A Killer's Choice

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
A hitman's decision: let her live...or let her die?

Submitted: January 06, 2011

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Submitted: January 06, 2011

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I pressed the barrel of the pistol to her temple, fascinated by the discolored opening of the wound beneath her brow line. I could see a pulse writhing beneath the skin, filling the reddened flesh with warm fluid. Did fear induce her veins to pump more rapidly? Did terror bring the vibrant colored blood to the surface? I didn’t know. I was far too transfixed by the sight of the marks I had left upon her tender flesh.
“Please,” she begged, snot running down past the broken skin of her lips. “Please. I have a son. I have a family. Please don‘t kill me. They need me. They need me.”
In my head, I imagined her son. I imagined her with him--holding his hand, kissing his cheek, loving him as a mother would. The picture was so disgustingly pleasant I wanted to gag. But I couldn’t help but think of Andrew.
If it were my life on the line, would I beg? Would I cry out his name in one final lament for mercy?
“My son needs me,” she repeated, snorting on her own tears. “I am all he has.”
Her cries haunted me.
I am all he has. I am all he has. I am all he has.
“I don’t care,” I managed to choke out.
But it was a lie. I did care. And I despised myself for it.
Was this the monster I had become? This soulless, brutal thing with no contemplation of humanity? So many lives. Wives, husbands, daughters, sons. I’d killed them all. Ended their existence at a mere whim.
I hadn’t cared then. They had simply been a part of the job description.
Find and destroy. Locate and kill.
Why was she different? Because she had children? Because she had a life that so resembled mine? I couldn’t afford to care. She had to die. She had to.
I waited with bated breath for my finger to pull the trigger, for my instincts to consume me and end the agony of the unconscionable crime I must commit. But nothing happened. I remained there, my arm wrapped around her full waist, the gun pressed to her forehead. And I did nothing.
In all my years of bloodshed, never before had I felt so lost.
Legs shaking, I released her, sickened by the cry of relief that left her lips as the pistol clattered to the floor. What was happening to me?
She fell to her knees then, wrapping her arms around her body as she sobbed into her chest.
Her life had been spared. Her son would have his mother. She would live past this night. And the man--the hired killer who stood in the center of her living room--in his own depraved way, had saved her.
Raising her head, she sent me a watery smile, her eyes glittering with tears. Joy as potent as any poison etched her features. It terrified me.
“Thank you,” she cried out, rising from the floor to throw herself into my arms. She placed both her hands on my face and kissed me on the mouth. It was not romantic. I don’t think she meant for it to be. But I could taste her tears, her unrelenting emotion. And it left me weakened with a sense of defeat.
She stared into my eyes for several minutes--smiling as if she had salvaged the humanity within me. And then she walked away, moving towards the hallway as if she intended to retire for the evening.
It was not until she had nearly reached the doorway that I took the gun from the floor, raised it in the air, and shot her in the back of the head.


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