Gasping like a tuberculosis-stricken elephant, our rubbish truck of horror approached the place of dubious pleasure destination in the most notorious part of the local red light district.
"Damn, it's the snowman himself!"
Scarroneye's comment, made in a slightly trembling voice, referred to a splendidly dressed titan of a man who stood smoking a cigarillo in front of the entrance to the noble brothel, obviously guarded by a pack of bodyguards and uniformed policemen.
Regardless of his passenger's question, the garbage-collecting corpse disposer stepped hard on the brakes.
"My ass, even a woman like you should know that. The long fop is Pablo Barcose, called 'El Supremo' or the 'Snowman'. He's the boss of bosses! Compared to him, our boss, Don Vito, is just a little light. Even Aldhar Beju, the Caliph of Kembleford, or Negjür Demaya, the ultra-brutal enforcer of the Putinian devils, are afraid of him. The guy is arrogant as hell and as hard-nosed as he is crazy. The hack-face and the one-eyed son of a bitch already know the score, but to you I say this urgently: no matter what happens, keep your mouth shut and let me do the talking! One wrong word and we're dead!"
"Boss Scarroneye, then why don't you negotiate with Barcose alone and we'll wait by the truck?"
"That's what 'El Supremo' considers disrespect and we'd end up as toppings on his frozen pizzas at Shiddl's. You just stay with the other two spastis and do nothing!"
The tension in the air was palpable as their fates became intertwined in this sordid affair. Cautiously, the illustrious quartet approached the absolute ruler of the underworldly lowlands. Scarroneye noticed to his surprise that Pablo Barcose seemed rather nervous.
Were the guy's hands shaking now?
Normally, the snowman radiated mafia-like gravitas and an arrogance that could well be compared to Roman Caesars. Apart from that, the tyrannical emperor of crime rivalled the madness of Nero or Caligula. With his eyes downcast, Jean, the self-proclaimed man among men, stepped forward to lead the conversation.
"El Supremo, as commanded, we are here to serve your dark glory. How can we be of service to you today?" asked Scarroneye with a mixture of submissiveness and underlying panic.
Barcose cast a disdainful glance at his garbage-disposing lackey and pursed his mouth slightly in derision. "Well, at last you knuckleheads are here. You've done a good job so far, keep it up, because failures, as we all know, go to hell very quickly. Come to think of it, that's not too bad either, because compared to me, the devil is a wimp."
Faithful Jean gave him a slimy submissive smile. "Oh, don't worry, Capo di Capi. We're professionals. When it comes to disposing of unwanted witnesses and corpses, we're the best in the business. So, what may we do for Your Grace today?"
Maria M. and One-Eye stood silently beside their now so humble boss, while Scarface grinned and sharpened his Bowie knife. Barcose looked disconcerted for a moment, but then shook his head and turned to Scarroneye.
"I hope you can deliver because I have a real problem here. Fucking John Wick has gone completely nuts and turned my facility into a slaughterhouse. As usual, the fucking lunatic came with his fucking mutt to pleasure Juliano Penetratuslongus, our transistoric star, with his kinky sex games. Okay, the maniac is into some weird stuff, but as long as he's paying with golden dollars! Anyway, his beast of a poodle bit the calf of my manager, Madame Butterfly, for no reason at all. The poor thing shook off this vicious rat of a dog and kicked the mutt out of the heat of the moment. After that, the lunatic went completely berserk and went on a rampage, like Attila the Hun King himself. Now I have a pile of corpses and severely injured people lying around that I really don't need. You guys take it from here, I'll retreat to my bunker with my guys, as the nutcase will probably target me next. You know what to do."
Scarroneye nodded in agreement.
"Of course, Your Criminal Glory. We will make all the bodies disappear and eliminate every injured witness. And don't worry, we only ask for a modest reward for our services."
Barcose frowned and spat the remains of his cigarillo on the floor.
"You and your fucking rewards. You'll get what's coming to you, but don't think I'm going to fraternise with you bastards. If you misstep, you will know the ninth circle of hell very quickly."
The paragon of verbal bravery bowed deeply and tried to hide his panic.
"Trust us, El Supremo. We are the shadows who operate in the dark and eliminate any traces."
Maria, who had been listening quietly until now, took a step forward.
"We guarantee you absolute discretion and professionalism, Mr Barcose. The work will be done without ever bothering you further."
While Scarroneye was on the verge of a heart attack due to Maria's intervention and expected to soon be allowed to walk in Dante's footsteps because of this disrespect, Barcose looked at the cheeky intern in surprise.
"What is this? Another model? I thought they were limited! That old Vito could even afford it?" remarked Barcose in thoughtful confusion.
After initial confusion, a faint smile flitted across the gangster king's lips, while the garbage- and people-destroying petty executor understood neither the snowman's words nor the world.
"I am convinced that you bastards are now doing your job to my satisfaction. You may now leave! When you have finished, Father Brown will pay you as usual."
With a deep bow, the dethroned macho king said goodbye and led his team back to the rubbish truck, while 'El Supremo' and his entourage moved away from the scene faster than Speedy Gonzales.
As soon as they arrived at the truck, the man in Jean awoke from his fearful sleep.
"Didn't I tell you to keep your mouth shut? We're just lucky that Barcose seems to be so scared of Wick that he doesn't really notice anything anymore!“
Scarroneye, whose eyes sparkled with a mixture of hatred and indignation, registered the trainee's apparent lack of emotion with disappointment.
The dimly lit streets of the red light district provided a perfect backdrop for the unfolding horror show. Neon signs flickered in the night, casting an eerie light on the faces of the quartet. The smell of decay mingled with the stale air, a fitting metaphor for the meeting of our waste management professionals in front of their rubbish truck from the world of the undead.
"Well, you bums, it looks like you've got some real dirty business to do tonight. Let's get to work! I'll monitor from the driver's cab to make sure you're doing everything right. One-Eye will put the bodies in the trash compactor while our cheeky lesbian and Scarface dispose of the witnesses. When you've done with the pesky lot, you help One-Eye with the loading!"
Taking a short break, the king of the rubbish workers gave the female part of the crew a treacherous smile.
"Scarface can show our Amazon the finer points of our job in the process. So let's go, clowns."
While Maria and One-Eye left without comment, the third member of the group giggled in sadistic anticipation.
Together, the three special kind of crime scene cleaners entered the bowels of the blood-soaked brothel, where the remains of Wick's rampage lay strewn like broken nightmares. The sobs and moans echoed through the corridors, mingling with the soft cuddly rock music that trickled from the automatic sound system. In this perversely macabre ambience, the insane laughter of Scarface, laced with fulfilment and pleasure, abruptly resounded through the corridors. Although his companions looked blankly at the cheerful rubbish man, he felt compelled to justify himself.
"I love my job,! I finally get to show what I'm made of. Princess, what do you say we play a little game? Fifty bucks to whoever kills the most survivors, what do you say?"
To the questioner's disappointment, who was expecting a horrified reaction, the rubbish woman in training only nodded briefly in agreement.
The cyclops in the round, however, paid little attention to the funny bet and opened the grotesque dance of death by carelessly throwing two corpses of prostitutes, shot beyond recognition, which the gun-toting Wick had obviously pumped full of lead for fun, over his misshapen shoulders and making off in the direction of the rubbish truck.
Orchestrated by the sneering giggles of their scar-faced part, the duo set about their murderous work and found their first occupation in the S&M area of the brothel in the form of a chained customer. He actually intended to be pampered by Domina Diana with the pleasures of Sacher-Masoch, but was abruptly interrupted by the mad avenger of all kicked mutts while enjoying the cat o' nine tails. Wick came upon the duo bound in painful love like the Iranian Sharia police at the sight of an unveiled woman, strangled the strict mistress with his whip and, misjudging the actual situation, gave the suitor a pity-driven kick in the genitals with his steel-shod jackboots. So the corpulent, bald-headed suitor moaned a little as his Janus-faced fate came to pass.
Pleading like a fat, wounded ox, the maltreated brothel-goer looked at Maria, who smiled at him benignly and slowly approached him.
Meanwhile, Scarface seized the opportunity to bag another piece for his collection and at the same time make a sick impression on his partner. He quickly drew his beloved bowie knife and routinely scalped dirty Diana, the lifeless acolyte of the perverted marquis.
Scarface proudly held up the bloody scalp. The trophy collector's destroyed face literally glowed with happiness and the vain expectation of causing horror in the female part of the disposal team, which should preferably be expressed in a scream. To the trainer's disappointment, the trainee did not react as expected and only gave the proud Figaro of the special kind a brief, expressionless look - however, the brothel customer with the scrambled balls completely fulfilled the expectations directed at femininity. Maria, now standing behind the chained man, grabbed his head and turned it 180° with a jerk.
"Why do they always have to make so much noise? By the way, the score is now 1 to 0 in my favour!"
"Old fart, you really are a cold bitch!"
Impressed against his will, Scarface gagged out the compliment.
"Hey, wait for me!"
Undeterred, the busy trainee set about leaving the scene and collecting more points for the funny challenge.
So Maria M. and her temporary instructor continued the blood-soaked contest, going from room to room and leaving a trail of death in their wake. Maria's efficiency and brutality in disposing of the injured witnesses surprised even Scarface, a man who knew all about violent excesses. Finally, their gruesome task was completed, and together with One-Eye they loaded the old corpses and the new ones into the rubbish truck.
"Scarroneye, that was the last one!"
The cyclops' stentorian voice frightened the blissfully smoking ruler of waste management so much that the joint fell right out of his mouth and unintentionally heated up his small but noble parts through the open zip of his trousers. After a half-loud squeak and the extinguishing of the incipient fire, the heated Jean crawled out of his truck.
"Man, don't shout so loud! Good! It's about time, our little sugar doll with the big mouth has held us up enough already! I hope scarface, you really showed the little one the ropes!"
"Uh, she already knows how it works. I would have liked to show her the finer points, but she was in such a hurry to kill."
The short-changed instructor grimaced regretfully as he was unable to live out his sick, sadistic urges with regard to the effectively executed murders and was 50 bucks poorer to boot.
"You don't say so, chop-face! Well, all that's missing is the payment!"
"You shall have it!"
The famous Father Brown, also called the 'Black Hand of God', stood before them as if he had grown out of the ground. As a former member of the 'New Apostolic Inquisition', which, as is well known, miraculously transports many a gossipy contemporary to better worlds on behalf of Holy Mother Church - because a whistleblower is worse than a thousand heretics - the black priest had made himself independent and now acted as a freelance soul caretaker for hell.
"Hey, Brown, old pal, why don't you stop sneaking up on people? Then give me the money!"
No sooner said than the self-confident leader felt sorry for his words spoken in the heat of the moment, as the black priest of the dead looked at him frowning and played with the golden crucifix hanging on a fat chain around his neck. As is well known, Brown had unpleasantly transported an infinite number of unfortunates to the afterlife with both utensils.
"That means reverend! Scarroneye, speak truth, are you an atheist?! Perhaps I should free you from your earthly shell, so that your soul may be purified?"
The fanatically flashing eyes of the former inquisitor did not bode well and made the potential object of clerical salvation efforts desperately search for a de-escalation strategy.
"Forgiveness, Your Eminence. I was lost in thought about the nature of the Trinity. May I beg to be rewarded for my humble services?"
"Are you an Arian or some other heretic? When was the last time I actually burned a man? It is pleasing in the eyes of the Lord and the night is quite cool!"
While Maria stood completely motionless, One-Eye and Scarface unobtrusively withdrew from their boss, since even Wick did not dare approach the priest, who, out of caution motivated by murderous desire, also liked to lead potential helpers of his victims to the heavenly hosts.
"I beg for mercy, Your Holiness. I am but a worthless sinner who would like to donate his tithe to the Church!"
Father Brown now nodded graciously and the wrath of God faded in the face of holy mammon.
"Blessed are the poor in brain, for they make the Church rich. Even a wretched wretch like you can be saved. There is still a beautiful gesture from ancient times with which the humble servant paid homage to his gracious master. I think the Chinese call that kowtowing!"
Pleased, pious Jean realised that he had finally hit the note that sounded sweet to the murderous priest's ears. Eagerly, our proud macho king performed the Far Eastern gesture of humility.
"The Lord forgives you this one more time, for even the mangiest sheep belongs to the flock. But remember, it is more blessed to give than to receive, and your sins weigh heavily. In a vision the angels revealed your misdeed to me beforehand, so I have already withheld 20 percent of the executioner's wages for pious works. Praise the Lord!"
Nonchalantly, the saint of the last days of many a contemporary threw the no longer particularly well-filled envelope on the floor in front of the still reclining, repentant sinner and disappeared as abruptly as he had come. Slowly, the purified penitent rose and inconspicuously let the envelope disappear into one of his large trouser pockets.
"Scarroneye, you're a complete idiot!"
Scarface seethed with rage and contorted his disfigured face into a grimace that would have frightened even a demonic being.
"Calm down Fritz, we can be glad that the padre didn't collect more. Scarroneye can't help it this time for once, Brown would have ripped us off anyway."
One-Eye's unexpected comment silenced his disfigured colleague, who now silently bottled up his anger.
"Er, good colleagues, then we should now go to the incinerator as planned."
Cunning Jean thought it wiser to leave the previous incident, including Scarface's obvious insubordination, behind. Without further comment, the crew went to their usual positions - including Maria, who had registered the previous events with impassive aplomb.
To be continued