As Roscoe Mueller sat on the bed in his hotel room, flipping through the cable channels to find the porn, he experiences an introspective moment about his occupation: Hired Assassin. To his sensibility, Hired Assassin sounded better than the generic Hit Man. Why are people enthralled by guys like me? Roscoe will never quite understand this fascination.
He stops pushing the remote channel select button when he notices two naked women, wearing only red pumps kissing each other, which momentarily diverts his attention. Roscoe then says to himself, “maybe I should have a hooker sent up, maybe a red head for a change?” But Roscoe’s mind reverts to the subject at hand, Hired Assassins and the glamorous lifestyle the public seems to think they lead. “You call this glamorous?” he says out loud, in a hushed tone, as he looks around his hotel room, the exact hotel room he’s seen in the many cities Roscoe has been dispatched to eliminate other people’s problems.
Roscoe is a journeyman in the world of Hired Assassins. He has been doing this for the past 35 years and, if he must say so himself, he is pretty good at it. Roscoe adjusts his pillows, and what appears to be a cable TV repair man enters on screen with the two naked women with red pumps. He turns up the volume and reflects on how times have changed in this business.
The infringement on his privacy with omnipresent surveillance video cameras, the practically universal substitution of credit cards for cash, the cell phones, the bar codes to detect forged documents and all the other high tech innovations have sure made this job more complicated and dangerous.
Roscoe longs for the old days when he made his first “hit”; breeze in, pay cash, no picture id, no surveillance video cameras, only pay phones, no questions asked, two in the back of the head, bada bing bada boom, gone before the body is cold.
Oh well, with the realization that change is a constant, as in most businesses one must keep up with the times if one wants to continue to work.
Now the cable TV guy gets into it with both of the naked women in red pumps; “Maybe I should order up two pros, a red head and a blonde?” But being the professional that he is, he knows work comes first and starts to decide how best to accomplish this latest mission. “I didn’t come all the way out to Wisconsin just to bend my Johnson”, he laughs to himself.
Roscoe gets up from the bed, turns off the television, sits at the desk and turns on the lamp. The little black book which contains all the information given to him, as well as the information he has gathered by observing his “package” is ready for review. Of course, it is all encrypted into a verbiage and syntax only known to Roscoe and will be totally destroyed prior to any action.
Roscoe has never and will never use any computer, or e mails to electronically memorialize any work related data, “Computers and e mails are like herpes, they’re forever” he always reminds himself. Flipping through the pages of the black book, Roscoe once again reviewed the plan of action and immediate egress. This mundane process is so fine tuned, it has become second nature. Roscoe can now do the boom without the bada and without the bing.
So this guy whose going to get clipped by Roscoe pisses off this other guy, (for reasons that are of no concern to Roscoe) this other guy is a “business acquaintance” of Roscoe’s guy. Roscoe’s guy assures this other guy (who is nervous) that his guy (Roscoe) is a total professional and “you got nothing to worry about”. The only wrinkle in the plan is that the pissed off guy ordering the hit wants the guy who’s getting clipped to “suffer”.
Of course, this means an enhanced monetary compensation, which the pissed off guy was more than happy to add to the total when Roscoe’s guy said no problem to the description of how the pissed off guy wants the clipped guy to suffer. Got all that? Not for nothing, that’s the lingo of the badda, the bing and the boom.
One would think that Roscoe would welcome the opportunity to increase his compensation, but nowadays he just sees these enhanced techniques as unnecessary, a bit more risky and messy. Anyway, Roscoe was getting sick of blood and guts, but not because of any queasiness, it was just getting too messy. Roscoe believes in quality work and customer satisfaction, and Roscoe’s guy is the source of good paying gigs, so Roscoe will do what he has to do.
The black book is now being destroyed as Roscoe checks his wristwatch and starts the prep for the hit and his Midwest departure back to civilization. Same shit, different day.
The guy who was going to get clipped was named Osgood; Osgood LaRue. It was quite a simple dispatch even with the enhancements; which involved a Tiger Woods golf club, an extremely sharp straight razor, and of course, a gun.
Isolating Osgood LaRue was no problem. Like most, he was predictable. The enhanced techniques started with the removal of Osgood LaRue’s manhood while he was still alive, relocating it to his mouth. (Roscoe remembered: Been there: 1969 South Viet Nam/Done that: South Vietnamese double agent) Then, while Osgood LaRue was still alive, (as seen in The Soprano’s) the Tiger Woods golf club was inserted, deeply and without the aid of lubrication, into Osgood LaRue’s anal cavity (oh, that’s something new). Roscoe was then to tell Osgood LaRue the identity of the individual who ordered this anatomical relocation and the Tiger Woods anal insertion, minus the lubrication, before putting two in the back of his head (oh the drama!).
The recon on Osgood LaRue was perfect as was the timing. The last thing Osgood LaRue heard, if he could concentrate with all that pain going on, was the whispered observation of Osgood LaRue’s assassin ;”You really must have done something to pissed that guy off!”
Roscoe boarded the Southwest flight right on time, leaving Wisconsin for New York, with a stop in Chicago. Another job well done. As he finds his seat and falls into a nice sleep, he wonders about when and how this will all end and when and how this all started.
Roscoe was born on the outskirts of Greenwich Village, New York, which is now known as trendy SoHo (South of Houston Street). Back then and up until the early 1970’s it was a lower middle class ethnically mixed, but predominantly Italian neighborhood.
His parents were German immigrants and Roscoe fit that bill; growing up as a tall, thin, blonde Aryan looking youth; but from an early age he enthusiastically took on other ethnocentric behavioral characteristics in order to survive. Roscoe was a proud member of the Satin Kings, an equal opportunity Italian American street gang. The gang’s trademark black satin jackets boasted the woven gold letters T.L.A.M.F under their name (Tough Like A Mother Fucker). Like most street gangs, the Satin Kings renamed their members to reflect their outstanding features or habits; Roscoe was naturally christened Hitler Youth. Membership had its privileges among which were its predatory training as the stepping stone to bigger and better things for guys like Roscoe.
With the Viet Nam war and the draft hot on his heels, Roscoe dropped out of High School and joined the army. While in the Army, he showed great promise, more than the usual draftee from New York City. The army, in their infinite wisdom, taught Roscoe how to kill. Not only did they teach him numerous ways to kill, they taught Roscoe to kill without mercy.
All this knowledge and skill was acquired in the summer of 1967, known these days by aging hippie liberal douche bags as the Summer of Love. While most of the flower power generation was picking flowers, Roscoe was picking targets. Turn on, Tune in, Drop out was their mantra; Roscoe’s mantra was One Shot, One Kill.
It’s 1968, and Roscoe finds himself in South Viet Nam. His superiors’ realize that they have a killing machine on their hands. And as a bonus, Roscoe is extremely creative. On one specific occasion when severe beatings fail to make the Viet Cong talk, an army Intel Lieutenant needs a plan. His problem is how determine which one of these four prisoners is the leader of the cadre, the only one with all the time sensitive information the army is after. What’s an integrator to do? Hey, talk to that guy from New York City; he should come up with something, he always does!
Roscoe takes all four bound Viet Cong suspects up in a helicopter, he picks out the one he’s sure IS NOT the leader and casually pushes him out of the chopper to his death. As he does this, with a smile, Roscoe watches the other three, and two of the three look right at the leader. They might as well have said “What the hell are we going to do now, Comrade?”
These creative techniques and his coldness as a killer move the Viet Cong to put a price on his head. Roscoe saves the crude drawn picture/wanted poster of him that has been taken off one of the prisoners. Is Roscoe afraid? Not Roscoe, he sees it as a badge of honor and respect.
Roscoe is now back from the ‘Nam and starts hanging with the wise guys. They want to hear his war stories and he happily obliges. Big Carmine, the neighborhood boss, overhears how Roscoe calmly and thoroughly describes his duties in the army. Time goes on and Roscoe settles into a routine.
Over the years, Roscoe incrementally becomes more and more involved in the activities of “the boys”; he finally gets his first assigned hit. After years of working, he has earned the respect, confidence and trust by doing what he’s told and keeping his mouth shut.
As Roscoe mentally prepares the night before he “pops his cherry”, (after all, he’s never killed a Caucasian) he looks up at the now yellowing, framed Viet Cong wanted poster which hangs in his apartment. This is his real diploma into the world of Hired Assassins. Roscoe prizes this memento more than his silver star. He will get his button from the mob... he now belongs.
Nowadays, if you’d ever see Roscoe on the street, it’s in Florida and you wouldn’t even give him a second glance. His new nondescript manner and intentional reversal of the “Microwave Wise Guy” attire and jewelry he adapted to assimilate with the “boys” are gone. Also gone are the “des, dems, and dose.” He and his long time girl friend Sharon Slinkski are residents of Del Ray Beach, Florida and are enjoying a never ending Summer of Love.
Frankie Rembly has observed the transition of his city from its past wild politically incorrect days to the present sterile bubble that is now New York City. He has been published on Short-Story-Me, The Flash Fiction Offensive and Flash Fiction Magazine. He enjoys writing for writings sake because he believes life is an unending series of simple stories, and those stories make us reflect on what we've missed in our own story. Frankie is on Facebook and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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