BEST FOR THE JOB. | By: Terry Collett | | Category: Short Story - Life Bookmark and Share


Charfberry sits in a chair that Bill has
Indicated and takes out a cigar
And lights up. Smoke rises in the air. Bill

Lights up a French cigarette and sits down
Adjacent to Charfberry who has an
Expression of deep apprehension, Bill

Notices, taking a long pull on the
Cigarette. Business I take it, Bill says,
Breaking the silence. Charfberry nods and

Takes out a photograph and a folded
Sheet of paper and hands them to Bill who
Reads the sheet of paper then studies the

Photograph. Charfberry inhales deeply
As he watches Bill’s eyes scan the items
Given. I said you’d be best for this

Assignment, Charfberry says, as he lets
Out smoke from between lips. Accidental?
Bill asks, taking in the image of the

Person shown in the black and white photo.
What? Charfberry says. This hit, is it to
Look like an accident? Charfberry nods.

Yeah, make it look like a natural death.
Bill looks at the man in the chair who is
Perspiring and smoking nervously,

The eyes too close together, the thick lips
Holding the thick cigar. Drink? Bill asks. No,
Best not, Charfberry replies, a flicker

Of regret in his eyes. Burn the items
Soon, he adds, we want no evidence here
Hanging around. Bill exhales smoke. You think

I’m some young punk with diaper marks on his
Pink ass? Some young virgin queen who ain’t fucked?
Of course, I’ll dispose of the items, Bill

Says angrily. Just stating Agency
Policy, Charfberry says. He looks up
And around the Paris apartment room, the

Dowdy walls, the odd picture, the old bed,
The ancient furnishings. The two men gaze
At each other in silence. Smoke almost

Linking in the air. Charfberry wants to
Pass wind, but holds it in. Impolite to
Express. Bill stumps out the cigarette butt

In a glass ashtray. Consider it done,
He says. Charfberry nods, the thick cigar
Hanging loose from his lips. You were the best

For the hit, he utters quietly, you
Have that icy ability. Bill stands up
And goes to the door indicating that

Charfberry leaves. I will do the best I can,
Bill says coldly, opening the door, I
Always try to imagine it’s my old

Man. Charfberry makes a face as he gets
Up from the chair and walks slowly to the
Open door. You always were an icy

Bastard, Bill, Charfberry says. Bill watches
The man walk down the passage and out of
Sight. Yeah, I am what I do, Bill mutters

To himself, looking down the passageway,
But sometimes, Charfberry, I think it’s you.

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