He has to die tonight. That’s what Cuzzy Sloan said as he thrust the pistol into Jegs’ hand. Jegs didn’t know the victim or why there was a hit out on him, but he did know that his gut told him this wouldn’t end well.
Cuzzy—the leader of the Castle Park Hustlers—had summoned Jegs unexpectedly in the middle of the night. Jegs had barely got off the phone with Cuzzy when he heard the beeping of his ride out front. Still hungover from a long night of drinking, everything was moving too fast, yet also like it was in slow motion. The ride to Cuzzy’s hideout felt like it was happening to someone else—like he was watching it on TV. And even after Cuzzy had given him the gun and told him the plan, it still didn’t feel real.
The driver, someone Jegs had never seen before, didn’t speak a word as he raced down the dimly lit side-roads of Castle Park. A deep churning started in his stomach and he had to focus hard to keep from throwing up. Luckily, right as his nausea was reaching the tipping point, the car slowed to a stop next to a bunch of motorcycles outside of a dingy hole-in-the-wall bar.
“In and out. No fuckin’ around,” the driver said without so much as looking in Jegs’ direction.
Jegs pulled out his phone and looked at the picture Cuzzy had sent him. He had sent it from a burner phone, of course. It showed a middle-aged white man with sandy-blonde hair and blue eyes. He was wearing ragged jeans and a leather biker vest. The man had an ear-to-ear smile plastered across his face and was standing next to a beautiful woman and two little girls. His family, no doubt. This made Jegs uneasy. But he knew this man must have done something really bad if Cuzzy wanted him dead. Even so, killing someone’s dad was a low thing to do. Especially if he was the father of two young kids like in the picture.
“Go, now,” the driver ordered. Snapping Jegs from his thoughts.
The cool night air hit Jegs in the face with a startling quickness as soon as he stepped out from the car. Even though he was no longer moving, the nausea still bothered him.
The passenger window squealed a little as it rolled down. “Five minutes. Back exit and we’re out. If you ain’t out in five, I’m gone.” The car window slid closed and the driver sped off around the block. The way he took off seemed unusual, but Jegs had other things to worry about.
“Damn,” Jegs mumbled. He took a deep breath in and out, then marched through the entrance. The time for thinking was over. It was all about action now.
As soon as he stepped through the door he saw the man sitting at the far end of the bar. This was really happening now. The walk through the bar was like walking through a thick fog. He couldn’t see anything on either side of him. All the chatter and the music sounded like they were far away. It was now or never.
Jegs stepped to the man—whose head was facing away from him as the man talked to a few other guys. Jegs palms were sweating heavily and he did everything in his power to keep from shaking. With a steady grip on the handle, he pulled the pistol from his waistband and aimed it at the back of the man’s head. It felt like an eternity had passed with every eye in the world watching, but in reality everything happened within two seconds.
Jegs pointed the gun and pulled the trigger without hesitation. Even though his hands trembled terribly, he was so close that it wouldn’t screw up the shot. But as he squeezed the trigger against the hard metal backing, the only thing that came out was the sound of a dull click.
“Betcha didn’t expect that, didja?” the man said, laughing with his head still turned away from Jegs.
Jegs pulled the trigger again and again with the same result each time. Then he pulled the clip out and realized it was empty. He froze.
“Ya owed him and never paid up. Is’at it?” The man turned around and had a 9mm pointed at him. “Bet he told ya you’d be squared away if you done did him this one favor, huh?”
“Wha… What?” Jegs managed to get out. Then he realized what the man was saying. And it was true. He owed Cuzzy a lot of money over a drug deal gone bad. After begging Cuzzy to work it off, Cuzzy finally agreed to forget about the whole thing if Jegs killed this man.
The man sat there and smiled. It was the same overly joyous smile he had in the picture. Then he stood up, and so did five other similarly dressed men. They all wore jackets with a biker gang patch on the shoulders. The man pointed the gun a Jegs’ face. Jegs glanced around the bar and realized everyone there was dressed similarly with the same patches on their jackets. Even the women.
“Guess this ain’t your lucky night,” he said with a knowing look, as if this wasn’t the first time he’d been in this situation.
Jegs thought of Cuzzy laughing in his office and gritted his teeth. If only he could have one more chance to see him face-to-face. But he was all out of chances.
The man winked, then pulled the trigger.
If you liked this, check out these other awesome flash fiction stories.