Oh, what a sight to behold. A room the width of an Italian villa overlooking a lake with sparkling ripples and behind it mountains stretching their snowcaps to the sky. All this light and glitter rivaled and perhaps won by the room itself, floor-to-ceiling thick bulletproof windows on two sides crescendoing in a corner and from there drawing a diagonal line to The Chair.
A luxurious lovechild between a captain’s seat and a dentist chair, the overhead light replaced with a disco ball, and the structure itself embellished with thousands of blood diamonds to resemble a most exquisite tennis bracelet. On it lounging, thus neither sitting nor lying, Lemuel Dritch, who in this incarnation found the great ape stature to fit him best.
The frictional meeting of beauty and thuggery continued in his appearance. All 427 lbs of his silverback magnificence squeezed into a navy-blue Ermenegildo Zegna single-breasted two-button 260-gram wool suit with a white shirt and a brown Berluti Scritto leather slip-on dress shoe. His thick dark fingers shining bright with minimalist jewelry and well-manicured nails, his enormous aperture opening and closing as peeled grapes, bananas, and mangos were being fed to him by the three Japanese macaques dressed as Snow White, Cinderella, and Belle swarming the room without pause.
“Boss,” said Wally, a hooded vulture, who had joined the Mighty Outfit of Dritch from Guinea-Bissau as the word about the vast volume of carcasses and carrion always floating in the Mighty Outfit’s slipstream traveled all seven seas, and Wally had yet to be disappointed with the length and width of the menu.
“Kuma ku bu sta, Boss? How are you?” said Wally, hop-walking across the floor as he straightened the ragged no-longer-so-black tuxedo vest he considered his work attire to make himself more amiable to the macaques.
“N’misti kume! I want to eat!” he said and winked at Cinderella.
“Whatywant?” growled Dritch with impatience seeping out between his inch-long canine teeth while the furthest ends of his mouth kept grinding the fruit into a mash, not a little of which ended up on the substantial bib with a picture of Rapunzel letting down her hair from the tower that was tied around his neck.
“Remember the gata preto, the black cat, Boss?” Wally said and sent Cinderella another lecherous look. “You could be morta, dead in my arms,” he whispered under his breath, causing the macaque to shriek with such a force that Dritch grabbed her with one hand behind her head and pressed her face into his bib until she expired.
“What cat?” said Dritch and motioned with a finger to Belle that she should remove the corpse.
“Boss, the gata that stole your bitcoin and then sold it back to you at double the price?” said Wally and took a step back so Belle could get a hold of Cinderella’s ankles and drag her away, eyes closed and tongue hanging out to the side like a deflated soft-pink balloon.
“Did that ever happen?” gnarred Dritch and stared down the vulture.
“Nao, Boss,” hasted Wally under his hood. “No, no, no.”
“What about her?” said Dritch and opened his mouth to another portion of fruit.
“Boss, they say she’s coming to kill you,” said Wally.
His laughter seemed to begin like thunder in Drith’s outer extremities and roll toward the midline of his body from where it convulsed up into his barrel-like chest and then reverberated between the pillars of teeth and out into the room, causing everyone and everything to quaver from his condescension.