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Short Stories


By August 22, 2022No Comments


The boss wasn’t happy, not that he’s ever been a gleam of spring sunlight shining over the Tien Shan mountains. He only grunted when I handed over the thirty grand, looked surprised when I gave him the ten I’d liberated from Farid and Sapar.

‘What’s this?’

I’m not stupid enough to think the boss wouldn’t find out about the two bodies crisped up nicely in the burnt-out farmhouse in which we’d holed up. He’d see keeping their fee for myself as a sign I thought he was weak. And then someone like me would be coming to find me.

I explained about no loose ends, and the boss agreed cutting out the weak links was the right thing to do.

‘But don’t do it again,’ he cautioned, ‘Or we’ll run out of shooters.’

He pointed to the vodka bottle, the good stuff, jerked his thumb in the direction of his mouth. I shook my head; I knew he’d have more work for me, and I like to be prepared. The only shots I’m interested in are the ones that swell my bank account.

‘I’ve got another little task for you.’

‘You don’t think I should pop across the border, keep my face out of harm’s way for a while?’ I asked.

‘This job takes care of any harm coming your way.’

I didn’t like the sound of that, or the smile he gave me.

‘It’s a two for one job,’ he said.

‘As long as it’s not two for one payment.’

The smile went away.

‘You should be able to take them both at the same time. They’re fucking each other.’

‘Man and woman?’

‘Yes, but not civilians.’

I sighed, to indicate the price would have to go up.

‘He’s Murder Squad, she’s Uzbek Security,’ the boss said, held out his arms, palms up, ‘what can you do?’ look on his face.

I knew what was coming.

‘Borubaev, right?’


‘Bliyad,’ I swore.

‘He’s not the one you have to worry about. She’s the assassin of the team, the cool one.  She could take you down, light a cigarette, then finish doing her makeup while you bled out.’

I considered my options, knew I didn’t have any, nodded at the thirty grand on the table. He pushed the notes towards me, not even bothering to haggle. And that made me really worried.

‘You have to hit them together. Or whichever one survives will hunt you down until the day you die. Preferably at their hands. And slowly.’

The smile came back.

‘When? Where?’

‘They’ve gone to see that shit, Omurbek.’

‘Why go see him?’ I asked.

‘Because they want to buy him a new fucking wheelchair. I don’t know, I don’t care. Just go get it done.’

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