Melker, the big boss, was the kind of guy who showed you he cared with a swift jab to the jaw - after all, if he had a real problem he'd lead with a haymaker and take the next two days from you as payment. A boss like that will scare a sensitive soul off, leaving a crew of the desperate, the tough, the masochistic, the mental - just the kind of errand boys Melker needs running for him. I'm not sure which one I am - desperate, maybe, though I like to think I'm the type who knows where the money is.

"Errand boy" makes the job sound so innocent, like we're a pack of fresh-faced kids in some anachronistic neighborhood from Back In The Day. We do things that other people don't have the nerve to do. If you have a little bit of scratch, an aversion to pain, and a package that someone might be willing to kill for, then I'm your man. Maybe it's not the job for you, but it's steady work, and the only job skills you need are disposability and a strong enough chin to take a few knuckle sandwiches and keep your feet.

The job I had that evening was a good one for someone who takes the odd punch to the face as an occupational hazard. The client was

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