Daniel Hannigan stumbled out of the Weathered Flask, a local dive cherished by lowlifes of every sort and kind. His head swam in a sea of hard liquors. The pavement beneath his feet felt as solid as a waterbed. He had to lean against the brick exterior to keep from falling over.
It had been a long morning of drinking. Not his proudest moment, but it was the most fitting means of processing the 3 a.m. phone call informing him his wife had been killed in a hit and run.
The suspect fled the scene. He knew himself well enough that had he remained sober, he would have hunted the suspect down. Spending the rest of his life in jail for murder would have done the memory of his wife no good.
The afternoon sun burned at his eyes. The heat and humidity of the southern summer drew what little moisture was left out of him. A cab waited impatiently by the curb, called as a courtesy by James, long time friend and proprietor of the Weathered Flask.
“Where to?” The cabby, an elderly black woman trying to make ends meet, said.
“Lexington and Fourth.”
It was a ten minute ride, but the silence in which he rode made it seem longer. In his head played scenes from his formerly happy marriage. Their wedding day. First Christmas. A burned anniversary dinner ending in a celebration at a local diner. He had spent the best ten years of his life with her, and she was gone in the blink of an eye.
He paid the cabby and stumbled towards his apartment. His life would never be the same. He wasn’t sure he even had the strength to face the place without her.
In the cellar of a worn out pizzeria at the edge of town Rufio sat across Edward Rook. The youth had patched up the abrasions from the accident. He was sweating and smelled of alcohol and weed.
“I took care of it.” Rufio said.
“Good. And Mr. Hannigan?”
“He wasn’t in the car.”
“Excuse me, kid?”
“He wasn’t in the car.”
“Where is he?”
“I-I don’t know.”
“You don’t know? Son, I paid you to get rid of them both.”
“I know Mr. Rook. I need a little more time to finish the job. The cops…they’re looking for me.”
“Looking for you?”
“Yeah, I had to ditch my car.”
“Your car. You used your car?”
A gunshot cut Rufio off. He slumped in his chair. Blood flowing from the entrance wound. The back of his skull painted the grey cement wall behind him.
“Fucking amateurs. Get rid of his body, and have someone clean this mess up.” Mr. Rook snapped.
Mick, his enforcer, nodded.
“And get someone to finish the job. Daniel Hannigan dies before week’s end.”
Edward rook rose up and made his way to the stairs leading to the pizzeria.
“And Mick,” Edward paused, “I don’t care if it looks like an accident anymore. I just want him gone.”