THE LAST LOOSE END
One more stop. That’s all he had.
Jimmy didn’t like these unscheduled pickups, but he couldn’t do much about it. Two summers ago, he had broken into a house through an open window. Stupid, really, his first time, too, and all he had gotten was a few bucks and a ride in a passing police cruiser.
His cellmate turned out to be his future boss’ brother and as soon as Jimmy was paroled, he got hired driving a garbage truck. At first, he hated it, sitting on his ass all day, negotiating the never ending traffic, emptying rank dumpsters, but then he learned to appreciate the job most of the time. Driving around was perfect for a lazy man, his machine was one of the biggest on the road, and the smell never bothered him anymore.
Turning into the alley, Jimmy spotted the rusty container. He wondered what the guy in the dumpster had done to deserve his fate. What did it really matter anyway? If you crossed certain people, it could cost you your life.
Jimmy had avoided some trouble last month. While walking through the hall, he had overheard his boss and supervisor talking about a prominent State Senator. The two had seen Jimmy going by, but neither said a word to him. A few days later, the Senator couldn’t be found. Over the preceding weeks, the story had disappeared, much like the missing politician.
Lining up the mechanical forks, Jimmy maneuvered the controls to lift the dumpster off the ground, heave it over the cab, and empty the contents into the back of the truck. Got me a passenger now, he thought.
Ten minutes later, the garbage truck pulled through the gates of the landfill. Jimmy took the dirt road up and around the mounds of refuse and near the dump zone, he spotted a bright new Caddie, his boss and supervisor getting out of the car. What were they doing here? They never met him on these special runs.
Jimmy’s heart thudded in his chest. Adrenaline made his limbs quake. He guessed the body in back was that missing State Senator. His employers had been waiting for things to cool down before they got rid of the body.
Jimmy watched the two men cover over to the cab.
“Any problems?” the boss said.
“Nah,” Jimmy said. “A real milk run.”
“Now we just got to finish it,” the supervisor said.
“All right, kid,” the boss said. “Get out. I’ll empty this one.”
Jumping down, Jimmy stumbled into the supervisor. Something prodded Jimmy’s rib cage and then his chest exploded in pain. He looked down, saw the barrel of a pistol and blood spreading across his shirt.
“Take him in back ” the boss said. “And I’ll cover him up, too.”
The supervisor grabbed Jimmy and dragged him towards the rear of the truck.
“You shouldn’t have been listening in, Jimmy,” the supervisor said. “That was dumb. Real dumb.”
Just before the garbage buried him, Jimmy heard the supervisor say, “That’s the last loose end.”
BIO: Phil Beloin's fiction has appeared in such e-zines as: Spinetingler, Pulp Pusher, Amazing Adventures! Magazine, and soon in Mouth Full of Bullets. Love him, hate hit, at firstname.lastname@example.org