OPUS Mag

Far from timid • Caveat Lector

Fiction Series: Shh... Part 1

Fiction Series: Shh... Part 1

“How’s about a nice Glock 19?” The guy asks, holding one up. I roll my eyes. “Glock 23?”

“HK. USP Compact, forty caliber; stainless slide. With a safety, and 12-round mags.” I repeat mechanically, looking around the hotel room.

“Let me see…” he trails off while rummaging through the case. He quickly shoves the open case of weapons towards the head of the bed and produces another one, opening it. “Boom. Last one I got.” I gesture for the weapon. He hands it to me. I check it out, looking over the sights, dropping the magazine and playing with the slide. I raise it in my left hand, checking out how it feels. I squeeze the trigger and the gun clicks loudly.

“I’ll take it,” I say. I note the serial number has been meticulously filed away.

“Those are custom night sights, by the way,” he says. “Calibrated and everything. I got holsters and stuff too, if you need it.”

“I know,” I say. “You have another one in black?”

Two Weeks Earlier…

 “So, let me get this straight,” Charlie said. Her subtle British accent rubbed my eardrums softly. “You like girls. And boys.”

“Pretty simple,” I said.

“How’s that work?” She asked.

“One stroke at a time.” I look at my watch. 1:17.

“Sounds like a lot of work,” she said.

“Well, I have standards, so not so much,” I said. We stare at each other for a moment.

“Fuck you,” she chuckled. “When are you going to cut your hair?”

“Never,” I said. I ran a hand through my budding, floppy Afro. “Your hair care products are so good to it.”

“No you didn’t!” She jumped up and ran into the bathroom.

“You act like TSA’s gonna let you bring all that shit back, anyway.” Charlie emerged from the bathroom with a half-empty bottle of conditioner, devastated.

“You are such a nigga.” She glared at me. I looked at my phone briefly.

“I’ll ship you some more. Full bottles.” I got up and walked into the kitchen for a glass of water.

“You know, this stuff is expensive,” she said.

“I know,” I said. I opened my computer on the counter and typed in the password. “I’ve used it before. What makes you think I can’t swing hair care products? I pay for this place.”

“Yeah, what’s the rent run you on a place like this?” Charlie looked around, then out the window. “Two thousand or so?”

“Mortgage plus maintenance and shit has me at $2,750,” I said, rubbing my forehead.

“I don’t even pay half that for my flat,” she said. I brought the computer into the living room.

“You’d better not,” I said. “You live in the fuckin’ hood.”

“Should I not?” She asked. “Who would be daft enough to try me?”

“No one, because you have guns and you’re well versed in violence,” I recited. “I know.” I started to sift through unanswered work emails.

“Nothing from homegirl?” Charlie asked.

“Nope,” I said, shrugging.

“What are you doing these days again?” Charlie took a seat in the chair across from me. “For money?”

 Now…

I speed down the road, music playing at a subdued level. I check my phone for directions. I’ll be arriving shortly. I reach over and check the guns on the seat next to me. “Spare magazines, check,” I say to no one, patting my jacket pockets. “Six hostiles, one allegedly kind soul to be recovered, get in, get out, get home.” I mutter as I drive past the warehouse and slow down. I park the vehicle out of immediate sight, then grab my weapons while getting out. I play with the jacket a bit, holding one pistol in my left hand while tucking the other in my waistband, towards the back.

 I turn the corner, one of very few in this wide open expanse. I stop and hide behind a stack of crates when I hear a group of men talking. “So what do we need her for If she’s not saying anything?” One guy asks.

“The boss said she stays alive until he gets here,” another guy says. I peek out from the stack of crates. I see four guys grouped by the window talking, and another by the allegedly kind soul to be recovered.

“Will he be here soon?” The first guy asks.

“Yeah,” the guy by the allegedly kind soul says. “He’ll be here in a bit, and then we can finish up with cutie over here.” She spits blood at his feet. There’s a shackle attached to her ankle, tethering her to the wall. The guy walks away from her to join the group at the window. I hide to avoid being seen. I peek again. I make quick eye contact with the allegedly kind soul. The five guys are consumed in their conversation, apparently.

“Shh,” I silently gesture towards her, raising my index finger to my lips. I then gesture to hit the deck on my count.

Three…

Two…

One…

I hear the chain rattle as she collapses to the ground. Time slows to a crawl as I step from behind the crates and raise my pistol. I begin pulling the trigger, thrice, then twice, then twice again, then twice again, then four times as I run empty. I approach the allegedly kind soul as I quickly reload. “You had to kill them all?” She asks, coughing. I stare at her for three full seconds.

“Yes,” I say flatly. “Know how to use one of these?” My grip tightens on the pistol in my left hand.

“I think I can manage,” she says.

“Might wanna help yourself, then.” I point at the Glock near her feet. She picks it up. I walk over to my empty magazine and crouch to pick it up. A gunshot rings out.

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