Killing The Whore
Tim Putnam
J ake lay with the whore.
The train robber's whore. The government couldn't catch the thief, so they sent Jake to kill his whore.
Jake was part of a no-name agency of government killing machines who eliminated undesirables to keep peace.
The job came with a good horse, an assortment of weapons, and government-issue opiate-laced whiskey.
The whiskey kept the spirits of those Jake killed away.
Weakness is death, the agency preached. Remorse, hesitation, and nightmares were all signs of weakness.
The spirits haunted Jake in his sleep.
Jake had killed the only other agent he ever met, because the agency saw signs of the agent weakening.
Jake didn't sleep much.
This morning, the whiskey kicked more than usual.
Jake shoved the whore out of bed. Before she died, Jake wanted a hot bath. After a few swigs of whiskey, Jake floated into the bath.
Jake decided the whore would die like his mother. She was raped before Jake's eyes by five men and a knife.
The whore's hand ran down Jake's chest.
Jake's agency contact said he would submit the paperwork required for evaluation, allowing Jake to take a vacation in South America.
The whore's hand slid down around Jake's quickly erecting sex.
Vacation sounded good.
Jake didn't feel the cold barrel of the pistol until the bullet was released from its chamber into his head.
The spirits consumed him.
The whore put her pistol away. She took out her bottle of government-issue opiate-laced whiskey.
Weakness is death, she whispered.

First published: November 1999