Sitting in the seat of the big Cadillac, he clicked the freshly loaded clip back into the Beretta and checked the safety, slid it comfortably back into the holster, like a hand going into a waiting pocket. He was glad the running was over, glad that he would be able to ask for the bonus without any guilt this time.
The Praetorians will take me, I’m sure of it. One last walk down the low-lit red corridor to the mess hall to be with my girls.
They hit the switch, there was an electric crackle, and all I could see was hazy white out the window. I felt myself drifting, and then I saw nothing but blue. No other colors, not even close.
He had found it almost by accident, the strange stone monkey, an artifact worth a lot to an old guy in Chicago. Three days later he was on a cot in a hut in Fortaleza in the depths of something a lot like malaria. It was the monkey – the Gypsy Monkey, they called it – and it spoke to him in his twisted dreams. Make your choice, make your sacrifice.
I am always impressed when writers can channel a different time.
Two days later I was sitting on my small balcony wondering what to expect, when the breeze shifted and the evening rain clouds rolled in. I ordered a pizza and ran down to the market for a six-pack. The rain had just started plinking on the roof when I heard the knock. I knew who it was.
His eyes glanced at the polished desk to the right of the fireplace, papers stacked meticulously. A green lamp, a set of gold pens. Something that looked like some official stamp. Some envelopes. A gun.
The blade goes in, fast and easy. Butter and a hot knife. One hand has a good grip, pushing the knife in-between the ribs, past muscle into the heart and the left lung. One hand on his mouth. Can feel his hot breath on my palm.