The following was produced rather painstakingly by an AI predating the rise of ChatGPT, leading to much more humorous results. My interjections have been as minimal as possible and mostly to get the AI to refocus mid-sentence.
This was how Mr. Shrimpson reacted to seeing his view from his new apartment in Crabhattan Island. He had seen this view from the ground but never from the top floor of a skyscraper. He decided to take a stroll down there in the hopes of getting a bite to eat .
It was 1921, Mr. Shrimpson had just moved from New Jersey to Crabhattan Island, and several gangs were vying for control of the city. As soon as he arrived on the street, he heard the sound of gunfire. In no time at all he found himself facing a line of men with machine guns pointed directly toward him. One of them, named “Gone” started to approach Mr. Shrimpson, pointing his gun up high. Gone was a very wide crab, and wore a pinstripe suit. He had a long cigar hanging from his mandibles, and as he walked closer it dropped ash onto the asphalt.
“Good morning,” he said quietly and without making any eye contact. Mr. Shrimpson knew his life was at stake. “Do you have a nickel on your person?”
“I’m not sure.” Mr. Shrim pson shuddered.
“Then why don’t ya see if ya do?”
Mr. Shrimpson reached to his right pocket for a nickel, but the money he had just reached for wasn’t there. " There’s nothing there, sir."
Gone turned towards the other men and asked, “Do ya got any nickels let?”
The gang members all turned their pockets in side out. One said, " No nickel."
Gone stared at Mr. Shrimpson . “Sir,” he said quietly, “… I really need a nickel. Tonight. You got it ?”
Before Mr. Shrimpson could even reply, Gone was gone. “I’m dead. Shrimple as that.”
Mr. Shrimpson walked glumly down the street, trying desperately to think of a plan . Gone would probably kill him if he didn’t produce one nickel in three hours, and he doubted the re was a nickel lying around that he could take. And it was getting late.
Suddenly he bumped into someone. She quickly stepped out of the way before looking back again. “Gone wants a nickel, doesn’t he ?”
“How did you know about that?”
"My name’s Miss Crayfish. " She smiled. “I used to work for the local newspaper here until the owner got into a fight with the Copepod Mafia, and…”
“Anyway,” she added , walking up to Shrimpson." I gotta go. You meet with Gone later; I’ll bring the nickel." She walked away before Mr. Shrimpson could reply. “This is Shrimpossible.”
At the bar, Mr. Shrimpson ordered one seltzer, slumping into a chair . “How come my first day in Crabhattan has gotten so dangerous?”
“Trouble, friend?” a tall figure wearing a gray trench coat asked.
“Too much.” Mr. Shrimpson replied. “A gang of crooks accosted me and forced me into meeting them again. But now I 'm supposed to get a nickel for their boss, and I’m all out .”
“Is it Gone? Or maybe another crook?”
The figure grinned at him." He does that sometimes to the new arrivals. Tell you what, you give me the address of your meetup and me and my boys can back you up."
“Yes! Yes!” Mr. Shrimpson said , writing down the address . “Thank You so much, mister…”
“Callan.” The stranger replied. “Callan Oida. I run the Copepod Mafia. See you there.”
Worried, Mr. Shrimpson slowly left, leaving behind Callan Oida, who looked at him as he left. “What are you doing now, old man?”
It was time. Mr. Shrimpson returned to the street corner where he met Gone. “Are you back?” he asked .
" Yes, Mr. Shrimpson." Gone replied, sitting by the street sign. “I’m impressed by your coming alone.”
“He 's not.” Mr. Oida said. “And be careful about your next moves.” A bunch of men lined up with trench coats on. “My boys need only to see you breathe a little and they’ll fill your lungs with lead.”
“Mine too, young man.” Gone said, holding up his hand. “Don’t try anything.”
Guns suddenly burst out of the windows , and policemen and firefighters rushed out to the scene . Miss Crayfish was the last to appear , and she ran towards Mr. Shrimpson. “Oh Mr. Shrimpson! I’m glad you’re okay.” She said, hugging him.
“But you said you needed a nickel,” said Mr. Shrimpson.
“It was a ruse.” Miss Crayfish replied." Shortly after the murder of my boss, Gone called on me. I was terrified to meet him, but when he arrived he brought with him the police chief and told me his plan."
“To lure out the Copepod Mafia.” Gone said, walking over." My boys have never done anything illegal outside of shooting a couple cars, but I guess I’ll have to prove that in court. I wanted to bring Callan Oida to justice, but I needed an uninvolved person to lure him out of his den."
“I knew he would be interested if I got a random person to get me something, so I chose a nickel and asked Miss Crayfish to keep an eye out for newcomers who don’t carry cash or change. You fit the bill pretty well.”
“If it’s any consolation, you’ll get the reward of $500 for each gang member caught.” Said police chief Krillian. “And there’s more of them than you’d think.” He pulled up the trench coat that covered Callan 's body, revealing several Copepods stacked on top of each other. “I 'll pay you back in full, Gone.” Callan growled. “You wait and see.”
“Well,” Gone said after a moment, “if I manage to get my charges dropped, I’ll be buying up that old newspaper and getting it running again. I think I might even know who my star reporter would be, if you’re interested.” He looked down at the old newspaper on the ground, then walked off after the chief of police.
“So,” Miss Crayfish smiled. “I know this is sudden, Mr. Shrimpson, but would you mind having lunch with me tomorrow?”
“Call me Leland.” Mr. Shrimpson smiled back. “I’ll see you at noon.”
Quietly returning to his apartment , Mr. Shrimpson walked to the window of the small room and looked over the moonlit city. “Shrimply amazing.”