Losing My Senses
Author's Note: This is a short story I wrote for a creative writing class. It's very short because the assignment required 1000 words or less. By the way, if you like this, or anything else I write, I have published a novel titled "Mind Pressure Quotient"
Mario sighed as he slipped a cigarette into his mouth and lit it with a flick of his lighter. He looked at the cityscape around him and shook his head. "Job sucks," he simply muttered to himself, crossing an alleyway and seeing a deal between two unknown people, whose names he cared not to get and whose business he cared not to involve himself in. This is New York, he thought to himself. He'd seen his share of nastiness and just somehow knew he would get in more by the day's end. Having just come from another job, he wanted nothing more than to just get back to his apartment and lie down, soak his day's worries in whatever illegal drink he could scrounge up, and sleep. Unfortunately, he knew his job too well.
A potential target walked past him. She uttered to herself quietly, "I wish…" and those words caused Mario to cringe. If she finished that sentence, his profession would require him to spring into action. A tense moment passed, as she let the thought go unsaid, and walked away. He let out another sigh. He looked at the woman as she walked; she stood a hundred and eighty centimeters tall—just over five feet eleven—and her figure measured ninety-six, sixty, and ninety-one centimeters. Her dress hugged her curves just right for him almost to follow. However, he simply moved on.
By the time he got home, he'd almost completely forgotten about the woman. He sat down, poured himself a glass, and almost made it to sleep, when a knock on his door echoed through the room. "I'm coming," he beckoned, pulling himself sitting up and then standing. He creaked across the floor, one tired step at a time, and opened the door.
The woman stood there. Her blonde curly hair hanging down farther than he remembered just a few dozen minutes earlier.
"Can I help you?" he asked.
She lowered her eyebrows into a curious and serious stare. "Name's Stacy Lannings, maybe you can help me," she said, her accent thick Brooklyn. "You're seem new around town?"
"Mario Estevan," he replied. "I'm kind of not from around here. My job's very specific. If you're looking for help, it's going to cost you."
"So, what kind of work do you do?"
He looked at her. He saw her intent look appear and wondered if it meant one of possibly several different things, not many of them good. "I'm a Djinn," he quietly replied, trying to avoid his neighbors hearing him.
She raised her eyebrows in surprise. "A what?"
"A djinn," he replied. "It means I'm not human, although you might not want to know what. I have a specific purpose and that's to grant wishes."
She turned her head sideways a bit, giving him a strange look, before a smile indicating her lack of belief drew itself across her face. "C'mon," she shot back, in disbelief.
He shook his head. "The price is high," he warned. "So I'd rather not prove anything."
She walked in, almost forcing him to step backwards. "So, show me it's real by helping me."
He gave her a stern, almost scolding look. "You should reconsider this," he said.
She held her purse out. "What's the cost of killing my husband?"
He gritted his teeth, his face full of unease, like a firewalker's first time. "The price for anything involving human life, either giving or taking, is your very soul," he advised. "You might not want to go that far."
Her expression rapidly nosedived into a disappointed frown. "How about…how about he just gets a divorce? What's the price for that?"
He pulled a small black notepad out of his right pocket. He flipped through it quickly. "Divorce is the ending of a relationship…that one's not expensive. All it will cost you is position."
She looked at him curiously. "What do you mean?"
He put the pad away, and shrugged. "Won't know until after," he simply replied.
She took a breath. "I wish," she said, "for my husband to divorce me."
Mario closed his eyes a moment. "It shall be done," he replied.
Before she could respond, he vanished from her sight. He reappeared in an apartment on the opposite side of New York City. He saw a short, overweight man in a business suit reading a paper. The man didn't notice Mario right away. Mario cleared his throat, which startled the man from his paper.
Somehow, from the look the man gave, he knew immediately his wife had hired this man. The husband didn't know what, but he knew this man meant him ill. He flung himself from the table, scurried to the cabinet and drew a gun into his hand. "You're not going to kill me!" the man shouted in a light Sicilian accent. He ignored Mario's hand gesture, meant to calm him down but seen as a distraction, and fired two shots off.
Mario dashed forth, the bullets falling from his body to the floor, and took the man by the shoulders. He peered into him with fiery eyes. The man sat mesmerized, looking oddly for a moment. By the time he got back to his senses, he was aware of the words his mother told him: "You're almost thirty. Why aren't you married yet?" He also vaguely remembered a man and firing his gun, but couldn't make out the details and returned to his paper.
Mario returned to his apartment. She smiled. "Did you do it?"
"You two are divorced," he said. He gave a "thumbs up" gesture of success.
"So, what do I owe you?"
"A lot," he simply said, staring into her with fiery eyes. "I'm sorry."
Stacy sighed as she slipped a cigarette into her mouth and lit it with a flick of her lighter. She looked at the cityscape and shook her head. "Job sucks," she simply muttered to herself.