Wednesday again! Here's the flash for this week, and of course the link to everybody else at the bottom. Enjoy!
*LANGUAGE AND VIOLENCE*
Another night, another dollar. I always left in scrubs, deceiving my boyfriend with the illusion of a nursing job on third shift at the hospital downtown. Did he buy it? I don’t know. I don’t care. All I needed to do was three more jobs to pay off his gambling debt to the mafia.
Steadying my breath, I laid on the roof and watched the docks below. One shot, one kill, that was my mantra. I moved as a ghost through the shadows, never revealing myself. In like a fog and out like a whisper. The target’s limo pulled up near the warehouse and he climbed laboriously from it, a huge man with a shiny bald head. Practically a target for my scope, with the crosshairs zooming in to the spot immediately.
“Hold,” I whispered to myself. “Dear lord, please forgive me. Send Charlie to hell instead, but only after he’s lived long enough for me to make his life hell on earth.”
My trigger finger twitched as the shot came into line. One, two, three…One flick of my finger sent a bullet flying from the chamber with a bone chilling boom. It sliced through the air, a whirling cylinder of death, until it met the soft skin of the target. The centrifugal force sent the bullet through his skull and brain, and out the other side along with some matter and a beautiful arc of blood spray which splattered across the front window of the limo.
Chaos erupted below me as I calmly packed my equipment and made a hasty retreat to my escape route. I rounded a corner, my getaway car in sight, and a hand grabbed me from an alley.
Without thinking, I reacted. My fist met a jaw, elbow met a stomach, and my foot took out a knee. As the assailant released me and fell, I pulled a pistol from my pants and pointed it straight between his eyes. Both relief and annoyance flooded me at the sight before me.
“Charlie?” He lay on the ground trying to catch his breath, eyes wide. “What the hell are you doing out here?”
“I…I followed you.” He swallowed as he scrambled to his feet and backed against the opposite wall of the alley.
“Followed me? Why would you do that?”
“Because I thought – I thought you were fucking around.”
I snorted. “No, I’m fixing your stupid mistakes.” The panic on his face made me smile. “Yeah, that’s right. One sunny day three months ago, the mafia showed up at the door and threatened to kill you for your gambling debt.”
“So you started doing this?”
“I’m not going to let them kill you when I can make your life so much more miserable.”
Charlie smiled, thinking I was kidding or something. The look faded with his next question. “But you lied to me, Leslie.”
“The difference is I lied for a reason. You blatantly fooled me and everyone we know, and put both of our lives in danger for your addiction.”
I tensed as he stepped towards me and laid a hand on my shoulder. “But how can you kill people like this?”
“The first few were really hard, but it got easier with time.” I actually flinched at how cruel the words sounded, but they were the honest truth.
He pulled me against his chest for a hug. “I can’t believe you’d do this for me.”
And yet, he still didn’t say those three magic words we all want to hear. Four years together and never once did he say “I love you.” I began, in that tiny instance, to doubt his affection, doubt what we had. And with that seed of doubt, the resent grew quickly. I wouldn’t have to kill people if he weren’t alive. Who’s to say he wouldn’t go back to gambling and get in trouble again, anyway?
Additionally, he couldn’t live knowing what I do. The mafia had laid that out very clear to me at the beginning. If anyone saw me or found out, they had to be killed. I swallowed and pulled back.
“Let’s go home. But when you got me, I threw my keys in the alley somewhere.”
“I’ll get them.”
Charlie never knew the bullet was coming for him, and it was better that way. The single piece of metal pierced his head cleanly on my side and exploded out on the other, leaving a real mess. I’d never be able to clean that up, so instead I flipped open my sniper case and brushed away my footprints.
With a last glance to the dark alley, I made a hasty retreat to the car and pulled out the throw away cell phone the mafia supplied me for each and every job. The line rang once before going live.
“Client forty seven is dead,” I said. “So is Charlie.”
“Excuse me? Did he follow you or something?”
“Yeah. He knew everything. Two birds, one bullet.”
The messenger laughed. “You may have a future yet with us. Why don’t you come in tomorrow and talk with Marcos?”
I hung up the cell phone with a smile and threw it into the river as I drove over the bridge. Suddenly, my life was looking up.
The other magnificent flashers:
Pender Mackie (m/m)
Lily Sawyer (m/m)
Heather Lin (m/f)
Victoria Blisse (m/f)
Julie Hayes (m/m)
Ryssa Edwards (m/m)