THE FINAL COUNTDOWN 1… CHINA WHITE IN MASHPEE by Richard Godwin

1.

WORK.

Elixirs come in many forms, I have found, but there are none as good as a well-executed job. Work: I am tired of all the Murphy Artists, con men lining up on the puke stained sidewalks, all the traders, all the fucking dealers. One thing, just let me make one thing clear. I don’t to scut work. My line is a little different.

Shot my first one aged fifteen, some fat fuck who’d pissed some guys off and they asked me for a dare. Right I’m a button man.  

2.

TROPHIES.

I got em all, women, cups, ALL style trophies, a gallery of skin, my man, spent shells, residue on my fingers so hard it could hurt you. Those guys, the first ones who hired me for a kick and a dare didn’t expect me to come after them when they didn’t pay. Always pay a hit man. That’s what I am, a mechanic. Right.

3

CHARM.

I took their scalps for that; trophies. Right.

You could say I’ve led a charmed life. Sure, so this is how it went down, the job.

4.

SELF, SELVES.

I pop the last pill from the blister pack, check my reflection in the bright bright mirror, new haircut, new man.  Except I no longer know who is giving me these jobs, they turn up on my windshield written in a familiar hand. I turn to stare at the coffee table, lines of credit cards there all with different names on them.

Outside the street is burning asphalt, here in quiet tidy Mashpee, a corner of wealth outside Batman Boston, charming corner of the Cape, Massachusetts, places where wealthy wives bang tennis coaches, take back some attention to their broken mirror selves, and bored millionaires while away idle hours staring at all the lean young whores, tight tight denim shorts one eye on their refection one on the wallets on the bar top.

What’s the job? Why do I smell napalm in the rain?

Copter wings in the broke elephant grass, my head full of snakes.

Lady.

Blonde, pretty.

Shame.

Money’s through.

And so I’m in. I load my Glock in the back of a local taxi, throw a can of beer at a bum, and take a piss outside her flat. I check out her picture again, shots also of her in the shower. Why? Good tits. She looks familiar. I stare with trembling hands at a video they send of her manoeuvring with great feline dexterity her rabbit right into the hole.

Well, by the end of the brief hour she’ll have more to fill. Brief hour our life, such memories of love and loss of need and desire, like the evanescent spray of perfume of a dying favoured rose in a brilliant rainstorm, we are dust my friend, and I am here to tell you this. Killer in the rain. Bullet ridden corpses rise from the grave and follow me to the end of the street.

Flashbacks come at me like the sharp sharp jabs of pain I get sometimes, now and then, old wounds, injuries circling my mortality like sharks in Neon. I am here to spill blood.

I hear music as I scale the broken stairs to her empty flat, the bruised blue sky like an agonised azure window overhead. Tom Waits singing, ‘for some murder is the only doorway into life.’

But this is no murder in the Red Barn. This is a job, right, isn’t that what all the guys tell themselves when their marriage becomes a frozen glass shell, a cracked mirror?

So this is how it went down.

I am at the top, I kick in the peeling back door and I enter the kitchen, I enter with all the knowledge of a pre-knowledge that undercuts and disproves all the theorises of pathology and pain, for institutionalisation is the enemy of empathy. Strangely, I know where everything is, cups, china, tins, booze, sex tools, cuffs, you know, it’s like, well, I am now super-charged with some drug that lets me know it all. She is in the bedroom. And I knew I’d find her there. She poses, forefinger to chin, then pouts, mouthing ‘honey’ at me and I blow her brains out through the back of her head two times, step across the body and watch her fade and die. Outside I drink a black coffee eat a popsicle fuck a young waitress at Dairy Queen and jack off into some rotting trash because well I just couldn’t come into a snatch like that, would you, just like a crow on acid, For I am the Cherry man, and because of her song. And I drive back to my apartment at the edge of nowhere wanna know why?

I just love Mashpee. Fuck the in crowd, alienation began at 15 a wellspring of the pouring black blood that seeps from old wounds, and into an entropic reversal and iridescent black erosion of the societal lie that is deep like crimson blood on the horizon.

Inside my apartment, or their headquarters, I stare in sorrow at the flashing blue lights there for me outside my mirror window.

Set ups.

Trade ins. But they cannot take me. I go in, they follow. I stare at the pictures. My wife. I have just been commissioned to target my wife. Governments make us conform to their blind dictates. I recall the switch in my daddy’s hand, and that stone bruise in my soul, the sound of roaring water as I held my hands over my ears and l knew I had a lesion in my soul. Way in, way on. There are no sins.  

Version one: I was hired to kill by the cops. My elder raven breathes leaves in the wet cold wind . Version two: no one is who they say they are. I inspect the report and I leave town. Again. Then my dealer arrives, just in time. He spreads it on the table with Magik hands. He gives me China white. Only town.  Eat the cake.

They tell me about my record, but it lies, I may have been in the homes but there were no fathers, only men with switches in their cold hands. They tell me I have many personalities but I have only one, I am your only son and I have always loved you. I say I can walk on water I can skin a scab. The truth is it is all in the Narrative, and I love the way you say courgette, it sounds just le Byzantine, there is no such thing as beyond redemption, there is no sin,  and honesty is not a moral absolute and you are not the person you think you are, it’s an acid trip; and it’s all Art. Art lives beyond time, we are all timeless sons in an age of platinum purity.

*

Richard Godwin is the author of critically acclaimed novels Apostle RisingMr. Glamour, One Lost SummerMeaningful ConversationsConfessions Of A Hit ManParanoia And The Destiny Programme, Savage Highway and NOIR CITY!

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