Running his fingers down the handle of the payphone, he hesitated for the slightest moment before the number was dialed. Waiting apprehensively for the persistent ringing to be replaced by the voice he knew so well, sweat began to bead on his forehead even though a cool fall rain fell outside.
“Quinn.” The voice answered abruptly, and it was laced with frustration.
“Sir.” Quinn lurched upright at the sound of his father’s voice. “I’m sorry about the mission, sir…”
“You knew that failure wasn’t an option.” The voice snapped.
Quinn clutched the phone nervously and his well-rehearsed words sounded weak. “I know sir, but I wasn’t calling about the mission.”
A dread-filled pause ensued, and Quinn plunged forward. “What I needed to say is that I’m leaving Chicago.”
Silence screamed in Quinn’s ear and he winced at the calm of his father’s anger. Finally he spoke.
“Quinn.” His father’s words were measured and precise. “There is no leaving Chicago for you.”
“You can see it that way, sir, but to be honest…” Quinn swallowed and staring at the inky tattoo staining his wrist; let his words explode. “I’m sick of Chicago. I’m sick of the blood that I spill and that you get drunk on. I’m sick of the lying and treachery, and most of all I’m sick of you!”
Quinn bit his lip hard to keep more words from tumbling out. He was stunned that it was done, and he couldn’t go back. His breath fogged up the glass around him, and with the steady rhythm of falling rain, relief flooded his senses.
“Quinn…” the voice was surprisingly heavy, and to Quinn’s horror he detected a hint of sorrow in it. “You’ve never been my son.”
Quinn’s mind reeled from the words, and he strained to grasp what had been said. “Then… what happened to my real father?”
“You killed him yourself, Quinn.”
The line went dead.
Emotions surged within Quinn, but horror and shame were the ones that were tearing his heart apart. Sudden revilement filled him at the sight of the tattoo on his wrist, the symbol that claimed all of his horrific deeds. His heart pounded desperately and his vision blurred.
A strangled cry rose from the phone booth as blood and rain together spattered the pavement.
I’m beginning a new short story series about an ex-hit man running from his past. New installments every month. I promise.