A Job Gone Wrong

The boss’s office was immaculate, it looked like a maid had been through 3 seconds ago.  Beautiful paintings, most likely stolen, lined the walls.  The room was dominated by a huge mahogany desk behind which sat a chair, turned to look out the huge windows overlooking the city.

“So you’re looking to join my family”.  The voice was strong and carried an air of quiet authority.  I immediately straightened up and rubbed at the creases of my cheap suit.  Unfortunately, it was the best I could afford.  Joining the family would change that.  I had been working for this moment for years, beating up those who wouldn’t pay protection, making accidents happen to people who welched on debts.  The list goes on.  All of it for this moment.

The chair turned slowly revealing a man much smaller than I expected and showing the signs of age and a dangerous life.  Several scars lined his cheeks, almost hidden in the wrinkles.  He had surprisingly lush hair, a wig no doubt, but it would be suicide to bring that up.

“Yeah” I thought quickly and realized that was no way to talk to the don.  “I mean yes Don Marone I’ve worked for years for this meeting.  It’s a huge honor.”

The man nodded absently,  obviously not caring about the praise, hell he’d probably heard a thousand times before.  I  stood, uncomfortably while he looked me over.  “That suit won’t do.  If you join us, I expect a tailored suit.  You gotta represent us, after all.”

I nodded in agreement.  With the money I made as a part of the family I could own an army of suits.  I couldn’t wait, I could almost taste the prestige and power I would command.  Maybe he’d give me my own crew.  Then I could stop this penny ante shit and get onto the big jobs.

Still, the Don had something I had to do first.  I waited for him to explain, and he did.  I was awestruck.  Why of all things that?  I was totally confused when the Don followed up.  “You have to have it at my granddaughter’s house no later than 1.  I will not lose my granddaughter’s trust because some mook can’t keep a schedule.  Now get out of here and get to work.  Mess this up and the whole family will be after you.”  I gulped.  Stakes were really high.

I bowed in a way I hoped was respectful and walked quickly out of the room.  As I exited a goon nearly twice my size handed me a pile of papers.  How the Don found men this big I dunno.  I stand a good 6”3’ and exercise pretty regular.  These guys could eat me for breakfast.

As soon as I was back to my car I tore through the papers.  The target was in a public place.  Lots of people.  I would have to scare them off.  Some workers too,  they might be more trouble.  I had about 4 hours to set this up.  Not a lot of time really for a job like this. I had to hurry.  I quickly checked my stock of tools.  Some bolt cutters, a pistol, a long range rifle, some straps, and surprisingly some leftover C4 from a job I helped pull about 6 months ago.  I was not an explosives expert but I was pretty sure I could make it go boom.  A plan started to form.  I tore away from there at breakneck speed, needing to get to the target zone in 10 minutes when it was 20 minutes away.

Now my suit may have been too cheap for the Don, but it would stand out like a sore thumb at the target zone.  It was full of fat tourists with Hawaiian shirts, Khaki shorts and fanny packs. Many lugged expensive looking cameras, taking pictures of everything.  I needed a disguise fast.  Fortunately, there was a restroom just outside the gate.  I slipped in, grabbed a stall and waited.

Sure enough, a blubbery tourist with bulging eyes and a stupid grin on his face walked in.  He was slightly shorter than me,  but his shirt was huge, and his shorts cinched up with a nice belt that would certainly help with my plan.  He half waddled towards a urinal and dropped trow.  I waited til he was mostly finished to slip silently out and punch him hard in the back of the head.  He crumpled without a cry, and I dragged him back into the stall.  He would probably have a nice concussion, but he’d live. Not that I cared.

Stripping him was a pain but I was right about the fit, mostly.  The belt held on those ridiculous shorts, and the shirt hung mostly properly.  If you looked carefully you could see a half inch of my toned midriff.  Well, beggars can’t be choosers and I had already wasted 20 minutes on this crap.  Time to set up the diversion.

Security was surprisingly tight.  My bag of toys would draw a lot of suspicion.  Quickly,  I dumped the guns and bolt cutters back into the car,  and quickly squished the c4 into a shape I hoped would resemble a bottle of suntan lotion.  The wires and blasting cap were squished into the side, hoping that it wouldn’t set off the metal detector.

I paid using blubbery boy’s credit card and placed my bag on the x-ray machine and walked through the metal detector.  Apparently, the crew was lazy because I made it through with no questions.  What was the point of security if they couldn’t actually catch a bomb?  Amateurs.

I walked through the park looking for a place to set up my surprise.   I got near the target and saw a garbage can full of wrappers.  Perfect.  The explosion might even start a fire. Who knew with explosives?  Not me.  I slipped over and carefully removed my c4 and set up the blasting cap and timer.  Another 20 minutes gone and another 20 to get set up.

I rushed back as quickly as I could, and dashed through the exit,  drawing some suspicion but at that point, I didn’t have time to care.  I went back to my car and grabbed the rifle and bolt cutters and traced the outside of the fence to the target.  It was your basic chain link fence about 5 feet tall.  Not high security and I could cut through that fence in 10 minutes.  I sighed, more time I didn’t have.  I checked my watch, 5 minutes til boom time.  I pulled out the rifle and tapped my finger anxiously as I looked through the scope.  I was hoping my little diversion would scare everyone away, but sometimes people liked to be heroes and I had to be ready for the eventuality.

It happened suddenly, a thoom, throwing wrappers and shards of plastic everywhere. Pretty quickly the sounds of screams echoed everywhere.  People charged the exits while the workers tried to keep them calm.  It took all of 5 minutes for the people to clear out, and I probably had 15 before the cops arrived.  Unfortunately, a worker stayed around the target,  trying to get it out of its container.  I sighed at the annoyance and raised my rifle up and lined him up.  The rifle roared with a deafening sound, and the man crumpled into a heap.

Jumping up I ran and as quickly as I could snipped a large hole in the fence, bigger than I needed, but then the target was quite large.  I ran to the enclosure and inside I spotted the target,  A fat, bored looking pony, wearing a saddle and casually chewing on some grass.  It obviously was used to people as it didn’t even flinch as I approached.  I hadn’t figured out why the Don wanted the stupid thing but a job’s a job, right?  I looked at my watch: 11:45.  Damn it took ½ hour to the target zone.  The window was shrinking fast and a sudden thought washed over me, how the hell was I supposed to get the stupid thing there?  My car was parked away from the crowds, but the transport vehicle for the target was right dead center in the scared masses.  How was I supposed to manage that?

I looked around wildly for anything that might help and saw a long ramp for the goat enclosure.  I ran in and grabbed it, a desperate plan running through my mind: could I possibly get the damn thing to stand on the roof of my car? Having no other options I set the ramp up and went back to get the pony.  It was exactly where I left it, still casually chewing his hay.  Well, I suppose it was now or never.

I grabbed the lead and pulled.  The pony, used to this sort of thing, just trotted along, chewing.  I led it through the fence – luckily I had cut the fence wide enough.  The pony was apparently confused by this because it began to pull back on the lead.  I yanked roughly, and if a pony could shrug, that’s the kind of response it would have done. Cute.
As quickly as I could I led the pony to my car and started it up the ramp.  I thought things were going smooth, but halfway up the pony balked and panicked, eyes rolling wildly in its head.  I was half sure I could hear sirens, and a cold wash of fear ran over me.  I ran behind the pony and shoved.  “Get moving ya bastard” I shouted.  He actually did so, but not before he dropped a big horsey dump right over my shoulder. “God damn it!” I yelled and gave another hard shove, which finally got the pony on the roof.

Now what?  I had 40 minutes and a pony on my roof.  I thought I could hear the metal bend a little under a weight it was never meant to bear but ignored it.  Instead, I was stumped.  Sure it was up there, but what was to keep the stupid thing from falling off.  Then I remembered my roof straps.  It was completely insane, but it was all I had.

Grabbing the straps,  I quickly tossed them over the pony and then ran the other end through my car.  As I winched them tight the pony whinnied in protest of this treatment but the damned thing could rot for all I cared.  Quickly I tossed the ramp in my trunk, and cinched it down with some strapping and quickly checked out my handiwork.  There was a pony strapped to the roof of my car, and a ramp sticking about 10 feet out of my trunk.  I shook my head, jumped in the car and gunned it.

I must have missed the cops by 2 minutes, as I drove off, I could hear the sirens approaching.  The car was reacting sluggishly and having trouble reaching speed.  Understandable, I suppose but I wasn’t having any of it after the day I’d had.  I slammed the pedal to the metal.  That’s when I heard that pony let out a noise that was definitely the pony equivalent of a scream. I heard some stomping on the roof.  Luckily the straps seemed to be working.

I drove like a bat out of hell with that pony screaming like some demented siren.  Luckily, I had preprogrammed the drop off address into my GPS, and by some miracle, there were no cops on the highway today.  I glanced at my clock radio, 10 minutes left.

Luckily, it only to 5 to arrive.  Releasing the cinches and putting the ramp over my hood, the pony practically galloped off the roof of my car.  As I was leading the pony through the gate in the white picket fence, I took sudden stock of myself.  I was walking into the Don’s granddaughter’s house with the Don himself there,  wearing an ill fitting Hawaiian shirt, some khaki shorts that were 5 sizes too large for me covered in horse shit.  If the Don thought I looked bad before what would he think now? A little wave of panic washed over me.  Then it occurred to me I got the job done.  That was all that mattered.  The Don would be pleased at that.

In point of fact the Don was so shocked at how I looked he laughed for a solid 10 minutes.  “Well, you did your job.  As promised you are a part of my family now.  He leaned over as if to kiss my cheeks, then thought better of it.  “I think I’ll call you Mr. Hawaiian, or maybe Mr. Shit” He laughed again.

A few moments later a tiny girl came running out of the house dressed in a princess dress with a Happy Birthday crown.  I tried not to look shocked but failed miserably.  All that shit for a Birthday Party?

The Don leaned over and said “I’ve been trying to get that pony for weeks now.  How did you convince them?” I shrugged and said I used some persuasion. “So,” he asked conversationally “how much did it cost to rent?”


Published by Robert C Hartwell

I live in Northeastern Vermont in the US. I am currently working towards becoming an author. I am the proud father of two great kids.

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