Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman
Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman Book 1
Maggie Lee is not your average hitwoman. For one thing, she’s never killed anyone. For another, after hitting her head in the car accident that killed her sister, her new best friend is a talking lizard—a picky eater, obsessed with Wheel of Fortune, that only Maggie can hear.
Maggie, who can barely take care of herself, is desperate to help her injured and orphaned niece get the best medical care possible, so she reluctantly accepts a mobster’s lucrative job offer: major cash to kill his monstrous son-in-law.
Paired with Patrick Mulligan, a charming murder mentor (who happens to moonlight as a police detective), Maggie stumbles down her new career path, contending with self-doubt, three meddling aunts, a semi-psychic friend predicting her doom, and a day job she hates. Oh, and let’s not forget about Paul Kowalski, the sexy beat cop who could throw her ass in jail if he finds out what she’s up to.
Training has never been so complicated! And, this time, Maggie has to get the job done. Because if she doesn’t … she’s the mob’s next target.
You just know it’s going to be a bad day when you’re stuck at a red light and Death pulls up behind you in a station wagon.
I’d been using the rearview mirror to touch up my lip gloss when I spotted him. Okay, maybe he wasn’t really Death, but dressed in a black raincoat with the hood pulled up covering his face, he sure looked like he could pluck a scythe out of thin air.
It was one of those days when I kept catching the specter of Death everywhere. I’d catch a glimpse of him in the condensation on the bathroom mirror as I stepped out of the shower, or burnt into my morning toast, or in the pile of dog shit I narrowly missed stepping in…or didn’t.
Death was idling behind me, and I was kinda freaked out. Which was why, completely forgetting about the damn April showers that had been falling for three days straight, I floored my crappy, beat-up, not-gently-used Honda the second that light turned green.
Hydroplaning, the car spun out into the intersection, with me pumping the brakes while wondering if I should have been steering into the skid or out of it, and berating myself for not having paid more attention during my high school Driver’s Ed course.
I knew I was gonna die. I could already hear the angels singing.
Three months before, I’d had the same feeling as another car slid out of control. I hadn’t been driving then; my sister’s idiot husband had been behind the wheel. I’d been in the backseat, singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” to my three-year-old niece Katie, trying to distract her from the argument her parents were having in the front seat. Suddenly the car swerved and squealed, and as we rolled over onto the driver’s side, I distinctly remember thinking, Dear God, please don’t let us die.
I didn’t think that three months later. In this moment I was resigned to my fate.
But then, miraculously, my little Honda gained traction, and I achieved a semblance of control over the vehicle. I wasn’t in the clear, though. Squinting at the rearview mirror, I could see that Death had followed me through the rain-soaked intersection.
And I could still hear the singing of the angels, but it wasn’t a heavenly sound.
It was loud. It was annoying.
From the floor of the passenger seat, I snatched up the bag of crickets that I’d bought for Godzilla. They were making an unholy racket. I shook it hard. That shut the little fuckers up.
When I first became responsible for Godzilla’s care, I tried giving him freeze-dried crickets. But that damn lizard, he’s got a discerning palate and insists on the live version, which is a pain in the ass because I hate bugs. Really hate ‘em. Just looking at them gives me that awful creepy-crawly feeling, but I’d pledged to Katie that I’d take good care of the only pet she’d ever been allowed.
There was no way of knowing whether she even knew I’d made her that promise. She’d been in a coma, a “persistent vegetative state,” as the doctors liked to call it, ever since the car accident. Her parents had died on impact, according to police. I’d walked away unharmed…except for the fact that I can now talk to a lizard.
“Call me God,” he’d insisted the first time I’d thought to feed him.
He’d never spoken to me before. I mean animals, or reptiles or amphibians, or whatever the hell he is, don’t talk. I know that. I haven’t gone totally around the bend.
But the thing is, ever since the car accident, we can converse. And we do. A lot.
Maybe I’ve got brain damage, or maybe it’s the emotional trauma of having my sister die and almost losing Katie, but I swear that I’ve turned into Doctor-freakin-Dolittle.
Of course, I haven’t told anyone about my newfound ability. They’d lock me up in a funny farm like my mom. Or run a bunch of tests. Or run a bunch of tests and then lock me up. And if they did that, I wouldn’t be able to visit Katie. And she’d be left all alone there, lying in a hospital bed, with only the witches to look after her.
My three aunts aren’t really witches. I’m not so delusional as to think they’ve got magical powers. They’re just extraordinarily evil in their own “helpfully” meddlesome way.
So I keep the secret conversations with God to myself. To the rest of the world, it probably appears that I’m coping pretty well. I wash my clothes, bring the newspaper in, and have even gone back to work in hell (also known as an insurance company call center).
My piddly paycheck isn’t going to make much of a dent in the pile of hospital bills that are piling up faster than a Colorado snowfall, but it’s a decent cover. It’s not like I can go around putting HITWOMAN on my tax return.
Death, or at least the driver in the station wagon, coasted past as I turned my blinker on to signal my turn into Apple Blossom Estates. There’s no such thing as apple blossoms. Three months before, God, licking his lizard lips after chowing down on a cricket, had pointed out that even he knew that. But it sounds fancy right? Or at least like the over-promising prose of a condo developer’s advertising. It’s not. It’s just a fancy name for a brain injury rehab, or as they like to call it, a “premium care facility.”
Parking in the visitors’ lot, I left the bag o’ bugs to their chirping (which sounded suspiciously like Madonna’s “Like a Prayer”) and headed inside. It was time to tell my boss that I was ready to kill a man.
But you’re probably wondering how a nice girl like me got a job like this….