User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

“There’s this guy. He’s gotta go.”

“Ok.” Ernest did not look up from tying his shoe. 

“He’s an asshole.”

“Everyone’s an asshole.” Shoe tied, Ernest took his attache case from the desk. “Just give me the specs.”

“Wait a moment. I mean, listen. He’s real scum. Last year he – “

“His name, his address, what he looks like, and by when. I don’t care about the rest.”

The other man shook his head. “Don’t you have any feeling? You can’t just get rid of him. You gotta teach him a lesson. Here!” He threw some pictures on the table. “This is what Teresa looked like after he was done with her. Just look at it!”

Out of the corner of his eye, Ernest saw blood, a mass of something with a slit of an eye. Even that little bit showed horror. 

He did not allow himself to flinch. Moved to the door. “Name, address, date, and I’m outta here.”

“For fuck’s sake, here it is.” The other man threw an envelope on the table. “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” 

“Guy gives me the creeps,” he mumbled to himself.

Ernest looked at the sheet in the envelope. Dennis something or other. 39 years old. Good health. Married, three children, 3, 7, and 11. There was a whole family to consider then. Apparent suicide was out; too traumatic for the wife and kids, same with a simple disappearance. 

What sort of death is painless for a man in the best years of his life, and leaves his family with a grief they can overcome? Car accident? No. Heart attack? Too out of the blue. 

This was the point where with every contract, unfailingly, Ernest asked himself the same question. It wasn’t what gave him the right to end a person’s life. That wasn’t hard. Everyone had to die; now was as good a time as any – today, tomorrow, in fifty years. No, it was the how that perplexed him. Why this compulsion to make the end painless? Why with so much care? Why would he not consider at all why his target needed – deserved – to die? Why never any connection, no parallels between those people’s transgressions and their passing? 

But then Ernest had an idea, and as always, forgot the question. He had a job to do, and do it well.

“In a house fire at 110 Blair Road, the owner, Greta Charling, survived, as did her four dogs. Tragically, the hero who saved them all, 39-year-old Dennis Rapesin, died of smoke inhalation. He leaves a wife and three children behind.”

It had not been difficult to set the fire. Wear the same clothes as Dennis. Inject Dennis with propofol to render him unconscious, and leave him in the smoke. Discreetly get the woman and the dogs out. 

Ernest had a buddy at Transatlanta Insurance. He would make sure the life insurance got paid out to the widow in no time.


Donate a little?

Use PayPal to support our efforts:


Genre Poll

Your Favorite Genre?

Sign Up for info from Short-Story.Me!

Stories Tips And Advice