Mystery and Crime Fiction posted December 4, 2016 Chapters:  ...3 4 -5- 6... 


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The Assassin receives new orders

A chapter in the book The Last Laugh

Crossroads

by mbroyles2


The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.



Background
An assassin has been hired to find a mysterious item. Two women are murdered and Matthew Granite is injured. Now the killer receives new orders.
There comes a time in everyone’s life when they come to a crossroads. In choosing which path to follow, one sets in motion events that will forever define who they are, and what they will become.  There are lots of questions, sometimes there aren’t any right or wrong answers, just answers.  Some, complete with logic and a path easy to follow.  Few have no rhyme or reason and are filled with uncertainty. The assassin had come to such a crossroads. Two daunting tasks lay before him. It was starting to become clear that only one could be accomplished soon.  He had to decide.

Forty-six hours after Granite fell through the hole, the killer walked past his room.  His yellow tie, with blue stripes, complemented his ultramarine Brooks Brothers suit. He had a white shirt underneath, and a clergy badge, complete with picture, that hung around his neck.  He knew a guy who knew a guy.

Outside the room, a mountain occupied a green velvet chair, the tortured legs straining against the massive weight. He wore a red Under Armour shirt that revealed the physique of a body builder.  His head, boasting of immaculately clean shoulder-length black hair, rested on a tree trunk of a neck.  He wore sneakers the size of bread loaves.

A John Sandford novel was held opened by his huge hands. An oversized soft drink and several Twinkie wrappers were on the floor beside him, as was the shoulder holster with a .357 Magnum strapped inside.  Not easily within reach, the assassin thought, and wouldn’t be a factor if an attack was forthcoming. While the man was indeed an imposing figure, he couldn’t stop a bullet.   

He sat in the hospital’s chapel.  The decision weighed on him like the first day of school, full of anticipation and fear.   He couldn’t just charge in with guns blazing.  There was no escape route, no way to avoid the cameras, and a shootout was imminent.  There had to be a better way. He looked down at the bible he was holding, opened to one of his favorite passages.

Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”  Proverbs 13:20

He wanted, no, he needed, Granite dead.  It was a matter of professional pride. However, he had received orders from his employer by special courier. He was expected to be back in New Orleans no later than the 16th.  Enclosed were new instructions, and a smaller envelope stuffed with hundred-dollar bills.  The message was clear.  He didn’t just want the item.  He wanted everyone associated with it dead.  There was no evidence that Granite knew anything.  His boss would not suffer a delay so he could pursue this vendetta.

Granite had to wait.  In the meantime, he would call another guy who knew another guy.  He had to know everything about this hero cop.

I’ll be back, Mr. Granite.  You haven’t seen the last of me.

***
 
 
The flight to New Orleans was uneventful for the man known as Mr. Jenkins.  A few bumps along the way, but like cockroaches scurrying along the floor, you get used to them after a while.  Now, “Mr. Lucas” drove the seventy miles north across the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, and up LA-21 N, to the small town of Bogalusa.

 A silver Toyota Yaris was parked on the road in front of his lime green, two-story house.  Modest by most standards with its one car garage, two bedrooms and two baths.  A full wooden privacy fence surrounded the back yard.  The assassin expected the visit, just not this soon.

Parking his black Ford Escape outside the garage, he got out, glanced at the Yaris, and went inside the house.  A man sat in a chair too big for him, arms folded across his chest. His suit was wrinkled, shoes scuffed, and he displayed the look of a tired man. His eyebrows were white, and his head shaven. Without standing, he handed a large brown envelope to the assassin.

“Follow up on the orders you received earlier,” he said with a gravel voice. “I like the new carpet, but why white?”

“Why not?” the killer answered. “It goes well with the red leathered chair and sofa.”

The messenger shrugged. “It’s just kind of bright that’s all.”

The assassin noticed another envelope on top of the kitchen bar.  He walked over to it and read the outside.

MG file as you requested.

“That was there when I got here,” the messenger said.

The assassin resisted the urge to open it. He felt like a child on Christmas morning, anxious to see what present was inside.

“Why are you still here?” he asked the messenger.

“I was told to wait until you read it.”

“Interesting.”  The new Mr. Lucas opened the sealed envelope.  Inside were two $1,000 poker chips and a letter.  He read one side and flipped the page over to make sure there wasn’t anything further.

“This is how he wants it then?”  he asked.

“It must be,” the messenger answered. “He specifically said I wasn’t to leave until you understood his instructions fully.”

“Hmm.” The assassin walked behind the kitchen bar and slid a drawer open. “I guess I understand them all too well.”

He pulled the 9mm from the drawer and put two shots into the messenger.  One center mass, the other entered the forehead above the right temple.   The body slumped back into the chair and then fell forward.

From the same drawer, the killer picked up a cell phone, pushed one button, and waited.  After ten seconds of Ozzie Osbourne’s “Crazy Train”, it was answered.

“I need a reservation for one….yes, a five course meal, home delivered.”

He disconnected, broke the phone in two, and placed the poker chips on the bar. He had twenty minutes.  The caterer worked alone and unseen.  He picked up the MG file.

Pouring a glass of red wine, he opened the file, looked down at the body, and shook his head.

A pity about the carpet.
 


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