ROUND 3 - The taste of sin (MAFIA HIT)
His fingers were stained with a dirty residue that, no matter how often he washed them, the grime never seemed to completely come off. His kind always bore the same distinct mark of poverty; the smell of homelessness was unique as it was pungent.
Kal Mando walked quietly back to the lobby, avoiding the glass windows as he hopped over the bull pen divider, looking for something shiny and valuable. The others were no doubt upstairs trying to kill themselves, why, he wasnâ€™t sure â€“ it seemed pointless to dwindle their numbers when what they should be doing is isolating the direct threat and then neutralizing it. He had done that time and time again, but it wouldnâ€™t be like anyone would listen.
He walked to the teller stalls and began pulling drawers out. Each was still filled with bills, small denominations; counting them out he grabbed handfuls of the green currency.
â€™40â€¦60â€¦100â€¦â€™ He counted out loud to no one in particular when he felt the tingle of being watched on the back of his neck.
â€˜Was wondering when you all would be by.â€™ Kal said not bothering to look up and moved to the next till.
It is said that an expert is someone who has made many mistakes in a narrow field. A wise man is one that has many in a wide one. Learned men who experience from these mistakes are smart to see the value in failing, but Kal didnâ€™t take much stock in that. Still, he had separated himself from the herd and now he would pay for it.
â€˜What Iâ€™m trying to figure out is why?â€™
They watched him as they moved into the teller bull pen and stood behind him.
â€˜Why the lock down? Why us? Why you?â€™ Kal finally turned around and looked at them, making eye contact and judging his chances. They didnâ€™t seem very good. The homeless lifestyle had taken its toll on his weary body, sapping him of that strength and agility that would have come in handy in this situation. With a resigned sigh, he looked back down at his fingers, smearing the residue with a thoughtful expression.
â€˜Iâ€™ve been having theseâ€¦thoughts.â€™
â€˜Thoughts?â€™ They finally spoke, as if entranced by his words.
His eyes darted over to one of them, smiling at the memory it reminded him of. â€˜Ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?â€™
â€˜Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.â€™
One of them sneered, looking at the waste of the man. â€˜Just do it.â€™
Mr. Green was not surprised to hear the shot. It had only been about three hours being locked up with what appeared to be the dregs of society, but the deaths were coming pretty steady now. It wore on him. He just wanted to escape from what everyone else had done. So with this thought he walked with a tired gait behind the rushing crowd, back down to the Lobby and there they found Mr. Kal Mando, the pan handler who had come in out of the heat for some spare change.
He was laying on his back, propped up across one of the teller stalls, his face sliced from one ear to the other. Dollar bills had been shoved into his mouth, pushing his cheeks out like a chipmunk.
They all stood there, quietly and motionless, till a group of men picked his body up and took it downstairs to the vault. Mr. Green again followed, resigned to his new found duty of crypt keeper.
"You'd best believe that I'm holding you and this bank responsible for this barrel of crazy, Mr. Green, be sure of that. I do, however, think this is starting to take a huge toll on you. I'm worried about your health, and you should be too.
"If you're on a low fat, low cholesterol diet, add Quaker Oatmeal to it. It could actually bring that cholesterol level down even more...Not just keep it level - bring it down even more.
"Quaker Oatmeal: it's the right thing to do."
Ernest Freeman looked Mr. Green square in the eye so that his words and his concern for blood cholesterol levels would sink in. He then pulled out his bundle of receipts and bank statements from his back pocket.
"Now that I have you for a moment, could you look over my bank statement? My Checkbook Ledger says that my account should have $7.52 more in it than my statement says is does. Your people here have obviously made a mistake."
'Mr. Freeman,' he started, but the man continued with his diatribe against high cholesterol, following up with shoving statements into his face about a monetary discrepancy. With a sigh, he took the old man by his elbow and led him back toward the stairs.
'Mr. Freeman, I'd be happy to help you with that...after we find out who's been killing the other customers and we clean the bodies out of the vault and the blood out of the rest of the bank.' Gently guiding the old man, he gave him a charming smile and continued.
'How about a nice cup of hot chocolate? Wouldn't that be nice?' Was he coddling the old man? Probably. Did he care? Not really.
Boris ate another mint, and removed his hat from his head, briefly rubbing his stubbly hair. His face wrinkled in distaste as he surveyed those around him. Someone, or someones...were murderers. Of course the filthy bourgeoisie would end up blaming the common man. They always did. Yet another way to justify taking from the working class to prop up the falling posts of the ruling classes.
Idly Boris shined his shoes, rubbing first one toe then the other against the back of leg of his trousers.
He placed his hat back on his head and sighed, reaching for yet another cigarette.