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"The Turtle" - a short story

kotte · 1 · 1138

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on: October 10, 2003, 05:01:15 AM
I wrote this at work.

“The way you look tonight.”
I’ve always loved music. Since I was a kid I loved music. Fred Astair especially. He’s my hero. Music should be listened to with headphones. That’s how I listened to Astair when she walked in. I removed my headphones.
-‘Knocking is preferred lady.’
She stared at me, ‘I have. I did.’
The volume was on 18. It was too loud for me to hear the knocking.
- ‘I’m sorry. I’m listening to music.’
- ‘That’s all right...are you Cooke Maroney?’
- ‘Oh I am. Private Cock Cooke’, I smiled.
- ‘Excuse me?’
- ‘Sorry. A joke...yes, can I help you?’

The whole situation was bizarre. I thought, ‘This is not what I’m doing. And yet, I’m doing it.’
- ‘One ticket please.’

She was sitting down in my visitors chair. A really bad and creaky chair. Something you would invite your mother-in-law to sit in. The woman was in her mid-40s and you could see she used to be pretty. I don’t know if that’s what put the sad expression on her face.
- ‘I want you to kill my husband. Fuck him up and kill him dead, mr Maroney.’
No it wasn’t.
- ‘What’s your name?’
- ‘Cecilia.’
- ‘A pretty name Cecilia but it says Private Investigator on the door not hitman, nor does it say Cooke the fuck-people-up guy.'
- ‘I’m sorry but...’
- ‘I’m not into fucking people up and I’m not into killing people.’
Cecilia stared at me. I stared back.
- ‘Are you a cop Mrs. Cecilia?’
- ‘No I’m not. I wouldn’t have come here if I thought you wouldn’t do it. I talked to my sister. You helped her off her husband.’
I felt like a 10 year just caught shoplifting candy.
- ‘I did?’
- ‘Yes. Gustav is dead. Lydia said you did it for her. A case of infidelity.’
I scribbled on a note: “Sue Lydia”.
- ‘Okay, so I did but I also told her not to say peep about it.’
- ‘I’m offering you $7000.’
- ‘Lady I’ll do it. For $8000. $4000 now, $4000 after the job is done.’
She took out an envelope out of her pocket and gave it to me.
- ‘3500.’, she said fishing out her wallet. She pulled $500 out of it.
- ‘and $500.”
I put the $500 in the envelope with the rest and dropped it in my bottom drawer.
- ‘So who is your husband Cecilia?’
- ‘You’ve heard of him. Oscar Turtle.”
- ‘Turtle? Turtle the Tenor?’
- ‘Yes, Turtle the Fucking Bastard.’
- ‘Yeah I know him. Never heard him sing but yeah...he’s known to me.’
She pushed a picture of Oscar across the desk. I picked it up. Fat and ugly.
- ‘Turtle. That’s your name too?’
- ‘Yes.’
- ‘Funny.’
- ‘Why?’
- ‘Oh it...it sounds funny.’
- ‘Yes well. Another reason to fuck him up.’
- ‘Yes why do you want to kill him?’
Her lips strained and her face got a little red. You could see the question bothered her.
- ‘He’s a cheating asshole. The fuck ate her pussy every chance he got.’
- ‘Who’s pussy?’
- ‘Sophia Lorenzo’s pussy. The maid.’

Cecilia folds the whites in the bedroom. Oscar fucks Sophia from behind in the kitchen. Cecilia watches Jeopardy. Oscar eats Sophia out in the shower. Cecilia sleeps. Oscar gets a blowjob in the same bed.

I could see how this made her mad but kill him? A bit much is what I thought.
- ‘I’ll call you when it’s done.’
She thanked me and left my office.
I was again alone in my office. I pulled out a big gun out of my desk. A big gun. In Europe a rifle. In America a big gun. We’re different like that. I put my headphones back on.
“The way you look tonight.”

‘If I’m gonna off the guy I might as well see his show. I’ll do it after in the alley behind the theater.’ In my head that was genius.
The ticket said: “Turtle the Tenor – The voice of God”.
Certainly not a modest tag-line.

You know the feeling just before the curtains split? Anticipation. Happiness, Satisfaction because you’re in that chair. I felt all of that. Number 29. That was my chair. I kind of forgot about my task for awhile even though my gun kept poking my stomach. I was a youngster amongst seniors. The average age must have been at least 60. How do you know you’re in an audience of seniors? Besides the smell and raisin complexion it was dead silent. Kind of nice actually. The drapes split and a fat and ugly man walked on stage.
Applause. Applause. Applause. Clap. Clap. Clap.
Oscar took a deep breath. He was up for night of music. You could just feel it.
He looked at me. I felt it. Did he know?

People began to leave. Slowly. The standing ovation really took it out of the old people. I just stared at the drapes. My gun didn’t poke anymore. With every breath I took it stabbed me.
Guilt, ‘Is this the man I was killing?’, I felt so guilty. I now understood what the ticket was all about, ‘This is the voice of God. If it isn’t it should be envied by him.’, hundreds of thoughts went through my brain. And guilt. Amazing guilt. ‘Am I gonna kill the voice of God?’
I was alone in the theater except for an usher. He yelled at me, ‘Wake up man! Wake up! Man?! Hello! Wake up!’, I reason best with my eyes closed.
I walked out of the theater, ‘His voice makes up for the cruelest of deeds.’

I waited outside in the alley. After 15 minutes I started thinking, ‘Maybe he’s home. I did stay for a while in there.’
The door opened and a man walked out. A fat and ugly man with a coat. The door slam shut. He started walking in the opposite direction.
- ‘Mr. Turtle!’, I yelled, ‘Turtle the Tenor!’
- ‘No autographs!’, He didn’t look back as he answered.
- ‘Please! I have information! Important info! Stop!’, he didn’t. A drastic switch in tactics, ‘I’m here to kill you, Mr. Turtle!’
He stopped and turned around. I caught up with him, ‘It’s funny how that would make him stop.’, I didn’t say that though.
- ‘Who are you?’, a fat mans voice as I thought. Not the one I heard inside.
- ‘Sir I’m not here to kill you.’
- ‘No? What’s up with the gun?’
Something made me grab the gun before, ‘Crap’, I tucked it back into my pants.
- ‘I’m sorry, it’s not for you. I’m a private investigator.’
- ‘Yes.’, he didn’t want to talk to me. I could hear that.
- ‘I have info. Your wife Cecilia came to my office this morning. She offered me $8000 to off you.’
He gave me a frozen stare.
- ‘I’m sorry Turtle...hence the gun.’
- ‘So you are here to kill me?’
- ‘Well no...at first yes but now no.’
- ‘Why?’, still frozen to his core.
- ‘I was gonna do it so I thought I ‘d catch your show. $150 for a ticket man? That made me wanna do it even more but god...your voice. It brings me tears as I say it. Are you God? You have his voice.’
- ‘This made you re-think?’
- ‘Yes. I’m not religious but I keep a bible in my desk. I won’t kill God or his voice. I’m not gonna be that guy.’
I recommended him to confront his wife.

Told to me by Sophia Lorenzo:
The whole day Cecilia waited by the phone. When afternoon turned into dusk she switched on the TV. She often did this. As company. An obscure movie-of-the-week was on.
Oscar walked into the room. How he rhino-heavy walked through the house unheard we’ll never know.
- ‘Hey honey.’, calm as a brick wall Oscar took a seat on the sofa next to her.
Cecilia froze.
- ‘Honey’, all she got around to say.
- ‘Ceci. Find a tone deaf hitman next time.’
Cecilia froze even more. Stiff as a viagra hard-on.
30 seconds went.
- ‘Okay mute. I’ll talk some. I think we’re on the verge of divorce here. Let’s be honest with each other.’
- ‘Let’s not.’, the only thing that slipped out.
- ‘Lets. I’ve cheated on you and you tried to kill me. Honesty, shall we?’
A frozen stare from Cecilia.
- ‘Sophia is young so therefor beautiful, sexy and great in bed. And also she speaks no English so ‘no questions asked.’ You on the contrary are getting old and slow in bed. And the sagging. Your face and tits. And also, you’re a nagging bitch.’
As frozen as before you could see a tear slide down her cheek.
- ‘Speak and get lost or get lost.’
Cecilia left in silence.
Slam. The door.
Oscar sighed. He walked to his safe, opened it, grabbed a hunting rifle and walked to a window at the front of the house. He opened it and aimed. Bang!

I never found out what happened to Turtle and his wife. Did she kill him? Did he kill her? If he didn’t she is going to want her money back...and I just bought a new typewriter.
“The way you look tonight.”