October 7, 2008

The wind whipped around the corner, screaming. It blew the dust and dirt up and into my eyes. I blinked and they watered. Now it looks like I’ve been crying. No Mom, I don’t smoke, I puff. Ah, I blow a plume of blue smoke in the air. The wind whisks it away. I lean against the building and wait. He said 10. I’ll wait until 10 past. Usually I wait for a more reliable contract but times have been tough. 10:04, there he is. I push off and cross the street.
Not a great area but the locals are regulars. That’s good. When the locals start leaving town to drink, that’s bad news. There are 6 bars on this row. All low level, old rafters with neon. Tacky. I can see him cross the bar through the window. I enter, Joe’s Place, how original. I keep my coat on but I pause at the door. I like to warm up. I check my eyes in the mirror. Good, they’ve cleared up. Still cold and unfeeling. Worked hard on that one. I take a deep breath. Stand tall, head up, chin in. Arms swing loosely at my sides. I see him at the end of the bar at a table. I walk with purpose over to the table. I catch his eyes about 10 feet away. He leans back and away. I stop at the table. He asks, “Whadya want.” A statement, not a question.
I say coolly, “You Joe, from Philly?”
His eyes squint. “No one calls me that anymore.”
“You remember Frankie Valone?” I ask.
His face recoils in horror. His hand reaches for his pocket.
I was expecting all this, or at least something like it. I slam 4 slugs into him. I smile as he slides from his chair under the table. Not like the movies. Bullets only have so much energy and the body is pretty soft. No one moves. People are too shocked.
I walk out and cross the street. Everyone will remember my face but I’ll be gone in 1 hour. I’ve done this so much its a routine. Find him, confirm it, kill him, collect your money. I figure I was already going to hell by the time I was 16. What was the point. I got into my car and put the key in. My face explodes from a 12 gauge slug. Not even sure who did it. Death…finally.

Hmm, I’ve done this too much. Seen it all. But this guy didn’t even scream. Just seemed to sit back. Must have been expecting it. I walked to my car. Killing is way too easy. This one was easy and good money too. He was a freelancer, no revenge possibilities. I’m looking forward to a week in Vegas. Old stomping grounds.

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