Aiming for a creative life

I Am Santo

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He didn’t say hello. He wasn’t cowering or cordial. Simon demanded to know where the rest of the money was. The job was done, his heart was shorn like a sheep coat; raw and in the open. He wanted his due without the terror of the voice and his brow tensed the way it did when staring at a low afternoon winter sun. He wanted answers and resolution, no more orders to follow and no more goddamn mystery. Who was she? Why did she have to die? How did they know he could do it? But the voice, crackling with future-past distortion, arrived with low, fuzzy disinterest. The money would be dropped off soon. Just keep walking. Get home. Live life. The job is done. Redial if there is a problem. Click.

Simon kept talking after the call ended, if only because having the phone to his ear steadied him. His questions went unanswered so he chatted with the dead line as people spilled in and out of restaurants and shops, oblivious they were in the presence of a father, a widower, a rich man, a killer. Yes, he would do that. Mmmhmm, that was a good idea. Right, right, Kevin was ridiculous asking for that much money. Oh sure, he could earn it elsewhere. Let him.

It was calming gibberish, fictions stealing the flash-fire memory of the gun’s intimate report and the resignation of the target as she succumbed without a fight. Her quiet apology drifted away like a Leaf leaf on the stream of his babble. There was Kevin now and his blah blah blah money. Kevin and a job well done but so not worth it. Simon told his business partner on the line, Sam, that he would be there soon and that they could discuss this in person. Then he moved to the hiding space for the money, pulled away the bricks and grabbed the package, stuffing it back into the waist of his pants. Ok, Sam. Life goes on, man. Simon hung up the phone and walked to his car, squinting hard at Sam’s problem with Kevin. He was just another busy bee buzzing around the hive. The driver’s side door wailed like a leper for death, and Simon climbed in, feeling purged of his sin in waters of anonymity. Thanks, Sam. Thanks, Kevin. He drove home obeying the speed limit. (To be continued…)

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