Apr 2, 2011

Flash Fiction Friday Cycle 25

Flash Fiction Friday Cycle 25
Prompt: Someone is caught with their pants down
Genre: Any
Word Count: I don’t honestly know what 1500-1800 words looks like, so let’s say keep it to less than two 8×11′s.
Deadline: Thursday, April 7, 2011 A.D., on or about 4:30ish.

“AMERICAN STANDARD”
By Aaron Wilder
Flash Fiction Friday Cycle 25

Jacob Miller was a difficult man to kill. Not because of a super power like invulnerability or even because of an endless army of bodyguards. You see, the reason Miller was difficult to kill was simple - he didn’t exist. He wasn’t born on April 1st, 1971 in Danbury, Connecticut and never worked for Delta Airlines. His wife Mary never taught sophomore English at Danbury Senior High School. She’s as much a figment of imagination as her loving husband of fifteen years.

Vincent Spinelli, on the other hand, should have been relatively easy to put a bullet in. His picture smiled from every page one of every New Jersey paper from three months ago. And there was the rub. Ever since the highly public trial of the former mob capo ended, he didn’t exist either. Considering that I was the guy with the contract to take care of the Spinelli problem, that was information I had no intention of telling my employer.

Now, you may be confused at this point and asking yourself “So who the hell was Jacob Miller?”. Trust me, at this point I was asking myself the same thing. Miller wasn’t even on my radar, and Spinelli was off of it. Any leads I had dried up weeks ago. So I did what any self-respecting hitter does in this situation. I went to the cops.

I used a source in the department who, for his sake, we’ll call Reilly. The thing about Reilly was that his information came with a price, and that price usually hurt. Last time I needed Reilly, an associate of mine did a five year stretch as a result (unknown to him since I’m still breathing). What I needed this time probably meant the Family would to have to promote a new underboss or two that year.

“Where the hell is Spinelli?”

Reilly smoked his unfiltered Camel and worked out the bill in his mind.

“Nothing’s free buddy. I give you Spinelli, you give me a big fish. Keep feeding me sardines and I’m likely to starve to death this year.”

In my mind I went over the invoice and looked for accounting errors, but this time I knew I wouldn’t find any.

“Done. Now give me what I want.”

He flicked the smoldering butt to the curb and ground it out, all business.

“I can’t give you Spinelli.”

“Bullshit! We agreed to terms.”

He smiled, and I thought to myself that one day soon I’d see if that smile looks so smug on the outside of his mouth.

“When I say I can’t give you Spinelli, I mean it.”

He paused while I calculated how fast I could cap him and disappear before anybody noticed.

“Reilly…”

“I can, however, give you Jacob Miller.”

Now you’ve caught up to me on who Jacob Miller really was. Reilly explained how Spinelli decided that prison time looked a lot worse than immunity and a new life. And just like that, the pigeon decided to sing. Vincent Spinelli and his girlfriend disappeared, while Miller and his wife moved to the suburbs. Good thing Reilly knew their home address.

The worst thing about witness protection? Once you’re moved you get left alone unless someone is looking for you. Luckily, my deal with Reilly had its benefits. First and foremost he made sure that word never got out until I had a head start. Bad business was Reilly’s biggest pet peeve.

When I’m on a job, part of the process is learning the target’s habits. This job was no different. Sitting in front of the Millers’ new two story house, I watched and waited. Like clockwork, husband and wife went about their day. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. For a week the only differences were a trip to the grocery store and another to the video store.

At this point, I was ready to wire the house with C4 and blow the whole enchilada. Then I noticed it – the thing that was going to get Vincent Spinelli AKA Jacob Miller killed. Another trip to the video store, probably to return the movies from the other night, and I had my opening.

Slipping through the back door, I made my way though the house and upstairs to the room where Spinelli was going to die. Then I waited, gun in hand. Their car returned, and as the two residents moved around the house I looked at my watch. 8:30pm. Like clockwork, I heard Spinelli’s footsteps as he made his way up the flight of stairs I had traveled an hour earlier.

I listened as the zipper of his pants eased down, and at the rustle of his pants as they slid to the floor. From the other side the shower curtain where I hid I could hear the telltale sound that I had been waiting for – the scrape of the porcelain tank lid shifting backwards as he settled down to take his nightly dump. I pulled the shower curtain aside and completed the contract, thinking to myself that nothing could be more appropriate than for a rat like Vincent Spinelli to die sitting on an American Standard, pants around his ankles.

10 comments:

  1. I especially like how this piece started out, clever! Very well written and entertaining. thanks for sharing

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  2. Riveting! Really enjoy the atmosphere you created too.

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  3. Awesome! I really enjoyed this.

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  4. That was good. I like the title.

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  5. Wow. The language and dialog were great, and the pace was dead on. This is a really well told tale. Great job!

    Doc

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  6. Wow. The opening paragraph was a doozy. I found myself moving from a relaxing, chilled out position in my desk chair to leaning forward over my laptop, getting ever closer to the monitor as the story progressed!

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  7. This is a really successful story! The opening paragraph is particularly strong, a definite attention grabber.

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  8. Thanks for the responses everyone!

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  9. Oh now that's cold. Love the voice here, so methodical, so routine, so 'normal', like describing the weather. That's a real pro. This one really grabs you right from the start, and moves smoothly to the perfect ending. Great job!

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