The phone rang.

"You nervous, kid?" said the male-voice inside.

"Naw. I ain't nervous."

"It's okay if you are. I was nervous the first time I made my bones."

"Well, I'm not," Marty said.

"Good. Meet me outside."

Marty was nervous. Everybody is nervous their first time. Marty shrugged and put his brown leather jacket on. He left his gun on the table because he knew when you do a job they assign you with their own, de-serialized gun. He patted his cat and then opened the door and locked it with the key and then he was standing on the sidewalk, waiting.

The Lincoln's headlights in front of him blinked twice and Marty opened the passenger-side door and got inside.

"Hey," Marty told Dino. Dino nodded his head solemenly. Marty was going to ask who the target was but then he remembered you never ask who the target is: you let them tell you. Dino pulled the car into a black alleyway and then he turned the radio up high. Marty had seen him do this many times.

"OK," Dino said. "The kid's name is Daniel Karwaski. I know you know him. Last month the dumb fuck was caught selling junk to a narcotics agent. His dad paid the 50,000 dollar bail and so now he's out. The inside scoop from our source is he's gonna turn state's witness. We gotta make him disappear, or else, they might nail all our asses with RICO.

"Danny. A rat. You gotta be shitting me."

"It's true, kid. We got somebody on the payroll very high up. He says Danny's gonna turn state's witness. We need to rub him out."

"What's the plan?"

"We take him out for a last hurrah. Have a good time. Get him good and drunk, then we whack him in the car when his guard is down."

Dino drove to the front entrance of Danny's house and honked. Danny rushed out in a three-piece suit.

"The fuck took you so long?" he asked Dino. "Hey, Marty. I didn't see you back there."

"How you doing, Danny?"

"Good," Danny snorted.

Well, Dannyboy, this is it, Marty thought. You're gonna pop my contract-killing cherry. I wish to hell I could just pop you here, now, without having to get drunk with you first. Don't think about his wife or his newborn baby. That don't help. And it don't make no difference. If I don't do it, somebody else will, and then they'll probably ice me too. No, Dannyboy. Sorry. You knew the rules of the game when you first started playing it. And nobody forced you to sell that junk and to sell us all out.

Marty knew he had to kill Danny. There was no way around it. If Louise, Danny's wife, ever needed any help with money Marty would help her. This thought made killing Danny seem more palatable to Marty.

In the bar they ordered two pitchers of Budweiser. Marty and Dino sipped; Danny was sucking them down left and right. Danny told Marty and Dino all about the rackets he had going down. Small time. Gambling, loansharking, stolen credit cards.

"When I get to the top," Danny said, "you two are going up with me."

Dino could tell Danny was shitfaced and so he suggested they go to another bar.

"Why not?" Danny said, play-punching Marty in the shoulder. "Let's go."

Marty was in the backseat of the Lincoln. Dino driving. Danny in the passenger seat-- directly in front of Marty. Marty had grabbed the de-serialized thirty-eight from underneath the car seat and pressed the safety off. Marty could hear Danny bullshitting Dino about all the rackets he had planned on cutting Dino and Marty in on. Dino adjusted the rear-view mirror and then Marty aimed the gun at the back of Danny's head. Nothing personal, Dannyboy, Marty thought as he pulled the trigger.


Marty was shocked that the backseat of the car was bloodless. The same couldn't be said, however, about the front: blood, skull chunks and brain matter decorated most of the dashboard and frontseat windows.

Dino drove the car off the offramp and on to the deserted street. While Dino was wiping the blood off the window with a rag Marty grabbed Danny's body to throw on to the side of the road.

"What the fuck are you doing?" Dino said.

"Getting rid of Danny."

"Not here, you dumbfuck," Dino said. "Danny's dad's a lawyer. If they find his body he'll crucify us. Remember what I said. Dannyboy has to disappear.

"Get his feet," Dino said and together they threw what was left of Danny into the trunk.

They drove to Dino's house.

"Help me get him to the garage," Dino said.

"What's in there?" asked Marty.

"My power tools."

Marty had done a lot of hacking and sawing and cutting by himself in Dino's garage that night.

When Marty had finished and they had gotten the tiny pieces of Dannyboy into the oildrum and then off the pier and into the ocean Marty knew what it had felt like to be a man.


Copyright: © 2011 Jack Bristow


Jack Bristow, an all-out weirdo from New Mexico, has written for several online magazines and even one print one. Follow him: @Jackbristo

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