Archive Sections: letters | music | index | features | photos | arts/lit | satire Find Iranian singles today!

Short story



August 4, 2005

I've known 'Razor' for a long time; maybe five years or so. I know his whole family too; his wife Conchita, and his two sons Pablo and Eduardo. He had Pablo with Conchita, but Eduardo had a different mother, who is incarcerated for something or other. This was before I came into the picture.

I used to buy dope from him. He'd hang out at the corner of Marguerite and 22nd and I was a regular customer. Twice or three time a week, I'd swing by after work, still in my suit and tie, I'd pull up in front of him in my red Corvette. He'd get in and give me my 20 dollars worth.

After a while, he gave me his pager number. It was getting a little too hot in the streets and he preferred dealing more discretely, away from the Narcos. So I began calling his pager and we'd meet somewhere in the streets and do the transaction. He'd even deliver the goods to my house if I asked him.

Gradually we started talking about more than just the dope and its quality. I'd ask him about his family and him about mine. We'd joke about our lives and even delve into the some politics from time to time.

Razor is a smart, street-wise fellow, with eyes that sparkle with curiosity. He is a middle school dropout who can barely read or write. But he is on top of his game big time! Me and him communicate as if we've known each other for ages. It's a type of communication where you understand one another with a minimum of information exchanged. A nod or a facial expression, and we get each other's points.

Razor has always been fond of me. With my suit and tie and my red sports car, it's as if I give his business a form of legitimacy. He's proud to have me as a customer. I remember when I used to meet him at the street corner; he delighted in getting into my car. Other guys would try to get my business but Razor wouldn't let them. "He's mine, oralé." He'd tell the other boys, making threatening gestures with his hands. They'd leave him alone.

He told me that his old lady was in the penitentiary "because she hooked up with another dude after Eduardo was born and got in major trouble with the police." So his mother was now taking care of the 2-year-old while Razor hustled in the streets. "I got me a new lady I want to marry." He would tell me.

One time I called him during work and met him at lunchtime in some donut shop. I noticed he was uneasy and not as relaxed as always. I asked him what the trouble was, and after much hesitation, he opened up.

"You know, I wanted to ask you for a big favor"


"I know it's too much to ask, but..." He hesitated.

"Come on homeboy. What is it? I can handle it."

He wanted to borrow my car to take his sweetheart for a spin and take her to lunch. "She's never been in a 'Vette." He said.

I immediately agreed. I didn't know if he even had a driver's license. But I knew he wasn't going to run away with the car. So I told him ok. He was beside himself. He couldn't believe my reaction. With a smile I showed him that I trusted him.

I drove with him back to my work, gave him the key and told him to bring the car back at 4:30.

"Don't get into trouble." I yelled at him as he was pulling away.

After that incident our relationship was transformed. I became his idol. He'd get me the best dope in town and charge me the bare minimum. He took me to his place to meet his sweetheart, Conchita. I also met his mom and his son, Eduardo. He even invited me to his wedding. And I went.

When Pablo was born, Razor asked me to be his Godfather. I refused. I came up with some lame excuse that I didn't feel comfortable going into churches, that I was too much of a sinner for Christ to take me in. He didn't insist and one of his buddies finally did the honors.Two weeks ago I paged him and he called me back right away.

"I need a big favor, vatto." I told him

"Anything man, anything. What is it?"

"I can't talk over the phone. Let's meet."

He came by in 20 minutes and we started riding.

"I need to whack someone and I need help." I told him.

"Whack? You mean matar, homeboy?" He asked with a concerned grin on his face.

"Yeah, yeah. I want to do away with someone. I'll do the dirty work, though. I just need someone to help me along."

"So you want a accomplice?" He asked smilingly, seeming more relaxed.

"I like to call it aiding and abetting, myself!"

"Now you're talkin', homeboy! Now you're talkin'."

He didn't ask me who it was, or why I wanted him dead. He totally trusted my judgment.

"Sure man, anything you want." He said.

I told him that I needed a gun, an untraceable revolver with enough bullets.

"No problem bro. I'll hook you up." He said.

I gave him a hundred dollars and he was on his way.

"Don't talk to anybody about this, you hear? I told him before we parted. A few days later he called me on my cell phone.

"I got the merchandize, my man." He exclaimed. "It's a beauty. You should see it."

"I need your help for a couple of hours this weekend. Why don't you bring it to me then?" I replied.

"You want to do the thing this weekend?"

"No, no. Just the preparation."

I picked him up on Saturday at 6:00 PM. We stopped by at the Home Depot and picked up a couple of shovels and headed out to the woods in the northern outskirts of the city.

He showed me the gun. It was a 22 caliber Ruger six shooter with tape on the grip and the trigger, with a box of ammo. He had paid 45 dollars for it. He gave me back 55 in change.

We took a side road for a mile or two and stopped at a secluded area. It was an hour or so before sunset. We walked a couple of hundred yards among the trees and came to a small clearing. I picked a spot near a tall tree, and without exchanging any words, we started digging. The soil was soft and moist and didn't offer a lot of resistance. We dug non-stop for about half an hour. Towards the end, we were both in the pit shoveling and throwing the dirt out.

The pit was about 5 feet long by 4 feet deep. It was large enough for my purposes. We scattered the pile of dirt and covered up the hole with twigs, small branches, and foliage. We then retraced our steps through the woods back to the car and headed back to the city.

It's late Monday morning and I'm driving to Razor's place. I brought my Corvette to the repair shop earlier and got a loaner, a Plymouth van. I took the back seats out and covered the space with two layers of tarp.

Conchita greets me at the door with Pablo in her arms. As always, she is nonchalantly revealing a generous amount of cleavage, which is naturally the first thing I see. But she doesn't notice, or pretends not to.

Razor is putting on his shoes and comes to the door after a minute.

Conchita says, "I feel a lot safer when you're with him. I know he won't get into trouble when he's with you."

We start driving. Razor asks no questions. I start talking.

"He takes lunch at 11:45 and then goes for a nap in his car parked in an alley next to his building. We'll nab him before he gets into his car."

Razor nods.

We enter the alley and park about 50 feet away from his car. At around 12:00, I see him in the rear view mirror walking towards us. As he starts to pass my van on the right side, Razor slides open the side door and I jump out of the passenger seat and push him into the van. Razor hits him over the head with a two-by-four and he collapses face down. I tie up his hands, push a rag into his mouth, and pull a sack over his head and tie it up around his neck.

Razor sits in the back with him as I start driving. He doesn't seem to move. I guess the blow put him flat out.

As we get to the outskirts, he begins to come to. He can hardly move but I can hear him moan. Razor's on top of him.

I pull over and we get out. Razor pulls him out and starts prodding him with a stick he's holding. He walks forward offering no resistance. We get to the clearing and stop at the hole we dug. I uncover the hole and have Razor sit him down at the edge with his legs dangling over the pit. I then ask Razor to move away from him.

I point the gun at his head and start shooting. I fire six bullets into his head

He falls in. I reload and empty the gun again, this time in his torso. His body twitches and then, there is no movement.

He pumps twelve shots into the motherfucker and then reloads again. I tell him "It's enough homeboy. The dude's dead already." He turns around, looks at me with a half grin and then goes, "I'm sorry vatto..." and then pumps one into his own head.

He crumbles into the hole, his head landing on the dude's back and legs sticking out. Blood starts gushing out of his head and then, it stops.

I'm standing there, like... what the fuck's going down, man?

For letters section
To Shahriar Zahedi

Shahriar Zahedi

Arts & lit

Book of the day

Pivot of the Universe
Nasir al-Din Shah Qajar
By Abbas Amanat

Edited by Heshmat Moayyad

Copyright 1995-2013, Iranian LLC.   |    User Agreement and Privacy Policy   |    Rights and Permissions