Big Joe threw the butcher knife aside. It clanged in the floor, nearly hitting the foot of the frail and writhing Gunner. It felt strange not seeing terror strike his nerves when he looked at Gunner. He spat at his face of surprise, kicked him cold and unconscious and naked. But he couldn’t stomach it. He removed his jacket and laid it over the man.
Gunner wasn’t like this. He was slightly taller than Big Joe, a giant in the shadows they say, and his eyes are the malice that kept trafficking gangs at bay. He was the right hand of Arinoso before Arinoso was poisoned. He was the right hand of Baby John Fucker before Baby John Fucker was sliced, mutilated, and hanged. The dicks of the underground tell tales of the ghost sniper of the KGB, the hired monster of Hitler. They all look at Gunner and stay silent as he walks past, his coat staining the air with the faint rusty smell of dried blood.
Gunner: assassin, sniper, monster. Lying hungry and unconscious in the corner of an abandoned warehouse of Reykjavík. Big Joe thought above giving Gunner his last heroin shot, a final pleasure before death. Big Joe lived through cravings as he lived through killings: he can live years not doing it but enjoy doing it just the same.
But his head dizzies at the death of this old monster. He shudders, cries, as the warehouse morphs into his memory of five years ago. A building somewhere in London. Five floors below, sex slaves for sale. The Australian man-butcher and his wife, fetishist, pedophile. Once at the table, the cash case upfront, his head was struck hard.
There were screams when he fell. There was death when he woke. Nothing was left of everyone but the blood stains and stench he was all too familiar with when he was killing for a living in Sydney and Rio. His wife, the only one strong and fearful to dominate but not humiliate his passions, lost among with the others.
But the sun striked his eyes when he woke. He saw outside the window a pile of corpses being burnt by Gunner and his gang. His eyes did not strike him of malice, but he hid just the same. It felt the same as he looked at the old man naked, sitting in the corner, speaking to himself.
He thought Gunner was the threat to his way of life; his existence Gunner’s excuse for the disappearance of many.
Big Joe held Gunner’s cold arm and injected it with heroin. It was the only salvation he could give back since the day he woke up and was freed.