James’s Note: I’ve always had a problem with bullies and abusers, so I’m a sucker for some instant karma. Remember, if you find yourself in a bad situation, there’s always someone you can reach out to for help. If the situation is bad enough, well, there are professionals for that. Disclaimer: I cannot officially advocate murder, no matter how much they may deserve it.
Melissa took some deep breaths, trying to stifle her sobs. It was hard to do, since the broken ribs made each breath painful. She looked at the business card in her hand while the phone rang. It read, “Bad Things done for Good Reasons. No job too big or small. Ask about our promotional deals.” Below that was the number Melisa had just dialed.
The ringing stopped and the voice on the other line answered, “Bad Things Done for Good Reasons, Llc. How can I help you today?”
Melissa’s voice shuddered a little as she managed to speak. Her voice sounded strange with her swollen, broken nose. “Yes, My name is Melissa Walker. I’m not even sure why I’m calling. My friend Katy just said if it ever got too bad I should call this number. Well, it just got really fucking bad. I guess I don’t even know what I’m doing…”
“Katy, Katy….” There was the sound of shuffling papers. “Would that be Mrs. Williams?”
“Yeah, that’s Katy. Katy Williams.”
“Mrs. Williams is a very good customer. We helped her with a little issue last year. Would you say you have a similar issue?” The voice was professional and dapper.
Melissa thought about Katy’s ‘little issue’, which had surely been her asshole husband, Mark. He had been good friends with her own asshole husband, right up until Mark drank himself to death last july.
“I guess you could say we have the same problem, but what can you guys do? I mean, are you like a women’s shelter or something?”
“Oh, not at all, Mrs. Walker. Not at all. We deal with these kinds of issues in a more permanent manner.”
“When you say deal with…”
“Oh, we offer a variety of packages. Our starting package will make it look like a random act of violence. A mugging gone wrong, for instance. For a nominal upcharge we can make it look like natural causes. That was the package Miss Williams selected. She was quite happy with it.”
Melissa might have been shaken by recent events, but she wasn’t stupid. “Wait, wait, wait. Are you telling me you killed Katie’s husband? You’re, what, like hitmen or something?”
The voice chuckled. “Well, I wouldn’t call us anything so crude or common but I do believe you get the gist. I think you’ll find our rates very reasonable. My partner wanted to name the company “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”, but I put my foot down. While not inaccurate, I felt it was tasteless.”
Melissa didn’t know what she found harder to believe; the fact that these guys really were some kind of assassins, or the fact that she was about to inquire about price.
“So, how much is it?” She felt deeply uneasy asking, but the pain from the broken ribs as she spoke helped ease her guilt a little.
“Our basic rate is $274,833, which is the current market value for 13 pounds of gold. That’s what we reckon as the traditional value of a life. It’s a little extra if you want the extended suffering package.”
“There’s no way I could afford that.” Mellisa’s voice was flat with a mixture of disappointment and relief. “This was probably a mistake, calling. Katy just gave me this card…”
The voice cut her off in the politest possible way. “That wouldn’t be one of our promotional cards, would it?”
Melissa stuttered, caught off guard. “Uhm, I guess so. It says something about deals.”
“Why didn’t you say so? That entitles you to a free service. We’ll do it as a custom job. And don’t worry, all our work is guaranteed untraceable to you. We’ll get started on your husband right away.”
“Wait!” Melissa shouted. “You can’t… I mean I’m not sure..”
“Don’t worry, Mrs Walker. We’ll take care of everything. And as I always tell our customers, don’t let the whole taking of a human life bother you. I assure you, there are no humans involved.”
The voice chuckled again, this time sounding subtlety wrong. “Sorry, my little joke. Have a good day, Mrs. Walker.”
The line disconnected with a click that sounded like the door of a tomb slamming shut.