Diane's Writing Life

Romance Author as D. Dominik Wickles

The Hitman

bullseye

The HitMan

by Diane T. Wickles

Amanda Atwater checked her diamond watch then put out her cigarette in the overflowing ashtray of her Lincoln. She lit another and drummed her lacquered nails on the steering wheel.

“I don’t know why I expected a hitman to be punctual,” she muttered.

Her gaze swept the empty parking lot that was the prearranged rendezvous. Never would she have guessed she’d be hiring a hitman. Ten thousand dollars to rid my nitwit son of that girl he married. Rosa. Humph.

A sharp rap on the passenger side window interrupted her thoughts. She unlocked the door and a man slid in.

“You’re late,” Amanda said, stubbing out her cigarette.

“I’ve been around…watching.”

The man had average length dark hair, wasn’t fat but neither was he skinny and wore plain dark clothes.

Amanda handed over an envelope containing her daughter-in-law’s name, address and photo. “Your fee is in there, too.”

The man slipped it into his jacket pocket. “No questions? Your kind usually does.”

“What do you mean ‘my kind’?” She lit the last cigarette in the pack.

“You know…women who hire hitmen. They always want to know how I’ll do it. All the gory details.”

“Well, I couldn’t care less how you do it. Just as long as you do it. Now, are we done?”

It was bad enough she had to have contact with this type of person, but did they need to sit and chat?

The hitman crossed his arms and asked, “So, what’s wrong with your daughter-in-law?”

“Must we really go into that?”

“Humor me. I could refuse the job.”

Amanda sighed. “Where should I start…she’s Italian and wears high-heeled flip flops. Her family owns a meat packing company, for God’s sake. I won’t allow my granddaughter be raised around mobsters.”

The man slowly retrieved the envelope and looked inside. Then just as slowly he returned it to his pocket.

* * *

The next morning, parked near the elementary school, the hitman watched Amanda’s daughter-in-law exit the school grounds. He followed her  SUV several blocks before she pulled into a driveway beside a white and green ranch-style house. He parked along the curb and jogged across the front yard. The woman and a young girl headed toward the rear of the house. He peered around the corner of the house and saw the woman struggling to unlock the door.

He stepped forward and raised his arm.

The woman spun around with her keys held out in a threatening manner. When she saw the hitman, she shook her head.

“You scared me half to death, Uncle Joe!”

With a squeal, the little girl reached her arms up to the man.

“We missed you last night at Little Dominic’s birthday party.” The woman unlocked the door and they entered the warm kitchen.

The man set the girl down and unzipped her jacket. “I was on the lower east side taking care of some business.”

When the woman saw the light on her answering machine, she pushed the play button then hung her jacket over a chair.

“Hey Rosa, it’s me. Listen, it’s about Mom…she’s dead.” The voice on the tape broke. “They found her in her car on the lower east side. What was she doing in that section of town? She never goes there. Mom says the east side is full of foreigners.” A loud sniff was heard. “Anyways, I have to go. I’ll call you when I know more. Oh God, Rosa, what am I going to do without her?”

The machine clicked off and Rosa looked over to the hitman who sat on her kitchen floor.

Lower east side?

The hitman looked up and met her eyes. After a nod and a wink, he returned his attention back to the little girl.

Originally published on Apollos-Lyre.com (Summer 2006) then reprinted on Aoife’s Kiss (11/2007)

All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be reproduced without proper credit given to author.

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