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Leap of Faith by Taramoc Lurrec
SUMMARY: For the August 2008 Flash Fiction contest in the writing forum.
"That was messy!" Terry said, sitting on the passenger seat. His hands and shirt were covered in blood.
"No shit! You had to use a bread knife to kill him," Johnny replied, driving their getaway car just at the speed limit.
"It's not my fault that my gun jammed."
"I have a gun too, you know."
"If I waited for you, he would have been long gone."
"Whatever," Johnny replied, parking the car in front of St. Jacob.
"Come on, not today. You can't leave me like this!" Terry said as Johnny was about to get out of the car.
"You know that I go to church after every job, do you have to complain every time?" Johnny replied.
"Every time! I never say anything, but look at me today..."
"I don't know what to tell you, I'm going."
"Wait, they have water in there, right?"
"Holy water, yes..."
"Great!" Terry reached behind the passenger seat for a clean shirt, still in its plastic wrapping and followed Johnny to the church.
Twenty minutes later they were back in the car, Terry now completely clean.
"I can believe you washed off the blood of your victim in the christening font," Johnny said, "I've never seen something more blasphemous before."
"You know," Terry said, "for someone so religious, you are definitively in the wrong line of work."
"At least I recognize my sins and ask for forgiveness. When we die we are all going to be judged, you included. A bit of contrition wouldn't be bad for you when the time comes."
Johnny drove off, and two minutes later, while merging in the interstate, their car exploded in a ball of flames.
While he was dying, as it's well known, Johnny's life started replaying in front of his eyes. It started with the day he was born, in a cold day of September, his happy childhood, the first fights in grade school, dropping off from college to work as a bouncer. The day he met Johanna, and how she got pregnant the very first time they had sex. The birth of the twins, Angela and Maria, and how he became a thug to make more money for his family. His first murder, a scumbag trying to steal a few hundred dollars from Don Charlie Lanfrani, his boss. The other three children in five years, before he listened to his wife and got himself fixed. The beginning of the partnership with Terry and their first slaughter together, eight Mexicans that wouldn't listen to Don Lanfrani. And then suddenly it stopped.
Johnny appeared in what you'd imagine a cloud would be if you could stand in it. In front of him a long line of people, behind him was Terry. More people appeared: a group of black men, dressed in tribal costume, followed by women and children of the same tribe, an old woman, a young skateboarder. Soon, they were too far to distinguish them. Arrow signs saying "Judgement" were floating every few yards, pointing towards the beginning of the line.
"So they got us," Terry said.
"Must have placed the bomb while we were in the church. Sorry, man," Johnny replied.
"Whatever, we had a good run. I wonder if it was Gambino..."
"Probably, must have had someone watching that scumbag's house."
"It seemed weird they would call us to kill a stupid bookie."
"You think Don Lanfrani set us up? Possible...