Another Job. Short Story.

“Can you do it?”
“Yes, it shouldn’t be a problem.”
She slid an envelope of money across the table, “It’s all there. Feel free to count it yourself.”
He nodded and took out the money, he counted it quickly more out of habit, “When do you want it done?”
“As soon as possible. The sooner the better really.”
“Tonight? Tomorrow?”
“I don’t want to know about it. Whenever you get the chance.”
He nodded, Jacob had always pinned her as someone who’d want to know, someone who’d want pictures. The way her eyes lit up when he talked about it, the kind of questions she had asked, but she always shied away from the intimate details.
“You’re sure you don’t want any proof?”
“No, I trust you. Besides, I’ll know soon enough anyway.”
Jacob nodded.
“Well, this will be the last time we speak about this job.” He stood and offered his hand, she grasped it, her long, manicured nails digging into his skin slightly. “Thank you.”

Once she was gone Jacob sat down again, he would do it tomorrow morning, nice and early so he’d have a free day. He looked down at the photo again, poor sod. He looked like a nice enough kid, just turned twenty. He had sandy hair, clear skin and a muscular body. He had no way of knowing what he had gotten himself into, but then Mrs. Carmichael was disarming. All charm and softness one moment, cold and hard the next. The affair had begun a year before, when her husband had hired him to do some odd jobs around the house. Mrs. Carmichael didn’t go into too much detail, but apparently the kid had fallen in love. All this talk about being together and running away. She thought he would do something stupid like tell someone. Jacob suspected the kid had, after all Mrs. Carmichael was an extremely attractive woman, bright blue eyes, long black hair, clear skin and an ass to kill for.

Jacob put the photo down, at this rate he should start giving her a discount, this was the third man she had come to him about and Jacob knew it wouldn’t be the last. It was always the same story. Reasonably attractive man, they’d have an affair, he would start talking about them being together and she would go out to find someone to pull the trigger. In a way it made perfect sense. Jacob supplied her with the full package, once he was done there was no evidence that an affair had taken place, no one would suspect a thing. Usually she would wait until there was a bit of distance between her and her lover, that they no longer worked for or around her husband, but this poor kid was getting too worked up.

The deed itself was simple. Wait until the kid was walking to work, intimidate him down some dark alley, stab him, grab his stuff and run. The police would think it was a mugging, Jacob would dump the phone in the river, after wiping it of course, and life would go on.

Jacob liked Mrs. Carmichael, she was always polite and to the point, there was no bullshit with her. She always told him what she wanted, there was no coy batting of the eyelashes, or giggles. Just a simple “here’s the photo” and they were off. Jacob always asked for the background details, it made it easier to plan his clean up.

The job was as easy as he had expected, the only question that was left was how long it would take her to return. The shortest time had been only two months, that was the second guy she had been involved with. Jacob didn’t mind getting rid of him, he was an all around bad guy, stalking, threatening letters. The others did give him pause though. He was used to getting rid of people, he had made a career of it after all, but mostly they were bad people, or people who had done bad things. He didn’t know much about them and he liked it that way. Mrs. Carmichael always seemed to pepper her stories with little details. That he enjoyed cooking for her, that he would surprise her with thoughtful little gifts. Details that Jacob didn’t need, or want, to know. But she was good money and repeat business, so he let it slide. He knew that he was doing something bad, that there was nothing noble or honourable about his profession, but it made it easier when he was doing bad things to bad people.

His disposed of the knife, after wiping it down with bleach. The rag was burned and the knife was tossed into a bag of trash and thrown into a trashcan near a fast food place. Simple, easy, efficient.

As always he had a drink afterwards, never anything fancy, just a bottle of beer. It was a ritual he had adopted from his own father who would always abstain from alcohol unless he had just completed a job, and then never more than one. His first beer had been after he and his father completed a job together, he remembered that one well. A prostitute who was blackmailing her clients, unfortunately for her she chose the wrong guy to try and blackmail. It was an easy job and went down as an overdose. Of course no one looked too hard at it, but even if they had they wouldn’t have found anything. He had been fifteen at the time and it was another two years before he had his first solo kill, an apparent hunting accident. That one had been a freebie, Mr. Reynolds had been molesting several young girls in the school, including the little sister of one of Jacobs few friends.

Jacob drained the last few drops from his beer and let out a sigh of satisfaction, he didn’t quite enjoy the work that he did, but he knew that he was making the world a better place, at least most of the time. He gave them dignity and tried to make it quick, he wasn’t one of those people who dragged it out. He put the beer bottle down on the table and flicked on the TV, he earned the rest of the day off.

About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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