This story is by Alexander Bainbridge and was part of our 10th Anniversary Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
“Sir, we have a problem with the voters. No one seems to appreciate that we haven’t followed our agenda in our first year after being elected.” A secretary advised her boss, late at night. Her boss was at his desk in his office. He was an older man in a cheap suit with an impressive hair piece, trying to hang on to his youth.
“Is everything ready to ‘keep the voters happy’?” The politician sarcastically asked.
“Yes, they are going to work as we speak.” The secretary responded. The politician nodded, cueing her to leave the room.
. . .
In a warehouse on the other side of the city a man got out of his car. The man wore a black three-piece suit with a dark purple tie, as well as black leather gloves. His hair was gelled back but not greasy, giving him a rather professional look. In his hands was a thick, sealed envelope. The man walked into the warehouse full of people.
“Each group has a list of visits and deliveries to make, as previously discussed.” The man paused and looked at each of the people to make sure they understood. Rather coldly, he continued, “Don’t be late.”
As the man finished talking, he opened the envelope taking out a stack of folders. The man walked around the room giving a folder to each group, closed the half empty envelope, and left the building. Each of the groups followed suit and left the building to various vehicles outside. None of the vehicles were the same make or model; in fact, what they had in common was ample trunk space. At each group’s discretion, they left in different directions to different destinations.
The professional man with the envelope got back into his car and drove to various businesses to hand a folder to each owner. Some of the businesses were restaurants, waste management, morgues, and taxi companies. When he left each business, a couple of company vehicles left as well. Once the man had one folder left the professional drove to the office where the politician and his secretary were working late. The man drove around to the back of the building and backed up to the backdoor. Before entering the building, he stuffed the envelope inside of his jacket and took a rolled-up carpet out of the trunk of his car. After slamming the trunk shut, the man went inside carrying the carpet, leaving it just inside the backdoor. He made his way through the office past the remains of a one-year anniversary party, leading the man to the politician’s office. Once he reached his destination, the man sat in a chair facing the politician.
“Do you know what’s worse than a coward?” The man asked with a smile on his face, “A politician.”
Unfazed by the joke the politician insultingly replied, “The suitcase is beside your chair. Are we even now?”
Rather grimly, the professional reached in his jacket and pulled out the envelope. Quietly, he opened it, took out a folder, and threw the folder in front of the politician.
“Do you figure she thinks you’re even?”
The politician opened the folder to see pictures of him and an underaged girl and her injuries after that night. The politician didn’t dare speak. The man pulled his gun out of his jacket and put a silencer on while the politician looked at the pictures. The man stood up to shoot the politician in the crotch twice, causing him to fall to the floor in agony.
“I don’t think so, but I’m done with you.” The man concisely stated as the politician screamed in pain. The man walked around the desk and shot the politician three more times. The secretary walked in and left a janitor’s cart outside of the office. The man picked up the pictures put them back into his jacket. Afterwards, he brought the carpet to just outside of the office and unrolled it. Inside the carpet was a tarp and duct tape. The two of them wrapped the politician in the tarp, then the carpet and taped the ends shut. The man then grabbed the suitcase to put in his car and popped the trunk. Then they grabbed the wrapped carpet and carried it to the trunk of his car.
After locking the car, the two of them went back inside to clean up the crime scene. Once finished, the secretary locked the building up and drove off with the man. They drove to a junkyard, one of the businesses that the man had already paid a visit to. The man got out of the car and shook hands with the owner of the junkyard. The owner told him where to leave the car and they would “deal with the rest.” The man got back in the car and drove it next to the car-crusher. The carpet would go into an incinerator that a morgue had replaced and the ashes into some corrosive chemicals due to be disposed of the next day.
Waiting for the man and the secretary at the entrance to the junkyard was a taxi, with a folder on the passenger seat. The two of them got in and, without a word, they were off. The taxi driver took them to offices and residences. At each stop, there was a vehicle from the warehouse with a person waiting. After the man and secretary entered each place, multiple taped carpets would come out and be put in the back of the vehicles. A final person would come out, five minutes later, carrying a cart full of cleaning supplies. As this final person left, the professional’s men locked up the building and drove in the direction of the junkyard. Afterwards, the taxi would go to the next destination.
The last location was a huge house with a driveway the size of a parking lot. Outside of the home were multiple vehicles with the drivers holding security at gun point along the outside of the house. Walking past the hostages, the man and secretary went inside the home. Inside there were more of the professional’s men who led them from the entrance to an office where the homeowner was sitting behind a desk being babysat by another one of the men.
“I can pay you more then you’re being paid!” The homeowner pled.
The man reached in his jacket and, respectfully, handed the envelope to the homeowner. The homeowner opened the folder and confused he asked,
“What is this about? Who is this? What does this have to do with me?”
The man seemed to have expected this reaction.
“Well, this is somewhat of an anniversary present. You know who she is, remember a year ago to the day. You adopted a girl with your wife.” The man paused to see if the homeowner remembered and how he reacted. “Who you were beating at the time. The girl was 16 and had it worse than your wife. The girl is who the pictures were taken of. You whored her out to politicians and judges, which gave you the idea to do it on a larger scale with more girls.” The man paused and had an insincere chuckle as he continued,” Plus, you blackmailed every person who took part to get ‘your’ control of the city.”
The homeowner started to plead for his life, but the man walked out of the room to grab rope. He came back and tied the homeowner to his chair. Simultaneously, one of his men brought in two jerry cans from outside of the house.
“Are you religious?” The man asked the homeowner.
“What? Yes, I am. Why?” The panicking homeowner replied. The man pulled his pistol out of his jacket.
“Think of this as your penance.” The man said before shooting the tied homeowner in the crotch twice. “The fire is getting you ready for where you’re going.”
As he was getting things ready, the man walked past the front door and overheard one of the security guards.
“We knew what he was doing was wrong, but we couldn’t do anything about it.”
Furiously, the man instructed his men to tie all the security guards to furniture throughout the house. Afterwards, he poured gasoline on everything in the home. Once the house was empty of all the professional’s people, he lit all the matches in a matchbook and threw it into the gas-soaked house. When the matches hit the ground, the house instantly filled with flames. Hearing the screams from those he believed guilty, the man got in the taxi with the secretary. All the other vehicles left in the direction of the junkyard and the taxi driver took the two of them to the warehouse.
“What would you call what we did?” The secretary asked, conflicted with her conscience about the change to the plan. The man, with a smirk on his face, smugly replied,
Linda Barrows says
Powerful and suspenseful. I enjoyed your story.