This damned ringing is going to drive me crazy.
I got up blearily and walked over to the source of the disturbance, a run down alarm clock that I had been surprised to see function at all. I made a motion somewhat akin to a slap in an attempt to shut it off, and heard a snapping sound issue from somewhere inside it. That was good enough, and no one would notice, anyways. Not in a cheap motel like this.
Now I took a closer look at the time, and found that it was nearly four thirty PM. Oh hell, I’d overslept. For a moment, I scrambled around in an attempt to gather myself together, before remembering that the clock was six-and-a-half hours fast. It was only nine in the morning; I was right on time. Slowing down, I began to dress more methodically. For now, I was going out on legitimate business (well, as legitimate as busking can get), so there was no need to dress up all fancy like I did for my other enterprises. Casual gray pants, casual blue shirt, and casual leather jacket, and I was ready to start my day. I kept my aviators in my pocket next to a switchblade, which I carried for self defense. I grabbed my violin case by the strap which I had affixed to it, and slung it over my back, guitar-style. Then I took my usual route outside, through the window, and descended into the streets below.
Before I could get down to some serious violin playing, I needed to wake up a little more. I stopped by a cheap diner and got a black coffee, and while I drank it, I wandered around the city a little, looking for a good place to set up my act. Inadvertently, I ended up in a section of town with very few people in it, where all there was were warehouses. Normally, I would have turned around and searched for more heavily-trodden thoroughfares, but something here caught my eye. Around one of the warehouses, quite a ruckus was being raised by the police, as though something big had gone down there quite recently. My curiosity getting the better of me, and I strode over and found an officer who didn’t look to busy.
“Hey, what’s going on here?”
“There’s been a homicide.” The officer sounded bored.
“Is that so? Who was killed?”
“Well, I’m not really supposed to tell you that, to be honest. It’s confidential, and especially considering you’re a total stranger…” I didn’t get the impression the officer thought very much of these rules. Or maybe he was just looking for some excitement. Either way, there was one thing I knew about cops, specifically a certain kind of cop, and the suggestive upward inflection at the end of this one’s sentence told me all I needed to know.
“Ah, that’s too bad,” I said, preoccupied with digging in my pocket. Discreetly, I pulled out a bill, and placed in my palm. “Nice to meet you, by the way. My name is Smith.” No need to use my real name with the police. I extended my hand for a shake, with the money still in place within it. “Are you sure there’s nothing more you can tell me?”
The man shook my hand, and gave me a small, quick grin as he took the bill. After discreetly checking it’s value, he confided to me in a low voice, “well, we got an anonymous call late last night; saying there had been some disturbance at this warehouse. When we got here, we found that the basement was covered in blood, and there was a guy with a bunch of stab wound in his side. We’ve ID’d him as one ‘Enrique Fonesca.’ There were also a bunch of other guys in there, a few of them dead, but most just tied up. I don’t know much about what goes on in this part of town, but it looks to me like...’
I didn’t hear the cop’s last sentence, I wasn’t paying attention. He might even still have been talking when I thanked him for his time and walked away. The moment he had mentioned Enrique Fonesca, something clicked in my head. The name sounded familiar. It was the name of the man I had been hired to take out here in Wasusy a week or two ago. I was supposed to be meeting a contact tonight, to discuss the matter of my killing him in more detail. This contract was worth a lot of money, and now I wouldn’t be getting any of it, unless I acted very fast. Mulling this over in my head, trying to formulate a plan of action, I absentmindedly set my violin case down on a random street corner and began to set up.