NEVER A SUSPECT – MINI FICTION ON A HOT DAY – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Suspect

You’d never guess his true occupation. A mild-mannered man. Easy-talking, casual. You’d have him over for coffee without even thinking about it. Played folk songs on his old guitar which he carried in a heavy-duty case.

You wouldn’t give that case two-seconds of thought, either. Clearly, he valued his guitar — and indeed he did. It was a Martin. A good one, probably 50 years old and who knew who might have played it before he bought it at a musical instrument auction.

He was a man who held values dear and thus he valued, even more than his nearly antique guitar, the far more modern AR-15 he carefully stowed underneath the guitar. It was broken tidily into sections. Easy to put them together and he could do it in seconds. It lay wrapped in carefully cut foam packing underneath the instrument in a well-protected part of the case.

Oddly, the broken-down gun was light. No one guessed there was more to the case than they expected. Flip (his real name was Philip) never told anyone to not pick up the case. His natural ease made his real intentions impossible to guess or even imagine.

Playing songs at parties wasn’t giving him quite the sufficiency of recompense he needed for his comfortable, middle-class life, he had a second livelihood with a much high pay grade.

Assassinating people.

It was so easy and it was all done on cell phones. No one saw his face. No one knew his name or where he lived.

That gave him the funding he needed and left him more than enough to put something by for his eventual retirement. It never crossed his mind that anyone could discover his field of endeavor. Now in his mid-forties, it was probably true. He was a well-established musician and an internationally famous and nameless gun for hire. To the right people.

He wasn’t greedy. He only killed when he needed money and he didn’t kill unless the person he was killing “needed killing.” He thought of himself as one of those old western-style heroes. When someone needed killing, he was the man.

He liked to think he was ridding the earth of its worst vermin. It was possible he had a point. The people he “took out” were, in his opinion, evil anyway and no one was going to mourn their loss. He had some occasional collateral damage, but every business has its burdens.

He grieved when he was forced to take down someone not on his list and he made sure widows and children were cared for. A good insurance policy is more than worth its price. It was hard to argue his point of view … unless you happened to be his target.

Then you could argue, but you’d never win.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

14 thoughts on “NEVER A SUSPECT – MINI FICTION ON A HOT DAY – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. Good write. Funny coincidence, we watched Johnny Guitar with Joan Crawford and Sterling Hayden last night late, because it was there. OK, it seemed more a comedy for me. The dialogue was lacking in everything, and even Ernest Borgnine could not save the show. Everyone was riding the perfect horse, and what they did with those old pistols was unbelievable. but it was fun. If you can play a guitar you can win them all I suppose 🙂

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    1. We’ve been watching Luke Cage on Netflix and Garry thought Joan Crawford would have also made a GREAT villainess. Joan Crawford did evil so well. Those old movies are a hoot when you are in the mood for them, which Garry pretty much always is.

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      1. I thought Alfre Woodard’s “Black Mariah” evoked images of Joan Crawford’s “Vienna” in the cult classic “Johnny Guitar”. Woodard’s performance was ripe and over the top a la Crawford. Crawford loved to eviscerate her men in reel and real life. Yes, I love the cougar ladies in those old flicks.

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