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Hands that Drip Blood

By David Seaborg

The only reason that I needed to hire the Hands That Drip Blood was my misguided sex drive. Well, I might add to that my ignorance of the relationship of the object of my lust to a figure whose power exceeded his morality. The woman I pursued, whose name was Janie, was the girlfriend of one of the top dogs in the Mafia, one Baldovino “the bloodsucker” Bianchi. Had I known this, I would not have pursued her, notwithstanding her emerald eyes, shapely legs, and silk figure. No more than three days passed before Baldovino got wind of our tryst. I guess his girlfriend told him, but I do not know for certain how he found out. Maybe he was suspicious and quizzed her, and she spilled the beans on the theory that she would face less dire consequences by confessing her sin and providing all the details than denying it and not being believed. At any rate, he had my name and phone number.

It was his phone call that informed me of the bad news. He called me a “mother fucker.” I did not know who the caller was, or, for that matter, who Janie’s boyfriend was, or I would not have responded with what I thought was a witty come back at the time. I copped to screwing Janie, but pleaded that I did not know she was his mother. He did not get the joke. Or at least he didn’t appreciate it. At any rate, it failed to establish the rapport I was hoping for. However, had I been more discreet and withheld the joke, I don’t think it would have changed the outcome of our conversation. With the efficiency of a jury of one, he announced that my sentence was the death penalty, to be carried out by him at his earliest convenience. He hung up the phone with a kiss in my ear.

It was fruitless to move somewhere far away and change my name and appearance. Baldovino and his cronies were too good at tracking people down. My best chance to survive would be to hire a professional murderer who was quicker and smarter than Bianchi. I had heard of the Hands That Drip Blood. He made his living by killing. He was well-known, indisputably the best at this profession.  He got his name from the unique method by which he killed his victims with his ugly, terrifying, muscular, mutated, mutilated hands. He used one hand to grab the back of his mark’s neck to hold it in place. He then ripped the windpipe, larynx, and upper part of the esophagus out of his victim’s throat. He sometimes used his right hand, sometimes his left, to do the extraction. He never had to use a gun. It was rumored that there were two times when he had to resort to the use of a knife, but this I cannot verify. His fingers were exceptionally long. One of his hands had six fingers. The hands were strong, able to bend metal and crush bones. The six-fingered hand had a grotesque scar running horizontally along its back; the five-fingered one had a tattoo of a dragon on the palm. Some of the fingers on each hand were bent, more likely from a genetic mutation than damage from either accidents or his victims desperately, futilely fighting back, but nobody knew for certain.

We met on a secluded beach. “So you want I kill Vino,” he said. He was not a foreigner; he left out any words he deemed unnecessary, for brevity and effect. With his crude face, demeanor, and hands, the effect was chilling. “Kill not cheap, you know. And pay first.” It wasn’t cheap; I paid.

My next move was to hide out until the Hands did his work. I hastily packed anything I’d need. I brought a sleeping bag, tent, an ice chest, and other items needed to camp out, in case I felt that I would be better hidden camping than in a motel. I bought make-up, a toupee, and sunglasses, and jeans, T shirts, and tennis shoes to replace my usual slacks, button shirts, and leather shoes, to disguise myself. I took a cab to a rental car lot, figuring that if I drove my own car, it might be recognized by my predator or one of his allies. I bought a supply of food and put it in the ice chest. I did not want to take the risk of being seen eating in restaurants.

I drove about thirty miles out of town. I wondered: Is it better to stay in an expensive hotel or a run-down motel? The swanky place would have better security; it would be harder to get at me. But in the cheap dive, I could sign in with a fake name without being questioned about it. And Bianchi might be less likely to seek me at such a place, though I could not be sure of that. Camping out would make it all but impossible to find me, but I felt vulnerable in a sleeping bag out in the elements. I decided to hedge my bets. I’d stay in an expensive hotel, then camp, then stay in a dive, and then randomly choose a different place nightly. Maybe not the best plan, but it felt right.  I felt more secure changing not only where I slept, but the type of accommodation, especially if I did not rotate in a set fashion, but changed accommodations as randomly as possible. It was probably irrational, but it felt like the safest strategy, and reduced my anxiety more than any other plan I considered. And I considered a multitude of strategies.

So I found myself in an expensive hotel the first night, the night I deemed the least likely Bianchi would find me. He likely would not start his search so soon, let alone be able to locate me. So why not get a good night’s sleep when the odds were on my side?

My sleep was fitful, restless.  I heard footsteps approaching my room. Was he coming? Had he found me? It was a guest going to his room. False alarms and imagined danger went on for a few hours. Then sleep came, but it was choppy.

I woke up at sunrise, and left the hotel, figuring the longer I lingered, the greater the danger. I ate only the food I had brought along, always cooking with my portable camp stove in nature. That night, I camped out with tent and sleeping bag in a national forest. My sleep was better because I was so tired from the restless first night. Also, I did not imagine my predator’s presence as much as the first night. Still, my sleep was less than great, as I had some fear that he might appear.

And so the days went by. There was no sign of Baldovino for the first two and a half weeks after I went into hiding. The longer the time he could not find me, the more time the Hands had to rip out his trachea, and the greater my chance of survival. I bought the local paper daily, listened to the local news on my car radio, and watched it on TV in my motel and hotel rooms, but heard nothing of Bianchi’s death.  The newspapers, radio, and TV would have covered the death of a famous Mafioso, especially if he were de-throated by the Hands That Drip Blood. I never watched the TV news in my motel or hotel rooms, because I was afraid of making any kind of noise.

I had camped for two nights. It was time for a motel. I found a secluded, cheap dump, one I had not yet stayed in. I closed the curtains. The room was about eighty percent dark with the curtains closed and room lights off, illuminated only by the motel’s outdoor lights. I went to bed at about 10 PM and slept about four hours, awakening at about 2 AM I could see something hanging directly above my face, as I lay on my back in the dim light. A drop of liquid descended from the form hanging above me and landed on my forehead. Then another drop hit me between the eyes. The form was dripping slowly, like a leaky faucet. It was swinging. I didn’t dare turn on the room light. I grabbed my flashlight and shined it on the shape. Swinging at the end of a thin rope suspended from the ceiling light were two severed hands with blood dripping from them, one six-fingered and scared, the other with a dragon tattoo on the palm.

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  1. Very nice. I was rooting for the main character but I still appreciate the shocking conclusion.

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