Mark blew on his coffee and stared through the plated glass window, watching as two men made a hit on his car. It had to happen sooner or later, he knew; there were too many reports—about this store, this location—to suggest otherwise. Still, he let it happen, watching as the two men stood on either side of the car, acting as if it belonged to them.
The odd thing, as far as Mark was concerned, was that they didn’t recognize his vehicle from before, when they stole some fairly valuable items—items that were later used to inflict more misery and pain upon his life. Maybe they had seen too many vehicles in their so-called career. What was one red, but old, Honda compared to another? Of course, it was probably that they did in fact recognized his car, but didn’t care. Maybe they thought he was the idiot. Some people never learn, right?
Mark was different, though.
He watched them grab the bags he conspicuously placed in the back seat. In less than a minute they had opened up his car, grabbed the stash, and were walking away. Amazing. And the funny thing, almost poetic when he thought about it, was that they actually locked it up for him. He knew this because the lights winked twice as the punks shut the doors.
Thirty seconds after hitting his car, the men had climbed into their own car, a Cadillac of all things, and were now pulling out of the shopping mall parking lot, acting as if they had just spent an exhausting day walking around.
He gave them a minute, just enough to make sure they were a mile down the road. He set his coffee down on the bookstore table, and then reached into his pocket. With a few quick keystrokes, Mark hit the SEND button. Ten seconds later, the concussion of the car bomb sent ripples through the remainder of his coffee. All around the bookstore, people looked at each other, not sure what they just felt. Was that an earthquake? Out here?
Mark smiled. “The wages of sin,” he said.