One Kill Too Manyby Jim Miotke
It was the bodies that were always the problem for Elmer Zakk. Long after death, his targets could still finger him. If he spit on an enemy's corpse the DNA would track him down. The bullets were just as bad and could point lead fingers right back to his favorite weapons, a brace of 9 MM pistols never far from reach. He loved those guns and couldn't throw any
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It was the bodies that were always the problem for Elmer Zakk. Long after death, his targets could still finger him. If he spit on an enemy's corpse the DNA would track him down. The bullets were just as bad and could point lead fingers right back to his favorite weapons, a brace of 9 MM pistols never far from reach. He loved those guns and couldn't throw any away. The art of forensic science had been sharpened to the point where the long-term career potential for a contract killer was becoming bleak.
Then he had the idea that turned it all around. What if the victims simply disappeared in a puff of smoke?
The germination of his plan came after having a beer with a bio-hazardous medical wastes truck driver. Zakk was curious about the biohazard emblem on the man's uniform shirt. The driver explained that with the AIDS situation, any medical process that involved body fluids of any kind required all the collateral material to be incinerated. He hauled bags full of materials he didn't ever want to identify and it all ended up as a fine ash byproduct.
Zakk tracks down the owner of the waste disposal firm, a Mister Eli Aragon. He saw that Aragon was not greedy enough to settle for cash so he stalked Aragon's family. The two men sit down over drinks after an arranged golf match. Zakk starts to describe Aragon's family setting to him, just to prove Aragon is vulnerable. When the man resists Zakk vows to first kill their dog and then make the young son disappear. Aragon capitulates. Zakk is given a fake title and now frequently visits Aragon's office. He visits to keep tabs on Aragon but also to be near Sally, Aragon's attractive assistant. Zakk feels that she wants him, in spite of her protests. At the office, Zakk has suspicions about Fred Belmont, one of the route drivers. Belmont asks too many questions.
Zakk finds an ideal helper in Thad Stravinski, a cashiered medical student working at an animal research lab in an industrial park. Thad sports a bright red mop of hair worn in Einstein fashion and stays stoked up on a testosterone overload to the point where he has the morals of a cactus plant. He longs to stick anyone anytime. Thad has no problem hacking up dead animals or human corpses and putting the chunks in waste disposal bags. But Thad also has a secret. He cuts the spent rounds from the victim's heart and puts them in a test tube with an amputated little finger and a carefully printed label documenting what he knows about the body.
Zakk's business is in high gear. He meets, greets, and murders a corrupt politician in Tallahassee. He is struck by the irony of the man extending his hand for graft payment and receiving a Zakk payment instead. His next target is a peacock of a man. The kind of man opposite enough from Zakk to make killing him a pleasure. Theo Stramboulis is tall, dark and polished to a masculine brilliance that has women following his every move. But Theo loves cards more than women. When he is cheated by Cuban gamblers in Tampa he vows to never pay the debt. Zakk gets a contract on the Greek. He watches Theo's movements to choose the right time and place for the hit. He notices the slim young man who is seldom more than a few feet away from his uncle. The youth, Christo, worships the man as he would his dead father. The next day, Christo can't find his uncle but fears the worst.
In Orlando, a henpecked dentist goes berserk and murders his shrewish wife. For the last time, the two are nude in the shower while he slices and dices her body to fit into the bio-hazardous waste bags. The bloody slaughter scene forever scars his psyche as he borders on insanity. The killing is unrelated to Zakk except that it signals the start of his downfall.
Things are changing in Zakk's life and now he has only one loyal friend. It is Hercules, an aging flatulent beagle at the animal research lab. Zakk fears that Thad might harm the animal to spite Zakk. Eli Aragon is now carrying a gun and may be trying to permanently remove Zakk from his life. Then Zakk gets another contract on the Greek he just killed. Something is wrong. He still hasn't detected the young Greek who has created a river of blood in his search for Zakk. Zakk trusts his paranoia. For an effective clean escape he decides to kill everyone he is associated with in one spree. Christo's task is much simpler. He only has to kill Zakk.
- Xlibris Corporation
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