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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Work In Progress.


The hitter watched from the parking lot as the man he would kill entered his house. He usually came back from work around 7:30 and seemed to go to sleep around 11, was divorced, lived alone, drove a Taurus, and worked as a suit somewhere. His occupation didn’t matter so much as long as he wasn’t a cop, someone who carried a gun most of the time. This guy wasn’t. The hitter started up the engine and drove back to his motel on the other side of town, where he would kill a few hours before coming back to what would be the scene of the crime. “Motel 8” was a cheap, anonymous place off of the highway.  He wasn’t expected to explain his stay in Tannis, Illinois to the front desk here, and if he had, that would have been suspicious.  He got out of his car and saw the maid pulling her cart out of his room. He had forgotten to hang his “do not disturb” sign up.  It didn’t matter- he wasn’t stupid enough to leave anything interesting in his room. This wasn't his first go round. “Hi darling!” he said, smiling at the maid. She was a Spanish lady Mexican- or Puerto Rican orsomething. Not a bad looking woman.  “Oh  hi,” she said, “I brought you some new towels and cleaned up your cigarettes. I hope dazz okay.”


“Appreciate it,” he said. He did too. On the job, he acted sincerely where he could. He wasn’t a shark until it was time to feed his kids. Once inside his room, he looked at the mirror. He was heavyset, but not so fat people turned away or kids pointed at him. He had a full head of black hair, but not long hair. As far as he could tell the only noticeable features were his eyes. They didn’t have bags under them, but somehow they always looked tired.  He wore jeans and a Dallas Mavericks sweatshirt, although he’d never been to Dallas and could care less about basketball.  Misdirection should someone ever describe him to any cops.


Work always made him pensive.He knew he could pull it off, and he wasn’t breaking into cold sweats, but  he was capable of getting worked up about things if he let his imagination wander about what might go wrong. Television. History Channel. Jesus. It was some documentary  on a gangsters.  The “Iceman,” a famous hit-man, was being interviewed, describing how he had  become “damn near a gourmet cook, just so I could serve targets poisoned food.” The narrator described  “Iceman’s” ascendancy in the criminal underworld, noting that at the same time he was well known for reading hoity toity books and buying expensive tickets to the opera. Iceman bragged, clearly relishing the attention  “ I was probably the only guy in Jackson that got in fistfights because he turned up his Pavarotti  too loud.”  The hitter groaned a little bit and felt contempt at the better known killer's conspicuousness.  Because in our line of work, you really want a public trademark or something to be known for. “Idiot” he said out loud, leaning over to his mini fridge to grab a beer. He imagined civilians at home, watching “Leon The Professional” or James Bond and thinking that most hitters were geniuses,  killing for honor, muscle bound , looking good, and lovers of the arts. Pure horse shit. 

He had grown up around gangsters. He wasn’t part of the family, but he knew the life. They knew him. Knew he wasn’t very glib. Knew he had been married, but preferred escorts now. Knew he occasionally bought tickets up in the cheap seats and went to ballgames with his son. Probably knew that most of the time he ate microwave dinners and watched  about 4 hours of television a night. His only luxuries were  his own house, a constant supply of bourbon, and  most weekends off. His “job” was  driving a truck for a meat packing firm 3 or 4 days a week as needed.  He earned money fixing more serious problems. He wasn’t mean. He was a business man. If he didn’t “remove pests” someone else would. You hunt or get hunted. 

He finished another Budweiser and slipped off into a light sleep. Oddly enough though, the only time his eyes didn’t look tired were when he thought about the details of his target's lives, which he had to remind himself was unprofessional and a bad habit.


He awoke around 9:45. He never slept longer than he should when  hunting. He showered, dressed, did 50 push-ups, grabbed a winter hat, a very small flash light, keys, and a pair of sunglasses just in case and casually stepped out of his room and got in his car. He drove to a supermarket within walking distance from his target’s house and parked his car right as far away from the store itself as he could get. Not too close to any cameras, hopefully, although no job was completely safe.  He reached under, tore open some fabric, and pulled out his gun and silencer.


Rounding the corner towards his prey, he saw neighbors on the porch. Whatever, most of the time they didn’t care what happened next door.  If they asked, he would just say he was a visiting cousin. His client, whoever she was, probably an ex-wife, had given him a key.  If the neighbors did call the police, the city was large enough that the police wouldn’t likely burn rubber responding to something that wasn’t necessarily illegal, even if suspicious. It would be over in a matter of minutes anyway. The neighbors were looking at him. He pulled out cell phone and dialed no one. “Yeah, hey, I’m here.  Yep, I’ll let myself in.” He did just that. No problems. He was inside. He walked quietly, but not that quietly up the stairs. He opened one door and saw a toilet. No joy. He opened another a door andlooked into  shotgun barrells. A nervous man in vertically lined pajamas held the weapon up to his and tried to look even keeled, but his eyebrows were twitching and his eyes were wide.  "Drop it and put your hands behind your back," the would-be victim warbled out. 
"Okay, okay," the hitter said. "I'm just pulling my gun out of my belt. The Hitter was alarmed, but not desperate. He took the gun out of his belt and simply pointed it at the chickenhawk target.
"I'll blow your fucking brains out," he yelled.
"No," the hitter said emphatically, "you won't."  He quickly kicked the victim in his wrist and watched his nervous prey drop his double barrled survival to the floor.

Two hisses of air and the target was finished.  The hitter turned on his small flash light and verified that he had eliminated the right person.  It wasn’t a pretty picture, but he had gotten his man.

 After a long day on the road, he had ordered a few pornos off of the pay per view, rubbed a few out, and decided it was time to call it a night. In his bathroom, he brushed his teeth while looking at his reflection in the mirror. His eyes were lit up. He wondered if his last target was a bastard or a saint. He wondered how he would tell his son about his line of work.

He woke the next morning, around 10 AM, to the sound of his doorbell.  He looked out of his peephole and saw those religious types that wore white shirts, black ties, Mormons. He opened the door.
“Good afternoon, sir. My name is Elder Robinson and this is Elder Guiterrez from the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints….” In the seconds it took  for the Saints to finish their spiel the hitter started thinking about the human being he'd shot a few nights ago. He felt his stomach twisting into knots and worried even though he wasn't tied to the crime. These mormons in their clean white shirts were and upbeat demeanor were jarring him. He opened his mouth to say something, but then realized his train of thought was unprofessional. His eyes narrowed.
                “Fuck off” he said, coolly shutting the door.

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