posted on Mar, 23 2014 @ 08:02 PM
“Left hand or right?” From the sound of the voice, it was an enforcer. Every other week, he probably found himself in a situation like this,
holding a hammer, or an icepick, or a shovel, prepared to scare, maim, or kill for the highest bidder. Today was most likely no different.
“You sick bastard. You’re crazy! I already told you, I can get Richie his money. Call him up, tell him, for the love of God, just stop!” The
man’s voice was ripe with panic. He was in over his head. Every gambler hits rock bottom someday. And as the weight of a five pound hammer crunched
the fine bones inside his hand, Marco had hit rock bottom. I had seen the descent.
“He said it doesn’t matter. He said to make an example out of you, one that every no-good deadbeat will understand. You know what we do to people
who cheat, Marco?” It was a rhetorical question, one with an implied answer that involved a hole in the desert. But Marco was the type to keep his
“I ain’t no cheat, man! Lady Luck shined on me, and then she cut out my heart. I know you’re gonna kill me regardless of circumstance, so I
don’t have much reason to lie. I won that hand fair and square.” Marco was indeed today’s luckiest loser. The series of events that had brought
him to this point were strange indeed. The enforcer just made a noise that resembled human laughter.
“That’s a good joke. You drew a full house, a straight flush, and then a royal flush, all in the same game. Now, I am not a mathematician, as you
can see. My business is hurting people. But even a guy like myself can tell how unlikely that is. How stupid did you think we were, Marco?” Mick
judged his quarry to be guilty, but he wasn’t there to give him a fair trial. The truth was unknown. Maybe, against astronomical odds, he had
legitimately won the game. But if so, his luck had run out. His fortune had turned to misfortune very quickly.
See, that’s where I come in, hiding in an armoire. I’m the poor sap Marco’s wife hired to keep an eye on him. I had tailed him, kept watch on
his activities, saw him squander a fortune. I felt bad for the wife, but she wasn’t paying me to stop him. No, she paid me solely to provide
surveillance and photography of his transgressions and many sins. I got the impression she wanted a divorce. But if I didn’t do anything soon, she
would be a widow.
At the time, I thought I was the best in the business. My ear to the ground of the criminal underworld, an ex-cop with a mostly honorable discharge,
up until that day, I felt untouchable. What was some angry unfaithful husband going to do against a private eye with a gun and a badge he didn’t
know was expired? Nine times out of ten, they’d always back down. But this was no cuckolded spouse.
There were six bullets in my gun. I wondered if I should just let Marco die, leave him to his unhappy fate and inform his wife she’s a widow.
Instinctually, I knew the whole job had gone rotten, that the money wasn’t worth the risk any more. But something in me told me I couldn’t abandon
a man to such an awful death. I unholstered my revolver, and burst out of the armoire. I leveled it at the man’s back.