He was an eradicator of life. In his time he’d sent more souls to Jesus than Hitler himself. All with the pull of an iron trigger or the twist of a red metal knob. Be it death by thick engulfing gasses resulting in poisoned suffocation or by means of sprayed poisons seeping into their skin or splashing into their mouths they’d all died. He, Danny, joked about ending their little lives with such ease that he had a four-hour job. Meaning that they’d only really worked four hours a day. The rest of the day was generally spent traveling or sloughing off.
It needed to be said that he was Danny and not Dan. I’d called him Dan by accident on my first day working with the man and he’d fired back at me with a fury that Danny generally reserved for cursing our boss for sending us a few hours out of our normal work area. Meaning that we needed to work late driving at least an extra hour out and an extra hour in. During which times Danny, not Dan, would slam his fists on the steering wheel and curse about how unfair the world was. At least on the way out. After he’d sent a few thousand souls to heaven Danny was always better, happier. Not much made Danny happy but a true massacre sure perked him up.
I hadn’t wanted this job but instead had this job thrust upon me. I was perfectly happy to sit on the porch sharing cigarettes with the neighbors and wasting the day away on Uncle Sam’s dime. Then she went and had another kid and with the Government cut backs we weren’t getting enough on welfare to feed both kids, ourselves, and Dill. Dill’s our Shepherd, great dog. Lets me know when Sarah gets home so I can act like I was busy all day working on something. So I took up with my cousin’s company and here I am in this rickety van, that’s probably about the same twenty-four years of age that I am, squealing down the highway and letting loose a screeching bounce from the shocks with every bump.
We were up to Newaygo. That little town about a half hour above Grand Rapids. Why anyone would want to live in the woods was beyond me. It’s the reason we were going there. If you live in nature, nature lives with you. We were headed to a house to clear out a bees nest. Not a nest on the outside of the home or in just in the yard but a nest inside the walls of the home. A nest that made the home unlivable. The job would take four men to do properly but my cousin being a cheap fuck sent two of us. We were pretty lucky. So much for the bonds of blood.
Danny was calm because we weren’t going far. He didn’t talk much which was fine because he thought I was lazy at least twice today I expected to hear about it. That was really the only bad thing about working with Danny. No one was good enough to work with Danny. He’d been killing bugs and pests sense he was sixteen and now he was in his forties. His own pest control business had failed because he didn’t know how to advertise and so he fell back to being a grunt, which he didn’t seem to mind.
We pulled into a small lot about a mile from everything at about nine am. There wasn’t much to see. Just a woodland of maples and pines with ferns above thin a layer of grass with boss around the trees bases. The type of thing you expected in the Michigan woods. The house itself was around a curved drive which seemed unnecessarily long, a probable pain to shovel or plow in the winter. But it was a cute white house with scattered moss stains around the base of it. You could tell from looking at it that it couldn’t have more than one or two small rooms. The garage was attached and closed. All the windows were dark and covered in a bit of dirt. The breaks howled as we stopped in front of the home. A fair warning to our prey that we, their new devils, had arrived.
I hopped out and started putting on my rubber coveralls, mesh mask included, and Danny made his way straight to the front door. I don’t know what he thought was going to happen but I know what did and my day was better for it. He knocked on the door of an empty house. Probably out of habit. Still, Danny should have known he’d excite the bees. We were told they’d housed their hive partially in the door frames. In those little gaps that are present between the door frame and the walls that molding generally covered. Danny’s girly screams as he ran away from the front door had made the drive worth it. He arrived back at the van batting away bees like a fool.