Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 71: Wrong Man to Piss Off

This is the 71st in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Wrong Man to Piss Off, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 10th February 2013 (Okay, the 11th, I may have forgotten to do Sunday’s, so the 72nd is coming in a few minutes)

Word count: 970

The story:

“You’ve missed,” the young boy pointed out unhelpfully.

“Sometimes kid, you’ve got to miss the target to win the prize,” the gruff middle aged gunman said, as he started packing his long sniper rifle into a block holdall.

“Huh?” the boy asked, he was younger than ten, the assassin felt certain.

“You’ll understand one day, especially with a job like mine. Which reminds me, great eyesight. Best spotter I’ve had in a long time,” he gave the kid three hundred American dollars, “Remember, I was never here,” with that he jumped out the window, on to the fire escape.

The kid watched as he dashed down the steps and into the shadows of the alley. In the distance he could hear police sirens getting closer. He decided to go back to bed.

The next day, in the early hours of the morning, a plain looking Volvo causally drive through the city, which was covered in local cops. At the bridge, all cars were being stopped.

“Papers please,” a police man asked in Spanish.

“Of course,” a gruff middle aged businessman said producing his local drivers license, and ownership documents.

“Where are you going today?” the man asked perusing the documents.

“I have a factory in Argentina, this cold snap had affected things,” the assassin answered in fluent, and nearly accentless Spanish. “What’s this about?”

“Truthfully I’m not sure, we’re just under instructions to check for anything out of the ordinary,” the policeman said handing back the businessman’s papers, “You’re free to go, have a pleasant trip Mister Assay.”

“Thank you,” the businessman said driving off from the checkpoint.

An hour later a phone rang. The businessman pulled out the basic phone, clipped a device over the microphone, and then pressed answer.

“It was you, wasn’t it?” accused an American voice.

The businessman didn’t bother denying it, “Not paying a guy you’ve commissioned to kill someone else is damned foolish Mister Redwood.”
“You botched the job, it was meant to look like natural causes. I don’t pay for mistakes. The next person I hire won’t make mistakes, I can assure you,” the American growled.

“If you’re threatening me, Mister Redwood, I can assure you, you’ll be dead before anyone could get to me. If you fail to uphold the contract you’ll be dead. It’s that simple, as to botched job, you failed to mention that the target would be under FBI protection, so let’s dispense with this idea, I don’t fail,” the businessman said.

The line beeped.

The businessman unclipped the device from the phone’s microphone and pulled the sim card and battery from the phone tossed the phone from his speeding car.

He stopped at a town on the border of Chile and Argentina and rested up for a few days, satisfied he was relatively safe in a place like this for a few days. Just in case he laid out precautions, that indicators and escape routes.

It was quite a surprise when the first of these webs of indicators tingled. The businessman, who was a tourist in this town, didn’t panic, he went to check it out. The town itself wasn’t an accessible way over the border, and was several miles from the main roads, so out of town was rare. He found the car easily enough, there was only one car park in the whole town. The car was a rental. Still could be nothing but travellers off the beaten track. They would most likely be staying at the hotel if they were, again it was the only one.

He took a note of the cars details and returned to his hotel room. In his hotel room he moved a bookshelf against the exterior wall by the desk and places his beds mattress against that, in case of a threat from outside. His handgun, silencer on was by his mouse facing the door for quick reach and shooting. Feeling as secure as he could he did his research.

By the time he was done he was certain. But he didn’t run just yet, instead he warmed towels on the radiator which he’d turned on despite it being summer and already hot, and placed them in his bed, changing them when he judged them to have cooled. Just in case the threat was using thermal imaging, it would appear sound asleep in bed, while the heat from the radiator would mask his true position.

At three in the morning the door slid open slowly, and barrel of a silenced gun slid into view, illuminated by the low watt bulb of the desk lamp.

The tourist fired three quick shots covering the possible positions of the gun’s wielder. In response the wielder fired into the bed, and then slumped to the ground.

The tourist opened the door and saw the woman who’s face adorned the drivers license held by the rental company. He fired again into her head and then dragged her into the room. He cleared out her purse and claimed her gun and extra clip. Then he pushed her under the bed, made everything up, and cleaned the room, ensuring his minimal finger prints were gone.

Clutching his bag, now a red holdall he left the room as quietly as he could.

“Signor? There have been the queerest noises from your room all night,” the hotel proprietor said sticking his head out of the door.

“Sorry, I have OCD, I can’t sleep properly if things aren’t just so. You understand?”

“Just so,” the propriety said, “Are you leaving us?”

“Just for a little while. I’ll be back this afternoon,” the tourist lied. Not that the proprietor was bothered, he’d been paid in advance for a week.

When the shops opene, he bought another burner phone, put the sim card in and sent message to the American, “I’m coming.”

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