The Wax Conspiracy

and the mata hari smile

Spree killers wouldn’t roll out with such wanton abandon. Armed to the teeth with psychic baseball bats and knuckledusters these broads are a menace.

Still, they glide out from under a clumsily stacked corbel arch, covered head to toe in progressive politics and other assorted padding. They break Testudo formation only when their names are called, giving a surprisingly dainty waggle of the fingers, then it’s back to the bench.

The whistle blows and the jammer breaks free of the pack. It’s gonna be another drubbing. Game over, and now it’s time to get to work.

He sits waiting for a coffee, eyeing the panino that was brought out way too soon. It’s not the rough part of town or anything: the most dangerous thing he’ll encounter is a madman groaker who might take it upon himself to make a lunge for the sandwich. It’s best, however, not to court attention, and beating the homeless half to death tends to get one noticed.

The correct term for what he is, at least as far as the cops are concerned, is gopher. The etymology is rather sweet, basically he passes on the names of who the torpedoes should go’fer, a kind of middleman for the mob bosses.

The system is simple: at some point his phone will trill, there will be a notification on his Scrabble app, and in the word that is played will be the information on who’s going to get knocked, a price, and who’ll be doing the knocking. In a flurry of thumbs, the message is passed on, and the contract binds tighter than any the law can guarantee.

This time will be different, though. When the barista brings out his panino he recognises the scar on her thumb – he recognises it because he has the very same scar. She''s a part of his crew.

He checks his phone even though it hasn’t trilled. J-U-B-A; J on the triple, 37-points, and right then he knows he’s for the knock. His thumbs move, but there’s no avoiding this because he hasn’t any vowels to play.

His phone falls out of his hand - someone somewhere screams - and a madman walks off with his panino.

Belvedere Jehosophat

Written on Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The Wax Conspiracy

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