Crime Suspense

CW: Violence, Blood, Swearing.

“It should be here.”

“Wait, turn the corner. Over there.” 

“Sit back, will ya! I can’t see when you lean like that.” 

Bill pressed his back against the seat to make himself as small as possible. Jon rolled his eyes and shook his head, masticating his gum furiously. He regretted he quit smoking a week ago. He turned into the half-hidden alley entrance and slowed to a stop. 

The 3rd street alleyway gave a decent view of Crave’s back service entrance. Music from the night club wafted in the air, muffled by thick curtains lining the walls inside. Jon yanked the gear into park as he cut the engine. The old 2003 Ford Escort groaned in protest. Jon was sick of this car. As soon as he got his payout he was going to show up at a dealer and get a Lexus, smooth, black and more importantly, new. This job was his ticket to freedom from the financial hell-hole of his life. 

Jon huffed a sigh and wrapped his arms over the steering wheel, squinting out the front window. He willed his eyes to adjust to the dark. One dingy flood light illuminated the spot at the door, casting the rest of the lot in ink-black night. 

“How long we gotta wait?” Bill asked, sounding already bored. His tall frame and long legs were cramped against the door and console. He adjusted his legs several times before he leaned his elbow against the window like a disgruntled teenager. 

“Until it’s time.” 

“OK, but, how long?” 

“How did you even get this assignment?” Jon shook his head and angled his face to side-eye Bill.  

“The boss believes in me,” Bill preened with a smirk back. 

“He must hate me, then.” 

“Ah, it’s not all bad, hey why don’t you tell me what’s been up with you?”

“Nothing. I don’t do shit except work.” 

“Nonsense, you must have a hobby?” 

“Does watching TV count? I do a lot of that,” Jon returned his attention to the backdoor. A drunk couple stumbled out of the exit and staggered down the side streets. The pulse of nightclub music thrummed against the car every time the door opened. Even with the windows up, the bass reverberated against the cabin of the ford, beckoning them to come join the overcrowded throng on the dance floor. It had been ages since Jon had gone anywhere or done anything, but there was no need for Bill to know how much he wished he could. 

“That’s not a hobby, my dude. No wonder you’re wound so tight.” 

“What is then, if you’re such an expert?” 


Jon sat back and looked at Bill like he’d suddenly grown horns and a snout. 

Bill shrugged. “Well, I like it.” 

“Knitting?” Jon raised a skeptical eyebrow. 

“Yeah, it’s super relaxing. You pick a project and some yarn and have at it. I’ve learned how to knit, purl, stitch. Once you get it, you can kind of do it anywhere.” 

“You. You, Wild-fucking-Bill, knit? Like a grandma?” 

“Hey now, it’s not just grandmas who can make a mean sweater,” Bill balked in defense. He lifted his hand and started to tick off his fingers as he went on. “It increases dexterity, coordination, focus, memory, and it’s relaxing.” 

Jon’s eyes widened and he barked laughter that rang against the glass of the Ford. 

“Seriously, it’s super healthy for you.” 

“I’m sure, I’m sure,” Jon wiped at his eyes, still shaking with laughter. “I can just see it now; you, sitting in a rocking chair by the fire with a nice fat cat curled at your feet.” 

Bill was not amused. He pursed his lips and stared determinedly out the windshield. After several moments, Jon’s stop-and-go laughter died out and they sat in heavy silence as they watched the drunk and drugged slip in and out of the back of the club. It was a cold night, and the alley was mercifully vacant after the comings and goings of the patrons and staff. Bill shifted in his seat and for a moment, Jon thought it was just out of discomfort again before Bill whipped out the smallest pair of knitting needles Jon had ever seen. They were attached by a wire and already had a project in bright green yarn hanging off it. 

“What in the fuck is that?” Jon asked dryly. 

“I’m making a sock,” Bill held his project up to show it off. “See how it’s a circle.” 

“I can see it’s a damn circle. You brought that thing here?” 

“Yes, I damned well did. Just watch. It’s totally worth it,” Bill began to thread the needles through the yarn that trailed into his pocket. The needles circled and clicked as he knit, his deft hands a blur in the dim light. 

“How can you even see what you’re doing?” Jon stared at the sock as it slowly formed in front of his eyes. He couldn’t look away as Bill’s hands continued to move without hesitation. 

“Muscle memory. I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning, but I’m pretty good now.” 

“Huh,” Jon bit back a quip at Bill’s expense. He didn’t want to admit it, but he was fascinated by how fast Bill knit without a fraction of strain on his face. He looked, if anything, peaceful. 

"Shit, they should call you Dexterous Bill."

Bill chuckled.

Jon was so distracted by Bill’s talent that he nearly missed what they were sitting in a nasty back-alley behind a notorious club in the middle of the night for.

A man dressed in a black t-shirt and slacks, with short, cropped blond hair opened the exit door and walked a few feet before leaning against the club’s brick wall. He lit a cigarette and pushed off the wall to pace in front of the door. When Jon got a good look at the bouncer’s face in the flood light, he realized it was their guy. He smacked Bill on the arm with the back of his hand, not daring to take his eyes off the bouncer. 

“There he is.” 

In one swift movement, Bill shoved the knitting project into his leather jacket pocket. His eyes hardened and he got out of the car as quiet as a cat. Jon mirrored Bill’s movement, spat his gum out in the alley and held the driver door open. 

“This won’t take long,” Bill said under his breath watching the bouncer like a hawk eyeing its prey. 

“Just remember, be quick, be clean,” Jon said over the top of the Ford. Bill’s only response was to walk toward the bouncer. Jon sucked in air, preparing for the worst, and stalked behind him. 

They stuffed their hands in their pockets simultaneously, like they coordinated this whole thing, and strolled up behind the large, muscular bouncer. 

The bouncer held a cigarette between his fingers as he took a deep drag and blew the smoke out with a slow sigh. He spat at the ground and turned to face the alley as he rubbed his eyes with his cigarette-free hand. He didn’t see Bill and Jon as they glanced in opposite directions, making sure they were all alone. 

The bouncer didn’t have time to yell out or curse. Jon pulled a fist out of his jacket pocket and punched the man so hard he doubled over, eyes bulging. Jon grabbed the man from behind and exposed his neck as Bill stabbed the man so quickly he dropped to the ground before any blood sputtered from his gurgling throat. 

“Shit, man,” Bill grimaced as he held up blood-soaked knitting needles that still had the now blood stained sock-in-the-making on its cord. “Shit. That wasn’t my knife.” 

Jon stifled a laugh and grabbed the shell-shocked Bill, pulling him back down to the dark alley. He shoved Bill into the car and slid over the hood to jump into the driver’s seat. Slamming the door, he restarted the engine. Without taillights, he backed out with slow precision.

When they reached the main road, Jon chuckled. “you know what, I think I will try knitting. I could use a hobby.” 

January 25, 2021 02:36

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