|THE ASSASSINATION OF SANTA |
Posted by jadewahoo - Dec 22, 2015 - 2:30pm
THE ASSASSINATION OF SANTA
Me, stepping over homeless drunks passed out on the steaming sidewalk grates of the Lower East Side, NYC. Icy snow, kicked up from a passing taxi's tires as it speeds by to deliver a camel-hair coated gentleman to his 10 pm nightclub date, spewing gray wet slush all over the bums. Sleigh bells jingling, ring-a-ling-a-linging from the computer generated sound card of a fake army suited guy begging for money, taking away the bit of spare change, that is available, from the derelicts and giving it instead to the proto-fascist organization of religious zealots that are the administrative arm of God's Chosen Soldiers. I nod to him as I step past, tossing a blank piece of paper into his basket. His eyes widen and he nods to me. First base.
Slipping into an all night eatery on 7th St. and 2nd Ave, smiling a cheery Merry Christmas to the waitress and other patrons: meth freaks; fellas just getting out of the porno movie house down the block; hookers too wet and chilled to be out on the street, drinking a hot coffee, hoping their pimp doesn't come by and see them slacking on the job. I slip my jacket from my shoulders, unwrap the merino wool scarf from about my neck and settle into a booth covered in sixties red vinyl that is cracked and torn, patched with mismatched upholstery tape, a shade too dark. I surreptitiously pat the 9 mil beneath my sport jacket, making sure the holster hasn't slid forward beneath my armpit and into view.
My coffee arrives. Three of those puny little half and half sealed mini-cups barely bring color to the dark burned brew. Four packets of sugar are needed to cut the bite. Sipping the hot drink my mind focuses on tonight's job: Kill Santa. The hit had been placed by some Christian Fundies who were upset that Americans were indulging in the celebration of pagan icons and Saturnalian revelries. Or so they told me. I couldn't care less. I get paid by the job, not by the story. But word on the street had it that Santa was going to be doing his rounds on St. Mark's Place in an half-hour's time. People would be crowding round, not letting the fat fella do his job, everyone wanting to wish him a Merry Christmas and telling him how little Timmy wanted a stuffed bear and all the time really wanting to tell the Welfare King to bring their own selves a tart's tush or a pool man's punt. Yeah. So what the hell does he care about Merry Christmas. He is from some long gone tribe of reindeer herders who has held out by priming the pump of greed once a year, and for that they leave him alone. But not my clients, no sir. They want to be shed of his fat ass so folks can get back to celebrating Christmas like it was meant to be. Well, not celebrating, really. These pikers want everybody to stay shut in and on their knees feeling unworthy of the birth of some kid 2,000 years ago. Not my gig, I ain't about to cry over it. My gig is the bullet I will lay into his immortal gut.
The waitress comes by and plasters that phony smile on her chin and asks if I want more coffee. I haven't hardly taken a sip from this cup, now why in the hell would I want to mess up the chemistry of bad coffee, cream and sugar and have to start all over again? Ahh, but I don't tell her that. I just smile and wave my hand over the top of the cup and shake my head, pursing my lips into a pantomime of the word 'No'. The old man in the plaid jacket with leather elbow and collar who is sitting at the booth across from mine keeps staring at me. Amateur. I glance at my watch. It is now 3 minutes of 8. I call out, as if speaking to the waitress, who is busy flirting with some schmuck from a delivery service. "Hey, you got any apple pie ala mode?" The plaid dude takes his cue. You couldn't tell, him all bunched up like a bunny rabbit ready to sprint the whole time. He jumps up at the cue and walks out the door, not paying his bill. "Hey!" I shout, "Get back in here and pay for your pie!" Miss Flirtie Face looks over and sees the check sitting there, no cash on top of it. She eyes me, then runs to the door. I slap two bucks down next to my unfinished cup of coffee and run for the door, chasing the thief. He is booking it down 2nd Ave towards St. Mark's. He reaches into the collection bucket of the neo-fascist-church beggar and grabs a handful of greenbacks, knocking the tripod over as he does so. Coins roll around on the icy sidewalk and a few bills flutter upwards, carried by the draft of the subway vents.
Eight reindeer come flying out of the sky and land on terra firma just as pretty as you please. Santa is landing his sled, right there on St. Mark's at the corner of 2nd Ave. Just the way we knew he would. The church stooge is yelling out "My money! He took my money!" Every New Yorker's ears being tuned to the sweet sound of money floating about for free, theirs is a mass of confusion as Santa is landing, the thief is booking it and the money is going every which way. As I rush past the bell ringer he slips a frag grenade into my hand. I pocket it as I continue to run after the mark. The shill bumps into Santa, who is getting out of his sleigh right in that moment. Santa takes the big spill. I am there. Right there. This is the setup moment. I am gonna pump a 9er into his big fat gut and drop the frag into the sled then roll for cover, acting like I am getting out of the way of the shots as I point to the rooftop above the Deli on the opposite corner. "Shooter! Up there!" I will call out as I point.
I lean over Santa like I'm giving him a hand up while my other hand is drawing the 9 mm out of my pocket. I am pulling it to him when my eyes glance into his. Worlds turn before me. Christmas trees all alit, a red bike with a redder bow tied about the handlebars, smells of ginger bread houses and sugar cookies. I am frozen in the moment. He looks, like he is looking into my soul... if I still had one. His eyes brighten and he smiles, then chortles a "Ho! Ho! Ho!" My mind is a' twirl. I am reeling. Then I am sitting on the sidewalk, my body warm and heavy. I sit there as a bullet is pumped into my gut. My eyes widen as I see the form of my own body put a gun in his pocket and swiftly drops the grenade into the sleigh as he slips away, chortling, as he goes, a quiet "Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas to you!" My blood seeps from my belly, a belly as big as a barrel. Red oozes out and darkens the red fabric of my suit. As consciousness fades I realize how Santa has stayed immortal all these years. In my body he will retreat to the North Pole and get fattened up by Mrs. Claus. He will laugh and be happy, sing songs of joy and merriment. Me? I die, fat and dead and as sorry a dupe as you will find this Christmas Eve.
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