Hjalmar was tired. He turned the bottle upside down and finished off what passed for gin in this god-forsaken place. He was going to exchange the stones for cash and then go home. Back to Karlskrona and his wife, Mary. The 9mm weighed heavy in his right hand coat pocket. His colleagues, Anders, Goran, and Roland were here at separate tables. They were here as backup.
They all knew the stories of the man he was meeting. He was a man who was larger than life, an angry man, a man who could kill without compunction, a man who could kill at the drop of a hat.
There was a commotion at the door and a hush fell over the barroom. An oversized guy, dark and boding; carrying a small duffel and wearing a khaki uniform ducked to come through the door. Respectfully, he removed his hat and paused to allow his eyes to adjust to the gloom inside.
When he moved again he went straight to the bar and embraced the woman who had been leaning against the end. A hurried conversation ensued and she pointed out Hjalmar to the large man. He nodded, made his way to Hjalmar’s table and sat. The man was so large that Hjalmar feared the chair might collapse.
“Do you have the stones?” the man asked.
Hjalmar nodded and using his left hand removed a leather pouch tied off at the top with a drawstring. Nervously, he set it on the table.
The big man reached for the bag and then paused. He looked to Hjalmar, as though requesting permission. Hjalmar nodded and the man lifted the bag, hefting it in his hand to gauge the weight. He untied the top and spilled a few of diamonds on the table. These were conflict diamonds, blood diamonds. The four Swedes in the room knew only too well how much blood had been spilt for these stones. The big man didn’t care about the history of the rocks. He smiled and kicked the duffel under the table within Hjalmar’s reach.
Hjalmar never got to the bag. The big man shot him through the chest. Hjalmar and his chair wound up unmoving, both on their backs on the barroom floor. Goran stood and made a beeline towards the door. He got no more than three steps before the big man’s pistol barked twice more and Goran collapsed.
Anders and Roland had the good sense to stay seated and not draw attention to themselves. The large man surveyed the room. Put the bag of diamonds in his pocket and picked up the duffel. No one else moved.
About 30 minutes to write – another 15 to edit and make corrections.