Thursday, September 10, 2009

Don't Touch - Friday Flash

"Marco Bellus is a very charming man."

Tanya picked up the folder her boss had dramatically pushed across the desk with the tip of one forefinger, and began sifting through it. She pulled a photograph from off the cover of the background report.

"And handsome," she said, studying the flamboyant Italian-born gangster revealed in the grainy picture.

Jeff Richter snorted dismissively. "Even better looking in real life, so they say, but that's the best shot we could get of him. The iron curtain of secrecy has been extended to cover signor Bellus by our counter-parts in Moscow, and now the only way anyone gets to see him is if he wants to see them first. That's where you come in. There's a TWA flight leaving for Malpensa, Italy, from JFK in exactly 93 minutes. You're going to be on it."

"Time for my special services?" Tanya all but purred the question. "Personal contact, and then?"

"And then... the men upstairs want him dead."

The bare flicker of an emotion troubled the icy calm of Tanya's face. She nodded. "There's something we need to discuss first," she said.

"You can speak freely, " Jeff said. "You know that."

Tanya twisted to glance at the door behind her, as though she was expecting someone to burst in.

Jeff buzzed the intercom on his desk. "Kathy, no interruptions for the next half hour, please."

"Yes, mister Richter," came the tinny reply.

"Good enough?" Jeff asked. The first bullet convulsed him where he sat, pluming red from his breast, the second snapped his head back, throwing the glasses from his face.

Mechanically, Tanya removed the silencer from the Beretta and stashed both items in her clasp-bag, then she left the office.

"He doesn't want to be disturbed until further notice," she said to Kathy, her voice cracking towards the end of the sentence. Kathy idly wondered why she seemed so upset, but it hardly registered and she was soon giving Movieland her full attention again.


Everything was sitting ready in her car in preparation for the alternative flight she had booked to Italy two days earlier, but first she found a pay-phone in a diner a few miles from the airport.

Her head was spinning, reality catching up to the situation, as she traced out the numbers on the dial.


"It's done," she said. The line went dead. "Marco? Marco?"

Her head was pounding now, blood jack-hammering at her temples, and as the stuffiness of the crowded diner pressed in on her she clawed at her throat, desperately trying to breathe the super-heated air. The phone fell from her other twisted hand, and she slumped to the floor.

It wasn't until two days after she died in hospital that they were able to identify the poison that had killed her. The same contact toxin they were to discover hidden in Jeff Richter's house more than a week after that.

Marco Bellus was a very charming man.


  1. I like a story where everyone ends up dead. Gives it a little sprinkle of the Jacobean tragedy.

  2. Hey Dan!

    I think Marco came out of it okay, but you never know.

  3. I liked it. But I'm completely biased and my opinion is not to be trusted, lmao!

    It was probably pure rubbish and my positive feelings are nothing more than a side effect of endorphins and pheromones, lol.


    Although, Marco sounds hot. Maybe he's what is clouding my judgment?


  4. Or a side effect of hunger and exhaustion.

  5. Good story. A lot of stuff happened is such a small apace.

  6. Using 25 words instead of 50! Though mainly through laziness and lack of good word stuff.

  7. Marco is a true mastermind. Good story! So, was the poison on the file?

  8. That karma. She sho' do get around!

    I love the way you open and close the piece, bringing us full circle. A lot happens, but none of it feels rushed. A really enjoyable read!

  9. I'll echo the sentiment of the full circle in this story. I enjoyed that, as well as the story as a whole. Excellent read!

  10. I liked it a lot!

    Apparently, Marco is the Charlie (a la Charlie's Angels) of the gangster world. We'll probably never get to see him, just his effects. :)

  11. Marco is a hell of a guy. Great story.

  12. If your boss is too charming, ** red alert - danger! ** lol! A lot happens in a short space - I like the compactness and the completeness - well done!

  13. Wow, Marco is thorough! Nice, tight little bit of entertainment, enjoyed it.

  14. Ahhh twisty twist. I am always pulling for badASS chicks, but you killed her off.

    Damn, it ;-)

  15. [claps in glee] I loved this!!!

  16. Too bad the kick-ass broad had to go.

  17. This was great. I love the double double cross. Nice tight writing too.