It was the classic ploy of switch and bait. The boss himself told it to me as we sat in his car on the way to the target.
“In all honesty I prefer no witnesses, you can imagine the complications and implications that such a person can cause on this operation.” I nodded my head in agreement instead of speaking, fearing the boss’ anger, especially in tense situations as this. The boss ran a hand through the slick strands of hair on his scalp.
“We go in, one of the guys does his thing, you take him out, bring the goods to me and we are out. Understand?”
“Yes boss” I reply. My hands are already sweating in anticipation. The fact that the boss trusted me on this important endeavour was proof enough that I was making it in the big leagues but doubt also crept into the back of my mind.
“Then we replace those goods with the fakes I have here, deliver these to the Mr Bigg and life is sorted. He won’t even know the difference!” A jolly laugh from his gut eased my own tension and I was able to laugh along with him as the car coasted to our destination.
We arrived at the place to find it relatively busy, as it usually was. We parked in the car park and watched the straggly groups of people hurriedly exiting or entering the premises. The silence in the car was palpable though I was sure my beating heart could be heard from within the building we were staring at. The boss shuffled every once in a while, breaking the silence with the sound of rustling cloth. My palms were sweating worse than before now, probably because I’d clenched my fists. I had to be ready, ready for the guy who would be getting the goods – it was my duty to take him out by any means necessary, and the time was near at hand.
“Are you nervous?” The boss asked. I gulped; the sound was loud to my own ears. I shook my head slowly, knowing that nervousness was not something the boss liked.
“Good…because our guy just walked out the building.” And sure enough there he was, a scrawny man in a blue tracksuit with the hoody up to hide his face. My hand hesitated on the door handle. Was I really going to do this?
“Go!” My boss shouted suddenly, the urgency kicking me into overdrive as I stepped quickly out of the vehicle. The sun seemed brighter outside, the air thick – I adjusted my tie and moved as quickly as I could. The man was walking towards his car, head down, while a brown paperbag sat snugly on his arm against his chest – my own chest was beating fast; lungs tight. The man searched his pockets for the car keys, turning his back to me as he searched to get ready to enter the vehicle. I took that moment to swiftly take him down with a blow to the back of his head; he crumpled under the blow like a sack of potatoes. I quickly took the bag from him, aware that I was breathing heavily, and moved as quickly as I could back to the boss without looking suspicious, wiping the sweat from my brow as I did.
“Delivery for Mr Bigg.” my boss told the driver in the other car; the windows were dark and only a small gap was open revealing the top of the drivers head. With a nod, the driver winded his window further down to let me pass the bag over to him. We waited while he gave Mr Bigg the bag, tense with worry in case Mr Bigg was able to tell that we had given him lower quality goods. The wait seemed long, but it was surely just a few seconds.
“Its good, Mr Bigg says thanks.” With that the window of the vehicle winded up and the car sped off. With a sigh of relief I turned to my boss who was grinning widely.
“Success!” He exclaimed. “Now for the final part.” I felt my face droop in both sadness and fear; there was no final part in the plan he told me.
“Is that how it is boss?” The man sighed.
“A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. I told you – no witnesses.”
“Yeah…I’ll see myself out.” I stepped out the car,
“Sorry bud – and if it makes you feel better, I would rather have you doing this with me than anybody else; better you than a stranger.” I nodded, closing the door behind me and watching him speed off down the road, leaving me standing as I was. Once I was sure he was gone, a smile spread across my face,
“Oh yeah, and I would rather have you than anyone else too, bud.” With a laugh I pulled the brown paper bag from within my jacket, glad that being this big hid stuff from people. I reached into the bag and pulled the sticky, sugar-coated doughnut within.
“And to think we go through all this trouble for some good quality doughnuts – even further to ensure no witnesses can see us indulge in the sugary goodness; what has the world come to?”