#122 She’s Your Problem Now (600 words)

Inspired by: She’s Your Lover Now

Veronica, Duke, and Mark spent the night together in the private car as the train continued to Ohlone Bay in Central California. It was more than a little awkward for Duke. 

Each time the train stopped, Mark recognized more professionals coming aboard.

“I’d say the train is more or less just assassins at this point,” Mark told them. 

“Can’t you get them to back down? You can’t call dibs?” Veronica asked. 

“I’m the only one from my agency here. Every man has a claim to the contract until it’s collected.”

“Can we buy them off?” Duke asked. 

“Do you want to write million-dollar checks to every stranger that crosses your path for the rest of your life?”

“Not really.”

“Then we’re going to have to make a scene and convince the world you’re dead. We need to act fast too once they start recognizing each other they’re gonna get antsy and someone going to make a move.”

As if on queue someone knocked on the door to the car. 

“Housekeeping!” A gruff voice said in a false high pitched tone. 

Duke cleared his throat, said loudly and clearly, “No, thank you.”

“I, uh, insist you let me clean up before we arrive.”

“We’re busy, um… fucking!” 

“Oh, sorry!”

They waited with bated breath. 

“That seems to have bought us some time, good job Duke.” Mark said, “Now we just need a plan to fake your deaths.”

The three of them put their heads together, and Mark told them each what to do. 

A few minutes later, as the assassins waited for the couple to finish up the door between the cars opened up. They peered into the private car and found the walls covered in blood. 

Before they could charge in the conductor was thrust out with Mark holding a gun to his head. 

“Goddamn it, I knew they weren’t fucking! That’s the oldest trick in the book!” An assassin cried out. 

“That’s where you’re wrong. I just killed them anyway! See?” Mark gestured over his shoulder, and the assassins saw the couple nude laying facedown in pools of blood. 

“That’s so hardcore!” Another assassin yelled. 

“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an escape to make.”

Mark shoved the conductor into the car full of assassins. 

“You there!” Mark pointed at an assassin carrying an RPG. “Don’t try and stop me from collecting this bounty by blowing up the private car.”

“Okay,” the assassin obliged but thought about it for a second, “no, hey wait a minute you stole my bounty last month!”

Mark smiled and disconnected the cars. The assassins looked on at the RPG Assassin as they slowed down, and Mark got away. 

Mark helped Duke and Veronica up and handed them their clothes. 

“We have like five seconds to get into the engine.”

They rushed into the engine and disconnected the private car. Mark heard the RPG propel at the private car. He slammed the door to the engine shut as the private car burst into flames. 

The assassins cheered as the car exploded and then sighed when they saw the engine disappear into the horizon. 

“Damn him, he still got away!”

“At least he doesn’t have the bodies. No one gets the bounty.”

The assassins all grumbled in agreement. That was something, at least. 

In the engine, Mark pushed the locomotive as hard as possible, finally stopping a few miles outside Ohlone Bay. 

The assassin and the plane robber disappeared into the wilderness, and the accountant followed the train tracks into the city. Each ready to begin a new chapter of their lives. 

Published by einquin

Writing personal exploration flash fiction as well as building the foundations for a comic book universe.

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