Headshots By Dave Jaggers

“John, its Davey. I got the envelope. Yeah, the fucker didn’t even try to hide it. It was on the table under an Oprah magazine, I shit you not. Yeah man, I’ll be there in ten.”

Davey Lipscomb turned down Fourth Avenue at the light and headed toward the entrance to the Terrace motel where John was waiting with his six grand. It was the easiest money a junkie like Davey had ever made, and the last good vein in his arm twitched with anticipation.

Just as he passed Gruzenski’s deli, a red Ford Explorer roared through the intersection and smashed into the side of the car, pinning it to a metal light pole. Before Davey knew what happened, a man in a black leather jacket got out and hurried over to the shattered passenger window. He pulled out a pistol and put two rounds in Davey’s head point blank. He grabbed the unopened letter from the passenger seat and stuffed it in his pocket before taking off on foot.

*

“Gregor, it’s good to see you. Please sit, have some coffee.” The man at the table gestured toward an empty seat. Gregor adjusted his leather jacket, and sat down. His left leg bounced with nervous energy.

“Do you have it?” the man asked.

Gregor scanned the busy café, spotting a large man at the counter with a bulge under the arm of his sport coat. “I have the envelope. But not on me.”

“Gregor, I’m disappointed. Don’t you trust me?” The man sipped his cappuccino and smiled.

“Where’s my brother? The letter for the address. That was the deal Marco.”

“Relax, Piotr is safe and in one piece. Considering the money he owes, he should count himself lucky.” Marco slid a piece of paper across the table. “Here’s the address. Now where is it?”

“Not until I see him. Tell your pet gorilla over there to meet me at the address. I’ll have it with me.” Gregor got up and walked out.

*

Piotr was curled up in the fetal position on the floor of the warehouse when Gregor found him. He was badly beaten but alive. “Gregor,” He said opening one swollen eye. “I’m sorry brother.”

“I’m here Piotr. It’s time to go home.” Gregor pulled the envelope from his pocket and held it up in the darkness. “I know you’re here. Tell Marco he can…”

Gregor’s head exploded, showering Piotr with a mist of blood and bone. A thin man in a suit stepped from the shadows carrying a rifle. His expensive boot heels echoed across the concrete, mingling with Piotr’s sobs. He walked over and picked up the blood splattered envelope. Without a word, he pulled a pistol from his belt and fired a shot into Piotr’s temple.

“It’s Luther. Tell Marco the package is secure.” The man put his cell phone away and slipped out into the street.

*

Luther stashed the rental car two blocks from the meet and walked the network of alleys that ran parallel with the main road. Marco had chosen Jackie O’s, a strip club on Townsend Street for the exchange and Luther didn’t like it. He had a bad feeling and wanted to show up on foot to scope the place.

When he neared the alley behind Jackie O’s, Luther pulled the envelope from his pocket. As he stepped off the curb, he was blinded by headlights and didn’t see the grill of the 76 Cordoba until it was too late. Luther’s hip shattered as the bumper slammed into him and his head opened up like a broken jar against the windshield.

*

Billy pulled the ski-mask from his face as he drove. The haul from the liquor store looked to be about five hundred dollars. Not bad for ten minutes work. He floored the Chrysler and turned down the alley behind the old strip club. Out of nowhere, a man in a suit stepped out in front of the car.

“Shit!” Billy slammed on the brakes just as the body hit the glass.

The man in the suit wasn’t breathing when Billy got out. His brains were leaking out and he was clutching a crumpled envelope to his chest. In a panic, Billy pulled the body off the hood and kicked out the busted windshield. He took the letter and the man’s watch; a bonus for his trouble and drove a few blocks until he felt safe. He pulled over under the cone of a street light and looked at the tattered envelope, stained with bloody thumbprints. He wondered if it was valuable. As he hooked a finger under the seal and began to open it, he glanced up into the side mirror. He noticed a red dot floating on his temple in the reflection.

*

Bio: J. David Jaggers lives in fly over country where he spends his days in the white collar world and his nights feeding the thugs, pimps and enforcers he keeps caged in his basement. He has been, or is scheduled to be published in Near to the Knuckle, Yellow Mama, Spelk and Out of the Gutter magazines.

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