Tuesday, November 13, 2012
FLASH FICTION FRIDAY, CYCLE 104: WORDS, WORDS, AND MORE WORDS
The prompt this time was aimed at celebrating this month of words, and to add a select few to our title, our story, or both. The words are: Gunshot, train, mime, balcony, monkey, rain. Quite the delightfully bizarre grouping. The genre’s open, and the count is not to exceed 900 words. Hope you enjoy my crazy little tale about a guy just trying to do his job.
It’s quite a mess outside this evening. There was rain and thunder a few nights ago when this all began too. My employer, let’s call him Mr. D, asked me to retrieve an item that a former employee, let’s call him Mr. Andy Body-Will-Never-Be-Recovered, had stolen from him. Mr. D funneled his earnings through several small legitimate businesses and then kept the laundered cash in a small out-of-town bank’s lockbox. It had been Andy’s job to deposit the cash on a weekly basis and return the key, along with a statement of the box’s balance.
This week, however, Andy decided he’d keep the deposit and the contents of the box for himself. He wouldn’t go straight to the bank because Mr. D would have someone waiting for him. No. He’d have a partner, someone none of us knew, to slip the key to who would obtain the money. The only way I’d be able to get the key back would be find him and take it from him directly or from whoever he passed it to. Mr. D. got word Andy had purchased a ticket on a train to Frisco and wouldn’t let any of the porters take his bag. The stolen deposit and key had to be in there. All I had to do was go and get it. Oh, and also make sure his body would never be recovered. There’s that too.
I made it to the station in plenty of time and saw Andy with a small group of people waiting to board. They were all laughing, and I peeked through the crowd to see what was happening, and that’s when I saw the mime. And his monkey. What kind of mime uses a monkey in his routine and how would he train it? The monkey moved through the crowd touching and hugging while the mime did that climbing-out-of-a-box thing. Creepy. Both of them. I went to my seat in the last car.
The depot was jam-packed when we arrived and I almost lost sight of Andy, but he was again with a group looking into a corner by one of the concession stands. Another mime with a monkey? This one was all touchy-feely too. I noticed Andy made his way to the Men’s with his satchel. Timing is everything.
Evidently no one else had the urge so it was only Andy and me. He got pale when he recognized me and offered me a third of what he said was probably in the millions by now. No one heard the gunshot I delivered between his eyes. That silencer I picked up for a song on E-Bay worked like a charm. Along with a couple of shirts and some cheap cologne, his bag only held a couple packs of hundreds. The key was in a zippered pants pocket. I figured his partner would be watching for the bag, so I put the cash in my money belt and slid the key in my suit jacket’s inside pocket. Safe and sound.
I slept most of the way back, dreaming of how happy Mr. D was going to be when I showed up with his money and the key to all that cash. I’m sure he had plenty more in accounts out of the country, but you never know when you’ll need to get your hands on quick cash for emergencies. Unexpected stuff comes up, you know?
Why is it the return part of a trip never seems as long as the going part? Probably because the going part contains uncertainty and the return part contains success. I’m not going to let anything spoil my mood today, not even that damn mime with the monkey by one of the exits. Kids were throwing pennies and getting hugs. Kind of cute in a gross sort of way. I suppose everybody’s got to make a living, so I threw down a quarter. That monkey ran right up my leg and gave me the biggest squeeze. The mime smiled. That wasn’t cute in any sort of way. I grabbed a cab and headed for Mr. D’s. Tapped my inside pocket where I’d stashed the key. Uh-oh…
The Boss Man was sitting behind his desk waiting for me; well, for the key, to be exact. I told him about everything that had happened. I knew he’d understand. After all, sometimes, the dog really does chew up your homework, and like today, the monkey of the last mime really did pick my pocket. Who knew Andy had so many brothers waiting at each stop for him to try to slip their trained ape the key? Mr. D didn’t laugh right away. It takes some folks a bit longer to see the humor in a situation. Give or take a half hour and the big guy smiled and told me he had a couple of surprises for me: Some new footwear and a brief vacation. How cool is he?
So, here I sit, waiting to be fitted for my new shoes. I’m told they’re going to be made from quick-dry cement though. Mr. D also promised to have one of his crew assist me with taking a header off the balcony at his cliff-side beach house. He’s got a beautiful view; the ocean’s just a dot from way up there. I wonder if I should mention that I don’t know how to swim…