Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Entry #77

by John McAuley

I took out insurance on every job. Most everybody knew I was just covering my ass, so they went along with it.

Maybe that's why I'm still alive and my old bosses are dead.

Or rotting in prison.

Which is as bad as dead.

I don't work anymore. My hands are shaky and I move slow. Damn near blind too. My hearing is still pretty good though, so I guess that's something.

I have few regrets over the jobs I did. They were all on guys that knew how things were.

Most of them faced the end with guts. Especially if I promised not to beat on them before I shot them.

Enzio took it best: " Shit. Guess I'm done huh? Remember when our kids watched that show where one cartoon guy says to the other, '" You knew the job was dangerous when you took it..."'

I did him clean and fast. I sent his wedding ring to his wife. Anonymously of course.

Last week I visited my mother at the nursing home just before she died. For over thirty years she'd kept the maps and names. My insurance policies.

The only question she'd ever asked was where to send them if something bad happened to me.

Now she's gone.

I'm sitting on a tree stump in the woods of Northern Michigan.

There's a halo of black flies buzzing around my head and Jimmy Hoffa's hands ain't where I buried them.

And I hear twigs snapping behind me.


SF Johnston said... absolutely perfect flash fiction story!

angel said...

bucking frilliant! love it!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Creepy! Excellent pace and tension and very strong voice. Well done!

JLB said...

hee hee - excellent!

Jaye Wells said...

"There's a halo of black flies buzzing around my head and Jimmy Hoffa's hands ain't where I buried them. "


Ann Ostrander said...

The sentence Jaye put above ... terrific.

Victor J. Banis said...

I agree with Jaye - nice images, great voice

cool_st_elizabeth said...

OMG, what a great sense of place, and I love the suspenseful ending!

Victor Bravo Monchego, Jr said...

This is a great line: and Jimmy Hoffa's hands ain't where I buried them.

Paul Liadis said...

Just a cool, well written story. Nice work. I could read more about this character.

SzélsőFa said...

I like the open ending - although it seems that the guy always knows his ways.

John McAuley said...

Thanks for all the kind words! I'd like to know more about this character too..but he's a tricky old boy. He won't even tell me if the sound of breaking twigs behind him is from men with guns and handcuffs--or just men with guns. Or neither.
But I do believe I know,lol.
John McAuley

Bernita said...

Nice. Neat.

Victor J. Banis said...

John, congratulations on your win and continued good luck with your fine writing.

jason evans said...

Excellently done. A complete story within the word limit. Not easy to do. I like that we have to figure it out a little.

High marks!

Congratulations on 3rd Place!!