The Weasel, July 1, 2015

The man known as the weasel sat in his SUV, staring out at the barren, desert landscape. From his pocket, he withdrew a six inch long butterfly knife and popped open the clasp, which held together the two halves of the aluminum handle. In one fluid motion he bounced it harmlessly along the back of his hand, first one way and then the next, to expose the stainless steel blade within. With his free hand, he reached into a paper bag and withdrew a peach. He sliced off a section of the fruit and glanced at his watch. His contact was nearly thirty minutes late, not a good sign. Static seeped incessantly from the radio, which had long since surpassed the range of its signal. He seemed not to notice.

Finally, he saw a dust cloud billowing on the horizon, indicating the approach of another vehicle. He flipped the blade closed and slid the knife beneath his thigh on the seat-accessible, but not visible. The vehicle pulled to a stop near his own and a sweaty, little man with greasy hair and a pockmarked face emerged. The weasel rolled down his window. “Hey, nice of you to show up. I was beginning to wonder.”

The little man ignored this. “Well?” he said.

“Well, it’s done,” the weasel said, looking smug. “But there’s a lot of heat around this one. I have to lay low for a bit. You’re not the only interested party, I’m sure you know that.”

“Quit talking like you’re a fucking master spy or some shit. Do I have to remind you how anxious my boss is to finish this thing?” the pockmarked man asked, leaning against the door of the SUV, looking almost bored.

“Of course not,” the weasel shot back. “There’s just too much at stake right now. We’ll have to wait. There’s nothing I can do about it.”

The little man nodded slowly. “There’s a lot at stake. I agree,” he said. “You remember what’s at stake-don’t you?” he asked, actually leaning into the car now, his face inches from the other man’s. “For you, I mean.”

“Of course,” the weasel replied, recoiling before he could stop himself. For the first time, real panic crept into his voice.

The little man nodded his approval. “Next week,” he said, then turned to leave.

Only when he’d gone, did the weasel remember the knife, still wedged between his thigh and the seat. Driving back, he imagined all the things he might have done to overpower the little shit, if only…

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