June 24 at 8:00 PM
Photo by Kimberly Jones
Special Agent Hicks left the photos out for maximum effect. Then added a couple more. Indigo's lifeless corpse beckoned me. At least they hadn't shot her in the face. That beautiful face. I took a deep breath. Her eyes were now lifeless mirrors of the grave.
Hicks chuckled. "You've got to admit, she did a sweet job."
"What?" I growled.
"Staging her own death." He picked up one of the photos. "She takes a pretty picture, this one. Smart as a yam too." Hicks tossed it back in. "Still that hasn't stopped us from circling the wagons, if you know what I mean. Now I understand you have a connection with Ms. Gao?"
"Wie Xan Gao. Or, what did you call her? Indigo?"
"I wouldn't call it a connection."
"Then what would you call it?" He pulled up a chair.
"Admiration," he nodded. "From one assassin to another?" Hicks took out a silver pen and fidgeted with it.
"Look," I said. "I really don't know anything about her. I came across her a couple of times and that was it. I don't have any idea what she's up to these days, but I'm relieved to hear she's still alive."
Agent Hicks came to within an inch of my face and stared. My warped countenance played over the curves of his mirrored lenses. He considered me for a moment and then pulled back. "You know this gentlemanly demeanor doesn't really suit me. In fact, it's beginning to piss me off."
Agent Wilfork struck me across the jaw.
"Now I'll give you credit, you are a good liar. Just not a great one," said Special Agent Hicks.
Wilfork cracked me again, fracturing my orbital.
"Enough of this senseless violence." He motioned Agent Wilfork away. "Don't worry, Mr. Dennings, I'm not going to insult your intelligence and play that good cop/bad cop tomfoolery. Just think of this as bad cop/bad cop."
He stabbed down with his pen, pinning my hand to the table. It hurt like hell, but I managed to keep it in.
Hicks unearthed a black suitcase and placed it on the table. He did not need to open the care package to get his point across. Things were about to get a whole lot worse.
"What were you doing on the evening of November 10, 2009?" He pulled a pair of pliers from the case.
"Baking Girl Scout cookies," I replied.
He squeezed down on the pliers and ripped out the nail from my left index finger. I screamed like a sissy, enough to convince them I had a low tolerance for pain. Still it wasn't as bad as the first time it was yanked out.
"Forgive me for jumping ahead. I'm fresh out of courtesy." He twisted and turned with deft skill, rooting out my thumbnail. I didn't have to fake it the second time around.
"Alright, I'll tell you," I gasped. "I'm a contract killer."
"What?" Hicks jerked the nail from my pinkie.
I banged down my fist over and over again trying to fend off the pain. "I get paid to dispose of douche bags like you."
Special Agent Hicks tossed the pliers aside. "Well, Halleluiah."