Another Day at Work – A Short Story

Browsing through some of the old files on my computer tonight, I discovered this quick story I wrote. Some of you may remember it from being in my journal in the fall of 2004. This perilous adventure features a day at my old job which I should warn is grossly exaggerated – except for the parts where I am both wicked tough and supremely cool. All names of businesses have been removed. Enjoy the read. – Kurt

It felt like a balmy midsummer day when I pulled into the gravel parking lot of the low income auto dealer, but it was in fact the first day of autumn. I stepped out of my car, scrutinizing the rinky-dink business I was about to enter. It wasn’t much; a converted house painted red and white, crossing that line between patriotic and terribly cheesy. I strode slowly up the cement steps, taking a deep breath to collect my thoughts, before I entered.

“Remember what you are here to do,” I told myself. Then I opened to door and walked in.

I realized I was outnumbered as soon as the door closed behind me. Three against one, not my favorite numbers, but I’d been in worse. I stayed calm, kept a stone cold glower about me, and presented my request.

“Who da fuck a’ you?” He said with a heavy mafia accent.

“My name is Hunt, I was sent here from TYMO,” I kept my hands in my pockets, peeking out from beneath my heavy brow, “You must be Smiles.”

“Yeah, dat’s me.”

“Then you know what I’m here for.” I wasn’t about to play games with this moot.

His two companions kept a careful eye on me, I kept my distance, making sure they didn’t surround me. Smiles stalled for a few seconds, no doubt testing my patience.

I didn’t waver.

When he realized it was his move, he reached into the desk drawer and pulled out an envelope. He tossed it on to the desk in front of him ‘TYMO’ was scribbled on it in childlike handwriting. Smiles had horrible penmanship.

“There ya go. One Hundred Thousand (ok so it was really $100) just like we talked about.”

I took the envelope; it felt light.

“TYMO, what’s dat stand for anyway?”

I felt like saying something smart. Something that would dare the two lackeys at my sides to make a move. I kept my mouth shut; it’d been a while since I’d had a job that went smooth. There was no sense in jeopardizing the mission.

“It’s just a name,” I responded.

“Haha, just a name he says,” Smiles slapped the desk and laughed, “Yous guys must thinks you have pretty big brains. Just a name, ha!”

Smiles leaned back in his chair and grimaced. Between his teeth and cocky grin sat a tiny toothpick. It moved back and forth like a finger warning me not to make a move. I turned without saying anymore. My job was done, now I was going to take the….

My finger caressed the inside of the envelope.

It was empty.

I stopped, tongue in cheek.

That son of a bitch.

Behind me, Smiles continued to laugh.

I turned around to face him, my face now sullen with pity for this fat greaseball in front of me.

“Is there somethin’ wrong?”

I tipped the envelope upside down, “Oh, there’s something wrong,” I dropped it onto the cheap shag rug of his office, “Where’s the money, Smiles?”

“Oh Jesus, did I forgets to put da money in dare?”

A smile crossed my face and I nodded. I’ll admit… I was amused. Amused that a two timing, son of a bitch like Smiles was stupid enough to pull this on me.

“Jesus Christ. Hey, Moe,” he said to the thug at my side, “Why don’t yous get this nice man a seat while I write out a check for him.”

Moe pushed me into a seat. He was lucky I didn’t break his arm for touching my new coat.

“Let me get my check book,” Smiles reached into the desk drawer and withdrew a pistol. He set it on the desk where it was easily within his reach. My weapons experience told me right away it was a Desert Eagle twelve shot handgun, a surprisingly powerful weapon for a bottom feeder like Smiles. No doubt he kept one in the chamber too.

Was this supposed to scare me?

“Now… how much did you say I owed yous?”

“Ah, well let’s see. I believe it was…” I scratched my head, trying my best to appear nervous, “Oh yeah. Three hundred thousand ($300).”

“Oh was dat all? Let’s see what we can do about that.”

I was on my feet in no time, kicking the chair behind me and knocking Moe off of his feet. The other guy didn’t have time to dodge the fierce left hook that sent him sailing backwards into a wall of hunting trophies.

Smiles reached for the gun, but it was already in my hand. I turned and fired two quick shots into Moe’s knees, and one into the thigh of the other goon. The rest of the chamber I emptied into the wall around Smiles head. The man jumped and dodged in panic. When the pistol was empty I thrashed him with it in the face.

“Woah, woah, woah!” He shouted with his hands in front of him. I slammed the overweight asshole against the wall.

“Hey, kid, come on, we can work somethins out!”

“I want my money, asshole, and I want it now.”

“Alright, alright, I gots ya money!”

I slammed him again, against the cheap wood paneling.

“I do, I do. Look in my pocket, my left pocket.”

I stuck my hand in his pocket and pulled out the check. It was there.

Smiles held his hands up, “See I told yous it was there, now yous not gonna hurts me or anything, right? Right?”

“You get lucky today Smiles, but there is only a hundred thousand ($100) here. Which means…”

He squirmed a little and I slammed him against the wall again, tightening my grip on his collar, “Which means I’ll be back here Monday morning for the rest. Listen to, listen to me, if you’re not here… Smiles, if you’re not here, I’m gonna find you and you’re gonna be real sorry, okay?

He didn’t respond. Again, a little roughing up got an answer.

“Okay, okay, I hears ya. Monday morning.”

I tossed the chump into the corner, “Have a nice weekend, boys.”

With that I left the office, closing the door behind me like a gentleman. As I walked to my car with the check in my hand I whispered to no one but myself,

“I love my job.”


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