Paying Up (500 words)

We stepped into a living room decorated in rattan and lots of flower prints.  There was another tall, fit Haole sitting on a couch opposite us.  A woman, real athletic, Asian mix, maybe Japanese, came through a hall door and sat next to the man.

My informant indicated the man sitting down.  “As promised, Mister Kim, here is the man who killed your partner.”

The guy on the couch smiled.  He had a revolver in is hand.

“Thanks for the info,” I said.

“Not a problem, Mister Kim.  It’s the least I could do for someone willing to pay.”  He reached in the bag.

I said, “Well, it’s the most I could pay for someone willing to lead me to the guy who offed my friend.”

He pulled the stack of newspaper out of the bag. “What the fuck!” he said, that cool voice of his changing. “I’m going to fucking kill you, you little shit.”

“Now now,” the man on the couch said.  “I told you I get to do that, Stewart.”

“Boys,” I said, “if you’re going to argue about it, why don’t I just step outside until you decide.”

Stewart made a move for me.  The man on the couch shot him in the head.  Then he laughed and pointed the gun at me.  “Very good, Mister Kim.  Very good.  As you can see, the matter is decided.  I’m the one who’s going to kill you.   You have been too nosy.  Oh,” he said, like it was an afterthought.  “I should tell you that I also killed your partner’s wife and Mister Kanai.”

“You are quite the busy guy,” I said, wishing I did have a gun.  “Might I ask why you felt the need to do all of that?”

“You might,” said the woman, finally speaking, “but it’s really none of your business.  Sit down and shut the fuck up.”

The man laughed and gestured with the gun to a chair by a window at my right.  “Old Stewart,” he said, “such a greedy boy.  If he hadn’t whined about getting the thousand dollars out of you, I might have let him live.  But he was always wanting more than his share.  You have to watch people like that.  They can become a problem.”

“Not him anymore,” I said

“Correct,” said the strong looking woman.  “And not you for long either.  You’re the kind of trouble we need like we need holes in our heads.”

“Like he needed one,” I said, nodding to old Stewart.  “Lady, I’d accommodate the both of you if I could, but I got nothing to use to make those holes.”

They both laughed at that, and in that moment I stood and leaped through the open window.  I hit hard on the ground, but I went zero to sixty in Olympic time.  The bullets were flying past me, but I was giving them a run for their money.  I made a beeline down Kāne‘ohe Bay Drive to Bay View Golf Course.

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