Be Careful What You Type – SHORT STORY

hitman wetherby emericks

I’D DONE MY stretches. The steam curled away from the coffee’s dark surface, next to my laptop—I was ready to write!..

……Wetherby Emericks, was a man not to be messed with on any day of the week. A man so sure of himself, so in command, that he managed to retain the same three day old stubble over a five year period, just the way he liked it. It didn’t dare grow another millimetre. Standing over six foot tall and two hundred pounds dead, he favoured a trilby and cream rain jacket, collar up naturally, along with dark cotton trousers finished with the shiniest shoes in town. Same outfit everyday. Wetherby didn’t like change, but that wasn’t to say he couldn’t adapt. Wearing the same outfit meant one less thing to give him a headache.

Sitting in the corner of a coffee house his hands straightened out a creased piece of paper. Of course. Jenny. Even her drunken handwriting was nearly as beautiful as she was. Luckily Wetherby hadn’t had to kill her. She knew nothing, although the same couldn’t be said of her carnal knowledge.

I took a swig of coffee, pleased with what I’d written. I’d been toying with it for awhile and decided I’d put my name into the story in a spell of egomania. The keyboard awaited..

Taking a gulp of the scalding Guatemalan brew, Wetherby savoured the taste, then pulled out another piece of paper, a list with three names left on it, the rest dealt with, clean and efficient. Being a man of the shadows Wetherby considered the dark arts to be a dying practice. Why use guns and knives when a hammer will suffice? Simple. If you can keep it simple.

The waitresses were giving him the eyes and not just for tips. One of the downfalls of being so handsome was even the second rate floozies wanted some, like they had a chance. Draining the last dregs Wetherby stood up, letting a tenner fall to the table, and walked outside double checking the name at the top of the list, reassuringly feeling the hammer under his coat.

Wetherby walked with purpose down the busy pavement, hat point downwards, people giving him the space he deserved. All that was missing was puffs of smoke, but he’d given that up for good. Intimidation and smashing hands was the new addiction, a replacement of sorts, and at least it paid.

I sat back reading over what I’d written, my abandoned coffee now unpleasantly cold..

The doorbell rang and reluctantly I left the screen. I was expecting a parcel. Opening the front door ready to sign for it I was greeted by a gruff voice on the steps below.
“Connor Macdonald?” He was a big guy, in a cream coat and trilby, hands stuffed in the coat pockets.
Terrified, I instinctively ran inside as he gave chase, only one thing on my mind as I tore through to my office, his footsteps mirroring my own. I dared glance back just as I reached my computer. His strong hand grabbed my shirt, yanking me backwards just as I my finger reached the delete button, holding it down, his breathing heavy behind me.
As suddenly as it had occured, it was over. Panting with relief I looked around me. Not a trace of Emericks. Or of my story.

Connor Macdonald never wrote fiction again. In fact, he never wrote another word. Not even a shopping list.

2016 repost

lion around 2

39 Comments

  1. Wow! This story is so engaging. I read it in no time at all. I did not even let my eyes rest once. I am amazed at your writing style. It is vivid and energetic, keeping your readers hooked from line one.

    Also, fantastic use of the italics. It makes the binary narrative easier to grasp.

    The elements you use picturing places and materials are exactly what we need to set a mood.

    In the first few seconds, your piece reminded me of Alex and Emma – a romantic movie about an author and his stenotyper – the mood felt Sin City like somehow. Then it became an altogether different thing – it always does with you 🙂

    Very entertaining read, mister Lion.

    Thank you for sharing!

    1. Wow, thank you for such in depth feedback Hailie.
      Sin City is a good shout, although I didn’t have it in mind (I’ve seen it several times) the noir writing style is very similar to Frank Miller.

  2. Phew, what a close call! This reminded me of the films Stranger than Fiction (2006) and Ruby Sparks (2012); have you seen either of them? How sad that Connor Macdonald never wrote again. Great story!

  3. It’s always great fun to play around with the idea of our creations or thoughts coming to life – and you’ve cleared up the mystery as to why the delete key is often bigger than many others on the keyboard…! Enjoyed this – cheers.

  4. Ha, that’s perfect! So clever. I love how you described the guy. So in control his beard wouldn’t even grow. 😄

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