Friday, April 29, 2011

Let it Snow


"I'm never a bad girl, but when I am, I certainly don't get caught."
                                                                                                — Peggy the cashier at Publix       

The snow was coming down thick, heavy, slow and steady; like a tortoise showing up the hare. The brown leather briefcase in the fat hand was getting powdered like a field from a crop-duster. So was the portly gentleman holding it as well. It was late in the day, the sun starting to hide it’s golden rounded head from one side of the world and show it to the other.
He was nervous walking through the doors of the restaurant placed on the street clouded with pedestrians rushing out of work for drinks, for dinner, for cigarettes, beer or merely decompression in the metropolitan area.
A manila folder with details of a specific nature nestled next to all kinds of photos and stapled documents and paperwork inside a briefcase that contained information of the highest priority.  Information that he knew could get him in front of an oversight committee full of crotchety older men who didn’t like things that were done outside of the pages of their strict “By-the-book” standards of practice. 

            Neither did she. . .


           Mark Prince—balding baldy with unkempt brown hair, a mustache and a gut—walked through the small double doors of the restaurant and sat at the booth in back. He even kept on his black overcoat, he wasn’t planning on staying long. He ordered a Rum-n-Coke and sipped it fast. He then quickly required yet another beverage of the exact contents of the previous one; he asked the returning waitress while wiping a bead of sweat off his forehead. The restaurant was one of those gloss-topped wooden places that D.C. was famous for with its bureaucrats and poli’s all running around. The business-fanciness that wasn’t elegant, but, expensive.
            His contact was a gentleman, who knew of another one that was looking for someone that they needed to find. Mark himself was nearly confused of the path and its slippery slopes, but knew he had favors to oblige. Plain and simple. Favors to oblige.
That specific gentleman appeared through the doors, wiped some snow off his wheat colored wool long coat and took off his gloves. Tom Holland spotted Mark in the back and waved off the chubbier-then-she-should-have-been (for an establishment of the building’s caliber) business-casual dressed hostess. She was at her podium mouth open with greetings at the ready now left with no use for them now looking defeated and snubbed as Tom strutted passed her. He walked over and slowly sat down in the booth with a grin. Tom was calm, collected and content in his fancy twenty-four-hundred dollar suit and hair that looked stolen from a Vanity Fair issue; along with the square jaw.
The waitress reappeared with Mark’s drink and placed it down, “There you go honey.” She turned to Tom and opened her mouth and he placed “Ice water” inside it without so much as giving her a look. She left with annoyance on her face. What a charmer. 

After a beat, Tom tapped the table with an ideal finger carefully gazing around the restaurant and said to Mark him with quieted satisfaction, “. . .Consider you’re drinks paid for. The least I can do.”

            “I hope you understand the trouble it took to compile this little,” He paused, searching with purposeful spitefulness to indent the severity of his point. “. . .Plethora of a package. The finances alone outside the aggravation could buy a—”
Tom interrupted very calmly and very quietly, “Hand. Me. The. File.” 

The waitress reappeared and not-so-gently placed the glass of ice water down in front Tom, splashing jut a drop onto the side of hand. After a sip from his alcohol Mark reached down under the table and slid the brown leather briefcase over to Tom. Then reached inside his jacket pocket and carefully pushed over a 4gb flashdrive. 

“Everything we have plus a digital copy.”

Mark took another sip from his glass and wiped over his mustache with his hand. He saw the excitement flash over Tom’s face for a fragment of a second. He was gazing at the flashdrive as he flipped it through his fingers like a pencil. “You PMC’s are so shadowy. You’d use a dildo if you could find a fucking way to get it work out for you. ”

“Actually there is a little story behind one of our guys who in fact did use a dildo once; ended up ramming the thing down her throat. Fiery little Cuban woman; all we wanted was her brother.”

Disgusted, Mark downed the rest of his glass and got up from the table, announcing: “We’re square.” He exclaimed while wiping the rest of the alcohol from his thick mustache and straightening out his overcoat. 

“Like the sponge.” Tom said to the flashdrive. Mark started to walk away but Tom stopped him, “Hold up, I’ll walk you.” Tom threw more cash than required on the table and left the building with Mark in tow. 

They walked around the building’s front facing and through a small alley to the back of the parking lot, housed in between other buildings sides and backs with only a slim shot to the street through yet another wider alley able to be driven through. It was cage of cars for a parking lot with a small break for the setting sun to cast it’s swan song rays of light over them, due to a smaller building’s vertical shortcomings. Mumbling to each other they stopped in front of Mark’s Mercedes and Tom stuck out a hand, Mark begrudgingly shook it. 

They never heard her coming. . . 
Her soft treads on the boots and the precise nature of her lurking walk coupled with the snow-covered parking ground was perfect for her approach. The not-so-cordial handshake was the last act the two men would voluntarily perform as living human beings. 

With long and flowing, wavy, dark brunette hair (lightly sugar-coated in snow) and the popped, giant black lapels of her peacoat, she walked up with black leather gloved hands and stuck two silver silenced .22’s to the temples of the gentleman. With John Lennon sunglasses shielding her eye balls from the glowing setting sun she squeezed back on the triggers twice and watched as they dropped like dead bodies should. 

Fast. Hard. “Ku-thumping!” on the ground.

She quickly set the safeties of the guns back on and replaced them into her hostlers inside her jacket above her black turtleneck sweater. She dug into Holland’s inner overcoat pocket, yanking out the flashdrive; then picked up the shells she would later throw into a trash can—maybe McDonald’s this time.
Upon rising from the ground she took notice to the particular shade of red that fresh blood takes on when mixed in with white, powdery snow. For a moment she stood in her spot gathering big flurries on top of herself and gazed upon the blood stained snow. That’s the only way it’ll look exactly that color; she’d seen it too many times before.
In the restaurant from a vantage point on the second level, she had been drinking café espresso and reading a fiction novel, ironically a story about another professional of her likeness. Carefully spying down she had been listening in with a device that very much looked like a Bluetooth earpiece; but unlike the hands-free set this had built-in focal points for exacting the position of desired audio surveillance and then also recording it. Which she would deliver as well to her current contractor along with the flashdrive and briefcase. 

She exited through the alleyway, walked down the street and got into a rented vehicle of choice, driving away with patience and acquired natural calm.


Two hours and twenty-three minutes later she was fast-asleep thirty-seven thousand feet over the Atlantic with a sleep mask on just as the story was breaking about the dead bodies found covered from head to toe in thick, powdery snow.

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