Shamrock

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
An Irish assassin has a change of heart after meeting a young target.

Submitted: June 09, 2008

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Submitted: June 09, 2008

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You can call me Shamrock. Everyone that matters does. The place I call home is a rotten town in a rotten part of Mississippi with just as rotten people. There is no such thing as an “honest” job in this place. You take what you want when you want it and you don’t give anything back. Criminals are born and bred here. There are no quiet suburbs, no gated communities, and you can’t find an honest cop for miles. You can call me Shamrock and this is my living hell.

I’m at a local politician’s house in the only “nice” part of town. I look down. I hold him till his body goes limp. His room is kept clean like a good little boy. All of his toys are in a line on his shelves and every picture of his family and friends are hung perfectly on the wall. His school books are stacked neatly next to his desk light surrounded by a bunch of crumpled papers. His family’s little scholar. After a few seconds, the only breathing in the room is mine. I look down at the kid’s face. No fear, no struggle, no sign of death.

Damn I’m good. I thought to myself.

Not a single thing was out of place. Everything was kept perfect. It was like I was never even here. I bring the kid over to his bed and tuck him in better than his mom did the first time. His head slumps to the right, and he is at peace.

“Sleep tight kid,” I whisper to the empty body in front of me. As I turn around it hits me like a square kick to the nuts, my headaches are back.

What the hell? The doctor said it was all over. I’m not going through this again. Not a third time.

I lean back holding my head. Suddenly I’m off my game. I stumble around for a bit then I knock over one of the toys above me. The toy splits into two on the ground sending an alarm to the kid’s mom downstairs.

Damn, and it was going so well.

The sound of heels clicking on the boards of the stairs comes rushing to me. I take one last look at my recent masterpiece and climb out the window. A few seconds after I was out of view, the mom came walking in. I was on the roof before I heard the shrieks of an ex-mother who just lost everything she ever cared about, but it was just business to me. I fish around one of my pockets looking for a cigarette. Instead I pulled out a small folded piece of paper.

Sorry Mrs…Mrs.. I unfold the piece of paper…Mrs. Stephens. You have your husband to thank for that. Courtesy of the Morano family.

I finally find the cigarette I was looking for and light it. I breathe in the smoke for a small sense of relaxation. I look up. There’s a full moon out tonight giving the city around me a heavenly glow. I laugh at the irony and take one last look at the piece of paper before I let it go before the headaches come again. I drop down to a knee and I lose my cigarette.

“Doesn’t it get old after a while?” a familiar voice says from behind me.

“Sometimes,” I answer as I turn around to face the voice. There he stood like he did many years ago. A little straighter and his words aren’t as slurry as they used to be. Probably isn’t drunk yet. The man is my father, the same father only four weeks ago I lowered six feet under to his final resting place.

“Don’t give me that look boy. I didn’t like it then and I don’t now.”

“And how are you here, now?”

“I’ve always been with you son.”

Worthless old man. He doesn’t even know what it means to be to be a father. Walked out of my life when I was only six years old. It wasn’t my birthday or even Christmas like all those sad sob stories you hear on Oprah. It was just your regular, everyday Saturday. I only way I know him is from a picture I kept my mom from burning that Saturday night, and from the stories my mom told me. So why is he here now?

“Don’t feed me that shit. I never thought of you as a father.”

The old man took a few steps to me, “Don’t you dare talk to me like that, boy! I’m still your father!”

I don’t even budge. I’m confused. I need my medicine. He shouldn’t be here right now. Maybe I am what my mom always told me I was…crazy.

“How have you been son? Still killing innocent people for money, I see. You were always good at that, killing. Weren’t you?” he mocked.

Every muscle in my body tenses up.

It comes flashing back to me for the first time in years.

I was in the 9th grade at my girlfriend’s house, when her drunk father came stumbling in while we were making out on his couch. He didn’t like that too much. He staggered over to her and began to scream at her. I was young and confused. Then after my girl backed talked him, he back handed her to the floor. He then got over her and started beating her. I couldn’t take it anymore. I pulled him off of her and then the bastard went for me. He even pulled out a knife. He gashed me twice before I took it from him. He flapped his jaw a couple of times talking about my mom. That was all I needed.

Finally he stopped and went for another drunken punch. He missed by a mile then he tried to lunge at me, but the idiot hit the knife instead. He went down quick and began bleeding. I was so scared and so was Elizabeth. He died later that night. I cut an artery or something like it. The doctor’s explained it but I forgot.

I turned around and he was gone.

I’m tired, confused, something. He isn’t real. Worthless old man. Damn, I need a beer.

I lit another cigarette. It calms me down. I let the tobacco race down into my lungs. Sure they’ll kill me, but nowadays who wouldn’t. I take another puff of my cig. My mind trails away again. I remember Elizabeth. Her beautiful teen body, her long straight, brown hair, her deep brown eyes, her light pink lips, and she picked me to be her boyfriend. She gave me a chance, not some preppy genius or the many corn fed football players around, but me the most mediocre kid around. I was lucky.

The sound of St. Mary’s Cathedral derails my thoughts. I walk over the edge facing away from the street into the alley and jump from the roof to the fire escape down to the alley floor. Calmly I walk to the street. The only high end part of town. The streets were polished and the buildings were kept up. This was the diamond of our rough town. Even the alleyways were clean. Kept clean by the very people this city despises, the rapists, the murderers all with automatic weapons shoved up their ass just so they know not to make a mistake. I should know, I did it for 12 years.

I laugh a little. It had been a while since I remember laughing. Past few years there hadn’t been much to laugh at. Nothing but a couple of targets, plenty of alcohol and cigarettes, and a few moments of peace. As I round Jackson Street, a cop car pulls towards me. My heart remains steady, my hands aren’t shaking, and my mind isn’t racing. I read his car number. The tires skid to a halt.

Great. Here we go again. Skip the foreplay officer, just read me my rights and bind my wrists.

The door lets out a little creak as it opens and Officer Justin Creed steps out. The same Officer Creed who used to play cowboys and Indians with me in my backyard, and the same Officer Creed who slapped handcuffs on me and directed me to the back of his police car 12 years ago.

“What are you doing out so late, Nathan? Or should I call you, Shamrock?”

“Couldn’t get to sleep so I figured I’d take a walk. That isn’t against the law is it. Shouldn’t you be home with your wife. Jadie if I remember correctly.”

He lets out a small crack of a smile, “It’s been awhile, Shamrock,” he mocks me.

“12 years, I believe.”

“I’m sure you are. What happened to you Nathan? We used to be good friends.”

“A lot changes when you murder your girlfriend’s father. Parents get scared, mom worries about her reputation, so she sends her murderer of a son to boarding school for a few years, then abandons him.”

“You know a little kid was murdered tonight, Governor Stephen’s kid. You wouldn’t know anything about that would you?”

“Doesn’t this conversation sound familiar. You don’t ever change Officer Creed.”

“Lately I was thinking the same thing about you.”

I look him square in the eye, and let out a deep breath, “No I don’t know anything about the little brat. Are we through?”

He looks back at me, doing the lie detector cop thing he always loved to do, “Alright, we are through. But if I find out that you do, I will..”

I interrupt his Oscar winning line, “Hunt me down like the dog I am. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Material hasn’t changed even after 12 years.

“Try and stay out of trouble, Nathan.”

I don’t respond. I just start walking home. See you next time Justin, and the next time things won’t be as friendly.

I finally reach my hole in the wall apartment. Just picture the worst looking apartment you can and then lower your standards one level and that’s where I live. With all the money I’m pulling in, I should have a better place to hang my hat, but I’m planning on leaving this miserable town and head somewhere where I can start over. I grab a couple of beers and head over to my recliner. I turn on the T.V. and there he is. The kid I saw only an hour ago. The anchor rambles on about the situation like she actually gives a shit. The parents come on next bawling saying how much they loved their kid and how they are going to get whoever is responsible. I smile back at the crying faces and raise my beer up at them to toast them. After finishing my beers I go for the heavy stuff. My old friend Jack Daniels. I drink until I pass out. My dreams are empty, but my liver is full. I don’t have a care in the world. I’m free.

A bang on the door wakes me from my peaceful coma. I peak at the door as it thunders back and forth. I ignore it but it continues.

Fine! I’m up. Bastards never let me sleep. If I wasn’t getting paid so well I’d kill them.

From what I can tell there are two people outside my door probably with my next assignment. I get up and open the door. There are two guys standing in suits wearing too much jewelry one man should wear. Their hair is slicked back, eyes are wide, and they are looking at me with their crocodile smile. They are wearing enough cologne to kill a man. At their waists are their handguns, and in one of their hand is a fat vanilla envelope.

Just the way I like any envelope they give me….fat.

I look back up at them. For a few seconds I don’t even blink. With each passing second their smiles fade away, “Did you see the news?”

“No,” I lied. I don’t like this guy. His smile upsets me.

He hands me the envelope and I flicker through the cards real quick then look up at him. His hands are starting to sweat.

“The captains are pleased with your work.”

I could give a rat ass about the family or their feelings about my work.

“Here is the last target of the governmental families then you’ll go back to your usual work,” the insect says to me as he hands me another envelope except this one is not as thick. I look down at it then look back up at him. His partner’s hand is giving a little shake.

Then this cockroach asks me the last question I want to hear from him, “Why is there a shamrock on your face?”

I shut the door. I hear him mumble a little okay then he walks away. I let out a small breath as I open the envelope.

Shit, not another kid. I’m tired of kids. What happened to the good days when hitmen hit other thugs. I miss those days. When your target was old enough to fight back. Old enough to take responsible for what they have done. But a kid…come on.

The papers give me every little detail even includes a picture. Jaynie Caroll is the name. Says she is a sophomore at the local university like a good little girl should. Says she is the daughter of Senator Caroll, what he did to the family is only known between him, them, and God.

I throw the papers on my recliner and go to wash up. I wash my face real quick and I look up at myself. My green shamrock below my right eye glows from the steam. I was never considered the ugliest kid in my class just never the prettiest. But I didn’t care.

What the hell is wrong with me?

“I’ve been asking myself that for years,” the familiar voice says behind me.

I need my medicine.

“Believe it or not son you are perfectly fine except for whatever snapped that allows you to kill people and not care.”

I open my cabinet and open up my newest bottle. I take a fist full when I’m only suppose to take two, but he’s still here.

“Quit popping pills, son. They won’t help.”

I look up at my fogged mirror and wipe away so I can see him, “Get the hell out of my apartment.”

“Now, son.”

“Get the hell out!” I scream as I hit my mirror and it shatters. I turn around and he is gone.

Come on, Nathan get your head on straight. You have a job to do tonight. COME ON! GET YOUR HEAD ON STRAIGHT!

I put my clothes on, get ol’Rosie, my favorite handgun, and pick up a piece of paper with my target’s name on it. I walk out of my apartment. I don’t even bother locking it. Who’s going to try and get into my dump. And right as I walk out the front door of the complex, some small excuse for a man comes and gets in my way.

“And you must be Shamrock, “ he says.

I recognize you.

“I’m Franky Morano. I’m suppose to be helping you with this target.”

The last thing I need in this forsaken town is the help of the nephew of the head of the family.

I continue to walk. His face goes blank and he rockets back in front of me and points his gun at me. “I don’t think you heard me. I’m Franky Morano. Now let’s get one thing straight, YOU will be helping ME. I don’t care if you are the great Shamrock. You are working for ME.”

This little….

I walk towards him to the point where his gun is pointed straight into my stomach. He looks up at me with frightened eyes. I stare at him for a few seconds then after I let out a small laugh, I send a right hook right into his jaw sending him to the ground. I get over him and grab his shirt towards me so he can hear me better.

“Listen to me you little shit. I don’t like you. Therefore you will follow ME. You will not ask any questions, you will be as quiet as a child in a graveyard. Do you hear me?”

He lets out a little squeal.

Now that’s a good little piggy.

The little maggot shoots up from the ground and dusts himself off. He wipes the blood off of his chin and looks at me. I stare back. He is beaten. I continue to walk to my target’s location. I can hear the shuffling of ol’Franky boy’s shoes behind me. Only 12 more blocks to go…

Grace Acres. That’s what the entry sign reads as we go into the neighborhood. The neighborhood is a clean place. The houses are cookie cutter houses all looking the same except for a slight tint in color. I’m walking into this place like a resident. Poster boy isn’t too far behind me. We walk casually until we reach 2121Grace Street. This house is decorated differently than the others. The garden is kept different than the others. More color. I stop in front of the place and stare at it for a second.

“Is this the place?” the frighten kid behind me asks.

I don’t answer. I don’t like him. I just look and continue to walk.

I draw out my gun and check the door. It’s unlocked.

Lucky break.

“Wait, we’re going through the front door?”

“We are if you shut the hell up.”

Open the door and silently walk in. I walk around until I find the girl’s room. It’s upstairs while her unlucky parents are downstairs. I walk down the hall to the kid’s room. As I’m walking past the pictures on the wall one face gets my attention. I stare at it for a couple of seconds.

Elizabeth?

I convince myself that it isn’t and I continue to the room. Ol’boy behind me looks at the picture then me confused, but he continues to follow me. I look down the hall and sure enough there is a big sign reading “Jaynie’s Room”. I open Jaynie’s door slowly. It barely creaks. I walk up to her bed.

It’s a shame she had to come home from college this weekend.

The kid behind me has his gun ready, but there is a problem…he’s shaking. He’s shaking too much to have a gun in his hand. He moves away from the door over towards the bed. He’s still shaking. It was then that her mother came in. All she was doing was taking a usual mother watch over since her husband was off for some trip, but this time she saw more than she planned.

I flashed around and looked up at her.

Elizabeth?

My eyes are wide and my mouth is open.

It is her. I can’t believe this.

“Nathan?” she asks.

All I can do is stare at her. That’s all I will do. The jittery maggot next to me raises his hand and points his gun at her. I turn and scream No but it’s too late. He fires two rounds towards her and she falls backwards down the stairs. Jaynie shoots up only to see her mom fall down the stairs. Jaynie lets out the loudest scream I’ve heard in a while. I run to her door to see Elizabeth but it’s of no use. Frank runs for the door but I stop him with a right hand. As he hits the ground, I follow it by rights and lefts to his face.

You killed her! My Elizabeth!

I stop when I hear the muffled cries and screams of Jaynie. I get off of Frank and walk over to Jaynie. She throws her own right and left hooks at me. I don’t even try to stop her.

She hits pretty hard for a sorority girl.

She looks up at me and stops crying, “You are Nathan O’Neil aren’t you?”

I give her a confused look. “Yes,” I answer.

“I’ve heard stories about you and my mom. She told me everything from when ya’ll first met to your water tower incident.

I look at her then I look down. I let out a little laugh.

“Yeah we had a lot fun your mother and me.”

“My dad always hated it when I brought you up.”

I bet he did.

I hear someone running up the stairs and they aren’t friendly. I swing around and grab Jaynie as I bring out Rosie. Jaynie is screaming as the uninvited guests come into her room. With four bullets I make sure they are dead. I check them out real quick as I walk over them. They are Moranos. Probably here to make sure the job gets finished and that Franky doesn’t get hurt. I look around and he isn’t here.

Pansy. Well no use staying here, but what to do with the kid. Can’t leave her here.

I put her down near the stairs. I look over her and see her mother.

My Elizabeth. I’m the reason you are dead, just like your dad.

I snap back from my dream world and look down at Jaynie. She is terrified and she has every reason to be. She looks up at me as if we have known each other our entire lives.

She muffles while trying to catch her breath, “What do we do now?”

We? Shit, I knew it was going to come down to this.

“We have to leave this place and find somewhere safe. They will be coming after me and now you.”

“Why are you here?” she asks as she looks up at me.

I look away and make my way downstairs to her mother. I kneel down to the only person who ever cared about me. She still looks beautiful. She is even still wearing the heart necklace I bought her ages ago. I pay my last respects then stand up and look at Jaynie who is making her way down the stairs.

“To kill you,” and with that I turn and see if there are anyone else outside. All that is left is the empty Morano car that I will be taking.

Nice set of wheels…Mercedes…beautiful.

I turn around and Jaynie is looking at her mother. I call for her but she doesn’t even move. Finally she stands up and calls out to me, “How do I know you won’t kill me now?”

I feel compassion. Compassion? What is wrong with me? COME ON! GET YOUR HEAD ON STRAIGHT!

“Because it’s my job to take care of you now. I won’t be responsible for another death tonight.”

She comes out of her house racing to the car. She gives me the first smile of the night and gets into the car. I get into the car and head away from the scene of the crime.

We are miles away from the house and heading into my part of town, the only place where I can keep her safe. I look over at her. She is starring out of the window watching the decaying houses go by one by one.

She looks so much like her mother. Elizabeth I’m sorry, but I pledge to you, your daughter will be safe.

My mind shoots back many years ago. Back when we were together in my black Ford Mustang. She is looking out the window, her hair flowing with the wind. She looks like an angel….my angel. She looks back at me with her soft brown eyes. I wonder how I got so lucky. She’s smiling at me and I return with one back. I reach into my pocket and pull out a round, blue box and hand it to her. Her eyes widen as she pulls out the heart necklace I gave her. She quickly puts it on. It looks in its place against her tan skin. She looks at me and leans in for a kiss….

“Nathan watch out!!” Jaynie screams as I barely miss hitting an oncoming car.

“I’m sorry.”

“Thinking about my mom weren’t you?”

I keep looking straight ahead and say, “Yes.”

“ Did you really take on the entire football team because of what the quarterback said?”

Hell yeah I did. And he never even made eye contact with her afterwards….too scared.

“Yes I did.”

We finally arrive at my apartment. She asks where we are and I tell her. This is probably the last place I need to be but I need to pick up my cash before I leave this place for good. We wind up the stairs then into my apartment. I go into my room and start tearing down the walls and grabbing all my cash. Jaynie looks around the apartment with neither disgust nor happiness. She isn’t one to judge, one of the few left in this world. I stuff the cash into some trash bags. I have two trash bags full of hundreds. Enough to start over.

“Running again, I see,” the familiar voice says behind me.

“This time I have someone else’s welfare to consider.”

“Son, they will find you. If not them then the police.”

“Then my end will be a fight. You always said I was good at killing.”

“Who are you talking to?” Jaynie asked from the living room.

“No one. I need you to open the cabinet above the frig and get the Jack Daniels bottle.”

“Alright.”

“Son I really think you should..”

“Father I don’t give a rat’s ass what you think. Now leave,” I interrupted as I turned around and he was gone.

Worthless old man. He doesn’t understand what must be done. Now where did I put my shotgun?

I look under my bed and see her. I get her and walk into the living room to Jaynie.

“Do you know how to use a gun?” I ask as I pull out Rosie.

“Yeah, my dad takes me shooting sometimes to make sure I know how.”

“Great, here is Rosie. She’ll take care of you,” I hand her Rosie, “We are ready to leave.”

It was then that a couple of rounds came shooting through the door followed by more rounds through the wall. I push Jaynie to the ground grabbing a vodka bottle from her hand. I pop it open and take a swig then I stick a napkin down in it and light the napkin. I shoot another hole through the wall and throw the bottle through the hole. The screams of the armed intruders fill my ears.

Burn baby burn. Now an exit strategy.

I look at the window behind me then down to Jaynie. A smile shoots across my face. She looks back with a questionable face.

I wrap my right arm around her and hand her a bag of money. In my other hand is my shotgun and the other trash bag. With a deep breath I run towards my window and leap. I swing my boots out in front of me to take out the window and I’m sent racing to the ground from a couple stories above.

I land as gracefully as I could. Jaynie shoots away from me a little shaken, “Never again.”

I let out a small smile, “Is she loaded?”

She answers by shooting a round over my right shoulder towards some creep behind me. I whip around and retrieve my revolver at my ankle. They are trying to circle us. The Moranos, I knew it. Over my shoulder I hear Jaynie firing away. I answer by shooting the bastards every time they show their face.

“I’m out!” my fiery vixen screams.

I grab a clip from my pocket and throw it to her. She reloads the weapon faster than I’ve seen anyone do it. I grab her and throw her behind a car.

Hell hath no fury like a sorority girl scorned.

The smell of gun powder swarms around us. The full moon is casts a glow around us only disturbed by the flash of red as we do the devil’s work. I grab Jaynie and throw her behind a car. Bullets rock the car back and forth. Bullets screaming past my ear. We are in the middle of a warzone. No mercy. No forgiveness. Only wrath and bullets.

I figure enough’s enough. We reload and answer back. They fall one by one and we get into a nearby car. I turn it on and fly to the nearby street running over a goon as we leave along with my trash bags of money.

The money I worked so hard for is gone. All for Jaynie…Elizabeth.

I bring my attention onto the road, and Jaynie.

“Pretty damn good shooting back there I must say.”

She looks at me like her mother used to do as I fight back the urge of another flashback, “Thank you.” But her smile is short lived, “You’ve been shot.”

What? I don’t feel a thing.

I look down and my once white shirt is now blood red. One of the bastards got lucky.

“I’m fine,” I say. Then it comes flooding to me, the pain. Only been shot twice in my life before, but this time it feels more satisfying. I turned to Jaynie who looks worried.

“We need to stop,” she says.

“She’s right,” the familiar voice says behind me.

She is right.

To make her feel better I pull over towards an abandoned business. I get out and we go inside.

We walk into the back and I sit down and take off my jacket. Jaynie is frightened again. I say the only thing I can, “We’ll be safe here.”

Nothing too poetic. Nothing too reassuring.

“What do we do now?”

“We wait.”

“For what?”

“We’ll just have to see.”

I hear tires screeching to a halt and so does Jaynie, “They are here.”

“Then let them come in,” I reply. I stand tall with guns in both hands. Jaynie is right behind me with Rosie. The door swings open and more goons come in. They are met with the fury of our guns. More come. More bullet fly. One, now two hit me in the chest but I keep going. The warrior behind me is still firing. My adrenaline is pumping, my heart is pounding, but my hands are steady.

This place isn’t safe anymore. We need to leave.

“Follow me,” I command.

We step over our prey and walk out into the streets. We are met by an armada of police cars.

Neighbor must of called the police, but how would they know I was here. The Morano family.

Suddenly I am being screamed at by every police officer in the blasted town of ours. “Put down your weapons,” they say. Jaynie quickly drops Rosie and steps out from behind me. I scan the crowd and there is my old buddy Justin. His gun pointed straight at my chest. I look up at the building’s roof across from me. There seems to be another gun pointed at my chest but this one isn’t owned by the city but rather a family.

Gotcha.

I quickly raise my gun and shoot him square in the eye. The cops get all jittery and start screaming. One unsteady rookie gets too into the moment and fires. I once again feel hot lead searing into my chest. I drop to my knees. Jaynie lets out a loud scream. Much louder than the cops.

And here it ends. My end.

The cops come crashing to me and take Jaynie away from me, but I grab her arm and bring her close to me.

I whisper into her ear, “You are safe now.

She answers, “My mother would of be proud of you,” and I let her go.

The cops take her away as she screams back at me. I fall back onto the cold concrete. I look to the right and I see him.

My father.

He kneels down to me, “You’ve done the right thing.”

I spit out blood as I respond, “Yeah I know.”

“It’s time to go home son.”

He bends over and picks me up and carries me down the street. I look back at Jaynie and she mouths something to me that I had to misread. She mouthed I love you.

I love you too Elizabeth. I love you too.


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