by Chris Herron
The only thing worse than being in debt, is being in debt to a loan shark with a penchant for collecting peoples teeth in pickle jars. Matt slammed back another shot, the drinking wasn’t helping his financial predicament any, but it was helping to make sure he was stupid enough not to worry half as much as he knew he should.
Besides, this wasn’t a social outing. He was here, in this dive bar that smelled of stale booze and ripe regret, to meet his hail Mary; Donte Fitzgerald. Matt had known Donte since elementary school, where the pint size hustler had run an underground fight club during recess until one of the kids got a bloody nose and snitched. Matt, ashamedly, had been the snitch. Matt was the kind of man that folded when things took a turn.
Donte, however, was the kind of man who told everyone his name was Donte rather than Eugene, because he felt it gave him ‘Street Cred.’ The guy was by no means the brightest crayon in the cookie jar, but he was driven, fearless, and had a gift for finding money with, lets say, unconventional methods.
Matt slowly set his shot glass back on the bar, “Lemme get this straight. You’re a hit man?”
Donte shook his head, “No! Well, yes. Kind of. It’s really a fine-line-distinction kind of thing.”
“I’m not killing anyone! I don’t care who I owe money too!”
“Duuuude, keep your voice down!” Donte waved at the bar tender and chuckled nervously, before whispering “You don’t have to kill anyone, ok? It’s a phone app where people post hit jobs. I’ve made over 900k this month, and I haven’t so much as given a granny a nosebleed!”
Matt quirked a brow, “How’d you pull that off?”
“That’s the genius part” Donte grinned from ear to ear, “They pay half up front, half after. So I just take the jobs and never finish! The way I look at it, I’m saving lives. And besides, what are they gonna do, call the cops?”
“So you’re scamming people who have no problems hiring a hit man, and you don’t see an issue with this? Are you insane?!”
Donte waved a hand dismissively, “Common man, grow a pair. I’m making mad bank and I get to say I clack hammers and spit lead for a living! Mad street cred, bro.”
“Hell. No. And nobody talks like that.” Matt stood to leave, but the resounding sound of a gunshot rang out and sent Matt sprawling for the floor. “What the hell was that?!”
“Dude, relax. It was just my app notification. They posted another job. Lets see who’s not getting whacked today. . .” Donte picked up his phone, navigating what Matt could only assume was tomorrows obituary section. “Holy crap, check this out, they’re offering a smooth Million.”
Matt climbed to his feet, taking the phone from Donte’s outstretched hand and scanning down the page. “Donte. You’re the mark.”
“WHAT?! But this thing is supposed to be anonymous! Hmmm, maybe you’re right. It is a bit risky.”
“What the hell are you going to do?”
Donte took back his phone, looking over the details of his assassination request. It made liberal use of the words slow and painful. “Well, for starters I’m going to make half a mill!”