Friday, February 5, 2010

No Honor Among Thieves.

No honor among thieves.

Double crossed. That’s what I’m thinking as Dally stands over the body of his dead brother. Standing there between me and the open chest that holds the beating force of life. That’s my bounty and I’ve got a dead woman to answer for it. There really is no honor among thieves. Especially those who choose to steal your heart. Stealing? As if it was just that easy. Perhaps life has spared you such misfortune. If so, count yourself lucky. Most don’t get away so easily. Trickery is such a dirty word, but in this situation there really is no substitution. Simply because hearts are the hardest to walk away with. People like to pretend that it’s all out on the table. But be warned that pretty little package all tucked away nicely in your chest isn’t something you’d let go of easily. Quite often people like to confuse affections with hearts and hearts with love. Useless, but yet they hold on. Holding on tighter when they really should be letting go cause it’s really not like that at all. All of which makes my job so much harder. Needless to say, eyes are the easiest to steal. The Living tends to miss even the most obvious things with perfect vision. So often they will never see something coming, when it’s standing right in front of them. “Blind rather than deaf or dumb,” my grandma always used to say. If you can’t see it coming than you most certainly will hear it.

No honor among thieves. Thieves of the night. Out wandering among the shadows. Swindlers. Con artists. Double dealers. Looking for the next big score to settle. Specializing in the trade of the most precious of commodities. Moving between the living and the dead. See, not all living things have a bargain to make. In fact, wicked or not, the dead don’t rest like people would like to think. With the dead it’s more of a vendetta rather than unfinished business. Desperately as the living would like to believe otherwise, they possess nothing a dead man desires. Life? You can not get that back once it’s gone. As you might have guessed dealing with the deceased tends to be an unsavory experience. The vengeance of a departed spirit is nothing like that of a flesh & blood man. The dead can not be appeased. There is no end in sight. Nothing can ever quench the desire for retribution. For this reason contracts with the dead should only be entered into with great consideration. Until you’ve returned with exactly what they wanted you can count yourself as good as finished. Despite my better judgment I contract with the dead regularly. More often than not, the living do not appreciate my services. On occasion there is an opportunity for the eyes, ears, hands, and feet, well among other things, of an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend that come at the request of a forlorn lover. But typically the living doesn’t have the stomach for such things and run willy-nilly when I present my end of the bargain. There’s just no appreciation for craftsmanship these days.

Stiff and getting stiffed are pretty similar ideas. Either way you’re being fucked. Something about not being paid just gets under my skin and rubs the wrong way. Yet here I find myself about to come up empty handed. Nonetheless I live by a handful of personal rules. In this trade of lies there’s just no other way. Besides you can’t expect everyone else to abide by the same principles. Business is just business, nothing personal. As I finish slicing a hole through his neck I realize that Dallas knew that better than anyone else. Blood spills down the front of his shirt onto the downed corpse of his brother. Falling quickly, he grabs at the gaping wound with both hands. Words are of no consequence he’ll be dead soon. A little deeper and I’d have take his entire head clean off. Such a shame. Dallas and I went back a ways. He was a pickpocket I’d taken under my wing some years ago. Dally wasn’t a bad sort of fellow, neither was his brother for that matter. The story goes pretty simple. Seems that good ol Dally was sleeping with his brother’s old lady. Brother dear took it upon himself to kill the bad bird. Soon enough the dead canary pipes up wanting a piece of the action. Crazy bird wanted the heart from the heartless. Even in death she loved Dallas more. Unfortunately I’m not one to get mixed up in personal affairs. There’s no choice, but I have to get paid, hand over fist, one way or another. Dallas got in the way when he should have let me handle my business. He shouldn’t have been here tonight. Damn the luck. What’s done is done. If there’s something I’ve learned from this trade, there’s no honor among thieves.

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