Emotion: (A Short Story)
Peter---of Peter, Paul, and Tommy infamy---said, "Let me get this straight. You want us three to drive down to Green Haven, Connecticut, hit the country club, go in guns blazing around midday, get everybody inside into the shower room,---men and women---take the money and jewelry..."
"Which we get to keep," Paul said.
"...and then make them strip," Peter said.
"Completely naked," Tommy said. "And then we turn on the showers and just leave themselves sitting there in the buff with the shower running on them."
The Representative confirmed their understanding of the commission.
"For which we will be paid an additional fifty thousand," Peter said.
Again, the Representative confirmed this.
Tommy said, "Fifty thousand three ways. Let me see...," preparing to do some division in his head.
The three of them were twins. Identical. Triplets.
Peter, the oldest by two minutes, and therefore boss of everybody, was Twin Number One. Next had come Paul, Twin Number Two, leaving Tommy for Twin Number Three. Twins Number Two and Three. TNT: a volatile pair, those two.
The triplets hosted the Representative on their home turf. They were in the back of a delicatessen, closed for the day, owned by an understanding uncle. The accommodation was simple but sincerely welcoming in the old world style.
The four of them were sitting around a round table with a checkered table cloth. There was coffee with espresso, anisette, and homemade biscotti cookies on offer. The triplets were discussing a contract with the representative of a perspective client.
"The '3' goes into the '5' 1 time..," Twin Number Three said.
"What's the idea? What's it all about?" Twin Number One.
"What do you mean?" the Representative said.
"What's up? What's it all about? What's the goal with this?" Twin Number Two said.
Twin Number Three said, "... one time, bring down the three, five minus three is two...."
The Representative glanced at Twin Number Three and said, "Does that matter? I don't understand the curiosity."
".... and five minus three is two, three don't go into two, so bring down a zero, three into twenty is six...."
Twin Number One cracked a walnut. "Is this a revenge caper?"
The Representative poured himself another cup of coffee, added a dash of espresso, a drop of milk, and dunked a biscotti cookie. "To tell the truth, I am not privy to the subtle, inner motivations of the boss. Is that really an impediment to your taking the job?"
Twin Number Two began to section an orange. "It does sound like an emotional kind of job. Somebody, whoever your representing, really wants to snatch the pride of those fancy country club folks, away from them."
"You see how it seems," Twin Number One said. "Stripping all their clothes off like that."
".... six, then six times three is eighteen, twenty minus eighteen is two again..."
The Representative shrugged. "I didn't ask the boss to give an account of himself."
The triplets did not do emotional jobs. Twin Number One considered trying to explain this to the Representative, but doubted that he would understand. More importantly, this guy's employer wouldn't understand. But emotional jobs had the potential to create blow-back, and there was no telling how it would ricochet, and the damage it could cause.
Twin Number Two was looking sideways at the Representative. "Say, man. Ain't you Frank Caproso's guy from Philly?"
Twin Number Three nudged Twin Number Two with an elbow. "A little over sixteen-five?"
Twin Number Two nodded. Close enough.
"Each?" Twin Number Three said.
Twin Number Three now took to looking at the Representative sideways.
"Would you like the question repeated?" Twin Number One said.
No, the Representative did not need the question repeated. He was not, he said, Frank Caproso's guy from Philly.
Twin Number Two said, "Really? Cause you favor him an awful lot."
The Representative said that he supposed that everybody 'favored' somebody else, when you got right down to it.
Twin Number Three helped himself to one of his brother's orange slices. "So you ain't him? That's good cause Frank Caproso's guy from Philly is a punk b*#*h!"
"And he sucked long and hard on my big, fat d#@#!" Twin Number Three said. "Speaking of which, I gotta hit the head. Be right back."
Twin Number One cracked a walnut. "As you can see, my brothers have strong feelings about Frank Caproso's guy from Philly."
The Representative played it cool and blank-faced, but the twins got what they wanted from him. Jesus Christ! Frank Caproso's guy from Philly. That meant that psychopath, Don Ramone, sending them on a childish revenge caper, just because some fancy golf club wouldn't let him in.
Twin Number One said, "There was one of those 'Jason Bourne' movies... I think it was the very latest one: 'Bourne Legacy,' I believe. Stacy Keach's character had occasion to say: You were given a Ferrari and you treated it like a lawnmower."
"Cool line," Twin Number Two said.
Addressing the Representative, Twin Number One said, "Do you know what I'm talking about?"
No, the Representative had to admit, he could not fathom what the twins were driving at.
Twin Number One lowered his eyes and shook his head. No, he supposed not. The man could not fathom what he'd been driving at. Frank Caproso's guy from Philly had never been noted for his mental swiftness.
Twin Number One sighed and pulled out his smartphone. He held it up at the Representative. "Say cheese." Flash. The 'before' picture.
"What was that for?" the Representative said.
"Taking your picture?" Twin Number One said.
"I want to remember you as you were now."
Twin Number One and Twin Number Two closed their eyes.
A hand closed over the mouth of the Representative and a thin blade sliced his throat. It was Twin Number Three.
Blood splattered all over the table, the refreshments, and the other twin brothers.
They took the body to a sink and let the blood drain out of the body through the neck wound. Then they laid down a tarp, put the body on it, and readied various implements.
"Let's open him up," Twin Number One said.
They opened the body up and extracted the liver, kidneys, intestines (large and small), lungs, and heart. They used pliers and removed the teeth, one by one; the removed the eyes and cut off the ears. They cut off the fingertips and toes. They held his head against the blade of a spinning meat slicer and scalped him.
They grabbed a cooler and lined it with a couple of layers of aluminum foil, and placed the organs in it, decoratively, with the heart on top. A kind of care package. After filling the chest with blue ice packs, they closed it up, wrapped the whole thing in layers of aluminum foil, put it into a large cardboard box, and put packing material in it so that the contents wouldn't slide in transport.
They took it to a shipping company, having decided not to risk going with the U.S. Postal Service, had it weighed, paid the freight, and had the package sent to Don Ramone in Philadelphia.
The Godfather received the package with a card attached that read: This is what emotion in business gets you, Don Ramone. Don't be so emotional! Included were two pictures, one of the Representative pre-butchering, the picture of health, hail and hearty; and the other post-butchering, hanging from a hook with his organs harvested, looking anything but.
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