Grit: Complications

‘Complications.’
‘Huh?’
‘You heard me. I know you did.’
‘Everything’s a complication.’
‘Grit, why do you have to be such a wiseacre all the fuckin’ time? It get’s boring, you know?’
‘No, I don’t. Keeps me amused; and as far as I’m concerned that’s the most important thing. So what’s the news? What has you wetting your draws?’
‘We were given bad info.’
‘And, what have we done?’
‘Killed someone on the wrong day.’
‘Early or late?’
‘Early. They didn’t get to sign something they needed to.’
‘And the repurcussions are?’
‘A contract on our heads.’
‘Fuck me; I knew this was amateur night the moment I stepped through the door and saw you were on the crew.’
‘What’s that supposed to mean?’
‘It means, Colin, you dumb fuck, that I wouldn’t trust you adding one and one together.’
‘Fuck you, Grit.’
‘No, fuck you, you fucking liability.’
The gun was in hand and discharged the second the sentence had ended. Shit, he thought – might have paid to find out exactly who’s been sicced on us. Still, that wouldn’t be that complicated.
He picked up the phone and called his present employer.
‘Fred?’
‘Is that you, Grit, you cunt?’
‘Yes, Fred, it’s me – what is this bullshit? We carried out the job as per instructions and now we’re dodging bullets ourselves?’
‘You did it early.’
‘I was told a time and I did what I was asked to when I was asked to do it. Colin fucked up his part of it and he’s dead.’
‘You killed him?’
‘Yes, does that concern you?’
‘Course it doesn’t – I paid to have both of you put down.’
‘OK, look, if I take out the other person responsible for the fuck up are we square?’
‘Yeah, we’re square, but that doesn’t mean the guy who’s out to kill you is gonna stop.’
‘Why not?’
‘Because I wired him the money up front and he maintains radio silence up until he has a confirmed kill.’
‘If I put a bullet between his eyes is that going to be a problem?’
‘He’s just a hired hand, so no – not really.’
‘Can you give me a name?’
‘They call him Stack.’
‘OK, well you know who the other fucker I’m after is – don’t you? Bennett – the intel man.’
‘Grit, do you have to? He’s useful a lot of the time.’
‘Sorry, Fred, he has a debt to settle. Is this something you can live with?’
‘I don’t have much choice, do I?’
‘No, you don’t. I mean, I want to be cool with you, but this has to go down a certain way.’
‘OK. I’m sure we’ll speak soon, Grit, when you’ve done what you need to.’
‘I’m sure,’ he said and hung up.
Bennett was a cinch to find – well, at certain points in the day he was a cinch to find because he was trying to make some money by selling the information he had come by. When he went to ground to dig up intel he was the hardest fucker on earth to find. Grit knew his window of opportunity and he took it.
Bennett was a brown-nose, especially when he thought you wanted to buy what he had to sell, so getting him to go outside was the easiest thing ever. When Grit pulled the gun on him he wasn’t necessarily surprised; he wasn’t pleased but he wasn’t surprised. He must have known that the info he had provided last time had somehow got fucked up – usually it didn’t come to this, but if it was going to end the promise of it ending this way had always been there.
When they found him the police pretty much instantly gave up on any chance of finding the perpetrator of the crime – grasses and intel men were never short of enemies and they had better things to do than waste their time tracking down who it was that had finally grown tired and offed the bastard.
Grit wasn’t keeping a low profile at all, and if the person hunting him had any smarts at all he might have wondered at that; might have wondered at the perverse lengths Grit seemed to be going to to draw attention to himself. Stack seemed to miss the clues though – hadn’t spotted that he was walking into a bloody great trap.
The room was dark and Stack thought he was sneaking in – that was outfoxing someone.
‘How,’ said Grit ‘Did a dumb fuck like you ever get such a good reputation?’
‘Um.’
Um was not an answer that was going to impress Grit – his gun had a much more to the point remark to make. Stack died with a look of surprise on his face – for Grit that pretty much said it all.

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Grit: Stupid Shit

‘Punch the cunt in the face – don’t pussyfoot around it; get in there and do some damage.’
‘If you don’t shut the fuck up I’m coming after you when I’ve finished with this mug.’
‘Shouldn’t have told his mum to go fuck herself.’
‘How was I supposed to know that old bag was his mum?’
‘Fucked if I know. I suppose if you’d seen him without his beard you might have seen the family resemblance.’
‘That old bitch has a thicker beard than he does.’
The drunken buffoon that was trying to teach Grit a lesson got a lucky punch in – landed it square on his jaw and he nearly bit his tongue off.
Grit had been going soft on him because he was sober and he knew he could take the idiot apart if he wanted to and, after all, he was defending his poor old mum’s honour. The hit to the jaw and the blood flooding into his mouth from biting his tongue changed all that though – a quick left-right combination and aan uppercut to the jaw and the bozo was on his back sparked out in less than thirty seconds.
‘Still got it, eh, you old bastard?’
‘Yeah, so watch out, numb nuts.’
‘Who you calling numb nuts?’
‘So, Berry, why am I up here in the land o’ the jocks?’
‘Because, my old china, some stupid kilt wearing cunt is trying to muscle in on Big Terence’s business.’
‘Which is?’
‘Why do you need to know? You never used to be so curious.’
‘True enough. How much am I being offered to carry out this little task?’
‘50% above your usual asking fee.’
‘Not bad. he must really want him out of the way.’
‘You’re a bright one sometimes, Grit, anyone ever tell you that?’
‘I don’t speak to many people.’
‘Funny.’
‘Anything special want doing with this one?’
‘We don’t come to you for special, Grit; we come to you to get the job done. We don’t like loose ends and you very rarely leave them.’
‘OK, so when?’
‘Go to the desk, ask for a key to your room. Find on the bed a laser-sighted rifle, and observe your target across the street having lunch.’
‘Really? All this done this quick and simple?’
‘You’d prefer it was complicated?’
‘No, course not.’
‘Then get to it, man. Neither of us have all day to sit around here flapping our lips, do we?’
‘No.’
Grit followed the instructions he was given and found the rifle exactly where he had been told he would find it. He lifted it, sighted the guy, and bang, dropped him.
Seconds later he was back downstairs. Seconds later he was asking himself exactly who it was that he had just offed – and that face kept rolling through his head. Shit – he had better get out of here as quick as he could. He’d just put a bullet in someone who he had been sworn off of; someone connected to his own crew; a personal friend of his boss. How fucking stupid could you be?
He swung the car round in the drive of Berry’s house, got out, walked up to the door, knocked on it, and when Berry opened the door smiling like a fucking idiot, he plugged him full of holes.
‘Fucking idiot,’ he said, and he meant himself as much as Berry.

Grit: Thinking

How often have you wanted to punch someone in the mouth? A lot? How many times have you wanted to shoot someone dead? Again you say a lot. Grit had wondered about those things all the time when he was younger, had stopped wondering and started doing when he was a certain age, and had spent just as long thinking about why he’d done them. Regrets? He had a few; but not as many as some might think. When you did what he did for a living that kind of thing would have you crying into your beer every goddamned second of the day if you let it.
He had never been much of a philosopher – that kind of thing could slow you down and make you indecisive. But he wasn’t averse to thinking – that kind of attitude would get you killed. Like most things in this life you had to try and strike a balance. He knew he held a role in his own life – he did not believe in fate; did not like the idea that some abstract pair of notions were resolving themselves through him. He did not want to be an avatar of good or evil – he was a man and he expected there to be plenty of both in his make up.
Gary liked to talk, but there wasn’t much thinking behind it, so Grit occasionally had to school him in the art of keeping his mouth shut and using his head a little more. Gary had a thick head so it often took a second to beat the idea into it. Grit didn’t exactly enjoy it but he didn’t exactly lose sleep over it either.
Gary’s relationship with discretion had gotten him in trouble before and it had got him into trouble now. If he weren’t universally known for the stupidity that was his stock in trade he would surely be dead by now – his well known idiocy got him a beating instead of a bullet in the head. Those who sponsored the beatings hoped and prayed that one day he would learn – they hoped and prayed that others would learn not to talk to him about anything.
Johnny was nursing a pair of broken legs and a wired jaw for his part in fucking up a multi-million pound deal. Grit’s knuckles were skinned thanks to the lesson he had given Johnny.
Thinking – seemed like it came natural for some, but for others it might always be out of reach.

Grit: Tricks 1

Forget the hooker with a heart of gold bullshit – that was the kind of crap that shitheads who championed the double-standard opted for; mealy-mouthed bullshit that they used to convince themselves that people who they hated the very idea of were worth bothering about. Grit hated that shit – fucking hypocrites bastards who’d get their dicks sucked for a twenty one minute then beat themselves up about it the next, then offload the blame onto the women they saw as loathsome whores out to taint their purity; out to corrupt their steadfast morality, or the appearance of it at least.

He’d been dealing with the kind of people who would smile at you while harbouring ideas of dispensing with you for as long as he could remember. You had to watch the fork-tongued bastards closely and if you even suspected that they were going to make a move on you you got rid of them quick smart.

He’d known Shirley for a long time and he had always had a soft spot for her. They never talked about what they each did for a living but they understood each other, and they talked when they needed to, knowing that there were no limits to what they might discuss: they were friends.

Eddie, her pimp, was not popular with Grit, but Grit left him alone per their agreement. Anyone else though – anyone who he got a problem with in regards to their treatment of her, they were fair game … at least on the understanding that it didn’t hurt business too much.

Grit: Vacuum 3

Marsh had a bit of a better poker game than Samson but he still came up woefully short – grit knew lots of people who would chew him up and spit him out in ten seconds. If these were the kind of monkeys who were making it into important positions these days then he had to wonder what the hell the rest of the crews were made up of.

Marsh had a suitcase of money that he flipped open and it looked full enough to satisfy Grit; looked full enough to fund a few different things which grit had been looking to do with his spare time.

Marsh didn’t speak much – none of his men did either. Grit could tell that they knew their words weren’t their strong point so they kept them to a minimum – no point advertising your weaknesses. Some people had to talk up a good fight before they ever landed a blow on their opponent, and some people just went for the knockdown in the first ten seconds. It was the difference, he supposed, between a street fighter and one of those pretty boys who stood in a ring fighting for a big glittery belt. Sure, Grit probably identified with Marsh more – didn’t mean he wouldn’t kill him, but it was reassuring to meet someone who he at least could stomach.

The transaction was smooth – the death would be smooth too. Grit was kind of suprised about how easy it was to play this game but he was damned well enjoying it.

So, he had two of the so-called big wigs lined up – time to draw in some of the next level players and get them suckered into the scheme as well. Just the promise of a leg up at the hands of someone like Grit would have them chomping at the bit. Grit allowed himself an uncharacteristic smile – he would enjoy delivering the punchline to this elaborate joke.

Grit: First Round 2

When the moment came to put the plan into action all that extra legwork which he had carried out started to come in useful. He’d found from experience that, when you want them to, things never run exactly per routine, and anything can cause a break in habits, but getting to know how someone is going to react to any given situation gives you the upper hand – means you can throw your hand in there too; you can make a play for the pot.

The guy’s other half, or one of them at least, was giving him some problems and he was having to run around after her, which was causing a delay in his arrival at the place which Grit had marked out for his execution.

It reached a time when it became obvious that the target just wasn’t going to play ball and arrive at the designated destination where Grit would be able to despatch him with no hassle. It reached an hour where Baker was calling him and expecting results and he had nothing whatsoever to report – and if he didn’t get something done soon someone else was going to swoop in and solve the problem for him; well, they would solve one problem and create a whole raft of others.

It served him well that he knew secrets about this man, and that certain secrets he had were not shared with anyone. He was sat across from one of those secrets right now. He had her on speaker phone and she was pulling in the fish he wanted to catch on an easy line that he could not resist.

His target was an expert at lying to one partner to get with another, so Grit had faith that he would not have to wait long at all to meet him in the flesh.

Half an hour later he was sat across from both of these people that he would be shortly killing, and he was wondering what this would do to him. He had no qualms about killing the shithead he had the folder on – that folder made a good case for this scumbag’s execution, but her? She was collateral damage, and that was something he didn’t like. That bullshit about how there were no innocents was a poor excuse for killing people and one he didn’t buy into. Still, he couldn’t afford loose ends – he was lucky that she was a hooker and there wouldn’t be too many people pushing to find her when she went missing.

Bang bang and a bath of hydrochloric acid later and all those loose ends were tied off.

oh, whoah, atomic!

The Hiroshima was a slick piece of tech – this was the third iteration of the Pikadon, or Flashbang line, specially designed to fire custom shells whilst giving you an instantaneous photograph of the victim. Two headshots for the price of one. There was a girl like her advertising the weapon in the catalogue – that was the fantasy, this was the reality.
The heavy rain made it hard to sight properly: even with the toggle-goggles cutting out a lot of the visual interference she was having trouble pinning this slippery bastard down. It paid well, this job, and she didn’t want to fuck it up, especially after the last fiasco. One more badly executed mission and she might as well drop the whole operation into shutdown and become a ghost because they would have a contract out on her for gross incompetence.
This guy wasn’t anyone important – at least that was what the file on the drive said; but given the amount this kill was worth that didn’t really add up. You’d have to have some real hate on to fork out this much dough for some average no-neck douchebag who didn’t mean anything. Perhaps the guy had been shtupping someone’s wife, but looking at the dude she just didn’t see it … who the fuck would want this scumbucket’s mangy maggot writhing in them?
She had been following him for a while, trying to line up the perfect shot that would get the job done and would cause the least amount of commotion; a shot that would make it really hard to trace down the origin of the shooter. She did not like having to run from the scene of a killing because it meant that you were fucking up in your execution of standard practice and it meant that you drew too much unwanted attention.
She knew the guy so well by the end of the time that she could have done a passing good impression of him were it ever required.
In the final scene of this man’s life perhapsĀ  his discomfort came from the fact that someone else was shadowing his every move; that someone had infiltrated his mind and knew exactly what he was going to do. When the flash blinded him and the bullet tore the top off his skull it almost felt natural, so close was the action to the rhythm of what he was doing. This was how it was supposed to go – this broke the back of that damned losing streak she had been downward spiralling on.