* * *
Jeremy hadn’t done many crimes in his life. He once stole a stick of gum from his mother’s purse, only to return it before she noticed. Oh, what an adrenaline rush that was. That moment didn’t help him prepare for this one, however.
Some consideration went to searching online about how to dispose of a body, but the paranoia of his search history coming back to haunt him negated that. Bill Meiner was of no assistance, making snide remarks every now and again, but other-wise doing his best impersonation of a mime; useless and irritating.
He thought about dissolving Jacob’s body through use of acid but knew not how to do it. He remembered reading an article about how a serial-killer once buried a dead body six-feet underground, and then, after filling the dirt halfway, buried a dead animal, this way police officers would chalk up their cadaver dog’s findings as a false alarm. But who could find a dog at this time of the night?
It was a bitch dragging Jacob up the flight of stairs that led to the building’s rooftop, but he believed it would be a safer approach than dragging the trash-can out into the parking lot. Jeremy poured lighter fluid into the trash can, starting the flame with a paper ripped from a magazine – “Is your husband cheating on you?” If he is, he could still be doing worse things, Jeremy thought.
The trip to the grocery store for supplies had really taken to Jacob, who was already starting to give off a rancid odor. Although, his trash-bin coffin might also have shared the blame.
“This won’t be enough to dispose of Jacob, not all the way,” Jeremy said, not expecting confirmation or denial from Bill, but, instead, wanting to think out-loud. “Once the bones have burned awhile, they should be brittle enough to pulverize with a hammer.”
“Seems reasonable,” Bill said dryly.
“What exactly is going the fuck on right now, Bill!?” Jeremy asked, the more time he had to become acclimated with the fear, the more he found himself in-touch with other emotions, in-particular his own anger and frustrations. “Does Robert Spade always blow people’s heads off and leave his recruits to clean it?”
“Everyone has their hobbies, Jeremy.”
The fire roared, it had a little more oomph to it than Jeremy had initially anticipated. He doubted anyone would come to investigate a barrel-fire, but he still tried to calm the flame and make it less conspicuous.
“What happens after this?” Jeremy asked, the hot-heat from the fire reminding him of how scared and afraid he had felt the second Robert fired his gun.
“Everything happens a day at a time, kid. You’ll take your share of the money in my back-pocket, … Robert’s even added to your pay, and you’ll head home and sleep this off like a bad dream.”
“When did he give you the money?” Jeremy asked, taking his eyes away from the fire and looking at Bill. At the same time, he reimagined the painful memory of Robert Spade coming into the room, a vision he’d seen repeatedly throughout the night. Not once did Robert Spade have an opportunity to speak to him on such matters.
“Robert trusts me. He paid me in-advance before I even took the job.”
“But how would you know the bonus he was going to give me? How do you know how much that is? Are you generously taking it from your own cut?”
Bill merely stared at Jeremy.
“You guys planned this, even you knew what he was going to do? Did I survive tonight because of some fucking coin-toss!?” Jeremy asked, the smell of burning Jacob filling his nostrils.
“After you dispose of the body, I will pay you your cut, and a bonus on-account of the incident that occurred, a fixed amount Robert Spade has informed me of in such situations. You will go home, and this night will be nothing except for a bad dream, a bad dream you were paid handsomely for.” Bill Meiner spoke like he was reciting lines; a fact Jeremy didn’t know what to make of.
Jeremy sighed, his head ached and his body and mind both felt exhausted. If he was to be arrested and imprisoned the rest of his life, at least it could be done after a full night’s sleep. He didn’t offer Bill a second-look, opening the rooftop door and heading back down the flight of stairs to retrieve the hammer.
Once Jacob’s bones were crushed and reduced to dust, he would be free to dispose of them in their final resting place. His remains could have been spread across the Amisoic Sea. That would have been a thoughtful and sentimental gesture. The chance of a scuba diver swimming by them and identifying them as human-remains was slim, but Jeremy wasn’t willing to risk it. Instead, he would drive out into the first forest he found and scatter them.
When he returned to the rooftop and saw the fire no longer blazed on, Bill Meiner finally doing something useful and extinguishing it. It seemed Jacob wasn’t the only one who wanted to put this night behind them.
“What will you do with what remains?” Bill asked, thrusting his large-gut forward to pop his back.
“I’ll hide them in the woods. No one will ever know,” Jeremy replied, feeling some relief in his own confidence to that fact.
“Sounds like you have it all taken care of. I’ll leave you to it,” Bill said, putting his hand out in-front of Jeremy. “It has been real.”
Bill Meiner had a shit-eating grin on his face and showed he took some amusement in the head that Jeremy had been succumb to. Had this been an initiation? Was Jeremy the one that “made the cut”? Why did he need to get rid of Jacob’s body? Jeremy shook his head at Bill, “You’re lucky I’m too tired to get rid of a second body.”
Bill Meiner chuckled, “You’ll be alright, kid.”