Wednesday, 25 June 2014


Photo by Lyssa Medana

My real name is Myer, but I go by the nickname Angel these days.

I’m not an Angel.   Not in the sense that most people understand, but I think it’s justified.  You see “Angel” means “Messenger” and that’s what I definitely am.    When my boss wants to send a message, he sends me.    When people see me turn up they get the message.   Of course by then it’s too late for them, because the message my boss sends is for the benefit of others.   The messages I deliver encourage other people not to make the same stupid mistakes as the recipient.

Am I being too coy?

My boss, you’ll understand if I don’t use his name, runs this city.   He controls the casinos, he controls the narcotics, the prostitution, everything.    The stuff you snort up your nose, the person whose tanned stomach you snort it off, and the hotel room you’re doing it in are all his, and he gets his cut.

Some people don’t like that and try to hold out on what they owe him.  Some don’t think he should enjoy his monopoly.    So he needs to send a message.  Message and messenger is what I am. I call myself Angel.   It adds a poetic touch to a humdrum existence.

Take tonight’s job for instance.   The guy was old school, small fry, a sleazeball selling badly printed porno magazines.   Vile stuff that made my skin crawl, but I’m not one to judge.   He’d ageed to hand over a percentage of his take but then he’d been holding back.   So the boss called me with the details, “Send a message,” he said.

The old weasel knew who I was when I let myself into his room, which stank by the way.   “Call me Angel,” I told him, and he started begging straight away.  He’d confessed everything and pleaded for mercy a hundred times in the two minutes it took me to drag him out of bed and blow his brains out with my Glock.   I scattered his magazines around to make it clear why the message had been sent.

Then the evening went to hell, I guess.   The dingy apartment lit up so bright, so sudden it felt like ice daggers through my eyes and I screamed and fell into a curled up little ball of pain.   The noise was like the sun screaming and each syllable made my joints grind together.


Hadn’t heard that name in decades, I remember screeching like an animal as the pain took me, but I couldn’t blot out the voice.


“Leave me alone! Leave me alone!”


I remember trying to burrow into the wall to get away, tearing out my fingernails


The light was gone and I was in darkness once again, blood and filth all around me and words that I could not ignore burning in my bones.   A message to deliver.

(In response to a prompt from Light and Shade Challenge using the photograph above, and Studio30Plus using the phrase "He'd confessed everything")