The warm night wind lapped calmly at his face as he listened to the tranquil buzz of wildlife around him. How ironic that the night could be so calm. He wasn't. His heart beat against his ribcage so fast he thought it would break out of his chest, and his thoughts swam around in his head even faster. He shouldn't be out here. Not for this.
"It's gotta be done. No way around it." His boss's voice echoed in his head. He remembered wanting to question it, but he knew that questioning was never part of the job. If you thought about it too much, you begin to realize what you were doing. And then the job was never finished. What would that accomplish?
Of course, those sentiments were also from his acclaimed boss. He supposed it was a good thing that he remembered a lecture in the current state he was in. They shouldn't have sent the new guy out here alone. It made more sense to send him with a group, or at least a guide, so he could get accustomed to the way things went. He gripped the cold steel of the gun he held in his hand so hard the skin turned white. It angered him. If he were to screw this up, he'd-
Footsteps interrupted the serenity of the small spot he was nestled in. They echoed louder than they should have on the pavement just outside of the woods, in the parking lot he had since been watching. It was time already. The butterflies in his stomach seemed to multiply rapidly and his gun felt heavier than normal.
The owner of the footsteps looked like an ordinary man. His balding head reflected in the moonlight as he stood against his car, a cigarette in hand. A jacket was draped over his shoulders. It looked like he carried it more out of habit than anything, as it was summer and the temperature barely dropped below 80 degrees even in the sanctity of the night, when everything was hidden from the sun's arid stare. Why did any of this matter? The guy was normal. He was human. And he had to die tonight.
The killer in the bushes didn't even know what he was killing the guy for. That was the nature of this job. Perhaps the guy had a family; children, and a wife, who would be expecting him home tonight-no. Never think. Just do it. He lifted the gun. It was a small .22 with a silencer on it, and his aim wasn't very good. He'd have to get closer.
His footsteps were silent as he approached the man from the back. He heard coughing as he got closer. This man was going to die eventually anyway, by the sound of it. Cigarettes are no different than a bullet, were they really? That thought didn't help. Ridiculous. He was going to murder this man.
He reached him. There was no more than a foot of space between the barrel of the gun and the man's back. Maybe it was better if he didn't see his death coming. He raised the gun, shaky in his hands, level to the back of the bald spot on his victim's head. Such an easy shot. The man would be dead before he hit the ground.
But it wasn't going to be that easy for him. His mind told him to pull the trigger but his finger locked itself in its position. A cough reverberated from the man's throat again and he dropped the cigarette, grinding it into the ground with the heel of his shoe. If he turned just slightly to the left, he would see his reaper.
"Oh...God!" The man gasped. Too late. He must have caught the gun out of the corner of his eye.
"Don't move! Don't even breathe," The killer's voice was weaker than he would have liked it to be. "To your knees. Now!"
It was as if the words weren't even his. It was as if some unseen force had piloted his brain, forcing him to say these things.
"What's your name?" He asked. The last thing he wanted was to kill the wrong guy. Best to make sure. If he was going to commit such a heinous act upon humanity, he might as well get it right.
The man stuttered. "T-Ted. Ganley."
So, he was right. As if that was any sort of relief. A cool wind circulated through the parking lot, brushing against the men. It made everything seem so surreal.
"W-why?!" Ted asked through tears. A grown man on knees, crying. Death did that to a person.
'Why'. The fatal question. He couldn't provide an answer. A pull of the trigger, and he didn't have to answer. He brought the gun closer and the man's cries became louder. He could almost hear him shaking where he kneeled.
Just run, you idiot. Run. Maybe I'll miss, he pleaded secretly.
But the man never made an attempt to flee. A gun is very commanding, he supposed. It was almost amazing. And so he pulled the trigger. Ted didn't even have time to scream. No more sobbing, no more pleading.
It was powerful. He felt it-that power. He was endowed with it. This man was dead because of him, and it felt...great. As if he became God the instant the bullet struck the flesh. He had complete control. Watching the blood on the car glisten in the moonlight filled him a sort of pride. He did a good job, after all, and was sure he'd get paid a fortune. His boss would be pleased. And next time he'd be quicker about it.
© Copyright 2016 Nezumiiro. All rights reserved.
Book / Thrillers
Short Story / Science Fiction
Short Story / Thrillers
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