Watch Men, Kill Men
The compact man carrying a spiked stainless steel club and a brown glass beaker brimming with sulfuric acid wore a hand-tailored steel-grey suit with a bright red cape sewn on the back. He looked at himself in the grease-stained lobby mirror, swallowed a few barbiturates he’d been holding under his tongue, then wandered out of a dilapidated hotel in the heart of a large city. As he walked along the midnight streets, he tucked the club into its holster and began to puff from an electronic cigarette while focusing on the frenzied rhythm of Mozart’s “Flight Of The Bumblebee” buzzing from his headphones. Rounding a corner he bumped into a towering prostitute with rotting teeth and jaundiced skin who swaggered from the shadows to offer the use of her ass for twenty dollars. Without pause the man tossed the beaker’s contents into her eyes. The prostitute screamed, grabbed at her melting face, then crumbled to the ground. The man watched the acid eat away her scabby skin and dissolve through the calcium-deficient bone. Then he reached into his jacket pocket, removed a box of condoms, and dumped the glow-in-the-dark prophylactics atop her twitching body. Her thickly-muscled pimp, having witnessed the incident from an adjacent street corner, unsheathed a glistening knife from his belt, tensed his shoulders, and charged. The compact man in the bright red cape stood his ground, calmly bobbing his head to the sound of Mozart’s bumblebee, until, with a perfectly timed counterclockwise swing, he snatched the spiked club from its holster and crashed it into the approaching pimp’s crotch. There was an audible crunch, followed by a moan and the sound of spurting blood. The pimp went down and did not get up. As the man assessed the damage, a hooded figure holding a large caliber pistol appeared from the darkness and demanded that he drop the club and give up his wallet. When he refused, six bullets were fired into the ballistic vest concealed by his steel-grey jacket. A moment later, after the hooded figure was pistol-whipped to death, the red-caped man’s cell phone began to vibrate. He turned off Mozart, answered it, and heard his sweet little wife’s voice. Then he replied. “Yes, honey. I miss you too. Very much. But the conference is over tomorrow, and I’ll be home in time to take you out for crab cakes and champagne.” He tipped well.