"He left the gun with its late owner."
Every once in a while I write fiction. Enjoy.
Carroll spat. He had thrown up twice—the smell of blood in volume is nauseating, and there had been an awful lot of it on the office floor. He straightened up and stumbled down the short flight of steel stairs and out of the building.
He kept two gallons of spring water in the back of the company van for emergencies, along with a change of clothes. He rinsed his mouth out and drank some water, then changed into a fresh Philadelphia Alarm shirt. He put the water back and went into the glove compartment for his holster and the .45 he was categorically forbidden by company policy to carry on the job.
Philadelphia Alarm was one of the few alarm companies to offer key service, which was why Carroll had drifted into its employ. His job was to go into industrial buildings to check on things when the alarm went off. Usually it was crackheads who had broken in looking to steal something they could sell for rock. Officially he was supposed to call the cops when he suspected the presence of intruders. Unofficially, the reason P.A. employed people like Carroll was that police contact was expensive; with it came paperwork that would have to be filed with insurance companies, and the alarm company's clients paid for key service because it was cheaper than getting their insurance premiums hiked up. He was expected to use his discretion, which generally meant chasing down drug fiends and beating them stupid. That was fine with Carroll.
Carroll locked the van and took his time walking back across the parking lot. Three hoodlums had been waiting behind his van when he had stepped out of the Raye Linen warehouse his first week on the job and beaten the shit out of him. Since then he had always parked a good distance away from a call. There was a new Cadillac that he hadn’t noticed just around the corner of the building, and the engine was running. He got a little Steiner monocular out of his fanny pack and stared through it at the drivers’ side window. It didn’t look like there was anyone in there. He put away the monocular and drew his pistol.
Carroll had been doing his job for a long time, and he knew all the angles. The Merlin Machine Company building was a big rectangular box surrounded by parking lot. There were few opportunities for concealment, which meant he was less likely to get jumped going around to the other side of the building to get a better angle on the Cadillac. It took him fifteen careful minutes to get into a good position.
He got low and checked the car out with his monocular from around the corner of the building. After a minute, he stood up and holstered the .45. The driver had been shot at close range at least five times. He was very, very dead. Carroll got a pair of nitrile surgical gloves from his fanny pack, put them on, and got in the passenger side. There was a flash roll in the man’s pocket, five thousand dollars in hundreds and fifties that Carroll transferred to his own pocket. He went through the car methodically, searching the seat back pockets, the ashtrays, the glove compartment and the console, and found nothing. He left the keys in the ignition and got out.
As a licensed and bonded alarm company technician, Carroll habitually carried a set of lockpicks. It took him less than ten seconds to open the Cadillac’s trunk. He wasn’t surprised to find two soft-sided ballistic nylon suitcases inside. They were empty.
Carroll went back into the building, this time through the side entrance. He found the building engineer’s office, which contained nothing of value apart from some expensive machine tools bolted to a workbench and two grams of cocaine in a desk drawer. He left them alone and hunted around until he found a respirator. He adjusted the straps and put it on. He got out his flashlight, clicked the tailcap switch and tripped the circuit breaker.
The office still reeked, but Carroll could tolerate it with the respirator on. He shined his flashlight around. The source of the blood was a corpse in the middle of the floor. It was well dressed, and still warm. Carroll went through its pockets and found nothing worth keeping except for an unfired, unbloodied Glock 30-S. This he stuck in his waistband before switching off his flashlight and creeping out of the room.
Carroll didn’t worry about being seen. He moved well for a big man, and quietly, as some big men do. He let his eyes adjust to the darkness and waited just outside the office, next to the stairwell. There was no rear door to the building.
The men were careful, but they hadn’t brought flashlights and they didn’t know where they were going. Carroll waited for the sound of footsteps on the staircase and got out his Surefire and the Glock he had taken from the dead man. When the men were halfway up the stairs, he shone the flashlight in their faces. Their hands instinctively came up to block out the light, and Carroll shot them, twice each in the chest and once in the head. He left the gun with its late owner.
There was rather more heroin in the duffel bag one of the men had been carrying than Carroll had expected. He left the company van in the airport parking lot.
Any reason you cant do a Charles Dicken and episode this once a week? Do about 8 or 9 until you get to a cliffhanger and then paid subscription after that. Heck, I'm already curious about this guy and where it goes.
Love running across writing which shows an aesthetic sense and interest which I could never replicate. I began re-reading Chapter 1 before I noticed there was a prologue up--very interested to see how ultraviolence here connects to extreme sex in the next section. An anthology set of stories, perhaps?
Your writing is matter-of-fact and clear to follow, but I read every word as though it's being spoken through a grim smile. Fascinating to consume, and I want to continue onward to see what this noteworthy opening is leading up to.