Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

Submitted into Contest #185 in response to: Someone’s beloved collection is destroyed. How do they react?... view prompt


Fiction Suspense Thriller

I wouldn’t say murder per se was a terrible thing.

I mean, it all depends on the motive, doesn’t it?

And if we’re being honest, the recipient plays a part in it too!

For example, the people who tried to murder Hitler. We didn't sit back and judge them with negative condemnation. We all went, darn it! Close but not quite over the line. Try a bit harder next time.

Honestly, you can be the nicest person, who’s kind, donates to charities and looks after stray puppies. Then one day, you’re simply pushed over your line of what you will and won’t put up with. 

It’s like something snaps deep inside, and once it’s broken, there’s no going back. 

People then think darn, and dash it all; murder is on the menu today.

Well… that’s where I come in.

I’m not ashamed of what I do. I fulfil a need—a desire. A social void.

I do have standards!

I won’t do anything to anyone who doesn’t deserve it!

You may laugh, but don’t bother phoning me up and asking me to bump your Nana off just because, in her will, she’s signed over her remaining five grand to your cousin Tony who’s a real pric..tacing account but knows exactly how to schmooze up to ya Nannie!

Suck it up, buttercup; my fee’s a lot higher than 5k, and you don’t, you REALLY don’t won’t owe me money!

But every now and again, I get a request which… how can I say this… it grabs my attention. It tickles my sense of humour, and I then put in place the 4xDC clause. 

Dirty Deeds Done Dirty Cheap!

And when that li’l beauty comes out. It’s a fun, fun, fun time.

Now, I never expected someone like Mrs Morris to seek my services. She’s a sweet white-haired octogenarian with a little ginger cat called Mr Claws. I was very surprised when she was more than willing to pay my exorbitant fees.  But for her… for her needs, the 4xDC clause was instigated the moment I entered her lounge room.

Now in her heyday, Mrs Morris had been something of a party girl. In the 1920s, according to this little lady, she partied harder than most and lived to brag about it. Apparently, she was very talented in certain areas!

No, not those areas! (Please, she’s a lady!)

According to Mrs Morris, she had a talent for breaking into people’s houses and acquiring their paintings when they were out at one party or another.

She considered herself to be a collector of fine art: other people’s fine art, but a collector non the less.

And through manipulating her social calendar and turning up late to parties, she’d amassed quite the collection over the years. The wily ol' fox had been selling off her acquirements ever so slowly, mainly through dark auction houses. 

I mean, really! How can you not be hooked by this ballsy ol’ babe! I know I was; Mrs Morris could have asked me to bump off the Easter Bunny, and I would have done it with a great big smile whilst helping myself to his basket of goodies.

But no, the bunny wasn’t her target. She simply wanted the person who had broken into her house and destroyed her collection, her retirement fund, as she called it, to be punished. The fool who’d defiled her life's work was to be taught a lesson in one fell swoop. As she put it, inconvenienced in a very uncomfortable and permanent way.

The other thing which also hooked me was the destruction of her art collection.

I mean, why?

Why not steal it all and sell it on? Sit back, enjoy the bucks and watch the wealthy old Mrs Morris be helpless and unable to do anything about it. What fun!

I couldn't wrap my mind around the stupidity of it. Defacing her art simply meant she had to take a considerable risk in restoring each painting before selling. But in the end, she would still be able to sell the collection and make money. So why?

Well, I guessed that was their plan. Maybe, they were the kind of freaky dude who got off on seeing people pissed off. You know, the kind that takes the globe out of the light socket and then leaves the toilet seat up. It leaves you with a fifty-fifty chance of going for a butt dunk and them with the same percentage of getting their rocks off. Yeah, that kinda cretin.

I don’t think they thought it through, though. Cause this ol’ bird was pissed off in a major way. Not yelling, screaming and kicking the cat kind of way. Nah, she took it personally and so reached out to her contacts who had my number and then called me one Saturday afternoon as Mr Claws slept balled up on her lap.

“A very dear friend of mine has given me your name. I do apologise for ringing without any introduction beforehand, but Henry said you might enjoy the challenge.”

“Go on…”  I’m meticulously cautious about what I say on the phone; you never ever know who’s listening.

Anyway, she went into great detail, invited me to see her graffiti art, and we made the deal in person. Simple. Easy!

All twenty-seven pictures had a massive stencilled thunderbolt spray painted over each one.

I asked her, “Why the thunderbolt?”

She sighed. Because, in her heyday, she’d been as quick as lightning, in and out in under 10 minutes.

“So, they know you then.”

Her fine silver eyebrow raised itself. “There is only a small circle of people who know me by that name, and… they’re all dead!”

She threw her hands up in the air, stumped at the possibilities. “It’s literally a dead end!”

Poor sweet old Mrs Morris.

People think hunting human beings is complex. It’s not. Generally, humans think they’re smart, but really, they’re as thick as bricks. Sniff hard enough, watch close enough and dangle the right bait, and you catch whomever you want.

Think about it. Only a small circle knew Mrs Morris’ nickname. Only a small circle knew her past. And within that dead circle… someone had opened their big mouth to another person who was young and dumb enough to take on this ballsy ol’ dame. 

It took me a day on social media trawling through the family members of Mrs Morris’s old friends when I came across Toby, an up-and-coming artist. A revolutionary. A social commentator… Well, a young idiot with a big mouth and enough money to buy spray paint to express himself with. The last photo on his Instagram threw me over the line of harbouring doubt.

There was Toby with poor Mr Claws being dangled out of one of Mrs Morris’s windows. His little mouth gaping, matching his wide and terrified eyes.

I like cats!

Toby needed to go bye-bye!

When one of my associates… (He likes to be called that, but he’s only 15 and a computer hacker who could ruin my credit quite quickly, so as far as I’m concerned, he can be called Mr President as long as he keeps his fingers off my digits.) found some interesting photos. 

Apparently, Toby has a really big thing for hurting little fury animals and taking pictures of himself doing it. In fact, he’s got quite a collection of photos.

Now, I have been doing this job for quite some time.

I’ve had a few followers, and few have tried to end my career. And more than a few have regretted trying to do so! But over the years, I've paid particular attention to those who are cruel to animals. And in my humble opinion...

Murder was too good for Toby.

Well, I was ready to start measuring him up for a pair of cat-shaped concrete boots when my associate pointed out another interesting little photo.

Mr Toby, it turned out, was just my kind of bait.

Someone had sniffed me out.

Watched closely.

Dangled the bait, and I had nearly, oh so nearly, taken it—hook, line and sinker.

I was being hunted.

I had to congratulate them. They’d planned it well. Sadly, Mrs Morris had paid the price. Poor Mr Claws had paid the price, too and that was unacceptable. I was thrown over my line!

Toby was feeling powerful. And a fool in power mode is a dangerous thing. But honestly, he was nothing more than a meat puppet. And I wanted to know who the puppeteer was.

It took my associate five minutes.

The youth of today are scary, scary people! Love ‘em to pieces!

Just a free little pointer for those who are interested in getting into the business. When you’re setting someone up to set up a long-term assassin, so you can use them as bait to catch the assassin, don’t take a selfie with them with your CIA badge showing.

So, here we are. 

Poor Mrs Morris’s collection was thoughtlessly and totally unnecessarily destroyed. 

Toby, can’t go outside without being assaulted by PETA fans and lovers of pussy cats, all because someone hacked into his accounts and sent his ‘animal photo collection’ to every media outlet in the world. Apparently, his artwork is being scrubbed out of existence.

Mr Claws is now recovering from his maltreatment and will be enjoying a delivery care package of fresh hand-caught deep-sea tuna every other month.

My associate is begging me to teach him how to drive even though he’s too young.

Frankly, I’m in no position to say no since he redirected the interest off a particular government department’s investment funds to a lovely little white-haired old lady down on her luck. 

They should have known better than to send their little badged monkeys after me.

And that just leaves me, who’s now busy spending my Wednesday night dealing with the leftovers of my occupation.

So, pick up the phone; I’m always home. Call me any time. Just ring 3624 368; I’m not that hard to find.

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap!

February 15, 2023 14:01

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Laurel Hanson
21:36 Feb 22, 2023

The enigmatic "laura" of reedsy has given me your story this week for the critique circle. What a treat. Your MC has a great narrative voice that is funny and very vivid: "She considered herself to be a collector of fine art: other people’s fine art, but a collector non the less," /“It’s literally a dead end!”/ "I was ready to start measuring him up for a pair of cat-shaped concrete boots." This really makes the story because it is about an assassin and either that's got to go very dark, or you walk another line where the ideas of revenge an...


Kelly Sibley
22:29 Feb 22, 2023

Laurel, thanks for taking the time to read and comment with valuable feedback. No one is an expert, but we all know what we like. So thank you for giving me helpful feedback; the two issues you mentioned had worried me too. I'll polish them up a bit more before I republish the story. Many Thanks.


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Wendy Kaminski
22:27 Feb 21, 2023

This was great, Kelly! I love how you worked in the song at the end, too - loved that song! :) "murder is on the menu today." - is it already Tuesday?? "His little mouth gaping, matching his wide and terrified eyes." - I'd have done-in Toby for free at that point. You have a fantastically warped sense of humor - it's divine. :) Loved the story!


Kelly Sibley
22:33 Feb 21, 2023

Thanks, Wendy - it's all ACDC's fault!


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Gabriela Wels
15:09 Feb 28, 2023

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap! Ha! The character has a warped sense of moral codes and justice. However, you did it all in a funny way! :D You entertained me from the first line! One of my favorite lines: "He likes to be called that, but he’s only 15 and a computer hacker who could ruin my credit quite quickly, so as far as I’m concerned, he can be called Mr President as long as he keeps his fingers off my digits."


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C.B. Chribby
19:54 Feb 23, 2023

Hi Kelly! I just wanted to say that while I'm more of a fantasy/sci-fi reader and writer, this story definitely hit upon a trope I love: mercenaries! I really adored the internal monologue and the justifications for your character acting as they do. Also, I love the attachment with Mr. Claws. There is a literal 'Save the Cat!' moment in this and I had a blast reading it. Good stuff!


Kelly Sibley
22:02 Feb 23, 2023

Hi C.B, Totally get what you mean. Love SciFi! Thanks for reading; I definitely had 'Save the Cat' going on in the back of my mind. Every killer has to have a foible! Thanks!


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