Here is the last of the story. I was beginning to fuse with the story too much and it looked like it was going to take another day to finish. As it was the story has more to say so I might come back to it later. But for now we are done. I know I already failed because I was so busy trying to finish this one I didn’t do my story for the second. But on the plus side if I was doing a word count I would have already blown it out of the water.
So without further ado here is the ending of In the Job of an hired killer
“I better go see what she wants. She’s not happy with me. I took away her cigarettes. Did you know she was smoking and using the oxygen machine?”
Nina shrugged as if it was out of her control and said, “Don’t worry about it, she’ll forget by tomorrow. Tell you what she was looking for me so I will check in on her before I head over to Josh’s day of the dead party.”
Joanna raised her eyebrow but didn’t say anything. Her forehead wrinkled as if she was trying to figure something out. She shook her head, picked up the back pack and slung it over her shoulder. Halfway to the door she stopped turned around and looked at Nina. “Josh’s party huh. You tell me how that goes tomorrow.”
Nina massaged her temples and chided herself. If she ever decided to get more creative, then a bullet to the back of the head for another job she would just shoot herself. The nurse wasn’t quite as simple as she once though and was going to be trouble. Like the novice something she would have to deal with later tonight.
“Hold on Mrs. Atkins, I’ll be right there.” Nina said struggling to remove the latex from the back of her hands. But of course it was peeling off in small little pieces and floating to the ground. Here was where the forensic evidence was going to get her. Franticly she looked around the room for a cover up. Nothing.
“Nina,” voice from the back room called again for the third time.
There was no more putting it off. She would just try to keep the old lady focused on something other than the chunks at her temples and the back of her hands. Mussing her hair so that it was wispy around her face Nina walked into the back bedroom.
The twin size hospital bed sat in the far corner made up. Joanna had even put some of the stuffed animals the past nurse had gotten in the center of the pillow. Sitting the winged back orange recliner chair trying to stand without the aid of her walker was the 79-year-old terror.
“Do you know what she did to me, Nina? She took away my cigarettes.”
“You know they’re not good for you, especially with your oxygen machine. You told me your doctor has been yelling at you for years to quit.”
I’m old and if I want a cigarette then I should have a cigarette. No busy-body with a half a medical degree is going to tell me I can’t have one. Please Nina be a good girl and get them for me.”
If she handed the old woman, the pack then Mrs. Atkins was going to notice her hands. And then she would have to make up another excuse. Truth was this job was becoming noting more than a nest of loose ends. She debated just killing the old woman right now. It would save her trouble in the end. Although she hated to do it, first killing without payment was a waste. Plus, if she was to die suddenly then police would investigate who was in church this morning. And since the nurse was next on her hit list it would be too coincidental. Detectives hate coincidence That kind of thing turned them into bloodhounds.
“You’re right. At your ag1e…”
“My age has nothing to do with it. It my right I bought them with my own money and it’s my body.”
Nina tried to keep the mirth off her face. It was one of the things she liked about the old woman. Her strength of will. It was going to be a shame when she died. She was a perfect example of an crotchy old folk. “Okay tell you what, I will get them for you but we have to turn the machine off while you smoke.”
“Not on your life. If we turn it off, I can’t breathe. I have been smoking for the last year with that bloody machine going in the back ground. It a sealed. It’s not going to explode.”
That gave Nina an idea. She was right it hadn’t exploded yet. They didn’t work that way. It created extra oxygen making things more flammable. All she had to do was make sure more oxygen went into the air then went into her. It would work like a delay switch. “Okay. But promise me that you will have one less than you did yesterday.”
She walked across the room and reached up on the top shelve of the bookcase to get the pack of menthol cigarettes ignoring the old lady’s grumbling about people wanting to take away all the small pleasures. Adding more oxygen to the air wasn’t’ going to be too much of a problem. Finding food on the other hand was going to be tricky and she still hadn’t checked on her priest. Here she was with something else complicated.
And yet once she decided on action plan it was completely non complicated. She handed the woman the soft green pack, delighted that Mrs. Atkins was more interested in smoking than what hand that gave it to her looked like. She turned and walked toward the door hearing the scratch of the lighter strike and the deep inhale. Things were looking manageable again.
Now that Mrs. Atkins had gotten her fix she was animatedly telling Nina about bingo last night. And what she thought of the parents who brought the younger children to the church bingo hall for trick or treating. Nina on the other hand was making non comitial noises as she once again set out to get rid of the tell-tell latex and put on decent clothing.
“Would you like a cup of tea?” Nina asked putting the kettle on to boil. She was going to drug the old lady with her own medicine. Just because she was going to kill her didn’t mean she wanted the old lady to suffer being burned to death. Not really paying attention to the answer she rummaged through the cupboards to find a cup. To the bottom of it she added two table spoons of Mrs. Atkin’s prescription morphine and two spoons of sugar. While she waited for the water to get hot she walked over to get her phone out of the bag. It had the streaming video of Jacob’s house.
There was Jerimiah standing in the middle of the room. His white robes covered in blood from where he’d pulled the cooking knife out of his brother’s shoulder. The knife had worked like a tourniquet slowing the blood loss until the priest pulled it out effectively killing his little brother. Requirement one complete, he would know pain. He was standing there in cuffs arguing with the cops, trying to tell them about her confessing. When one of the other cops came into the room carrying photos of crimes against his victims. Stealing them from his safe and planting them there was a job but he needed a motive for killing Jacob. Which meant requirement two, humiliation was complete. He would need to know pain, which would come from being a pedophile on the inside but just in case she would go and visit him under the guise she was taking his frame story seriously and make his cause of detention known to his fellow inmates. Then after the trial and convention she would put a bullet in his head.
The kettle began to whistle pulling her out of mental check list. Nina pulled the kettle of the burner grateful things were back on track. Turned over the phone, popped off the back and pulled the battery and sim card. She put it in the bag with the latex mask and stuffed both in the gym bag she’d left earlier. Adding first the tea and then the water to the cup Nina carried into Mrs. Atkin’s bedroom.
“Here you go my dear,” Nina said sitting the cup down on the table at the old woman arm deliberately moving the ashtray so the hot ashes would fall on the lace doilies.
“You changed. Why on earth were you wearing that awful caftan.”
I had gone for a run and realized that I had forgotten to put your laundry from the washer to the dryer. I didn’t want your clothes to mold after you graciously let me barrow your machine. So I threw that on and ran down stairs.”
Nina watched the widow hold the cup up to her mouth and blow on the hot liquid before taking a sip. She grimaced, “Who taught you to make a cup of tea? It doesn’t taste as if you put any sugar in there at all.”
Well that was good information for the future two tablespoons of sugar did nothing to hide the taste of morphine. “Oh I’m sorry. Let me go get you some more. I thought I had enough.”
“While you’re at it could you bring me a few of those sugar cookies. I’ve had a sweet tooth recently and that busy body keeps harping on me about my sugar. I keep telling her its quality of life not quantity. I don’t want to live five more years if I have to keep eating cardboard.”
She walked back to the kitchen and grabbed the sugar jar as well as the cookie container. She gave it one last look around to make sure she wiped every thing down. Things were definitely back on track and she was in the home stretch. Coming back into the room she accidently bumped the oxygen machine so she would have to readjust it.
“Not that I am ready to leave this place. I’m not quite ready to see Alfred again.”
Nina added two more spoons of sugar to the tea and stirred. She pushed the tea cup back into the old woman’s hands and watched her take a gulp. When she had taken another gulp she traded the cup for the cookies.
She turned to walk out the door when Mrs. Atkins said, “Don’t take that girl. These cookies are dry and without liquid I might choke my silly self.”
Nina smiled a wan smile. Truth, she was getting to the end of her patience. Not that the old woman was doing anything wrong she just wanted to get done. She’d always been like this, well as long as she could remember anyway. She handed the woman back her cup and watched her drain it. Now with the Percocet Joanna gave her in the morning she would sleep through the coming fire.
Nina made idle chitchat and it wasn’t fifteen minutes until her victim was beginning to slur her words. She talked for another five just to make sure. “Mrs. Atkins, I have a party to go to so I am going to go now. I’ll check on you later.”
When she didn’t receive an answer Nina knew she was out. She walked over to the oxygen machine and pulled the rubber tube off the outflow nozzle so the oxygen would flow directly into the room. She then put several wadded up Kleenex the ashtray so it overflowed onto the table. Taking care to move it to its original space. She looked around the room one final time and lit the cigarette before placing it so it would soon catch on the paper. It wouldn’t take long for dry paper in an oxygen rich environment to go up in flames so she better get a move on.
On her way out of the living area Nina grabbed the gym bag,slung it over her shoulder and pulled the living room door shut behind her. One loose end out of the way it was time to go surprise a novice.