Flash Fiction: Collector’s Item

His boss looked up from the manuscript in his hands. It was rare to see him to smile. When he did, it usually meant someone had died. This time was no exception.

“Did you have any trouble getting it?” he asked.

“No trouble at all,” Joey replied. “It was my pleasure.”

He was smiling too, but for a different reason. Joey didn’t take pleasure in killing unless someone made things personal. For him, it was a necessary part of the job.  Dishing out pain was something he was very much into. It had taken him an hour to convince the previous owner of the book to part with it. Joey spent a long ten minutes of that time using his lighter to heat the end of a wire hanger.

 

“Good. I guess you’re wondering why I had you go out and get this for me.”

Joey nodded. Truth be told, he wasn’t curious about why his boss wanted the original manuscript of “Pink Snowbunnies in Hell”. All Joey cared about was getting paid and staying out of jail. Still, it was best to appear interested. People expected you to act a certain way, when you didn’t they got suspicious. That was usually bad news for someone like Joey. He didn’t want his boss to be suspicious. After all, he just had someone tortured and killed for a book.

“It’s a collector’s item,” his employer said as if that made everything all right.  “This manuscript represents the combined effort of several talented men and women doing something they love. It’s beyond price.”

Joey kind of figured that. If it could be brought, there was no reason to pay someone like him to retrieve it. Still, this little job revealed an important fact about his employer. The man was at least as crazy as Joey was. He would have to be careful, more careful than usual.

“Anything else boss?” he asked.

“Yes but it can wait. I want to start reading this.”

Joey nodded. He left the office without saying goodbye. When his boss was ready, he would call him. As Joey waited for the elevator, he thought about reading that book one day. After all, it had a catchy title.

Yeah, when pink snowbunnies ski in Hell,” he thought.

Author Commentary: I submitted this piece of flash fiction for an anthology called Pink Snowbunnies in Hell. I waited until the last minute to send it off and I accidentally sent in the rough draft instead of the version you see here. Needless to say, the story wasn’t included in the book.

In an effort to be clever, I tied it into Fall from Grace. This story gives a little more insight into Joey, the bad guy from that book.

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