Kotaiku: a Mini Series



I.

On a cold Thursday March afternoon in 2017, little Gina glared at me. Her amber pupils betrayed a malicious innocence. She had acted without thinking and now all the repercussions were sinking in to her fragile consciousness. I wanted to tell her, “You did good, kid,” but it’d have been wrong. Her permanent solution to the problem had, as true to form, only caused the problem to mutate and become perhaps even larger. It changed the game. There was no going back. While the threat of the stalker hadn’t lacked immediacy per se, the presence of said stalker’s freshly killed cadaver increased it infinitely. Robert had it coming, but because of who the prick was, cleaning this up wouldn’t be easy. I reflected on how much of a shame it was that some people’s lives weren’t nearly as missed as others.’ The blood spreading on the white carpet reverted my attention back to the task at hand. I reached for the .22 pistol in Gina’s hand and swiftly retrieved and unloaded the magazine, snapping back the slide to catch the chambered round.

Where was a closed-mouth–perhaps like a made man’s niece–type of babysitter when you needed one? Of course, it was too late. Gina’s lower lip trembled and she burst into high-powered sobbing. I knew that feeling well, as my first kill had come around the same age under parallel circumstances. The only good news was that the cabin was off the beaten path, to a desolate tract of land where Robert’s relentless pursuit had driven us. “Looking at you now, I can see all the passions you inspire are completely justified.” I had prayed and that was all that came to me. It didn’t help much. Then again, not much of what I had tried myself hadn’t helped either.

Rather than doing as Sheriff Higgins said and get a restraining order, because I knew better, I opted to quietly leave town instead. However doing it by myself, it had always been much easier not to leave tracks. As all children should be, Gina was a blessing first and a burden second to me. She was a product of my passions for a previous lover who had passed away shortly after Gina’s birth seven years prior. I unfolded my blade and began sawing through the carpet with one hand and trying to console young Gina with the other.

Fucking Robert. Why the hell did things have to go this way? Because I’m twisted and I attract twisted people into my life. But it keeps it interesting. Matter of fact, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I take it back. If I could’ve killed him instead of her, it would’ve been significantly preferable, but I’d have to settle for unfortunately acceptable in this case. maybe if Gina got the years of therapy that I should have gotten instead of my being cornered into becoming one of Minnesota’s–and the entire United States’ most prolific contract killers. Despite my nerves, or perhaps because of them, I couldn’t focus. The stakes were so much higher than they had ever been. I had never killed since having Gina. I had retired the night after I saw the blue plus on the stick. So here I was, rusty in my craft, paranoid as shit, and daydreaming about the past to boot!

II.

I stood staring through the headstone of my uncle. My uncle Yisho had abused me in his life, but his death always brought me comfort in its justice. A drunk driver took his life as he was out stealing and carousing one night. It was all I could do to not spray paint the car’s brand insignia in red onto the bastard’s headstone. I thought of doing it every time I went to the grave, and it always made me smirk.

I set my boba tea drink cup down on the grave, as one last show of disrespect, and left the New Hampshire graveyard on my purple Suzuki motorcycle. There was no subtle way to leave a graveyard on a motorcycle, you just had to fire it up and rev out of there. The auburn leaves in the bike’s wake twisted and giggled like the short-haired teens in their school uniforms at the coffee shop that I arrived at shortly after departing the cemetery. Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles played over the tinny coffee shop speakers. I ordered a double espresso, took it and sat down adjacent to a dormant fireplace.

I put my lips to my drink and became instantly absorbed in my phone, as there had been some developments in the project group’s thinking on its approach to the new project.

adam_g@mn.state.us.gov Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Kotaiku-

Jones is going to need your analysis of the environmental impact statement from the MWHO. Also, please don’t forget to attend–virtually or physically–our progress meeting on June 14th. If you’re coming in person, I think Eli will bring donuts hopefully 😉

-George

I subconsciously noticed a man sit down across from me and consciously noticed that he had the look on his face as though he was sizing me up, but also a look of poorly masked surprise. I glanced up. “Look, mister, I wanted to sit alone,” I explained.

“Well then you shouldn’t’ve sat down at the chess board table,” he retorted half-jokingly.

It was then that I took my hand off of the revolver inside my purse because I noticed the board on the table and the set of pieces hanging in a mesh bag off of its side. It was clear I didn’t know exactly what to say, besides mumbling a clumsy sort of apology, so he stepped in again to demonstrate his own awkwardness, “I was supposed to meet someone I met online here for a game–however I’m guessing you’re not them after all. But I suppose we could play a game while I wait for them, unless they wouldn’t approach then because they thought we were just playing in which case I don’t know perhaps I’m over-thinking this…”

I rescued him this time, “Yes I believe you are, stranger. I wouldn’t want to interfere with your meeting your acquaintance so I will kindly leave.” I got up to go, but after he delivered a concise and well-worded speech about the Gods of Fate, I left my number on his coffee receipt before I did. 

My experience in the café led her to want to go squeeze off a few rounds, so I found myself walking up the steps into the police range. Did the cops know how I earned my living? Most did and most of the others pretended they didn’t. But my grandfather was commissioner in the past, so there wasn’t much they could do about it–even on the off chance that they were inclined to try. I pulled the switch and the silhouette flew towards me, head-first. My ears itched under the borrowed pleather hearing protection. I didn’t need to bring the target in to see I had the group exactly where I wanted it, but I wasn’t a slob who would leave my targets downrange either. I always swept up my brass. Not just because it was good housekeeping, but because it was a good reminder about not leaving evidence behind on a job. Woolridge would approve. Speak of the Devil…I glanced down at my phone.


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