Keep Up the Good Work

By Wyatt Sarrazin

Everything is dark I can’t remember how I got to this place and it is hard for me to think as my head feels like a freight train is rushing over it. The sounds of the florescent bulbs humming above me go silent. Things begin to make sense as eyes try to adjust, but a blindfold covers them. The material that composes the blindfold is course and saturated with what I hope is the remanence of someone else’s blood, but I feel that it is my own.

The back of my neck is cold as the blood has yet to dry, but I feel that it has stopped pouring out of the back of my head. I feel woozy as my sense of smell hits me first. The first smell that I recognize is that of my own blood. The next is even more recognizable: it’s the smell of oil, gasoline, and the other fragrances combined together that tell me that this is my shop.

The next thing that I feel is the cold steel barrel of a hand gun on my forehead. I get a glimpse of the cop issue 9mm Beretta out of a small hole in the blindfold, but this is all I can see. Everything else is blurred.

Another gun’s hammer is pulled back in anticipation; it is most likely a .38 revolver. Another sound that I can hear is the squeaking of the chair that I’m in as well as another about three feet away from me.

The seconds tick by, but I feel as if each one lasts an eternity. I slow my breathing as I try to rationalize what has happened. I start to assess my situation, but it looks bleaker the more I think about it.

My body hurts all over and my hands feel stretched. I assume that they are zip-tied behind the chair that I am in. My hands feel as if they could easily slip out of their bondage and I begin to do so.

My blindfold is lifted away as I gather more information about my surroundings. I was indeed in my shop, with my tools and interments hanging all around and the florescent lights began to hum again. My eyes were wide open, but the singular blinking of my elides betray my sight, light and darkness become one in the same as the humming disappears again.

The three men in front of me are all completely different from one another and yet so very similar in their goal to kill me. Each man also holds himself up differently than the others.

The man with the revolver could almost be mistaken for homeless man, with his tattered clothes and worn out shoes; he stood unsure of himself and his own actions. His revolver was new and shiny as if it had just been cleaned and oiled. His face is well groomed and the hair upon his face is clean but seems poorly kept. The sheer look of terror was plain upon his face. I assumed that this was most likely his first job, as he looked fairly young and his hand shook ever so slightly as he tried to keep from dropping his hand canon.

The man with the Beretta aimed at my head was also well groomed, but he was clean shaven and wore comfortable street clothes. It could easily be seen that he was an off duty cop. He pointed the gun with both hands with such authority that when he switched to using one hand he seemed even fiercer as his hand was as steady as a surgeon’s.

The man sitting directly in front of me was a completely different matter. He was also well groomed and clean shaven, but in a way that showed he paid a good sum of money to look the way he did. He wore a gray three piece suit that presented his wealth with addition of the silver cufflinks, tie clip, and Rolex on his left hand. In his right hand he wielded a black and gold switchblade that gave me all the information I needed.

As the blade came forth from its mechanical sheath I realized these guys were part of the Bratva, Russian mafia. I hadn’t noticed, until now, that each of the men had a tattoo the symbolized their brotherhood. Each tattoo was unique and displayed their rank.

The man with the knife was definitely in charge and had the neck tattoo to prove this. The two gun wielders both had ink on their arms. The younger had one on his hand and the cop on his forearm, as to be able to conceal it when presumably needed. However both were rather new initiates as the redness and irritation around the skin of the tattoo exhibited.

All of this occurred as the leader spoke to me, but I had not been listening to his words, or even acknowledged them until now. I ignored his constant mumblings as I had finished contemplating my plan with what I assume was half a lifetime from over. My hands had slipped free from their bondage and I could now see and I could immediately fight.

The cop sent up his gun wielding hand in order to send the butt of the gun on a collision course with my forehead. That was his final mistake. The worst was the negligence of small group to not tie my legs to the chair. This is when I stood up.

I grabbed the cop’s forearm and proceeded to break it over top of his newly minted tattoo. His pain caused him to fire the gun in the direction of his comrade who did not know what to do. Two shots were let out before I stopped him. The first glided through the air and placed itself into the wall that was now directly behind me.

The second bullet’s paths also lead it to the wall also, but made a detour through the brain cavity of the young gangster, splattering the wall red. As the second shot was let out, I took it upon myself to remove the slide from the top of the gun my hand was now on. The thick heavy piece of metal quickly found its home in the jugular of the man who once wielded it. The blood spurted out onto my hand and the side of my face. The two lifeless corpses fell to the ground, before their leader could do anything.

The man proceeded to thrust himself forward, knife first, but to no avail. The blade intended for my abdomen never made it to its destination. I rerouted it to the eye of its owner with a quick break of ulna and wrist in unison. The chair and body in it fall back to the floor, with my own on top of them. The man was barely hanging onto life as his mouth moved but no words were vocalized. I notice the clock as the second hand seemed to finally moving after stopping in place.

The humming of the florescent bulbs returned to my ears as well as the words of the man in front of me. “So you’ll have those reports by Monday,” He said in mumbled tone. The man in front of me is small, too small for the clothes he wears. He looks like a child in his father’s suit. The constant clicking of his black and gold painted pen irritates my ears as I keep imagining stabbing him through the neck with it.

A homeless man across the street is being hounded by a police officer to move along as he gathers his only possessions in life. My boss has called in another complaint to remove the vagrants from his sight. The small well-dressed man sits behind his desk as I try to listen to his words, but I zone in and out as the humming sound above increases getting louder and louder in my head.

Once again I start to imagine killing him this time by grabbing his fancy tie, tightening it around his scrawny neck, and throwing him headfirst out the window. I know the short fall from the two story building probably wouldn’t kill him. I hope that it somehow would with the smashing of his puny head on the concrete below. These thoughts bring me back into the present.

I can’t help but to continue staring at his neck and the ghastly mole there on. The long black hairs protruding out form strange shapes. The fake Rolex on his wrist blinds my eyes as the glare of the sun reflex off of it. The watch is also too large for him as it slips up and down his wrist as he makes short hand gestures.

I try to countdown the seconds until he will be done, but I get lost in thought again wishing for this all to be over. The clock seems to stop again and the hands start to move backwards. I blink trying to hold each one for as long as I can. The only sound I hear is that of the humming florescent above.

The man in front of me has finished speaking and looks to me for some sign that I have understood all that he has said. I nod to him even though I haven’t been listening. He ends his speech with the normal “get back to work” and an unsatisfying “keep up the good work.”