Dirty Water

It took Kit exactly three months and six days to get what his boss wanted.

But Kit was the kind of guy that got things done, no matter how odd the request.

Kit was the guy a very rich man named Martin Day paid very well to do things that needed to be done, especially when they didn’t fall within the parameters of what the poorer slobs called legal.

Kit handed his boss five folders, five resumes. Martin looked at each one.

“Where did you get these? No, never mind. I don’t want to know.”

Martin studied each of the files more carefully. Kit didn’t say a word.

“Tell me about this one.”“They say he’s the best.”“Who says this?”“People who should know.”Martin bit at a hangnail on his thumb. He usually had a perfect manicure.

“I want him.”


“So, how does this go down?”

“I call a number. After I call that number, the number will never work again. After I call that number, a guy contacts the guy and if the guy wants to do it, the guy contacts you. After I call that number, I’m out of it. The guy will only deal with you. The guy will check you out and if he thinks you’re okay, he’ll contact you.”

“How will he contact me?”

“I don’t know.”

“When will he contact me?

“I don’t know.”

“Call the number.”

Two weeks later Martin Day reached into the jacket pocket of his $6,000 suit and pulled out his flip phone. There was a book of paper matches wedged inside the crease of the phone. How did they get here? Martin wondered. He opened the matches and there was an address and a time. Martin had a vague idea of the location and figured he had just enough time to make it on time if he left right then.

It was the kind of neighborhood where a $6,000 suit and a $200 tie stood out like an honest man in the Senate chambers. Martin took off his tie and put it in this jacket pocket. He took the phone from his jacket and put it in his pants pocket. He took off his jacket and handed it to a homeless man on the sidewalk. He walked into the bar.

He bellied up and ordered a beer. Martin didn’t see where he came from but when he turned back there was a man beside him. The man hadn’t been there before.

The bartender never returned with the beer.

“Who is it?” The man asked. He sounded like he had a throat full of ball bearings.


“No, who is it?” The man repeated.

It took Martin several seconds to figure out what the man wanted. Martin gave the man a name.

“Here’s how it works. A million upfront. A million when the job is completed. Non-sequential bills.”

“That’s rather steep.”

“I’m walking out of here.”

“No,” Martin said.

“Leave the money in a satchel on top of your desk and take a two hour lunch tomorrow.”


“Here are the rules. You tell no one you talked to me. You never come to this place again. You won’t see me until the job is done. I will give you proof of a successful completion."

“I need to see the body to be sure.”“You’ll be sure. Then, you give me the other half. You’ll never see me again after that. I will leave no witnesses”“What does that mean?"

“There might be some collateral damage.”

“But I don’t want anything to happen to anyone else.”

“I’m walking.”

“Okay, okay,” Martin said, but the man was gone.

The next day, when he returned from lunch, the money was gone.

Five days after that, his partner was gone.

That night Martin received a phone call on his private line. He had instructions to go to the cemetery east of town. It was raining, it had been raining all day. The cemetery was surrounded by a huge old brick wall. He parked inside the walled entrance and got out of the car with his umbrella and leather satchel. A shadow appeared in front of him.
“Follow me.”

Martin followed. They came to a freshly-dug grave. At the bottom were what looked to be three or four feet of dirty rainwater.

The man picked up a rope from the side of the grave.

“Care to see?”

Martin nodded. The man pulled the rope and the face of Martin’s former partner rose out of the dirty water. The eyes of the corpse were still open. The man let go of the rope and the face submerged beneath the swirling mud-colored liquid.

“The grave has been dug about five feet deeper than usual. No one thinks to look for a dead body in a graveyard. When we’re finished, I’ll throw more dirt on top and tomorrow when they lower the casket in, they’ll be none the wiser. Got my money?”

Martin handed the man the satchel. The hitman shot Martin twice in the heart and pushed him into the grave. Martin sank below the water, leaving a parfait of red.

“I told you, I never leave witnesses,” the hitman said just before a shovel came down, edge first, and split his head open. The man fell into the grave and the dirty water swallowed him up.

“Neither do I,” Kit said. He moved the satchel away from the lip of the grave and started shoveling mud into it.

The dirty water became thicker and darker.

Dirty Water


Joined March 2008

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