Lester L. Weil
The cross hairs settled in on the head He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. The thumb loosed the safety. Another breath, slow release. Finger tightened on the trigger. The sear released and hammer fell. The firing pin detonated the primer and 61 grains of #4831 powder began to burn. The expanding gasses forced the bullet from the barrel at 2710 feet per second. Five hundred feet later the 180 grain bullet entered the head just above the eye socket. The soft lead tip mushroomed. The flattened bullet pushed skull fragments ahead of it as it exited and thudded into the wood casing of the jeweler store door. Johnson walked down the
sidewalk swept clean of
people by the 105 degree
temperature. He passed the
corner by the bakery and
angled across the street
ahead of the oncoming
cab, flipping a finger in
response to the honking
horn.. He continued down
the side walk, passing the
cleaners and the Chinese
restaurant. The jewelers
awning loomed ahead. As
he came even with the
shadow. His head whipped
to the side, followed by his
body, coming to rest
in the gutter. The blood
flowed from his head and
disappeared into a

Get the money and catch the bus to Cleveland. I'll take another and then another till I completely disappear from sight. Once I get out of town, they'll never find me. Go to Mexico. Use the money and live a life of ease. I earned that money. Fuckin A. I done plenty of dirty work for the mob, made them lots of money. Fucking wops. Think they're better than everybody. Fuck 'em. God damned stupid cab drivers. Can't even speak English. Just got to get out before they find out about the empty account. Laura will have to fend for herself.. Fuck her. Mess around with that bastard Carmine will she. Well, let her try and tell the mob she doesn't know where I've gone. Teach her to cheat on me. Bitch. Get me a pretty little Mex gal. Dirty chinks. Al least there won't be any chinks in Mexico. This town can keep all the chinks and the guineas. Look down on me. God damned stupid fucking wops. I'll shÉ.

"I told you this was a good fucking rifle. Wait till we go moose hunting in Maine this year." He put the rifle in the case. "Let's go eat some Chinese. I'm hungry."

First published: October 1997