Being a courier for a small gang with international aspirations I have great hopes for my new career. The note I received this morning advised me that our next meeting will take place later today at the edge of the creek. I am to make sure that I am not being followed. I know the place from way back, when I used to roam and lose my way in a series of dreams. But that was then and this is now.
I find my boss sitting under an old cherry tree, for which this region is famous, smoking a big cigar, while Tiny Man Giant makes his way out of the shrubs, zipping up his fly. The fourth part of the day is already gone when an evening haze is settling over the fields and a third figure disentangles himself from a grove of trees. We sit down.
“This is Old Bill, we call him the Slasher” introduces Siegfried Schulz aka the one-eyed undertaker, the third person in our little group. “He leads the back-up team.”
I reach to shake hands with Old Bill but get a slap on the wrist from the boss.
“I didn't know we had a back-up team,” I ventured, rubbing my wrist.
“There is a lot you don't know. That's only wise, for a courier,” Schulz explained, while handing out cigars. He then proceeded to lay out the plans.
“There is a rival gang that we have to deal with. Those snotty free loaders are on our turf. They need to be taken care of. But first we will deliver them a message. And that's where you come in,” Schulz said, pointing his cigar at me.
“What kind of message? And to whom exactly,” I asked, slightly uncomfortable with the idea.
“That's what we are here to discuss. Ideas anyone?”
Old Bill removed the cigar from his mouth and said: “The Limp keeps chickens in his yard. Let's slash them.”
The Limp, I understood, was the leader of the other gang. The idea was rejected. Schulz wanted something more subtle.
“Slash his wife,” offered Old Bill.
“Subtle I said, you fool.” Schulz threw him a very disgruntled look from his one good eye.
Tiny Man Giant raised a finger as if asking for permission to speak.
“We could send in Clean Mary,” he suggested. "Have her seduce the Limp and let our courier here take photographs."
“Hm, blackmail. Blackmail could work. There's nothing the Limp fears more than the fury of his wife. We all know that hell is her hometown. Good plan. Work it out.” And with that he got up and sauntered away happily puffing on his big cigar. Darkness fell from the sky and a wind started to blow.
“Now what,” I said. “Why me? Tell me.”
Tiny Man Giant sighed. “The boss ain't here, he's gone north and now it's an idiot wind,' he said, “blowing around our skulls.”