Harold dropped the body at the foot of the racetrack. He had a hood sweatshirt on and dumped the empty dummy off at the track. He waved to the millions of cameras and people watching live from their devices stuck to their arm emblazoned permanently along with digital ID, credit cards and IV pumping themselves with Cheetos and juice. They watched sordid affairs from their boring, insipid living rooms permanently crisp in freshly sealed tin can feel feng shui. 3020 was a mess – it took a month of hits to manage the affairs of PTSD Harold. The year 3020 was the year of the Light Plague.
3020 was a straggle of skyscrapers mixed with greenbelts, bike tracks and yoga mats. People had farms. Children managed corporations for their cowering parents. These huge corporations would groom 10-year old children to take care of the help. They had itty bitty bitty hearts like slumlords. They delighted in firing the help, calling the police and fire squads to empty out their lout desks or else. Extreme business practices needed for marginal profit lines that can only be fussed about by greedy ten-year old kiddos fortunate enough to be heirs and trust babas.
And that’s where Harold – his father killed half of his family after getting fired by one of these godless 10-year old CEO things and a part of him chilled to the bone’s core – he became a stone-cold assassin. What made Harold stand out was that he was a nerdy family-man type while he worked underground criminal channels. He worked for the Mob, Surenos, Jamaicans, Russians, Nigerians, Sinoloa Cartel, Crips – everyone that needed a good black hand and a desire to rid the world of their competition and snitches. They chose Harold and his sweet lame-nature killing machine ways. Nobody was better at the dark arts of cleaning.
The Light Plague took a while to spread at first and boy did it take off destroying whole cities and regions shuttering them and then eating away the populace with a swift ending. The ten-year olds looked at their roster of people to fire. They cried! They couldn’t fire most of them because they were dying or already dead. They got written up for being late to work which of course eased the evil baby CEOs impulsive little shriveled up juice box-loving hearts.
Harold just cleared a hit. He mastered the art of moving silently when he was on the kill. He practiced around his place moving with minimal sound, making his coffee without banging, opening and closing doors without sound. His normal family dad manners were a bit brusque, a little corny – he always had canned jokes to hide his extreme violent streak and immense pain. He chose the month of October to take care of his orders as he liked to call them. Naturally, this only allowed him around 31 hits per year. These gangsters paid him well – at least $400,000 per hit. During October, he would make many legitimate businesses going to each one when he needed money. His passion was his newspaper/blog stand which he manned every day except after the quarantine.
The police knew about Harold – he was such a square the police didn’t even bother at first when suspicions mounted. He transformed into a beast like a werewolf in October. He did it for money and to exorcise his pain from seeing his beloved pap lose his job and all his wits becoming a man-demon. Now he was stuck – the FBI was ready to destroy Harold and then the Light Plague came around, killed many special agents and completely messed up the case against the hit man par excellence.
When the quarantine orders were made, Harold was finishing his 31st order of 3020. He froze the body, dumped the dummy at the race tracks, got into his Honda CRV and drove home to be with his son Damian – the most pure gift that God would ever bestow upon him.
Harold had a modest cottage in Los Feliz which he shared with Damian and the child’s mother. He had his newspaper articles ready so that he can talk to his son about past quarantines like the Spanish Flu in the 1900s and the Coronavirus in the 2000s. He feared for his life and held his young son so close trying to imagine a world without this intelligent, curious and humane voice. Harold, of course, did not want the assassin life for his son. He wanted him to excel in Tennis and become a star like John McEnroe.
END PART 1 OF STORY