Authors: David Gallie
Tags: #hitman, #devil worship, #devils throne, #against the odds, #against satan, #against time, #against a tide of evil, #death and afterlife, #death and killing, #hitman thriller
A COLD NIGHT IN HELL
I could feel the Mercedes roar to life as I put
my foot down on the gas pedal. The street lights of New York became
nothing more than a blur around me as all my focus was on the
ambulance further down the road.
I could still smell the acrid odour of gun
smoke as the .45 pistol lay on the passenger seat next to me.
Everything had gone wrong and my mind raced as fast as the car to
figure out a solution.
The target was not dead.
Jim Mancini, although in a critical condition,
was still breathing.
Everything had gone as planned. After meeting
with the concierge at the rear of the apartment block to receive
the spare key to Mancini’s apartment, I had quietly made my way
inside his plush digs and as my employer had briefed me, the old
man was out cold in his bed, an equally doped up hooker lay next to
him. I was grateful the only part of her naked body I could see
amongst the tangled bed sheets was her thighs. Any more than that
would have proved to be too much of a distraction.
Moving into the corner closest to the doorway
I took aim with the .45 silenced pistol and fired. Mancini let out
a soft groan as the bullet struck and he continued to look like he
was sleeping as blood oozed from the wound on his
My aim had been perfect. Yet it was not enough
to put an end to the old mans’ life.
Mancini had always been a man of taste and
often enjoyed the finer things in life, which in turn left the
mafia with a large bill to foot and worse still a lot of the things
he bought left a paper trail so long that no accounting wizardry
could hide it from the Feds.
Now that he was more of a
liability than anything else, the Mob had decided it was time to
off the old man before anymore more of their ill-gotten
And that is where I came into the
of an assassin is not a glamorous one by any stretch of the
imagination. Most of the money earned from a hit had to be spent
frugally or one would risk raising red flags with any law
enforcement agency that happened to have their eyes on
One thing they did get right in the movies was
If a powerful crime organization hires you to
do a job, you do it right or face the consequences. There was
simply too much to lose for everyone involved for any mistakes to
It was not uncommon for the
to make a mistake, maybe on his second or third job, and then
a week later his body would be discovered floating in the Hudson
River, which would most likely have been put there by a more
seasoned and more professional killer.
I was not scared of the mafia. I had dealt
with much stronger and fiercer opponents in the past. What I did
not need was a gang of very angry men constantly on the hunt for
me. That would make working in the city damn near impossible until
I dealt with them.
I continued to chase the ambulance.
I knew the nearest hospital was
the Community General, which was situated just a few miles away
from Mancini’s apartment block. I would have to act quickly, and
most likely take out the two paramedics chauffeuring my
I would at least be able to finish the old
The thought of having to take two
innocent lives was not a good one, but sadly in some
there has to be collateral damage. My only
consolation was that at least the contract would be complete and I
would be able to collect payment.
I was trying to form a story in my head as to
why Mancini was killed at the hospital and not at his apartment as
planned when I noticed the ambulance ahead suddenly come to a
Every muscle in my leg tensed as I
slammed my foot down on the break, and to my
nothing happened. I slammed my foot down again, this time
even harder, but still my car continued to race head on towards the
rear of the ambulance.
Suddenly the air was filled with
the sounds of breaking glass and metal being crushed together. I
saw the rear doors of the ambulance fly open and
there on a gurney with his head bandaged was Mancini. I had
just enough time to see the look
of surprise on his tanned, wrinkled
old face, as he and his bed flew towards me.
There was a tremendous crash as the metal
frame of the gurney smashed its way through the windshield of my
car and the last thing I felt was the cold, polished, metal
connecting with the side of my forehead.
All I could hear was the sound of
my own beating heart which had begun to slow down instead of
The blackness did not last long,
I found myself sitting on the
front pew inside an empty church. There was something strange about
this place of
couldn’t quite place what it was.
Then, as I studied the massive, stained glass
windows, I realized what was wrong. The images on the glass did not
depict Jesus and all the other saintly figures bringing their
divine light down on us mere mortals.
What I saw instead was images of some winged
monster, who I assumed was the devil, slaughtering men, women and
children with no mercy.
They are impressive aren’t
I turned to see a tall, well-built man,
dressed in a fine white suit. He strode towards me down the centre
aisle, the heels of his highly polished shoes clicking loudly
against the ancient stone floor.
But sometimes I feel like they
are just a little too conspicuous for my tastes.’ His ice blue eyes
met with mine and suddenly I felt very afraid. If he expected me to
answer his question then he would have to wait until my insides
It was the kind of fear that I had
my body was capable of producing, yet this
otherwise unassuming man was able to do so on a magnitude far
greater than I would have ever thought possible.
I’ve been waiting a long time for
Connor.’ His voice was deep and
every word that escaped from his thin lips seemed to be spoken with
Is this Hell?’ I croaked, finding
it difficult to speak.
The man who stood in front of me, who I
assumed was Satan himself, shook his head slowly.
Not quite.’ He said,
straightening his suit jacket. ‘This is more like a half-way house
between heaven and hell. This is the place where most people come
to bargain for their eternal salvation.’
In spite of the massive ball of
I found it strange that I was being
given the choice to beg for my salvation. I knew fine well the
things I had done in the past, the people I had killed, had pretty
much guaranteed me a nice slow roasting in hell.
I had always taken comfort in knowing that
heaven and hell did not exist. They were nothing more than the
imaginary product of a civilization that could not stand the
thought of facing eternal nothingness after death.
I can see the confusion in your
eyes. You find it difficult to believe that such a place like this
could ever exist.’
I always believed there was
nothing after death.’ I said, feeling my fear reside just enough so
I could speak with a little more confidence. ‘Why am I here anyway?
I mean you must know about the things I have done. The people I
have tortured and killed?’
I’m not sure if he was trying to
scare me more with his utter calmness or put me at ease,
I could feel my whole body tingle with
anticipation as I watched him sit down
the pew directly
across from me.
He turned his calm, unwavering
gaze, towards the
; upon which the carcass of a
human body lay, gutted by unseen hands, blood and entrails dripping
to the floor. I was certain for a moment that he was going to
until I realized that who would Satan pray to? He
is a God in his own right.
I know everything about
Samuel. I know all the things you have done wrong; all the
people you have murdered without thinking twice. Yes, I’m very
aware of your past deeds.’
Still he did not turn to face me, which was
more unsettling than his presence in this god-awful
So when does my eternal suffering
I half expected to burst into flames as I sat
there. I knew where I was going and this was nothing more than
foreplay for this softly spoken man who could destroy my very soul
with the nod of his head.
Let’s not be too hasty, Samuel.
You know, a good boss doesn’t get to where he is on his own. It
takes certain people he chooses to surround himself with to ensure
he continues to be a good boss. I can tell
have surrounded myself with many souls who have helped me keep my
position over these countless millennia.’
He turned to face me again, those ice blue
eyes seeming to pierce my very soul, and once again I could feel
the fear come rushing back from my feet straight up to my
I could make good use of a soul
like you. I see a worth in you that I have very rarely seen in any
other wretched being who has graced this fine place with their
presence.’ I followed his gaze as he turned towards the rotting
mass of flesh sprawled out over the
It took a few seconds before the realization
set in that Satan was offering me a get out, or at least that is
what I assumed he was trying to suggest. Obviously, if the movies
are to be believed then I’ll probably have to offer him something
in return, most likely my soul, which he basically already has
So what’s the deal? I’m yours
now, you can do with me whatever you want and you know it.’ I was
still trying to fight the rising fear inside me.
The man you are trying to kill,
James Mancini. He has proven to be a difficult target for you,
Yeah. He must have a really thick
skull because that bullet should have ended him.’ I was not sure if
I should be feeling defeated because I had failed at my job or
terrified that I was on my way to Hell. I had no idea how the old
man had survived a bullet to the head and it was the first time I
had ever experienced such a thing happening.
as I know him, was
once a loyal friend of mine. Then one day he decides that he has
grown tired of my hospitality and my friendship. He defied me by
returning to the earthly plane just so he could remind himself of
what it was like to feel human pleasures.’
It’s a pretty dumb thing to defy
the devil. I mean friend or not, you don’t ignore the wishes of the
one being who can really melt your soul.’ I said, not really
thinking about how ironic those words would sound later
I suppose it is
Samuel. But remember what I said earlier. A boss is only as good
his employees and naturally some employees will have a much higher
value than others.’ I watched as he pursed his lips together, his
mind seemingly drifting to thoughts of better or worse days as they
may have been. ‘In spite of his insolence, Argatol is one such
employee whom I simply cannot go without. His presence here is key
to the smooth running of this kingdom.’