Friday, July 23, 2010

week fifteen: lyle mccullough

Caution: This one contains mature content.

Put in the tape, you'll be shocked at what you see; what you hear. It's the only known footage of Lyle McCullough, the best, most ruthless contract killer in the world. He came into a regular NYPD office and confessed. Immediately, they put him into an interrogation room and the two senior detectives did their work.

Of course, the tape starts with a bit of static, but soon it cuts in and we see Lyle staring into the camera. He's wearing a business suit and his hands are most likely cuffed to the chair. Since the tape is black and white, it's difficult to make out that his left eye is white; he's blind in that eye. Lyle's gray hair is a suave mess and it's worn just over his lowly-placed eyebrows. He must be in fifties or even sixties; he hasn't moved at all since being put in the interrogation room.

At his flank is an unnamed detective. He's young for a senior detective, but acts very professional. It's difficult not to notice the GLOCK 23 .40 S&W handgun resting at his side. The first audio that comes out of the tape is the detective sighing. Lyle does nothing. “Well, Lyle, I guess we should start with the basics,” the detective sits down on the table. “How many people have you killed?”

In a deep, morose, and dark British accent, the killer replies, “Sixty-three. I've killed exactly sixty-three people.”

“Sixty-three people,” the detective stands up again.

His partner enters the frame and glibly states, “I can't even imagine what your sentence will be then. I've heard of serial killers getting it before, but I've never heard of anyone killing sixty-three people.”

“Well, you did come to us, I guess that'll help you out,” the detective said.

Lyle rolls his eyes, “What is this, good cop, bad cop? Think of something a bit less amateur and stupid, got it?”

“Or what?”

“Or I'm out of here.”

“You're out of-”

“How do you think you'll pull that off?””

Lyle again rolls his eyes, “I just told you I've killed sixty-three people. I'm good at what I do.”

“So, you think you can break out of your cuffs, take us down, then just waltz out of a building full of armed cops.”

Lyle smirks, “Yeah.”

The partner sighs, “I don't even want to know how.”

“Look, asshole, I'm in here and I've come to talk, so are you gonna let me say my piece or are you gonna keep up this goddamn charade?”
They exchange glances yet again before the detective says, “Alright, fine, say what you want to say and we'll go from there.”

Lyle takes a deep breath, “I didn't come here to confess and I didn't come here because I feel guilty for what I did. I came here because after killing sixty-three people, none of you yellow tossers have any idea who I am. I came here because I had the realization that my line of work is dangerous and I'm starting to get old. I won't be around forever and I don't want to die with no one knowing who I am. So that's why I'm here.”

The officers paused, before the detective asked, “You do know you're going to jail, right?”

His partner added, “Or worse.”

“You aren't ever curious about the people I've killed? You don't know what to know why I do it? You know, is it for money or whatever?”

The policemen paused for a second and whispered to one another. The camera doesn't pick up what they say. Finally, the detective asks, “Alright, why do you do it then?”

“Because killing is all I know how to do. I read somewhere that a man has to make a living and he should do that doing what he knows. I know how to kill and it's given me a good living.”

“I always heard you should do that what you love.”

“That too.”

“Where did you learn to kill?”

“I spent three years in the Special Air Service where I was among the most elite killers the world has ever seen. We killed a whole manner of people from different backgrounds, different nations; the whole charade. My squad did it all. At first it was grim, then it was numb. And then we started to like it.”

“So, why did you stop?”

“We were in Albania and some lucky son of a bitch got me in the leg. Splintered my femur and then I couldn't walk straight again. I was taken out of the SAS and honorably discharged. Worst day of my life.”

“So, then you moved to the United States to be an assassin?”

“No, then I tried to move on and have a normal life. I got myself an honest job and started working. It was hell because it was so goddamn boring.”

“And then you became a killer?”

“Someone found out who I used to be and decided that they could use me to take care of a little dirty business. It was a shakedown at first. Someone was holding out on some money for the boss and he needed to pay up. I was told there was a fat check in it for me if I gave the guy a message. You know what I did then? I went down to his house and beat the shit out of him in front of his family.”

“Did he pay?”

“Of course he did, nobody likes having two broken arms, now do they?”

“I don't think anyone likes having even one broken arm,” the partner smirked.

“Of course he didn't, but that's how he knew he didn't want another.”

“Indeed,” the detective sighed. “So, who was your first?”

“My first what?”

“Your first kill.”

“Right,” Lyle twitches. “It was easy. It was a lawyer who was skimming the boss for petty cash and he was sick of it. The guy was so paranoid about something like me happening that he kept a Kimber forty-five handgun in his night-side table. When he wasn't looking, I broke in, took the gun and shot his wife. Daft bastard does the stupidest thing and runs in. Instead of shooting him immediately, I grabbed him and put the bullet in the side of his temple at point-blank. There was a bit of a struggle, but I managed. The police assumed that it was a murder-suicide. It was one of the easiest jobs I've had.”

“So, those were the first two?”

“Hell no, I don't count the wife. When I say I've killed sixty-three, I only mean the ones I'm paid to kill and not the ones while in the SAS.”

The detective rubs his eyes and then asks, “Is that how you did all of them?”

“What do you mean? Did I always kill the wife?”

“Well, no, did you always make it look like an accident?”

“Sometimes I'd make it look like a simple burglary gone wrong. I'd break in, shoot the target, and steal some random shit lying around. Then I'd put it all in someone's backyard or put it in a pawnshop. I tried not to do the same thing twice. I'm not like other contract killers; I don't have a subtle calling card or anything. I get the job done; easy as that. There's no need to fluff it up. It isn't about pride, it's about money.”

“You never got any pleasure from it?”

“I'm not mad if that's what you're implying.”

“I never said that.”

“No, you didn't, but you need to learn that when you say something, you're not just saying one thing. Everything has implications; intricacies.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“Then you aren't ignorant, just stupid?”

Go to hell.”

Lyle laughs, “You know, I imagine I will. But I'll see you there.”

“But you said you love to kill.”

“No, I love the setup. I love breaking in. I love getting away with it. There's a difference.”

The partner interrupts, “So, what would you call an ideal kill?”

“Ideal?” Lyle thinks it over. “The best and easiest jobs are for guys nobody likes. You know, people who have lots of grudges on them. That way I can pin the job on whoever I want and still walk. I'll go in, get the job done, and leave.”

“Are there any jobs that stand out?”

“They all do. You never forget the people you kill. You always see their faces. I see them all the time. They're asking me why I did it and it's like they're begging for me to go back and fix it. I can't do that and they know it. Goddamn ghosts.”

The room is silent.

“I guess if I were to have a calling card, you could say it's that I show up at all their funerals. I stand in the background and just say I'm a friend of his father's. I've never missed a single goddamn funeral. I guess I just go to pay my respects. It's not anything personal after all; it's just money.”

The detective gets impatient, “Okay, so why exactly are you here?”

“I told you. I didn't want to die without anyone knowing exactly who I am. In my jacket pocket is a list of the people I've killed. Reach in and get it.”

The detective walks over to Lyle and bends over to reach into the jacket. The camera's frames aren't fast enough see Lyle's arm snap around the detective's neck. There's a flash and several bangs as the detective's GLOCK discharges into the partner. Lyle stands up as he cracks the detective's neck. He reaches into his jacket pocket and sets a piece of notebook paper down on the table.

Lyle looks directly into the camera again and says, “You won't catch me. Don't try. All I want to say is this: don't forget who I am and if you see me, just pray to whatever god you worship that I'm not after you.”

The tape suddenly becomes static.

May I kindly direct you to the comments on cursing, located here? If it doesn't bother you, then don't bother.

Anyway, I used language for an effect this time. I need you to hate Lyle McCullough. I do.

--WA Julian


  1. Had me going - thought it was real for a few minutes. You got some real talent - keep it going Wes.


  2. I really liked the whole story, but the end just seemed cliché and predictable. As I was reading, I was really curious to see what the ending would be to tie everything together, but this ending was sort of a let down.