Henry paced the tile floor of a Zürich apartment rented specifically for one purpose. He paused by the window and glanced at the soaring spires that pierced the vista. “Bitches,” he muttered.
A knock on the door stiffened his back. His head swiveled as he noted quick exit points and items that might be used as weapons, if needed. Satisfied he could escape any traps, he threw his shoulders back and sauntered over to answer. “Who is it?”
A deep French-accented voice, roughened by a life of alcohol and cigarettes, answered, “I’m the specialist ordered by one Mr. Johnson.”
A sick smile twisted Henry’s lips. He swung open the door and surveyed his new hire. The man stood shorter than Henry’s six-foot frame, but not by much. He shaved his dark hair close to his skull, small patches of silver glistening in the hall light. Black eyes, dead and cold, returned Henry’s favor by sizing him up.
“Come in,” Henry said. “You come highly recommended. Drink?”
The man shook his head. “No pleasantries, just business.”
Henry poured himself a finger of scotch and knocked it back. “I can respect that.” He strolled over to his briefcase on the bed and unsnapped the latches, trying not to notice the man’s hand inching under his jacket. A Beretta 92-F lay atop two manila envelopes. “I do have a weapon, in case of emergencies. In the spirit of full disclosure, and all that.”
Henry snatched up the envelopes and closed the lid. He breathed a mental sigh of relief as the man’s hand stopped its journey and reached for the packages. “A weapon doesn’t do much good locked away,” the man said.
“As I said, emergencies. I have…other means, as well.” Henry eased himself into a chair and leaned back, ankle on knee.
The man ignored Henry’s bravado. He opened the envelopes and pulled out the pictures inside. A young, attractive blonde and silver-haired matron the victim of too much plastic surgery stared back at him. “These are the targets,” the assassin said, no inflection or tone in his voice.
“Yes. Their bios are in the envelopes. The young blonde’s name is Kahtarina Graber; she goes by Katie. The older woman’s name is Rachel Pleasant, my former wife.” Henry leaned forward and the setting sunlight coming through the window cast his face in shadow. “I want them dead.”
“Obviously, or I wouldn’t be here.” The man stuffed the photos back into the envelopes. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a piece of paper. “Wire the money here. Once payment has been verified the job will be done.”
Henry grinned. “Better you getting some of my money than that hag and her two brats sucking me dry.” He pulled out his smart-phone and started messing with the screen. “Done. Get that whore and witch out of my life.”
The killer pulled out his own phone and pressed a few buttons. He nodded at whatever showed on the screen. He turned and strode out of the apartment without a word.
Henry poured himself another drink and chuckled. He knocked his drink back, grabbed his briefcase, and headed for the door. He had to catch a flight to Dubai.
My contribution to Cognitive Reflection’s Picture Writing Challenge #21. The only “rule” is you have to use the photo for your story or poem. It’s open to everyone, so head on over and join in the fun!
This week, I decided to continue the story begun in “Solitary” . Keep checking in to see what happens!
Happy Reading and Writing!