Good Job by Tabitha Wilson

“Welp, that’s it,” I said after I shot the last one in the head.  This job was getting easier by the day and the beauty of it was that I didn’t even have to clean up anymore. Not since Rory was hired. As a matter of fact, Rory was walking in now wearing a pair of rubber boots and carrying his cleaning supplies. We nodded at each other and shot the shit for a few minutes.

“Look at the cans on that one,” I said, pointing to the mother.

Rory whistled through his broken tooth. “Not bad,” he agreed. “What’s the skinny?”

“Chan found out they were skimming. I get my usual fee times four.”

“Cushy job. I hope to move up and get a position like yours someday.”

“Work hard, stay late and kiss the boss’ ass. You know how it goes,” I said wisely and stared at the dead woman. “And pass the drug tests,” I added.

I got down on my knees and massaged her breasts. Weighed them with my palms.

“Feels like three, four pounds a pop. She probably had back pain.” I gave them one final squeeze and yawned. “I gotta hit the hay. Got a date with a sweet young thing tonight.”

“Sounds good, bro. I’ll see you when I see you,” Rory set a few buckets on the ground and was unloading various sponges and cleaners from a bag. Chan liked to leave no evidence behind as though the thieves had simply vanished into the atmosphere.

I lit a cigarette on my way out. It was a good job, but sometimes it plum wore me out. Night shifts will do that to you.

When I got into my Cadillac de Ville my phone started vibrating. I pulled it out of my pocket and looked at the screen.

“What’s the word, boss?” I said cheerfully.

My smile faded as I listened. I shook my head and finally said, “Okay.” I held the disconnected phone in my hand for a few more minutes and stared at the worn spot on my slacks. Pulling my gun out of a coat pocket, I opened the car door.

I walked around the house ducking at all the windows until I got to the one I wanted. Moving by tiny increments, I eventually got a good look.

Rory had the younger child on the dining room table and was removing organs and placing them into a bucket that had “9 YR OLD M” scrawled on the side with a marker. I felt bile rise up in my throat. He had three more buckets lined up, each labeled differently. 

Rory had a side business.

Though I didn’t see how it mattered how Rory disposed of the bodies, Chan viewed it as stealing. Chan was the boss so I wasn’t about to argue. I knew which side my bread was buttered on. I moved away from the window and back to the front door.

Carefully, I turned the handle and poked my head inside. All clear. I crept down the hallway toward the dining room.

“Hold it right there, bro.”

Rory’s breath was hot on my neck as he gripped my shoulder and shoved something hard into my back.

“What the hell?” I wrenched my head around and stared into his cold, dead eyes.

“What the hell?” He mocked and poked me with the weapon. “You’re a dumb fuck. That’s what the hell, bro.”

He pushed me face down onto the polished wood floor and held the gun steady on my back.

“Come on, Rory. I won’t say anything,” I begged.

“Damn straight you won’t,” Rory agreed.

“Chan’s niece is in desperate need of a liver and it turns out you’re a perfect match.” He laughed. “You really think Chan hired me as a cleaning lady? I’m a fucking surgeon.”

The pressure of the gun on my back released. It came back down with such force that I never woke up again.

Boozer by Tabitha Wilson

Looking at her face, you could tell she was no stranger to a tumbler of booze. Moving down to her ratty, salmon-colored robe, you knew it was from the cheapest bottle money could buy. She was peering out around the door, cock-eyed, and reeking of gin. One shriveled, chalky foot with pink-painted claws peeked out from under the robe.

“Smells like Christmas,” Moe muttered.

“Mrs. Gubber?” I asked.

Her papery lips unwillingly peeled apart and a sort of death rattle came out. If she had a tooth in there, she was keeping it a secret. A veiny hand shot up and squeezed at her throat as though it thought a quart of milk might be forthcoming.

“Are you Mrs. Alfred E. Gubber?”

She bobbed her tiny head up and down like a frightened pigeon while her fingers furiously milked her chicken neck. I looked questioningly at Moe, whose furrowed, bushy eyebrows reminded me I needed to call my mother, and back at the old dried-up dairy cow being propped up by a door.

“Are you aware that your husband hasn’t been to work for three days? Big Rooster’s Recycling Plant asked us to come check up on him.”

She cracked open the hole in her face again and managed to croak out an “ohhh…kaah.”

“Okay? Okay what? Is your husband here? Is he ill?”

With the hand that wasn’t busy neck-milking, she gestured for us to come inside and tottered backwards into the dark entryway. The hallway was littered with cans and garbage, and what appeared to be a dead ferret.

“Watch out for Mr. Squiggletea,” she rasped and pointed at the corpse and took us further into the house. Her ragged bathrobe caught a can of Natty Boh and rattled on the cracked linoleum behind her like she was headed off to St. Barts with her freshly-made husband. Moe and I navigated the obstacle course of trash, being careful to give a wide berth to the stinking doorstop named Mr. Squiggletea.

“Smells like Christmas in a shit factory,” Moe said as he wrapped a massive paw around his moustache.

The reek of garbage and death markedly increased like some ass wagon cranked up the dial on the car radio during a particularly obnoxious praise the Lord “rock” song.

As we sidestepped into the living room, the almost tangible rush of the stench blasted our faces and we instinctively recoiled. Covering my own moustache, I crept back into the room slowly. The windows were all covered by heavy drapes and the only light came from the TV, which was impartially displaying How the West Was Won. There were discarded empty gin bottles on every surface and scattered around the dirty carpet. The old bag was still rhythmically working the neck, slower now, and she had melted into a filthy corduroy recliner. Her eyes were closed and she looked almost as dead as her husband. Mr. Alfred E. Gubber was lying facedown in the middle of the floor with a brass fire iron standing at attention and buried deep into his back. He had an almost serene expression on his gummy, flat face as he stared blankly at the TV and I briefly wondered if he was happy to be finally free of his life of ubiquitous garbage.