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I Am Santo

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Simon dropped the lamp, the cord around his attacker’s neck falling limp like sloughed snakeskin. The man gasped and then moaned. Unlike Jaimie, he didn’t have a beard or glasses. But the sharp nose, high forehead and those brown eyes, eyes Simon used to joke proved his buddy was full of shit, were so similar that it couldn’t be coincidence. The cycle churned again and Simon wondered how many cogs in the wheel there were here, his mind and heart racing with adrenaline. The guy’s head was low and he coughed. Blood sputtered from his split nose and forehead, dripping onto the laminate wooden floor of the hallway. Simon couldn’t stop thinking about the kids coming home soon, and to remind him was one of Kailey’s tiny plastic toys left in the hallway; a Korean cartoon figure that looked like a clothed fox on nitrous oxide, smiling at him near drops of fresh crimson. Bullet holes, blood and kid toys. He almost didn’t notice as his attacker started to reach for the pistol, and Simon reacted late with a kick to the guy’s head that sent the man reeling backward with a low cry. Almost as part of the same motion, Simon swooped up the gun, amazed that for the second time that day he was armed and ready to kill. He aimed the weapon nervously, the long barrel of the silencer transporting him to only an hour or so ago when he assassinated a woman that was likely this man’s lover. As if privy to Simon’s thoughts, the man pulled his head up and looked directly at him, eyes wide with fear. He resembled Jaimie even more now because the blood on his face had formed a kind of sanguine goatee around his mouth. Simon stepped forward, his finger wrapped around the trigger. The bleeding man on the floor backed up, right next to Kailey’s toy fox and Simon’s blood boiled. He was the father and husband. He was the one wronged here, his trust pissed upon. The man stuttered a few pleas, “nos” peppered with “oh gods” and “don’ts.” But Simon left the weapon trained on Jaimie’s doppelgänger, his mind whirring with the coincidence and pre-destined nature – again the malevolence – of all of this. And a simple question fell from his lips: “When were you contacted?” (To be continued…)streaming movie Rough Around the Edges 2017

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