’s gonna die anyway, considering how much blood she lost. 

 

Finally, after a bit of hesitation, Todd decides he’d help her. He knew of a doctor he trusted about 3 blocks away. He picked her up and carried her out of the store. As he hastily carried her body in the rain, the rain washed the blood off of them and behind them trailed what looked like small rivers of blood. 

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Two Weeks Later

 

Early one morning, Todd was walking down the street in Philadelphia, as he often does. It was a beautiful sunny morning and the sky was clear. The smell of cheap street food and smoke distinctly filled up the air. This was a smell that Todd loved. He walked up to the food truck on the side of the road and bought one cheesesteak sandwich. As he walked into HQ while taking a bite, the phone at his desk rang. He quickly, and quite awkwardly, rushed to the phone while he was still in the middle of a big cheesy bite.


“Hrello” he says while still chewing.

A British voice speaks on the other end “This is Doctor Lipton speaking. The woman you brought here, Umbra, she says her name is. She’d like to speak with you.”

 

“Oke, put ‘er on” Todd says in between chewing.

 

Doctor Lipton sighs “She’d like to speak to you in person.” 

 

“Hmmm…I see.” Todd replied, now finished with his bite.

The HQ is only about 7 blocks from Dr. Lipton’s office so it wouldn’t be difficult to get there. Todd, however, wasn’t sure if he wanted to see Umbra. You see, he kinda lost the money that the woman had in bags in the back of her shop. About a week ago, he gambled all his money and assets away, like he does on a weekly basis. He wanted to keep playing, he figured he could earn it all back. So, he went to that shop and counted up the money, $3.2 million in cash. It’s a lot of money and Todd would be stealing it but he’d just borrow the money and then return it once he earned all his previous assets back. After all, the woman owed him for saving his life and it wasn’t like he wouldn’t return it. She promised him some of the money anyway. So, Todd took the money and brought it to the casino. Who could have predicted that he’d lose it all?!?


Todd had also noticed something else in the backroom of the shop while grabbing the money. Inside the crates was heroin. There had to be at least a million dollars of heroin in there. So of course, clever Todd knew what he had to do. He’d sell the heroin and then use the money to earn that $3.2 million back and repay that lady. Umbra didn’t seem like the kind of person who’d be forgiving so he’d have to pay her back. He sold the heroin for $1.4 million to some Russians in a major deal and then went back to the casino. Unexpectedly, he lost it all again. 

 

He was still dead broke with nothing to his name so there was no way he’d pay that money back.. So, Todd decided he didn’t want to see Umbra.

 

“Ummmm…I don’t want to see her.”

 

“She says she knows about her money.” Dr. Lipton replied.


“WHAT? How?”

“I have no clue what that means and you know I like to mostly stay separate from the business of my clients.. She said she will be at the Umbrella shop waiting for you.” replied Dr. Lipton.  

 

“Thanks doc.” Todd 

 

“And…about your bill…”

Todd hung up the phone. 

He finished his cheesesteak sandwich while deliberating whether or not he should go meet Umbra at the umbrella shop. “This could be a trap, she could be waiting there to kill me” he thought to himself. “Or, even worse, maybe she’ll make me sell my body to earn back her money. No, that’s a ridiculous thought.” Finally, Todd decided he’d go see the woman but he’d bring backup. He called up BIg Jim to help protect him. Big Jim is one of Todd’s most trusted bodyguards. He hires him occasionally for small jobs and during big deals when Todd needs security. 

 

Todd gave Big Jim the location of the umbrella shop and told him to meet him there.

 

At the shop, Todd explains the situation to Big Jim. “Okay, here’s the deal. The old woman in there, Umbra” he gestures to the sign to show a picture of her. “She’s dangerous. She may not look it but she is. And I may have accidentally lost her money. We have to be careful because I suspect she’ll try to kill me…and you.” 

 

“Gotcha boss” Big Jim says confidently. “No old hag is gonna get the jump on us.”


They entered the shop. It looked about the same as it was when Todd last left it except all the umbrellas were gone off the racks. As a matter of fact, the only umbrella in sight could be seen on the counter. It was a white one with large pink polka dots. It also seemed a bit lighter. There was less candles but the light shone in from the blinds due to the beautiful sunny day that it was.

clank clank clank Umbra walks in from the back, her new cane could be heard with every step she takes. She was wearing a red blazer, an interesting change from what seems to be her usual green suit. Large bandages could be seen where the gunshot wound was. 

 

“Hello” She said as she smirked slyly. 

 

Todd felt a bit uneasy and gestured to Big Jim “Search her.” 

 

“Ha” she smiled “I’m not armed. Even if I was, I don’t think I could put up much of a fight considering my… condition.” 

 

Big Jim searched for her and found nothing. “She’s all good.”

 

For a second no one said anything. Todd was thinking. He still was wary of getting closer to Umbra. He lost all her money, something that she’d definitely kill for.

 

Umbra claps once. “well, come…”. Umbra turns around and starts walking to the back.

Todd follows hesitantly. 

 

The backroom was completely empty except for two chairs. Umbra sat in one chair and Todd stood awkwardly, Big Jim just a few feet behind him. “Come…sit…I won’t bite.” Todd sat down. The chair was hard and cold and Todd was not looking forward to the conversation ahead of him. Maybe it’s not too late to back out from this. He could run out of this shop and there’s no way she’d be able to catch him.

 

“Okay…so…where’s my money?” Umbra said sternly as his expression changed from smiling to serious. 

 

“Um…” Todd stutters “Uh..I..I lost it all gambling. I’m sorry.” He gulped loudly. 

 

Umbra gave a displeased look. “And the heroin.”

 

“Liquidated it…also lost the money at the casino.”

 

“Hmmmm…why did you save me? Why didn’t you help the other men?”
 

Todd thinks for a second. “Hmmm…well I guess I just saw you as an old woman and didn’t want you killed by someone much stronger than you.”
 

“Hehehehe…stronger than me is debatable.” She pauses a second, smiling “I’d just killed a man, there’s got to be more to it than that.”

 

“Well if you weren’t alive…who was gonna sell me an Umbrella?” Todd smiled cheesily at hope for some reaction. Umbra seemed unamused; her expression remained completely unchanged. 

 

Todd sighed “Well I guess you reminded me of my mother. She’s a bit younger than you but we never had a great relationship and you seem tough like her.”  

 

Umbra looks down for a few seconds, as if lost in thought. “Parents can be hard…I understand that. Mine were never proud of me, especially not my mother.” She paused

“Y’know I grew up in a Russian family, we moved to the United States when I was two. My father owned a printing company in Russia and had enough money to last lifetimes. After being forced to leave our homeland for unforeseen circumstances, we ended up in Dallas. They wanted me to marry a rich American businessman, even set me up with one. But, I wanted to work and live a different kind of life, not be a housewife. So, they cut me off.”

 

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.” Todd said

 

“It was terribly sad at first but honestly, it needed to happen. It’s what made me tough, as you say,  and gave me a chance to choose my own path.”

 
Todd had a realization that despite his mother kicking him out of the house all those years ago and not speaking to him, he’s been doing better and maybe that was something that needed to happen. 

 

“I’m not mad about the money. I’m an old woman and after nearly dying last week, I’ve realized that I need to get out of this game. Crime has taken a lot of things from me and I don’t need it to take my life. I’d tell you not to get into it but from the look of the goon behind you and the fact that you were armed the other day, I’d assume you already are.” She raised her eyebrows and looked at Todd

 

“Perhaps I am. If I was, I’m surprised that I wouldn’t have heard of you. You had a lot of heroin here.”

 

Umbra smiles “Well, I like to keep my head down. That was a few months worth of sales right there.” Umbra leans back, seeming more relaxed now.

 

“Who were those men you killed?” Todd asked

 

“Partners of mine. The Byrne brothers.”

 

“Why’d you kill em?” 

 

“We had a dispute about the distribution of the money on a deal of ours, that’s all you need to know. They wanted to short me and tied me up to try to find where the rest of the money was.”

“The…rest of the money?” Todd asked accusingly

 

She chuckles “What? You thought that was all I had?”

 

“Hmmm… at least I didn’t leave you dead broke.” 

 

“I was thinking the same thing.” Umbra says smiling.

 

“Now, I wanted to thank you for saving me.”

 

“Of course, it’s no problem, really.” Todd said. He felt good that she wasn’t angry at him. This seemed to be going much better than he expected. 

 

“I’m going to leave PH today. I have a flight set for 1 PM. However, I’d live to give you something, in thanks for saving my life.” She stands up. “Come”. 


They enter the main area of the shop. Umbra slowly walks over to the counter and opens the drawer underneath it. She grabs some papers from inside. 


“This is the deed to this shop. Since, I don’t need it anymore, it’s yours now.” She hands the papers to Todd.

Todd looks over the papers in disbelief. “With all due respect ma’am, I don’t know anything about selling umbrellas.”
 

“Well, you don’t need to sell umbrellas. Do what you want with it. Just do something.” 

 

“Of course, I guess I can figure some use for it.” 

 

“Yes…and now on to my second gift.” She walks over to the polka-dotted umbrella on the counter. She picks it up.

 

“I got you that umbrella you are looking for.”

“Oh…” Todd said “It’s not quite my style but I guess it’s all about function.”

 

Umbra smirks and then points the umbrella up. She clicks a button on the side of it. BANG

 

Out from the tip of the umbrella comes a bullet.

Big Jim pulls out his revolver and Todd’s jaw dropped.

“Cool, right?” Umbra says

 

Todd gestures to Big Jim to put down his gun “It’s fine. She’s not gonna shoot me.” 

 

Umbra smiles “Don’t be so sure about that.” 

 

BANG BANG 

 

Big Jim falls to the ground first and then Todd

 

As Todd lied there and started to lose consciousness, he heard:

“No one steals from me and doesn’t get punished for it. Consider us even now.”

 

12 Hours Later
 

Todd wakes up in a hospital.
 

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