The Hitwoman’s Egg Hunt
Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman Book 37
Why is it that Maggie’s legit jobs are just as crazy as her illegal gigs?
When Griswald asks for Maggie’s help to investigate a burglary, she jumps at the chance to do something that won’t involve breaking any laws (spoiler alert: laws are broken).
When Griswald is incapacitated it’s up to Maggie to figure out who stole the loot and retrieve it so that they can claim the finder’s fee.
There’s just three problems:
1) Someone else is working the case and they are ruthless.
2) She’s in danger of being caught breaking a law or two.
3) Her family.
Can Maggie solve the case and collect the reward? Or will egg hunting make her life go splat?
You just know it’s going to be a bad day when you hear, “We’ll get back to you.”
I was starting to wonder if “We’ll get back to you” was listed as a synonym for “no” in the thesaurus. I’d applied for four jobs over the course of a week, and every time I’d gotten the dreaded, “We’ll get back to you.”
Swallowing my disappointment, I pasted on a smile, glanced at the name tag my interviewer wore, and said in my best professional voice, “Thanks, Tad.”
“You wouldn’t have wanted to work for a Tad, anyway,” God piped up from my bra as I headed for the building’s exit. “And this place stinks.”
He was right on both counts. Still, it was disappointing to know that I couldn’t even get a job working at a pet store. Not even after I trotted out my story about my quitting my last real job at Insuring the Future so that I could look after my recently orphaned niece. I’d left out the part where I’m a killer-for-hire.
“I can’t be unemployed forever,” I muttered. At least, that’s what Aunt Susan kept reminding me. Not that I’m as unemployed as she thinks. Sometimes, I work for the mobster, Delveccio, as a killer-for-hire. Sometimes, I do “consulting” for Ms. Whitehat’s shadowy organization. I’ve even been drafted by Griswald, Susan’s husband, to help out with his P.I. biz. At this point, the idea of a “real” job sounds incredibly boring.
“That’s debatable,” the lizard retorted.
“I’ve got to find something.”
“Can you find crickets?” God asked hopefully. “I can hear them.”
I could, too. They were in a case at the back of the store singing a rousing version of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin”.
Turning on my heel, I headed toward the insects, passing the “Cuddle Cubicle” where a little girl and her father were examining a ferret. A name-tagged employee watched them with disinterest, arms crossed like he expected them to try to steal the animal.
The stringy-haired Marilyn Manson-wannabe, tall, dark, and creepy, who stood in the shadows growled, “Help you?”
I gulped. He looked more suited for animal sacrifice than pet care. “C-can I get a half dozen?” I asked, pointing at the chirping insects.
“Touched for the very first time,” they sang in perfect harmony.
“They come by the dozen,” Manson replied.
“Give me six and charge me for a dozen,” I said.
Nodding, he moved toward the glass case with a small net and a plastic bag. I hadn’t seen him grab them, but suddenly there they were.
“The net! The net!” the crickets shouted in terror, abandoning their song.
With a swift motion, Manson scooped up a half dozen and dumped them in the bag, tying it off with a practiced movement.
The crickets were silent, mourning the loss of their compatriots.
I took the bag and once again headed toward the exit. The checkout counter was in sight when I heard a sharp scream, a muffled curse, and someone yelling, “We’ve got a runner!”
I turned to see the long, slender body of a ferret racing down the aisle, an employee following closely behind, the sobs of a little girl following him.
The collection of a dozen or so parakeets in an oversized birdcage began to shriek, “Freedom! Freedom!”
The other ferrets, still locked in their enclosure, yelled, “Run! Run!”
The lizards and snakes all hissed about the escapee’s foolishness as two more employees joined the chase.
“Go! Go! Go!” the mice cheered.
The little ferret might have made it, but all of a sudden, there was a loud Southern baying. “Gonna that me get.”
Turning my head in the direction of the dog’s voice, I saw a hound dog, nose twitching, straining to break free from his owner, who was busy talking on her phone, oblivious to the pandemonium of the ferret’s run for freedom.
“Hold on to your dog!” I called.
“Mind your own biz—” she shouted back.
She never finished because her dog leapt, pulling so hard on his leash, he yanked her right off her feet. She landed on her back heavily, her phone going flying.
“The net! The net!” the other ferrets chanted, warning that Manson, carrying a bigger net than he’d used on the insects, was bearing down on the runner.
“Catch!” the hound barked.
“Help!” the ferret yelped in terror, picking up speed.
Beyond him, I saw the entry doors swooshing open. I held my breath, unsure if it was safer for him inside, chased by a posse, or outside where he could be crushed by a passing car.
“Stop!” I roared as the little thing neared the doors.
The ferret didn’t listen, but the hound tried to. The floor was slick, and he ended up careening into a pyramid of stacked cat food cans. The clattering, combined with the cacophony of the animal onlookers, provided a deafening soundtrack.
The net arched through the air and the ferret’s bid for freedom ended without bloodshed.
Maybe it was a good thing I didn’t get the job here.