From my vantage point, I watch the two men. Watch and listen.
‘What the fuck you doing, Roustabout?’
That’s the Italian, Montello. He’s your typical dimebag scum-dweller, easily bought at any of the local, cheap stereotype outlets – bars, pubs, any dwelling where big burly men loom and wield the phrase ‘fuggedaboutit’ like it’s punctuation.
It was a testament to the all-corrupting nature of money that the other man, Roustabout, would even occupy the same space as this ‘type. Ah well – his problem. You roll the dice and sometimes all you see are bullet holes.
The kneeling figure snorts in mock disgust, hands fumbling at something on the floor.
‘What’s it look like, ya berk?’ he replies over his shoulder, ‘I be attaching Lead B ta Terminal A, like yon manual says. Now keep yer trap fixed an’ let a real man do ta’ job.’
The skinny man sneers and thumbs his nose. The sound of phlegm being hoiked up and then spat echoes across the basement. A gob slaps wetly against the cement wall and slides down, gathering in a pool near Roustabout’s foot.
From under my coat I pull my silent partner. I polish it clean, turn it over and polish it again, with vigour. I will enjoy this.
Roustabout frowns his hairy brows and mutters a prayer to St Dismas, Patron Saint of Thieves. He grabs a wrench from his tool-belt and flings it backward, up and over his shoulder.
From where I am, I can see his lip upturn at all the metallic clambering and swearing.
‘—vaffanculo figlio di puttana–!’
‘Just get yerself up the feckin’ stairs and get meh some more clips, ‘fore I tallhockey yer kneecaps,’ Roustabout mutters, his eyes staying on the mess of wires before him.
Montello raises his gloved hand, his eyes dagger-sharp. The hand tightly grasps a pistol – a Walther PPK – that gleams sickly in the basement’s fluorescent lighting. It will not save him.
Roustabout tenses slightly at the metallic clinking but continues working.
I raise and point from the shadows. Two for one – a quick sale. Just my style.
Montello slowly squeezes his trigger finger, hesitates and then relaxes. He shrugs his black pinstripe suit and lowers the gun. Sniffing, he bows theatrically, arms wide.
‘Sure thing, Ro – I do what you say. I do what you say exact. Be back mo-men-ta-ri-ly.’
Montello, you are human garbage.
Montello spins about gracefully and walks outside, stopping at the base of the stairs. He opens a small, silver case in his suit pocket and pulls out what looks like a badly-rolled joint. Then the Italian procures a shiny Zippo from his hip pocket and, in one practised movement, flicks it.
Montello, you fuck, I am right behind you.
The Zippo spits flame and a familiar odour fills the small space. With closed eyes, Montello slowly inhales, savouring the aroma.
At that moment I step out of the shadows and, from behind, blow his brains out.
The father of five hits the floor. I do his children a favour by erasing their worthless progenitor from the face of existence. With five thousand dollars in my inside pocket, my conscience is assuaged.
Now. Where was I? Ah… yes.
Time to kill a Scot.