He rang the bell and a menacing hulk answered and pointed with is chin. Paul headed for the big man’s office and knocked.
“Hello Harry, what’ve you got for me?”
“Sit down Paul. This one is a bit sticky. I got a rat out in the suburbs. He’s gonna turn state’s evidence if he isn’t silenced real soon. The problem is he’s taken up residence with this old religious bat, a friend of his mother’s I’m told. He never leaves the house and neither does she. Somebody brings them groceries and such. I don’t want her killed, too many fishhooks, you know? It would be risky doing him with her there. You got any idea how this job could be done? If so, it’s yours. I’ll pay double on this one.”
Paul thought for several minutes as Harry looked on. He saw his reflection in the mirror behind the desk. Pretty boy is what they called him behind his back. Blond hair, blue eyes, thin. An idea came to him.
“Sure Harry, I know what to do. The old broad won’t be a problem.”
“I don’t want her killed Paul, but she can’t be a witness.”
Paul leaned forward and locked eyes. “I said I could do this. It’s gonna be elegant Harry.”
Harry leaned back in his seat and lit up a cigar. “That’s what I like about you Paul, you’re creative.”
He pushed a manila envelope across the desk and Paul headed out. He drove until he found a phone booth and got out and looked up the nearest costume shop and headed for it. Ten minutes later he was back in the car, headed home.
That night he cased the address he had been given and found an access point, a dining room window he could open easily. He went back to his car and waited to see what time the occupants went to sleep. Satisfied that he knew what needed doing he went home.
The next night he parked down the street and waited for the lights to go out. Half an hour later he let himself into the house and prepared to make an appearance. He crept down the hall to the old woman’s room and slipped inside.
He stood next to her bed and touched her arm. She opened her eyes and smiled at the vision before her.
“Oh my. Are you…?”
“Yes Rose, it is I, Gabriel. God has sent me to you.”
She sat up and looked him over, a beatific smile on her face. “Is it my time?”
“No Rose. I am not here to take you home. I have been sent with a task the Lord would ask of you.”
“What could the Lord possibly want of me? I am a good Catholic. I pray all the time. I go to Mass. I go to confession.”
“Yes, Rose, we know. Listen close.”
Paul spun a story about her housemate. He assured her that the man was not who he seemed. He was, in fact a demon and a blasphemer. The Lord was sending a test of her devotion. She must do what was asked of her, to do her part in removing evil from the world. She would be rewarded in Heaven. He laid it on thick.
She took it all in and nodded when he finished.
He beamed at her and told her there might even be sainthood in it. He could see the deal was sealed. He told her to close her eyes and think about what she was to do and then go do it. As her eyelids lowered he slipped out of the room.
The next day he drove to Harry’s place. When he walked into the office he saw Harry sitting with feet up on the desk reading the paper. He smiled as Paul sat down.
“Paul, you’re a genius. She told the police the Archangel Gabriel made her do it. Christ, she stabbed him at least a dozen times! They’re already saying she’ll get off with insanity.”
Paul said nothing; he just sat there smiling.
“I don’t know how you come up with these things Paul but what the hell.”