Accompanied only by the heavy clunks of his booted footfalls, Sergey Karasev walked through the nighttime streets of Brooklyn. It was nice; the claustrophobic townhouses reminded him of his childhood in St. Petersburg. He looked up. Even the moon looked the same, scattered as it was by the mature shade trees lining the empty street.
So serene was the entire situation that even when six trenchcoated figures surrounded him, Sergey barely registered surprise. However, when two of the thugs wordlessly pulled out guns, Sergey had the presence of mind to put his hands up. “I give you my money. Just no shoot.”
“We don’t want your money,” one of the men responded.
“Okay. I have iPhone and no-limit credit card. You take,” Sergey offered.
“No, no, no, you don’t understand,” the same man answered. “We don’t want anything from you. Nothing except some stats on the scoresheet.”
“Why don’t you ever score any points?” another of the muggers interjected. “We’ve got a lot of very angry Russian high-rollers who keep putting money on you, and they’re getting antsy.”
“Hey, I not control my minutes. Talk to coach for that,” Sergey said somewhat too glibly, keeping his hands aloft.
“Wrong answer,” came a third voice from behind Sergey, who suddenly felt a sharp pain in his head. He fell hard to the pavement, the dappled moon now more of a menace than a friend. From his position on the ground, he could see the men walk away, but not before one turned back around to get in some parting words.
“More points, Sergey. More points.”