An Old Friend

"Hey, long time no see Jermaine," the cold almost growling voice crawls into my ears.

I know who it is. Augustus James. We used to be partners. Friends even. Then we went on different paths. I wanted out. He drove himself deeper and deeper into the underworld. He was enamored with the violence, death, murder, all of it. I couldn't do it any more, but he loved it. I thought we parted on amicable ways, at leas the two of us. When I left, I knew the mob would come for me one day. I just didn't think they'd send him. I knew someone had been watching me. I just didn't think I'd be getting a visit so soon.

"For who? I get the feeling you've been seeing me a lot lately, Augustus."

"Yeah, I guess you still got a little killer in you. Not too late you know," Augustus places a hand on my shoulder.

"Nah, we both know that isn't true. Boss doesn't forget anyone he thinks has wronged him."

"Yeah, I guess you're right. Any last request."

"Not really. How much do you charge for a kill these days," I ask, still not wanting to turn around. I'd like to remember Augustus how he was when he was my friend.

"These days, $100,000. But, friends get a deal."

"I've got about $40,000 upstairs in the vault. False wall behind my bed. The code is 2+24+8. Will that work? If not I guess you can have it anyway."

"Yeah, that'll work. Not enough to spare you old friend."

"I know. You'll kill me, I've accepted it. We were once friends, and we chose different paths in life. I have two request for you. The first will be, make it quick. The second is someone hired you to kill me. I think we both know who did. I simply asks that once you receive payment for my death, you kill this person and anyone who tries to defend them. As an old friend's dying wish," I thought I'd cry. Still no tears can fall. No use in going out pitiful I suppose.

"That's all you want," Augustus seems surprised.

"Yeah, that's it."

"Most people beg for their lives."

"You know I always hated that."

"Yeah, I remember."

"Remember the priest who was touching on little boys?"

"Oh yeah, that was a mess."

"I actually enjoyed that one. I never saw someone pray so hard," I can't help but laugh.

"Oh God, I promise I won't do it again. Not another one. Just save me God," Augustus laughs and mimics the priest.

"He looked so ridiculous," we just laugh harder.

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