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Short Stories


By February 13, 20232 Comments


I asked the boss why we were dancing around like this, when I could have taken Borubaev out of the world with a single well-placed shot. I could tell he wasn’t pleased at the question.

‘You’re being paid, aren’t you?’ he snarled, but I don’t terrify too easily. My thought was he was being paid as well, simply obeying his orders, pretending he called the shots, but nothing more than a puppet whose strings were out of sight.

‘Makes no difference to me,’ I said, ‘As long as the money is right. Waiting for me overseas the day after the job.’

‘It will be,’ he said.

‘I know it will be,’ I replied, ‘Or I’ll be back in Bishkek for another job.’

His face grew even redder, if that were possible.

‘You’re threatening me?’

I shook my head.

‘Simply stating my business terms,’ I said, ‘Just so there’s no misunderstanding.’

‘The only misunderstanding there’ll be is if you fuck up.’

‘I never have so far,’ I said, voice calm, merely stating facts. It’s never good to lose your temper, get too emotional, too involved. That’s how mistakes happen, and in a profession like mine, any mistake is a potential catastrophe.

‘So where are we now?’

‘Dastan went to deal with the woman, she won’t be a problem.’

‘You’re sure?’

‘Not the way Dastan will take care of it,’ I sad.

We both knew what I meant.

‘It’s to send out a message,’ the boss said. As if I didn’t know.

‘It’s to tell Borubaev the wolves are circling, the winter snows are coming, and there’s no escape.’

‘I’ll make sure he understands,’ I said, ‘I’ve told Dastan what to do afterwards.’

‘I don’t like doing business like this,’ the boss said, ‘It’s sloppy when it gets personal. But it’s how the client wants it.’

‘What makes it so personal?’ I asked, ‘Why can’t it just be business?’

But I knew the answer already, tucked away in one of those bank accounts no one ever seems able to trace, maybe some gold bullion tucked away in a safe or buried underground. I once did a hit where the client offered a Faberge egg as payment. Stupid really. It’s not hard to go online and find out how many were made, and where they are. As I always say, I hate liars, liars have to be punished, and he was. Permanently. I did the hit myself.

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