(f)irst

This couldn’t be any more of a cliché. She came to me. Lit cigarette. Asking if I could “take care of something” for her.

We met in a dimly lit bar. Hazy smoke permeated the air. A whiskey sour for myself, nothing for the dame.

“So, is this your first job?”

Lying, “No, my hands are stained red already. This is just another name for the list.”

Actually, that wasn’t a lie. Killing had become second nature for me at this point. This, however, was my first assassination. It all felt the same either way.

“Who am I going after?” as my drink is set down. The waitress gives me a wink and tells me it is on the house. Her compliments.

“Oh, you know, the typical revenge story. Ex-husband. Cheated on me for a younger girl.”

“That’s it? Nothing more. Just a cheating husband? You’re not telling me the whole story.”

“No, but do you really care?” she asked already knowing I didn’t.

“Yes.”

“A cheating husband with a lot of my money. My money that can not be collected until he is dead. Of course, he doesn’t know that I know. They left a hotel the other evening. Same old story.”

Same old fucking clichés. Whatever, I could care less. This broken world has led me to this. My left eye was acting up again and repairing biometrics was not cheap. Thankfully, my right arm is still fully functional. Something got knocked loose the other day when I was trying to get information. The information had more back up than anticipated.

“Information. I need more than just ‘he’s a cheating husband’ if I am to take care of this problem. Also, our agreement for an upfront.”

Sliding a hand under a table, I feel something graze my leg. Then a little further. Taking my payment, I push her hand away.

“You’re still a married woman.”

“Not for long hopefully.”

A napkin with an address and a photo in the folds.

Double-checking the payment. Fifty thousand credits. Good.

“I’ll contact you when it is done.”

A day or two, hell, it could have been a week pass. Lying in wait, I finally see them. Waiting ’til the mistress made her way, I casually walk towards the hotel. Hood down. Eyes forward.

“Excuse me sir,” holding out a styrofoam cup. “Any spare change?”

Digging through his pockets, his eyes aren’t on me. I make my move.

“Don’t move and this will be quick.” I pull D.T. against his stomach.

“She hired you didn’t she? Well, I will dou-” the blunt edge of my dagger hidden in my sleeve slams against his skull.

“It’s done. ”

***

Grabbing his hotel key, I carry his body back to the room and wait.

“Where is he!? Let me see the bastard!”

“Calm down, he is right here.”

“I thought you said it was ‘done.'”

“It is, I figured you wanted to witness the final blow,” as I load D.T..

“Let me do it.”

“Show me the money first.”

Slowly, she pulls the other half of my payment out. Good. Pulling the trigger, she drops to her knees bleeding. Slapping the husband awake, I mutter, “Wake up fucker, where is my money?”

“It is in my pocket.”

My hand furiously grabs it and looks at the credits on the screen. Two hundred thousand. This will do.

“You double-crossed me!? Why?!”

Spinning the chamber, I seat myself, putting the silencer on D.T..

“I didn’t double-cross anyone,” as I place the barrel against his head. “I was simply doing a job.”

The chamber slides and the hammer clicks. He drops. Looking at her as she is slowly bleeding. My eyes look up from beneath the hood.

“I hate clichés. But, money talks so loudly, that it is deafening. Also, neither of you have anything I need. No information, just money. Also, you’ve seen and heard enough of me that if you chose to, I would be put away tomorrow. I didn’t get this far by not covering my tracks. Plus, you’re no better than he is. ‘Loving’ him for his money. You’re fucking pathetic.”

The chamber makes one final revolution.

“Q?”

“Yes, F?”

“Make an appointment. Tell Doc, I’ll be there tomorrow. Then we leave.”

Before I leave, I search both of them. There is a note in the coat pocket. ‘Kill him after the payment. He is on our trail.’

He knew?

“Q, we leave tonight. Call Doc, tell him to get me in now. I have the money. Just, we need to leave tonight.”

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