“I DIE, with integrity…,” he gasped, blood running through fingers.
Two bullets exited healed wounds, skin no longer red, holes non-existent. Back into the Glock chamber they spiralled, one by one, two bangs, until they rested in the magazine and the index finger went forwards as the trigger followed.
“There are no guarantees in life, except this -”
The look of surprise and fear on Tom Washington’s face vanished, as he turned his attention back to himself on TV, magically retracting shots from the hoop back into his hands as the highlights became nolights as his game high 40 points became no points, as victory became a warm up.
“Consider it done.”
“The point guard, T.W., get rid,” Dario Feretti said.
“Who’s the target?”
“We lost too much on the spread. He’s gotta’ – he’s gotta’ pay. He can make shots? So can we. I hate to do it, I do, he’s a talent, but I gotta’ keep the rest in check, I gotta’.”
Firm hand on shoulder. A nod of the head by Tom.
“Just so there’s no miscommunication. You play like you got aids, like you got ebola, cancer – tumours eating your brain, like you got mad cow disease, swine flu…. you play the worst damned game of your life!”
“What choice do I have Dario? No choice. This is it. Last time.”
$5000 goes back into Dario’s hand. “I’ll see you get taken care of. Don’t worry about your team mates. You average 25 ppg, you control the game, it’s a guaranteed loss. Get it done.”
Tom’s pensive face tightens, head lowering, as he sits in the shadow of Dario, who walks backwards left to right in the locker room.