Even the Dead Have to Earn a Living


A single street lamp shone forlornly in a dark parking lot.  A gruff man known locally as Mr. Crowley stood next to his black sedan.  The lights were off but the exhaust from the running engine puffed out into obscurity.  He wasn’t alone though.  Four very large men with their hat brims pulled down low stood around him.  There was a tenseness to all of them as if they were waiting for someone, or something.

A slender man in a very dark suit stepped out of the shadows.  Mr. Crowley jumped nervously at the sudden arrival.  He shook himself and his expression went flat.  Seconds passed as the new arrival to the party squared off in front of the five men.

Mr. Crowley cleared his throat, “There’s something odd about you, Dominique Sanctus.”

Dominique’s gaze ignored the four men and zeroed in on their leader, “I have disposed of your problem Mr. Crowley.”

“Yeah.  I saw it on the news.”

The four men shifted uncomfortably.  Dominique continued to stare through Mr. Crowley and waited.  When no response was offered, he stated loudly into the quiet, “I am expecting payment.  Now.”

Mr. Crowley glanced at his men and slightly dipped his head into a nod.  As he began to back away slowly, he muttered, “Yeah, let me get that for you.”

As the words rolled off his lips, the four thugs opened fire.  Dominique just stood there as round after round punched into his flesh.  With a preternatural speed, Dominique whipped a pistol out of a shoulder rig and another from his waist.  Both guns barked into the night.

One of the thugs spun from an impact and crumpled to the ground.  Another screamed as a slug ripped through his leg.  The remaining bodyguards bolted for cover between the parked cars.  Dominique strolled up to the limping man and broke his neck with a quick snap.

He whirled and his long coat fanned outward.  With a flying leap over an automobile, he landed on one of Mr. Crowley’s brutes.  With a shivering relish, he tore the man’s throat out with his teeth.

Dominique jerked at the sound of a shoe as it scuffed against the asphalt.  He reached out and grabbed the wrist of the ruffian who ran toward him. With a quick tug on the wrist, the thug lost his balance and his head impacted with the roof of a car.  Dominique slowly stood up. He gingerly picked the man up by the scruff of his neck and bashed his skull against the side of the vehicle.

He wiped at his hands and his strange eyes reflected in the solitary light.  Mr. Crowley looked on in horror as the blood drenched Mr. Sanctus moved inexorably toward him.  Mr. Crowley scampered to his right and backed away from him.

A strange smile lit across the assassin’s face as he pulled the flaps of his long coat outward, “Satan laughing spreads his wings, wouldn’t you say Mr. Crowley?”

Shaking, Mr. Crowley ran to his car.  He hopped in and flipped on the headlights. He slammed on the gas as he drove toward Dominique.  But that strange man just stood there.  His eyes looked like silver coins in the glare of the headlights as the automobile sped toward him.  Just before impact, Mr. Crowley squeezed his eyes shut.

There was no sense of impact and the car sidled to a rolling stop.  Mr. Crowley pried one eye open at the clunk of the passenger door as it closed.  He slowly turned his head to see a blood spattered Dominique in the passenger seat.  Shaking with a fear he didn’t think a man of his position could feel anymore, Mr. Crowley began to cry.

“Where is my money, Mr. Crowley?”

He replied stutteringly, “In the trunk.”

Dominique’s eyes bored into the man, “Never cross the dead, Mr. Crowley.  We are not known for forgiveness.”

The car shook wildly as screams erupted from the vehicle.  Blood splashed against the windshield.  A hand scrabbled against the window, looking for a handhold.  Slowly, the screams and the shaking died down until there was only stillness.

Dominique stepped out of the vehicle.  He opened the trunk and yanked out a bag. He slammed the trunk shut and with bag in hand, strolled off toward another car in the parking lot.

He slid into the driver’s seat, pulled out of the spot and drove past the dead bodies in the street.  It’s a harsh world when even the dead have to make a living.

Author: jongraylang

Novel Writer, Screenwriter, Filmmaker & occasionally an Actor. Handy with a Sword, Ukulele, and Skis. Author of Nun With a Gun: The Town with No Name, The Matilda, Twistin' Matilda, Black Matilda, and Secret Matilda. Writer of the upcoming Sci-Fi sequel, Waltzing Matilda.

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