by Andrew Ricchiuti
“I’m here,” Neimiu said.
“Okay to go in?”
“Give me a minute,” Pira
said. “He’s sitting there with an alarm on.”
“Can you disable it?”
“Of course I can,” Pira
said. “You’re good to go.”
Neimiu busted through the
door. He didn’t care about a quiet entry. He wanted loud. He ran through the
entry hallway and into the back room. Inside, surrounded by computers, sat his
“Who the hell are you?
What do you want?”
Neimiu rushed over and slammed
him on the head with a blackjack. The guy fell out of his chair and landed on
the floor, dazed. Neimiu grabbed him under the arms and threw him back onto the
chair. Within seconds, he zip-tied his hands and feet to the chair.
“You’re Casper, right?”
Neimiu said. No response came. He slapped him hard and asked again.
He got a groggy answer. “Yeah.
“I’m the guy you sent an
email to, about killing him,” Neimiu said. “You said I seemed nice. Didn’t
deserve to die. For twenty thousand dollars, you wouldn’t kill me and give me enough
info on who wanted me dead to bring to the authorities. That’s who.”
Casper awoke quick from
his grogginess. “I didn’t do that. . . .”
Neimiu punched him hard
enough that Casper rocked back and fought to keep his tears hidden.
“Don’t try to tell me
that,” Neimiu said. “I’ve traced the email. I know it came from you. Who hired
“Nobody. It was a scam.
I’m just trying to get money from you.”
Neimiu hit the other side
of his face this time. It turned red and would soon match the swelling of the
other side. He spoke very slowly.
“I want to know who wants
me killed. Who is it? How did they contact you?”
Casper shook his head.
“I’m telling you,” he said. “It’s just a way of making some money. It’s not a
real threat. No. Don’t hit me again. I’m just a hacker.”
Neimiu stepped closer
with his hands extended, ready to knock Casper and the chair to the floor. “One
more time. Who wants me dead?”
Casper didn’t get a
chance to answer. Neimiu’s phone vibrated. He looked at the ID. Pira. He took
“I’m running through this
guy’s records,” she said. “I think he’s running some type of operation. Over
the last few months, he’s sent the same email to about twelve people. Exactly
the same as what he sent you.”
“He’s claiming he’s a
hacker with a scam. Can you check that? And, can you remove any record of him
sending me an email?”
“Of course I can,” Pira
said. “I’ll also remove some others, just in case.”
Neimiu disconnected the
call and turned back to Casper. “Tell me more about your scam. It is a scam?
Nobody wants me dead? Is that right?”
Casper nodded quickly
before Neimiu could hit him again. “I just sent the email to you. I just picked
you out of a list. If you untie me and let me go, I won’t do anything. I’ll
forget all about it. Nobody’s after you. I’ve never killed anyone.”
“I have. You didn’t
answer my question. Tell me how it works.”
“I hack people’s email
and send a bunch of these out a week. You’d be surprised at how many people
pay. I have untraceable accounts where they send the money. I could show you.”
“Not necessary,” Neimiu
said. He hit the speed dial on his phone for Pira and explained the scam.
“Double-check what he said and get right back to me.”
Casper watched Neimiu
disconnect the call. “I can give you the twenty thousand I asked for,” Casper
said. “In fact, I could double it. Forty thousand. What do you say?”
Neimiu’s phone vibrated.
“Everything is like he
said,” Pira said.
“Good. Refund the last
six or seven people he scammed. He’s not going to need it,” Neimiu said. He
pulled his gun and shot Casper in the heart and head.
Neimiu set an explosive
in the room that would go off two minutes after he shut the door. Still on the
phone, he quickly left.
“Set up something like this
scam for me. Only, I’ll be for real. Find people who deserve to die. It should
be a nice sideline in between contract kills. You can do that?
“Of course I can.”
Andrew Ricchiuti lives in New Jersey and
enjoys writing and reading all types of short fiction.
Fawcett has been writing for fun or money since she
was able to hold a pen. A Jersey Girl at heart, she got her journalism degree
at Marquette University in Milwaukee and now writes mostly technical articles
about hydraulics and an occasional short story or poem on any other subject.