The Flowers Of Intolerance And Hatred

[redacted] looked around the room at the group of men he had assembled.  The group had been put together on pretty short notice, which meant that they weren’t ones he would prefer to be working with. In this business, the real pros always take their time before deciding to throw in with someone. Only amateurs will drop everything at such short notice. Amateurs, or those who are so desperate for work that they can’t afford to be picky. They can be just as risky.

[redacted] cleared his throat to get everyone’s attention. [redacted] and [redacted] looked up from their beers, and [redacted] stubbed out a cigarette. “Let’s get started.”

“Hold on a second,” said [redacted]. “Where’s [redacted]? I only decided to take part in this because he vouched for you.”

“[redacted] couldn’t make it” [redacted] said with a shrug. “I thought you knew that. That’s why [redacted] is here, to take his place.”

[redacted] stood up and walked towards the door. “If [redacted]’s out then so am I,” he said. “I don’t work with guys I don’t know unless there’s at least one friendly face in the crowd.” He was out the door before [redacted] had a chance to argue.

[redacted] smiled nervously at the others. “I hope none of you are feeling the same way,” he said. “It wasn’t easy getting all this set up at such short notice.”

“What about [redacted]?” said [redacted], waving his beer bottle around for emphasis. “You gonna find a replacement within the next 14 hours?”

“I won’t need to,” [redacted] said, growing more confident. “His role was a relatively unimportant one. We can just split his workload between us.”

–0–

Outside,  in the street, [redacted] was making a call from his mobile phone. “The plan worked,” he said as soon as the call was answered.

“What plan? Who is this?” said an unfamiliar voice.

“Oh, er,  sorry! Wrong number!” said [redacted], his voice full of panic. He quickly ended the call and threw the phone down the nearest storm drain. Then he realised that he still needed to call for a taxi. He swore loudly, and started the long walk into town.

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