Rain fell at a leisurely pace onto the broken concrete. The cracks formed a path for the rain to gather and form a small river. Water splashed more into those rivers as cars moved past and pushed waves of water onto the sidewalks.
A movement out of the corner of his eye brought Marcus’ attention to the end of the block where a tall figure had rounded the corner and was walking down the wet sidewalk. No other pedestrians were in view. That was not surprising as the street was mostly occupied by empty buildings.
His eyes followed the man as he entered the front of the restaurant. Nine o’clock. Right on time. If the man was nothing else, he was punctual. Every morning, Lionel Green entered the small deli he owned on the corner of Fifth and National. Yes, it wasn’t on a very busy street, but that was how Lionel and his associates liked it. They had just enough business to keep the truth of what was going on a secret from the average citizen.
Marcus waited another half hour before making his way across the street. He had learned the hard way that setups could go both ways. It was better to wait and see if someone else was ready to make a move or if a trap was waiting for him. He preferred to be in control of the situation.
The rain slid off his leather jacket. It had seen better days, but it was too comfortable to toss aside. He could afford a new one now, but it was something from the life of Marcus Critton that kept him grounded. It was a reminder of where he had come from and would never go back to.
At the door of the deli, he glanced in, knowing that the room would be empty. Lionel was in the back where his office was located. He always started his day there, getting the true business started before playing the part of deli owner.
Reaching into his pocket, Marcus pulled out a small device. Putting it inside the lock, he quickly gained access to the deli. He made sure the lock remained open before making his way to the back of the building. The strong smell of the various meats filled the air.
Marcus stepped through the door that separated the back from the public’s front. The storage room was large with an industrial freezer and refrigerator filling up the far wall. Past that was a hallway that led past a bathroom, janitorial storage room, and finally the office. Across from the office was a door that led down to the basement where Marcus had been a few times doing business. But it was the office that was the focus of his attention today. He pulled on his black leather gloves before pushing the door open.
Lionel looked up in shock as Marcus entered the room. A smile pulled at Marcus’ lips as he saw the realization of what was about to happen reflect in Lionel’s face. He loved to see the thoughts play out on other people’s faces. People didn’t realize how much their facial features revealed.
“Marcus, I…” Lionel stood up. The chair he had been sitting in rocked back from the abrupt movement.
“I think you know why I’m here, Lionel.” Marcus spoke low. He had found over the years that it was more effective in getting the seriousness across to the other person. They were forced to listen carefully which also helped keep their attention on their words. That gave him the advantage.
“Honestly, I don’t know why. I’m up on all payments. I don’t think I broke any agreements.” Sweat beaded on Lionel’s forehead. He wiped at his slowly greying hair. His panicked eyes looked around the room. Marcus noted how they lingered on the desk drawer. There would be a gun in there, of course. All men in their line of business had guns where they could reach them. To not have one was suicidal.
Lionel wouldn’t need his. Marcus would make sure of it.
“Let me refresh your memory. Remember last Saturday?”
Lionel froze. The sweat began to drip onto his brown button-up shirt. Marcus could see the man’s mind race back to that specific date and what he had done.
“Yes, I know all about it, Lionel.” Marcus leaned back against the doorframe. He was not worried that Lionel would reach his gun in time. He wasn’t worried about anyone sneaking up behind him. Marcus had all the time in the world.
“I don’t know what you mean.” Lionel swallowed hard.
Marcus chuckled. “Yes, you do. You know that little warehouse down in the Third Ward. You were there around seven in the morning. That’s early, even for you. You wore that blue shirt that makes you look fat. You know the one.”
Lionel’s face drained of blood. Yes, he knew. Marcus gave him enough details to where he could not deny it. Marcus had seen him.
“It’s not what you think.”
Marcus raised his hand to stop Lionel. “Stop the cliches, Lionel. We both know the truth. No use trying to stall me. You would never make it to the gun in time.” The surprise on Lionel’s face brought a chuckle out of Marcus. “Yes, I know there is a gun in the drawer there. Seriously, we all have one there.”
Lionel slumped down into his chair. His slouched shoulders communicated his defeat. Marcus knew the signs of a beaten man. He had seen it many times over the last few years. The lowered shoulders, the hung head, the dead look in the eyes. It sickened him. Those signs meant the end. It meant a weakness. It embodied everything Marcus despised.
Marcus took in a deep breath. No sense in prolonging the tension anymore than necessary. He walked with a steady and confident gait toward the now sobbing man. He stepped behind the rickety old rolling chair and laid his hands on the back of it. A part of him didn’t want to go through with it. The man was whipped. Where was the fun in taking his life now? No fight, just surrender. Marcus longed for the fight to win. This was just child’s play.
Without a word, Marcus placed his gloved hands on the side of the man’s head and snapped his neck. Movies made it seem as though a loud crack would be heard when one’s spinal column snapped. In reality, it depended on where on the spine the break occurred. Marcus had studied anatomy to become better at his job. He didn’t like a mess and any needless waste of time. Perfection was always what Marcus strived for.
Marcus stepped back and rubbed his hands together as though to rid them of anything from Lionel. The now dead man slumped in the old chair. Nothing else had changed in the room aside from the absence of Lionel’s deep breathing. The clock still ticked on the wall. The heated air still rushed through the vents with a slight clatter.
Using his finger, Marcus lifted the edge of the ledger book that lay on the desk unopened. He frowned. Flipping the book open, he leaned down and stared at the page with names and figures. After a few minutes, Marcus stood up and chuckled.
He tucked the ledger inside his coat. There would be a few people highly interested in reading what the book said. Marcus knew that his name would be even more revered.
The door closed behind him as he made his way through the dark deli that would not open on time that day and out the door. He didn’t even bother locking it back up.
The rain continued to drizzle, but Marcus moved as though it was a sunny day. Two blocks away and then another two blocks, he slid into the back of a waiting car. The two men who turned in the front seat to look at him wore blank expressions. They knew he’d talk when he wanted to.
“I need a coffee.”
Get More of Marcus:
There is a lot more to Marcus Critton that will have you completely repulsed. See the dark side of him in Pure Obsession where he finds the love of his life in a coffee shop and proceeds to destroy her through acts he sees as love. Marcus takes the light out of Hannah’s life only to destroy the one he loves. Check out more here on where you can purchase it.