THE RIGHT TOOL FOR
“You don’t look
like what I thought a contract
killer would look like.”
Jimmy Hudson pulled his
Glock from his shoulder
holster and put the tip of the barrel up against Cassie Morgan’s forehead, just
above the bridge of her nose.
“How about now?”
“Oh, I can see it
now,” said Cassie. “Yup, you do look more like a contract killer
Jimmy and Cassie met in
a little greasy spoon
in a part of the Bronx she hadn’t been in before. Cassie had made contact
with Jimmy through a “friend”
who did maintenance work at her condo.
“He’s very good
and very discreet,” Bobby
Rogers told her one morning while he was gathering towels from the vacant machines
in her condo’s exercise room.
“He costs a lot, but
he’s worth every penny. Like me.”
Cassie and Bobby had been
having sex upstairs
in Cassie’s unit during Bobby’s lunch hour once a week for about three months.
Cassie was tired of her
loveless marriage and
wanted to get rid of her verbally abusive husband, Les. Cassie and Les were
filthy rich, they both
had their own successful careers, and she was ready to go it alone. Alone with
all the financial rewards a
grieving widow would be entitled to, that is.
Bobby also had visions of
starting a new
life. With Cassie.
But that wasn’t going
to happen. Cassie already decided she would try to talk
Jimmy into a “twofer,” killing both Les and Bobby, thereby leaving no loose
“I don’t do
twofers,” Jimmy said. “If ya want Bobby dead too, it’ll cost
The waitress arrived at
their booth with
“No guns allowed in
here, Jimmy,” she whispered.
Jimmy just stared at her.
“Maybe next time leave
it in the car, okay?”
she whispered again, raising an eyebrow.
Jimmy continued the stare
for a bit and then
“You a regular here?”
“None of yer business,”
said Jimmy. “Ya got the cash?”
Cassie reached into her
oversized handbag and
took out a thick stack of hundreds secured with a rubber band.
Jimmy quickly scanned the
diner. “Pass it under the table,” he said.
Cassie sat there with the
bundle in her
hand. She was having second thoughts.
I should have probably
just done this myself. I trust this guy because Bobby says he’s
okay? If he takes the money and stiffs
me, what do I do? Call the cops?
Jimmy had seen this movie
“We’re way past
second guessin’,” he said. “Just gimme the damn money.”
do everything like you said you
“Ya get what ya pay
for,” Jimmy said
Cassie passed the money
to Jimmy. He drank his coffee down and got up to
leave. “We won’t be talkin’ again, got
Cassie nodded and forced
a smile. She didn’t feel good about this at all.
Their waitress walked over
after Jimmy left and
refilled Cassie’s cup.
she said, extending the hand that
wasn’t holding the coffee pot.
Cassie shook with her and
“Ya look like ya need
a friend,” said
Molly. “Why ya hanging around that
dirtball, Jimmy? He’s bad news.”
“He’s, ah …,
he’s going to do some work for
me,” said Cassie.
“Yeah, I saw ya passin’
him the cash. Ya don’t ever wanna pay somebody like Jimmy
in advance. You’ll probably never see
“He came highly recommended,”
said Cassie. “And I hope I never do see him again.”
“Let me guess,”
mused Molly. “He was probably recommended by his partner
in crime, Bobby. Those two are always
runnin’ some kinda hustle out of the diner here. One of these days they’ll
mess with the wrong
client and wind up dead.”
“Can you sit down
a minute?” asked Cassie.
Molly yelled. “Keep my customers happy for a few minutes,
Molly sat down in the booth
Cassie. “It’s probably too late, but
I’ll help ya if I can.”
Cassie debated as to what
she could possibly
gain by talking to this waitress. She
was pretty sure she’d already made one mistake and didn’t want to make another.
partners with Jimmy and Bobby, are
you?” she asked. “I don’t want—”
“Oh, hell, no,”
said Molly. “Give me some credit.”
Cassie proceeded to tell
Molly the whole story,
leaving nothing out. Molly nodded or
grimaced in all the right places.
“If yer lucky, Jimmy
will just take yer cash
and you’ll never see him again.”
“And if I’m
not lucky?” asked Cassie.
“Then he and Bobby
might use ya to get even
more money out of yer husband. They’re
not real bright, but they do know how to run a scam.”
“What should I do?”
“If I know those two,
and I do, they’ll
probably try to shake down yer husband right away,” said Molly. “Maybe
“How did I get into
this mess?” moaned Cassie.
“It’s how yer
going to get out of it that’s
important now,” said Molly. “What time
does yer husband usually get home?”
“Around 7:30 or so.”
“Don’t go home
tonight. You and I are going to check out the
situation before ya confront him.”
Molly. “He hired Jimmy to kill ya, didn’t he?”
Molly opened her mouth to
say something, but
nothing came out.
Cassie and Molly were staked
out in Molly’s old
Datsun across the street from Cassie’s high-rise condo. Les Morgan pulled
up at 7:35 and drove into
the underground parking garage.
“We wait,” said
Molly. “If he calls yer cell, don’t answer.”
Twenty minutes later, an
old beater drove up
and parked ten yards ahead of them.
said Molly. “It’s them.”
“Frick and Frack. Let’s let ‘em get inside.”
“Have you done this
sort of thing before?”
“None of yer business,”
Wow, that has a familiar
ring to it.
“Okay, we can go in
now,” said Molly, getting
out of the car. “To begin with, I’ll do
all the talkin’. If I need ya to say
something, I’ll nod yer way.”
“What do I say?”
“How do I know?”
said Molly. “Just wing it. I’ll
have set the stage by confrontin’ yer
husband and those two losers. If
necessary, ya can chime in.”
What the hell are you doin’ here?” asked Jimmy.
Molly. “I was just gonna ask you that.
And you, Bobby, ya here sharing bedroom
stories with Les?”
Jimmy and Bobby were sitting
next to each other
on a long couch. The hit money Cassie
had given Jimmy was on the coffee table in front of them.
“Looks like you were
right, Cassie,” said
Molly, pointing at the money. “Yer
lovin’ husband is hiring these two bozos to kill you.”
Les. “What the hell have you gotten us into? Have you totally lost your —”
Les didn’t get a chance
to finish that
thought. Molly pulled a silencer-
equipped Sig Sauer out from under her coat and shot him once in the forehead.
Cassie screamed and Jimmy
and Bobby both put
their hands in the air.
“I guess this must
be for me,” said Molly,
picking up the money from the table and stuffing it into a coat pocket.
“And yer done doin’
things ya have no expertise
in,” she said, and shot Jimmy in the face.
“And you,” she
said, pointing her pistol at
Bobby. “I guess since he’s done, yer
Cassie walked woodenly to
an overstuffed chair
and fell into it. She figured she was
next, but shock kept her from raising any kind of defense.
Molly walked to the front
door. She opened it and waved her arms over
head. A minute later, two men stepped
into the living room.
“I know I told you
guys I’d have a body for ya
to dispose of,” said Molly to one of the men.
“But I got a little carried away here and there’s three of ‘em.
You’ll get paid extra.”
“Make sure there is
absolutely no trace of any
of us being here. No blood stains
anywhere. Cassie and I are going
somewhere to have a few drinks and come up with a story as to how her husband
could have gone missing. Call me when yer
completely finished, okay?”
The two men nodded and put
gloves. Cassie had no doubt they’d done
this before. She now knew Molly wouldn’t
be associated with anyone but the best.
Molly and Cassie went out
the front door and
walked slowly to Molly’s car.
“So, the next time
I want to kill somebody, I
should ask a waitress at a diner for help?” Cassie asked.
This caused her to start
and Molly finally slapped her.
“Not just any waitress,”
Molly said. “Me!”
is retired from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Benefits Office and has
been a voracious reader for over 65 years. At the prompting of an old high
school friend, himself a retired English teacher, Roy is now a voracious
writer. He has had flash fiction and poetry published in Black Petals,
Bewildering Stories, One Sentence Poems, Yellow Mama,
Drunk Monkeys, Literally Stories, Dark Dossier, The Rye
Whiskey Review, Near To The Knuckle, Theme of Absence,
Shotgun Honey, and a number of other online and print journals. Unweaving
a Tangled Web, recently published by Hekate Publishing, is his first
Hillary Lyon is an illustrator for horror/sci-fi
and pulp fiction websites and magazines. She is also founder and senior editor for
the independent poetry publisher, Subsynchronous Press. An SFPA Rhysling Award nominated
poet, her poems have appeared in journals such as Eternal Haunted Summer, Jellyfish
Whispers, Scfifaikuest, Illya’s Honey, and Red River Review,
as well as numerous anthologies. Her short stories have appeared recently
in Night to Dawn, Yellow Mama, Black Petals, Sirens Call, and Tales
from the Moonlit Path, among others, as well as in numerous horror
anthologies such as Night in New Orleans: Bizarre Beats from the Big
Easy, Thuggish Itch: Viva Las Vegas, and White
Noise & Ouija Boards. She appeared, briefly, as the uncredited "all-American
Mom with baby" in Purple Cactus Media’s 2007 Arizona indie-film, "Vote
for Zombie." Having lived in France, Brazil, Canada, and several states in the US,
she now resides in southern Arizona. https://hillarylyon.wordpress.com/