GreenAddress – Bitcoin speed up – Z24 Crypto


[WP] A world class contract killer finds an envelope at his dead drop. Inside are $23.42 in small change and a letter hand-written by a 9-year-old girl.
Vlad wore black. He was talking to a man named Vinny the mule. Vinny had been wearing white, but now he wore red.
Vlad revved the chainsaw again.
“So you sold fifty kilos to your man in Istanbul,”
“Yes!” Vinny the mule screamed, “I told you everything, please let me go!” He was lying on an operating table with his hands chained to his sides. Electrodes covered his sweaty forehead. His neck was bolted to the table. A guillotine hung from the ceiling, suspended by a frayed piece of yarn. There was a vast 10’x 12’ canvas underneath the table. It was splattered with blood and smeared with footprints. There were a few teeth scattered about.
“But,” Vlad said, “What did you do with the other twenty kilos?”
Vinny’s face turned white. “No,” he said, “No, I swear, it was only a fifty kilo shipment.”
“That’s right,” Vlad said. He set the chainsaw down and left.
Vinny tried to move his head to see where Vlad had gone, but the neck brace was too tight.
Vlad returned quickly.
“Hey,” Vlad said, “How many pounds are in a kilo?”
“Umm,” Vinny said. He was terrified. Was this a test? Was he going to be killed if he didn’t know the answer? He thought back to his 4th grade math class. What was it that Mrs. Knight had said? He couldn’t remember. He had spent too much time crying in 4th grade. That little bitch Stacy used to bully him. Suddenly, Vinny remembered! “About two point two,” Vinny said. Relief washed over him. This man was going to let him go. It had all been a mistake.
“Thanks,” Vlad said, writing something on the back of a Hobby Lobby catalogue.
“Aren’t you going to let me go now?” Vinny asked.
Wordlessly, Vlad left again.
When he returned, he was carrying three dumbbells.
“What’re those?” Vinny asked, bewildered, “What are you doing?”
“Hold these,” Vlad said. He put one of the dumbbells in Vinny’s left hand. “This one is twenty pounds.” He put another dumbbell in Vinny’s right hand. “And so is this one.”
Vinny was terrified. His wrists were still chained to the table and now he was holding exercise weights. What was going on here?
“This one,” Vlad said, “Is two point five pounds. I wish I had some two-pound weights for today, or a four-pound weight, but I don't think they make them.” He looked at the tiny black dumbbell. “Honestly, I’m a little embarrassed that I even own a weight that’s this small. I’ve never used it.” He tossed it in the air and caught it. “I mean, it’s so tiny. What would anyone possibly use this for?”
Vinny shivered. Was this another question? He looked up at the guillotine, and the frayed strand of yarn holding it aloft. But he knew the answer! He would get this one right! He wasn’t going to die yet!
“They-They-,” Vinny sputtered, “They use those weights for jogging. You carry them when you jog,”
Vlad looked at him thoughtfully. “Oh yeah,” he said, “Anyways, I want you to hold this with your chin, okay?” Vlad carefully balanced the small weight on Vinny’s Adam’s apple. Vinny clamped down on it with his chin. It pressed painfully onto his throat. He let out a bizarre strangled gurgle.
“Oh,” Vlad said, “Does that hurt?”
Vinny couldn’t move his head much because of the neck brace, but he gave a slight nod.
“Okay,” Vlad said, “We’ll just put this on your chest then.” And he moved the weight to Vinny’s chest.
“So,” Vlad said, showing Vinny the equations he’d written on the back of his Arts & Crafts supply catalogue, “Assuming there are 2.2 pounds in every kilo, then twenty kilos equals 44 pounds, yes?”
Vinny gaped at him.
“Well,” Vlad said, “You’re holding forty pounds in your hands. And 2.5 pounds on your chest. That’s 42.5 pounds. We’re a pound and a half short of 44.”
Vlad drew out a revolver. In an instant, he tossed it end over end, snatched it out of the air, cocked the hammer and shoved the barrel into Vinny’s gaping mouth.
Vlad blushed a little and removed the gun from Vinny’s mouth. “Didn’t mean to do that,” he said sheepishly, “Reflexes.” He carefully balanced the gun on Vinny’s forehead. “Don’t move,” he cautioned.
“For the sake of argument,” Vlad spoke in the tone of a college lecturer, “Let’s say that my gun weighs a pound and a half. Agreed?”
The gun was precariously resting on his forehead. Vinny didn’t dare nod in agreement with Vlad. For the moment, he was too scared to speak. He moved his eyes up and down as if they were nodding ‘yes’. Lines of sweat trickled across his forehead, winding their way around the electrodes and the gun.
“So,” Vlad said, “That’s 44 pounds of stuff that I’ve added to your mass. Twenty kilos.” Vlad paused. “How much do you weigh?” he asked.
Vinny stammered.
“In KILOS,” Vlad demanded.
Eventually Vinny answered, “A hundred.”
“A hundred kilos,” Vlad said. He looked thoughtful for a moment. “You came in here weighing one hundred kilos.”
Vinny’s eyes nodded.
“I promise you,” Vlad said, “That you’ll still weigh one hundred kilos when you leave.”
Vinny felt relieved. He couldn’t believe it. Vlad was going to let him leave!
Vlad began to unchain Vinny’s left leg. And then it was free! Vinny lifted his leg and stretched it out. He had been getting a cramp. He started doing ankle rolls.
“Can you take the gun off my head please?” Vinny asked.
“What?” Vlad said, “Why would I do that?”
Vinny stared at him. “You said you were letting me go,”
“I am,” Vlad said, “But right now, you weigh one hundred and twenty kilos. I made you a promise.”
“But I-,” Vinny said, “I don’t…” He trailed off, looking at the dumbbells in his hands and on his chest.
“Nooooooo!” he screamed, “Nooo, what are you doing to me?”
Ignoring him, Vlad picked up Vinny’s left leg and dropped it back to the table. “How much do you think this leg weighs?” Vlad asked, holding a sharpie marker in one hand.
Vinny was screaming unintelligibly.
“You know,” Vlad said, “My dad always said ‘Measure twice; cut once’.”
Vinny screamed.
“But,” Vlad said, “I’ve always been more of a guesstimator.” He drew a line on Vinny’s pantleg, somewhere in mid-thigh. He picked up the chainsaw.
“No,” Vinny pleaded, “Please, this isn’t fair. I don’t want these dumbbells, I want my leg.”
“Fair?” Vlad said, “This is perfectly fair. This is exactly what you did to your man in Istanbul. You gave him twenty kilos of cut and thirty kilos of product. That’s not what he wanted.”
“What?” Vinny asked suddenly, “How do you know that?”
“Who do you think hired me?” Vlad said.
He raised the chainsaw over his head and was about to pull the cord to re-start it when he heard a noise.
“Ding!” went the noise, “You’ve got mail!”
Vlad lowered the chainsaw. “Hang on a sec,” he said to Vinny.
Vlad walked over to his desktop computer and clicked an icon on his AOLmail page. A new contract! Vlad opened the email. It contained a password and a link to someone’s private Facebook photo album. Someone named ‘mollybear2005’. There was only one image on the photo album. It was loading very slowly. Vlad still hadn’t upgraded his 56k.
There was another link in the email. It said something about ‘bitcoin’. Someone was trying to pay him over the internet. But how does that work? It didn’t seem safe. Vlad didn’t like it.
Still, a job was a job. He sat in front of the computer, drumming his fingers on the desk while the image loaded.
Suddenly, there was a SWOOSH, a THUMP, and a BANG!
“Jesus Vinny,” Vlad said, turning around, “What did you do?”
The guillotine was stuck an inch deep into the operating table. Vinny’s head was rolling across the canvas on the floor. The revolver was on the canvas too. There was a smoking bullet hole in the canvas.
Vlad sighed. That wasn’t the composition he had wanted at all. Slowly, he cleaned up his torture instruments and rolled away the operating table. With Superglue, he permanently attached everything to the canvas exactly where it had fallen. There were some nice shades of red. The piece was asymmetrical, but that was okay. It had a good flow. He would hang it up on the wall once the glue had dried.
He returned to his computer. The image had loaded. It was written in crayon, on personal stationary. The message said, “Big Job—Help me now!”
Vlad glanced at the address on the stationary. He could be there in ten minutes.
He ran through his revolving bookcase and hopped on his motorcycle. The engine growled. He tore through his secret tunnel and soon he was on Oak street going full-speed. And then he was there, at the Johnson family residence, 223 Spruce St.
There was a little girl in the front yard, crying. She looked up when he approached.
“Are you the assassin?” she asked.
Vlad looked at her skeptically, and then nodded.
“HOORAY!” the girl exclaimed. “I’m Molly and this is Cuddles.” She held out a stuffed unicorn. It was worn out in some places, presumably from excessive cuddling.
“Come with me,” she said, taking him by the hand and leading him inside the house.
Her room had Carebear wallpaper. The colors were too loud for Vlad’s tastes. And the fluffy pink comforter on the bed clashed terribly with the green and blue froggy-pond rug.
“I got your message,” Vlad said.
“And?” the little girl said, excitedly, “Did you kill Stacy yet?”
“No,” Vlad said, “Is the target named Stacy?”
“DUH!” the girl said, “I sent you all the info already.”
“What?” Vlad said, “No you didn’t.”
“Did so,” the girl said, crossing her arms. “I texted you.”
“What’s a text?” Vlad asked.
The girl laughed. She had a cute laugh, with dimples and baby teeth. “You’re funny,” she said.
“Seriously,” Vlad said, “What’s a text?”
Her expression changed. She looked at Vlad with sympathy. “It’s like sending an IM on your phone,” she explained carefully. Vlad handed her his phone and she showed him how to look at his text messages. She also helped him change his phone’s background image from the default to a Van Gogh. Vlad felt quite pleased. Next, she helped him pick out a new ringtone. They didn’t have any Wagner, so he settled for Bizet’s theme from Carmen.
They returned to the text message.
“So the target’s name is Stacy,” Vlad said, “and she lives next door. That’s what all of these abbreviations mean?”
Stacy nodded. “Yeah. And ‘ty’ means ‘thank you’.”
“Oh,” Vlad said, “Well that’s a very polite thing to say. You’re a good little girl.” He paused. “So how do I get paid?”
“I sent you a link to my bitcoin wallet,” the girl said, “And I gave you the encryption key. You can have the whole wallet, my life savings.”
“And,” Vlad said, “How much is that?”
“Well,” the girl said, “Bitcoins fluctuate, so it could be a lot more money really soon if the market for them goes up,”
“How much is it now,” Vlad said.
“Twenty-three dollars and forty-two cents,” the girl said, looking at the floor.
Vlad flew into a rage. He took out his knife stabbed it deep into her computer desk.
“This isn’t enough money little girl,” he rasped.
“Do you know what it feels like when someone offers to buy an artist’s work?” He asked.
“It feels tasty.” He licked his knife. A droplet of blood appeared on his tongue. He closed his mouth and savored the taste.
“Do you know what it feels like when a buyer lowballs you? When a buyer lowballs you harder than you’ve ever been lowballed before??” He stabbed her stuffed unicorn in the throat. Gouts of white stuffing popped out.
“IT FEELS TERRIBLE!” he screamed at her, spittle flying into her pigtails.
There was a silence. The girl looked like she was about to cry.
There was a voice from downstairs. “Moollllyy?” the voice said, “Molly, is everything alright up there?”
Molly put on a brave face. “Yes Moommm,” she called back.
“Okay,” Mom called. “Do you want a banana smoothie Molly? I’m about to make one.”
“No thanks mom,” Molly yelled back.
Vlad sat there awkwardly, breathing heavily. He calmed himself.
Molly took the knife out of Cuddles the Unicorn’s throat, and began putting the stuffing back inside.
“I’m sorry I did that,” Vlad said.
“It’s okay,” Molly said, “Cuddles is tough. He’s tougher than me.”
“Why do you want to kill this Stacy girl anyway?” He asked.
“She bullies me,” Molly said, “Look, I’ll show you.” She logged onto her facebook and began pulling up chat conversations.
Vlad read them with interest.
“She called me a stupid fathead,” Molly pouted.
“No!” Vlad said aghast, “She didn’t! Did she?”
Molly nodded. And there it was, in plain text on the chatlog.
A distant memory surfaced in Vlad’s creaky old brain. He had once been called a stupid fathead too. Back when he was in the 4th grade… He had been tormented by a female bully every day. What was her name? It was Stacy, wasn’t it? Yes, it was Stacy. It was her constant teasing that had influenced him to drop out of elementary school, forever ruining his dreams of becoming a doctor. Oh, how things would have been different if someone had been there to make Stacy shut up… This appeared to be a problem for every generation.
“I won’t kill her,” Vlad said, “She’s too small-time for that. But I can give her a good scare.”
Molly looked up at him with tears of gratitude in her eyes. “Thank you,” she said.
She blinked back the tears. “How much do I have to save up for you to scare her?” She asked.
“Don’t worry,” Vlad said, “This one’s pro bono.”
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