Friday, June 6, 2008

New Short Fiction: The Lies We Tell, Part 3 (Conclusion)

You create, usually, more problems when you hire another killer to kill a hired killer.

I was convalescing in my hotel room; I was going to give myself half a week to lick my wounds before I would try to fly back across the Atlantic in my cut up condition. I wasn’t as bad as I thought I was initially. There was a lot of blood of course, but most of the wounds were superficial at best. I had one nasty gash from my left middle rib down to just short of my hip. I stitched it as best I could, using the expensive whiskey in the duty-free mini-bar as an anti-septic and thread and needle from a tailoring kit I purchased in the gift shop in the lobby.

It was going to scar nastily but it beat an infection.

I was waiting on a steak from room service and a knock came at the door. I glanced at the little brass alarm clock at the side of the bed and thought to myself that room service was rather quick this evening. I stared long and hard at the door when again there was a knocking.

Slow to my feet I was up and by the door with a slight hobble. My body was very achy and I was dehydrating quickly. I cleared my throat, leaned against the jam, away from the center of the door and called out.

“Who is it?”

“Room service, with your steak,” came a heavily accented Jamaican voice. I peered through the peephole and saw a rather slow looking Jamaican standing, dressed in a bellhop’s uniform of red and gold, complete with the cylindrical-style hat on top of his waist-long dreadlocks. A tiny elastic held it in place, slightly askew.

I opened the door slowly and gave the waiter a once over. I stepped back from the door, closed it, unlatched the chain and beckoned him in. He wheeled in a sliver cart with a silver serving tray.

The tray was high polished silver that reflected everything in the room, even the cold concentrated stare of the Jamaican pushing it. Jimmy caught him sizing him up, and knew what the deal was just as the Jamaican struck.

The Jamaican threw the top of the silver platter at Jimmy and caused the killer to put his hands up defensively. Under the tray sat a silenced H&K USP 9mm which the dreadlocked killer picked up and fired twice.

Jimmy knew just then that this hired killer sent to do him in was not of the same skill set as he. The bullets went wild in the frantic may-lay, even at close range. Jimmy closed in on the Jamaican as he was trained to do when confronted with an assailant with a pistol and wrestled him to the floor.

The two killers grappled on the floor, Jimmy’s body slick with sweat as he felt his stitches popping from his side. He grunted and grimaced as the Jamaican started to throw punches at Jimmy’s head with his free hand. As soon as he took his hand off the gun, Jimmy knew the Jamaican was going to die.

Jimmy leaned forward and bit hard into the dark hand holding the gun. Bit so hard that blood gushed into his mouth, causing the Jamaican to curse in his native tongue. So hard that Jimmy felt a hunk of flesh in his cheek and when he turned to spit it out, he saw bone on the hand he took it from.

The gun came loose and Jimmy pointed it at his assassin. The Jamaican scrambled to his feet to break out from the room, but Jimmy took steady aim, in spite of everything and squeezed once. The sharp whip of the muffled muzzle cut the air and thudded in his hand, the Jamaican spinning by the door and crashing into it with a bang that was louder than the report from the pistol. There was a rather large splotch of blood on the wall next to him.

It wasn’t a kill shot, he merely grazed him. Jimmy forced himself up on his left elbow and felt a sear of pain shoot up his side. He cursed and bit into his lip. He reached to the top of his bed and pulled himself up by the covers. His hand was a bloody mit and it smeared over everything. He got to his feet, unbalanced and then sat on the bed panting.

He looked down at the Jamaican squirming at the door, plaintively trying to reach the knob with his own bloody hoof. He’d touch it and it’d slip free, leaving thin streaks of red down the white door. The killer, with his long black ropes of thick natty hair was mumbling under his breath, bent backwards against the door, his legs lifeless and sprawled out behind him. From his left side there was a slow spreading patch of darkness.

Jimmy caught his breath and tried again to stand up. He wavered a bit and there was another rush of pain, but he was a little better off and was able to limp over to the slow-to-expire killer who was sent to squash him. With his foot, he nudged him until he flipped on to his back and sat against the door, looking up and holding his guts.

The shot had been slightly better than he expected. The bullet went in at the Jamaican’s left side, in the fleshly ‘spare tire’ area, but exited at about just above the naval. A decent backwards gut shot.

“Bombaclot ya shire ma man,” the Jamaican panted up at Jimmy. Jimmy had no clue what that meant but figured he was saying something about being shot or he was in pain or something. He flashed back momentarily to Iraq. There had been a bombing in a town market and his unit had been the first to respond. When he climbed out of his Humvee, there had been a man at his feet gasping for air like a fish, as the Jamaican was now.

At first it seemed like there was nothing wrong with this guy; he was just in shock. There was no blood, no torn clothing, no markings or singes or anything. Jimmy had wondered what this guy’s deal was until he glanced down and saw that from his waist and below, there was nothing there. He would’ve been actually standing on the poor son of a bitch’s dick, had he one left in tact.

The flashback ended in an instant and he was again in his London hotel room with quite a large mess on his hands. The Jamaican was still babbling about Babylon, or something, gasping for air in deeper and deeper gulps as Jimmy assumed that his lungs were slowly filling with bile and blood from his torn to shreds anatomy. That’s what he loved about the 9mm; when they impacted soft tissue they shred apart (similar in a sense to the 5.56 NATO), becoming razor sharp fragments inside whatever they hit. So in theory, a single bullet hole into some unlucky dreadlocked bastard-murderer would cause insurmountable damage to his insides.

Jimmy had to act fast if he wanted to learn anything from this amateur. He stood over the crumpled, nearly lifeless body of his latest victim and stared down into his eyes. He observed how dry the lips were and how white and big his eyes were. It made him blink and lick his own lips in response.

“Who sent you,” Jimmy started.

“Damn you, clownboy, no rasta talka that nonsense inna this house!” He wailed.


“Rudeboy no tell!” Jimmy understood that -sort of- and took it as a sign of non compliance. He lifted one foot and grabbed on to the door frame for balance. He then pressed down on the seeping wound in the middle of his Jamaican counterpart.

“AHHH, bombaclot on yor porn one head, sar!” The Jamaican shouted. Luckily, Jimmy thought, in these swankier hotel rooms, the rooms were usually sound insulated. He pressed harder, causing the big white eyes of his victim to nearly pop out of his head.

“Give me a name,” Jimmy said after the rasta cooled out. He panted for a long while, probably thinking in his head if it was at all worth protecting whoever he was going to protect. He was dying; he was actually already dead, just Death was late showing up this time around. He looked up at the ceiling and then to Jimmy.

“No name, justa clownboy like you…”


“No, like you, mon.”


“That’s ire,” Jimmy let that sink in. He let off the stomach and sat back on the bed. The rasta panted and rolled over on to his good side.

“What’d he look like?” The rasta closed his eyes and moved his mouth, but nothing came out. He grunted, shit himself and coughed up a little blood. He was starting to drown on his own fluids. “Quickly, what’d he look like?!” Jimmy tried to stand but found it too difficult. The Jamaican let out a long spit string of blood from his mouth and slumped on the floor.

He no longer moved.

I got some rest, despite that there was a dead body in my room. It wasn’t the first time I took a nap next to a dead guy. When I was in Iraq we were pinned down by Insurgents outside of Ramala for 17 hours. I ended up dozing for about an hour, and when I woke up, I realized the pack I was using for a pillow was still attached to one of my dead squad members.

I was very cautious leaving the hotel, making sure to take the pistol with me under a long coat I had bought when I had come back from the barber shop. The coat was dark and let me bleed without drawing too much unneeded attention to myself. I re stitched my side, took a few shots of the expensive stuff in the mini bar and did my best stiff walk impression out into the cool wet London night.

A cab ride to the airport and a ticket home and a day later a cab’s pulling in front of my apartment, with me in it.

I’m pulling my suit bag out, limping a lot, dry-mouthed and jet lagged. All I wanted to do was crash into bed and avoid explaining anything to her.

I bought her a few nice things at the gift shop: A nice pen set, a t shirt, a fridge magnet, a tourist information book that I somehow got signed by David Beckham (long story.).

I struggle up the two flights of stairs and key into my apartment. The music’s on, typical. There’s a pizza box, open on the dining room table, next to which is a men’s French cuff shirt in black placed delicately on the back of a chair.

It’s not one of my shirts.

I stand by the pizza box, placing down my things, lifting the lid and pulling out a slice. It’s luke warm plain cheese. I take a bite and toss it back into the box.

I hear voices coming from my bedroom.

I walk. No wait, I stalk, back towards my bedroom, creeping on the balls of my feet. In spite of everything that’s happened in the last week, all the blood, all the flashbacks and all the dead bodies, it’s now that I notice how fast my heart’s racing. My head throbs and there’s a pang of pure adrenaline-fueled panic in my chest. Everything’s tighter, my face feels like it’s about to up and peel off. I take shallow breaths and blink with each step. I feel the sweat drip down into my stitched gash and it feels like someone’s raking rusty razors across my organs.

I push the door open and in the middle of my bed there’s my girlfriend and Casing.

It’s disgusting on so many different levels. He’s probably twice her age, lumpy, patches of hair here and there, still wearing his glasses on his fat glob of a head. Sweat glistening off his shiny face.

Conversely she’s sitting up, her jet black hair tangled but still looking beautiful. She doesn’t bother to cover herself so her perfect breasts simply sit in the open, for the public to bare witness to.

No one says a word for what feels like a decade. Whole trends in fashion and entire seasons of beloved television shows pass before there’s a solitary sound. And that sound that breaks the silence is the gurgling of Casing’s stomach.

“Gino’s Pizzeria is better,” I say from the door, leaning against it. My eyes feel like rocks, my jaw is set back and I’m fully locked on to the gross mass of old flesh laying on my girlfriend’s side of the bed. Her charm bracelet is on her night stand, next to him. The tv remote and a book she was reading is still there too. On my side, on my night stand is a set of motorcycle keys, a music magazine and a pocket knife.

She still hasn’t said anything, and she can’t even look at me. I walk into the room, slowly, sure in my steps, my eyes locked on both of them as they stew in their filth. I open up my night stand and take out my .380, the same one she made such a fuss about so long ago.

“Jimmy, don’t, stop!” She says at last. Her words, I put together in some sort of mix in my mind, where there’s no comma separating the don’t and the stop and it’s Casing’s name she’s calling. I nod once or twice to myself, level the pistol and fire once into her head.

Casing’s stunned, his hands up defectively, a streak of blood is across his face, on his glasses, on the sheets. He blubbers for a second and then regains his composure.

“Jimmy, it wasn’t supposed to be this way,” he starts.

I know,” I say, “I was supposed to be dead in London, right?” He takes his rose stained glasses off and looks down at his lap. “I’ll spell it out for you in case none of this has sunken in for you Casing: You sent me on a job which I wasn’t supposed to survive. And when I did, you sent some two-bit, half-wit jerk off with a high end pistol to snip the loose ends, right? Too bad I’m the best there ever was,” and Casing starts to cry. “You’re fucked.”

“Just get it over with,” he chokes out. I look down at her lifeless body and shed a tear. My lip quivers for a second, but then I get over myself.

“No, she didn’t suffer because I loved her. You, on the other hand,” and my pistol falls to my feet, and I reach back and pick up the pocket knife I left on the night stand, “you, you’re going to suffer.”

The police arrived about eight minutes after the first report of a gunshot was taken from a neighbor upstairs. The first arriving unit consisted of a rookie who was out of the academy for three months and had never worked a homicide before. His partner and FTO was a 12 year veteran.

When they both entered with second floor apartment, guns drawn - both started to puke. The rookie puked immediately down the front of his blouse, right in the middle of the crime scene. The vet managed to get to the landing before heaving over the side of the railing down to the lobby below. After two minutes of dry heaves, he managed to call for additional units and an ambulance.

1 comment:

Angry Ballerina said...

Thanks for the warning.