The Quagga’s Song, Part One

They call me the Quagga. 

This is because of my large nose, and the stripe-like scars across my forehead. I tell most people they are from a knife fight, although in reality they originate from a bicycle accident when I little. Not that it matters. 

I have always worked in debt collection. The bad, off the books kind. You would never believe it if you met me. With my twig arms and chicken legs, you are going to have be the weak end of weakling to lose to me in a fight.

I have my shotgun, but I have never even pointed the dangerous end at another human being. And anyway, a gun is not going to scare off these kind of debtors. Most are chubby men with faces so fat they look like they have melted, with security details that could break my neck in seconds. 

My plan is as follows. I break into their house, and sit at the end of their bed when they are fast asleep. I lay my shotgun across my lap, and cough, just enough to get to stir them to the first stage of consciousness. 

And then I sing. 

I trained in opera for seven years. I can smash this airia. It is the same tune every time, one that warbles around the target’s bedroom, so sweet, and yet so loud. They always settle down when they see the gun. 

When my song is complete, I leave a handwritten note at the end of the bed, explaining what they owe. Explaining that there won’t be another song. 

So far I have a 100% success rate. I haven’t cleaned my shotgun in months. It’s got to the point where I have cancelled my gym membership, but invested in a lozenge company. 

Because the Quagga’s song is always in demand.