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The Eclectic Pen - A Christmas Story

By: Boris T.   + 13 more  
Date Submitted: 12/28/2008
Genre: Literature & Fiction » Short Stories & Anthologies
Words: 1,047

I work closely with Santa Claus, but I am no fucking elf. I am the old man's business coordinator.

I joined the team in the 1980s, right after doing my time at Marion, Illinois, where I was friend with Thomas Silverstein, the guy who shanked that guard several dozen times. I keep the shank with me all the time, as a good luck charm. Don't ask me how I got ahold of it.

Mind you, I had no epiphany whatsoever when I decided to get on board with the old man. Why he picked me, I don't know. All I can say is that he offered me a good deal --to manage his recently found financial sources in exchange for getting something that resembles immortality. The icing on the cake was taking a five-percent commission on the deals made with our investment company. Old Santa had cordially requested that he never have to personally do business with these people, and that these people must never know he was my boss. The old man had emphasized this adverb --never, and I've never disappointed him. And I am not going to disappoint him now. So, you can imagine my reaction when Joaquin Avila showed up at my office in Lower Manhattan on December the 23rd asking to see my boss.

"I am afraid that's not possible," I said as I put my feet up on my mahogany pedestal desk.

Joaquin Avila was one of the heads of the Organizacion Fernandez, one of the most brutal drug cartels operating in Argentina.

"My outfit has been doing business with you for five years now. We have come to the conclusion that our margin is small and we want to grow it a bit larger. These are hard times after the Wall Street collapse and all that. I don't need to tell you this, right?"

"I can't see the reason for a change in our ongoing deal," I said looking in Joaquin's eyes. "For every million in cash that your outfit-in-the-shadows invests on us, your return is four-hundred and fifty kay. That's the usual return for ventures like yours."

"I hear that the Arellano brothers get almost 50 percent."

"Those are ill-intended rumors, Joaquin." I enjoyed the sound of my words. They made me look sophisticated. This is something you learn after years of being into the executive business, hobnobbing with bankers, celebrities, corporate managers and Republican politicians.

"We've been cleaning our bucks with you all this time but we're not getting our shit!" said Joaquin, his fist pounding on my desk.

I calmly sat up straight in my chair. "Don't raise your voice, Joaquin. I take umbrage at your calling my business money laundering. What the fuck. I run an investment firm here, man. We manage our clients funds. Needless to say, the proceeds go for a lofty cause."

"My people sent me over to deal with your boss, whoever he is," said Joaquin shrugging off my made-up protest. "We're not gonna deal with you anymore. You've got no power to change the fine print. Period."

"Or else?"

"If I don't get to talk to your boss today, my organization is pulling out right now, man. No more money, no more shit."

"Okay. I am not going to waste my time trying to convince you otherwhise." I had no choice. The old man had made it clear to me once. He wasn't ever going to personally deal with these clients.

Joaquin Avila smirked and then chuckled. This caught me by surprise, I must admit.

"Do you think it's that easy?" he said now almost cracking up.

"What do you mean?"

"Do you really think that's gonna be it? We just pull out, no more future deals whatsoever, I go home and you continue doing business as usual?"

"Why not?"

"Who the fuck you think we are?"

"A second-rate drug cartel?"

"Man, we're not just gonna pull out. We're gonna tell others to pull out, too. We'll tell them that you ripped us off. They'll ditch you in no time because they'll assume you're gonna fuck them up sooner or later, too."

I had no time to think of my options. I knew what I had to do, though. I let out a sigh. I wanted Joaquin Avila to think that I had been hit hard. This made him relax a little believing that he had me cornered. I faked discomfort so it wasn't a surprise that I had to undo my tie and roll it into my hands.

"Don't freak out, man," Joaquin continued. He looked so at ease believing that I was in a hot spot. "You can stop the shitball if I get to talk to your boss. It's as easy as that."

"I --I don't think it will be easy to get him right now," I said in a low voice, my tie already formed as a ball and totally enveloped by my left hand. I walked around the desk showing distress. "It's not that easy, Joaquin. The old man can be at a meeting in Rome as we speak. Or fucking his mistress in Mexico City."

"I can wait but not so long," said Joaquin as I went past behind him, carelessly giving me his back.

I knew I had to act now because I wouldn't have a second chance within the next second. I slid my right hand into my jacket pocket and pulled out my good luck charm, the memento of my friendship with Thomas Silverstein. I knocked Joaquin's head with my elbow, poked my balled tie in his opening mouth and sank the shank into his carotid artery. One. Two. Three. Four times. Joaquin's thick and sticky blood splattered everywhere, spoiling my Armani suit, polka-dotting my beloved mahogany desk, flooding the hardwood floor. What a mess.

A special team came in to clean my office. Joaquin Avila's body was properly disposed of and now he's sleeping with the fishes at the bottom of the Hudson River.

I made sure that the old man would never learn about the incident with Joaquin Avila. I did have to tell him on the phone, however, that Organizacion Fernandez and five other underground concerns had decided to stop doing business with us, which resulted in a five-hundred-million operating loss. Unfortunately, our investment firm didn't qualify for a bailout from the U.S. Treasury.

No wonder the 2008 holiday season was one of the gloomiest ever.

The Eclectic Pen » All Stories by Boris T.

Member Comments

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Comments 1 to 3 of 3
Veronica S. (snowkitty) - , - 12/29/2008 4:17 PM ET
I really liked your story...but I'm not sure I should have.
Marta J. (booksnob) - 1/2/2009 2:09 PM ET
Hilarious!! Bad Santa!
Marta J. (booksnob) - 1/2/2009 2:09 PM ET
Hilarious!! Bad Santa!
Comments 1 to 3 of 3