There Won’t Be Snow In Africa

There is nothing like little victories to sooth the tormented soul. I was convinced in what I was about to do. Killing is never easy. I’d never killed a man in anger. Tonight I would kill three. And rejoice in the moment.
+++++I parked outside the pub, The Jumping Stag. All lit up in the glitzy shiny soulless festive spirit of US imported Xmas cheer. Charley the bouncer was at the door. He nodded and smiled as I went past him. His only words, the expected Ho! Ho! Ho! As if I’ve never heard that before. The pub was heaving as you would expect on the night before Christmas. The Scandinavians would be at home now, sitting around the family table, celebrating Christmas with all their family. The Irish spent it in a pub getting hammered. Relying on the non-drinking wives to do the Xmas stuff at home. I had no home. No family. No friends. Well maybe just one. Father Pat was at the bar and nodded as I came in. The crowds broke like the Red Sea before Santa Claus.
+++++“Do you really want to do this Niall?” He had asked when I set up the meet.
+++++I laughed at him. “You can’t be fucking serious. They’ve murdered my sons. I’ve just buried my wife. Died of a broken heart. And you ask me that?”
+++++“Niall I know you’ve been hurt, but there must be another way.”
+++++“No Pat, there is no other way. The Law is being twisted. Them fuckers have the city by the balls and they’re squeezing and the Politicians are dancing to the O’Gunning Jig.
+++++The Jumping Stag was my chance to join the Celtic boom. Cian  wanted to be an Architect. Travel the world, build tall Towers. Seamus wanted to be a Doctor. Go to Africa. Save the planet. What gave those shit bags the right to walk in to my pub and gun them down. Gun me down. A bunch of drug peddling old age Pensioner beating slime bags.”
+++++“The court case will sort it out.”
+++++“Pat, what planet are you living on? They will walk, they always walk.”
+++++“Jayzus Niall you’ll end up in Jail. And just as bad as them.”
+++++“I have a plan. Are you in or out?”
+++++Pat was in as he owed me from our UN time in the Irish Rangers, saving the world, patrolling the borders of Lebanon. And even a born again Christian knew right from wrong.
+++++I had the sack over my shoulder as I headed for the stage. Some stoned out band were blasting out ‘Do they Know it’s Christmas time.’
+++++The VIPs where all sitting in the front row. Peter, Eric and Bobby O’Gunning
+++++The Gunning gang. Ran the town. Ran the drugs. Out on bail on a murder charge.
+++++Compassionate leave for Christmas was the Judge’s ruling. I had testified against these low life snakes. Now there was a bounty on my head.
+++++Peter was fondling some blond bimbo’s breast. Eyes glazed from snorting his own merchandise. They all had families, but clearly not here on the Eve of Christmas.
+++++Bobby said “look its Santa, hope you have something nice for us, ya fake fat bearded bastard.” Then he laughed.
+++++Eric was more aware, more sober and was staring at me. I had sat in court on the witness stand and pointed at this overweight slug and said, yes, he was the one in my pub that night who shot and killed my son Cian. He had screamed at me then.
+++++“You’re going to die motherfucker. You and the rest of your fucking family.”
+++++The Judge just ignored it. It was then, I knew what had to be done.
+++++The rare times these guys where away in prison, hard crime, the killing brutal torturing kind, fell in the town by a whopping 80%. It was a clear case of logic for Ducks. Removing them would do everybody a favour.
+++++I dropped the sack and reached inside. Eric had clicked who I was and was standing up shouting to Peter over the noise of the crowd. They felt safe and secure in their cosy Pub. Like I once had, a lifetime ago.
+++++I pulled the Glock and watched Bobby’s face drain away. Father Pat at the bar, dropped two Flash bangs on the floor. The explosion caused the required mayhem. The inbuilt panic of a bomb attack taking control of the mob, freezing everyone for vital seconds. I shot calmly and precisely. Aiming for Peter’s throat. Aware that these scumbags had best of breed Kevlar vests. It was my time. It was Cian and Seamus time. It was fucking payback time.
+++++Eric was up and lurching forward. I pumped a couple in to him and he toppled into the screaming crowd. Bobby had turned and was trying to move away and I blasted him in the back of his head. There was a stampede for the door as I went to each of the brother’s and tapped them once more in the head. As a gesture of Christmas goodwill.
+++++Then I dumped everything and left by the back lane. On to a waiting motor bike and was safely back in my room without anybody knowing I had left. I was under close 24hr protective guard. But a bitter hate will find away.
+++++The knock came early in the morning. It was my car for the airport. I was driven in silence by the security detail. No words were spoken. But I could see the questions on their face. At the Airport Superintendent O’Neil was waiting with my papers.
+++++“A new life Niall, in America. You’ll be safe there until the trial starts again. Though I am getting some muddled reports that this whole exercise may be totally redundant.”
+++++I was going away under the witness protection program. To Omaha Nebraska. A solid new life. Solid new name. With a solid alibi. But my thoughts were with the O’Gunning Brothers.
+++++Merry Christmas ya filthy animals.

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Frank Sonderborg

Frank Sonderborg

Frank Sonderborg lives in the UK and does his best to write interesting stories. His stories have appeared in Action: Pulse Pounding Tales 2, Noir Nation 3, Noir Nation 5, Pulse Modern JFK Issue #6, Shadows and Light, TheBigAdios, Thrills, Kills ‘n’ Chaos and Shotgunhoney.
Frank Sonderborg

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