RESPIRATORY ARREST - MICHAEL J. SOLENDER
“Half a million dollars for a basic hit? What’s with that?”
“First of all, it is not a basic hit, he’s an underboss. Secondly, this hit will look like...a natural cause of death. No blood, no one else will get hurt. It'll be beautiful, the cops won’t even investigate. Trust me on this one. It’s bee-you-ti-ful! He does have severe asthma and breathing problems, right?”
“Yeah - why?”
“Because I need to engage the Viper for this hit.”
“The Viper? Whoaa, that’s gonna cost. Now I understand the half-a-mil.”
Lefty took a huge drag on his inhaler. An aging Mafia boss, he couldn’t keep up with the ways of the youngsters much longer. Arizona, where the dry arid desert would give his failing lungs a break and his grandchildren awaited him. Two more years in Jersey, then he could call it quits.
In the meantime, he wasn’t about to cede one inch in the latest turf wars. He’d made more than his share of enemies. But even the man upstairs rested on Sunday and Lefty couldn’t resist Mama D’s gravy.
His lungs were giving out and he enjoyed so few pleasures in life. He was more than content this Sunday to be savoring a big plate of Puntanesca. He was all too happy to dine alone, save his ever-present bodyguards.
He smelled her before he saw her. A sweet, sharp mix of Chanel, sex and just a hint of fiery perspiration. She walked in like she owned the joint. Slow, sleek and feline.
A long drink of water at 6’1”, the Viper was lithe, lean, and stacked. She sat down right across from him. His bodyguards were too stunned to even make a move. She was a goddess. Beautiful raven hair, hazel eyes, a gumdrop for a nose and legs that went deep into next week.
Lefty started to sweat. Under the table, she put her bare foot up against his swelling crotch and began to caress it slowly. He nearly passed out and started to hyperventilate.
He was breathing, or trying to breathe, very laboriously. Tiny, raspy, short rapid fire bursts of gasping for precious oxygen. It was like he was sucking through a straw with a lemon seed caught in the middle.
The aging Mafia boss was turning blue. His bodyguards started to move in but he waved them off.
He reached for his inhaler and the Viper deftly diverted his hand and placed it on her left boob, her foot still grinding away under the table. She looked him square in the eye and licked her teeth.
Lefty collapsed dead, right there, into his spaghetti. The Viper had taken his breath away.
BIO: Michael J. Solender lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife Harriet, where they obsess over their garden. He hails originally from the sometimes frozen tundra of Minneapolis, MN. There, he ignored (only once) his mother's advice to pursue a career in medicine and became a Corporate Klingon. A recent Corporate Refugee, Solender is a freelance writer whose opinion and satire has been featured in The Richmond Times Dispatch, The Winston-Salem Journal, and Richmond Style Weekly. He writes a weekly Neighborhoods column for The Charlotte Observer and is a contributor to Charlotte ViewPoint. His micro-fiction has been featured online at Dogzplot, Gloom Cupboard, Full of Crow, A Twist of Noir, Thrillers Killers 'N' Chillers, 6 Sentences, Powder Burn Flash, and Flashshot. He blogs at Not From Here Are You?