Thursday, February 23, 2006

Another short-short from the past

All in the Family (c. 1989)

I parked my Plymouth in front of the house. It was freezing and I had a red scarf around my neck to stop the cold getting into my bones. I looked at the house where my future employer was living. It was huge, white, made of sandstone, lots of windows, but still not as many as in the Empire State Building. I walked up the marble stairs and rang the bell. The door was opened by a girl who was all dressed in black. She looked sad. Maybe she looked sad all the time.
”I’m Les Figueroa. Your dad is expecting me”, I said.
”No, he’s not! I’m your employer now! My dad was going to get me killed, but you’ll have to kill him! I give you 5000!”
I sized with her my eyes. The girl was very good-looking, even when she was sad. ”Alright, where’s your dad?”
”In the living room.”
I followed the girl through some rooms into a big living room. There her daddy was sitting in a chair and watching some action flick from the tube. I pulled my Smith & Wesson out and shot the man. The girl was yelling – from joy or what, I still don’t know. At the same moment an old lady stepped into the room with a shotgun in her hands – probably the girl’s mom. The shot almost tore my ears off and the girl fell on the floor. ”Get lost”, the woman said.
Before I’d left the room, a young guy in a crocodile leather jacket threw a knife into the woman’s back. ”And who are you?” he asked me when the woman was down on the floor.
”No one. I’ll go now.”
Outside I still heard two shots, but it wasn’t my business anymore. I stepped into the Plymouth and drove off.

(First published in a booklet called Joe Novak in Trouble and Other Stories, 1997.)

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