Language warning. Violence warning (duh). Lack of editing warning.
Breathe in. Hold. Breathe out. Let it be slow, steady.
Try hard enough, and there’s a moment when you can feel your body in ways most people never manage. Each heartbeat shakes you, just a fraction, and its journey through the veins brings a slow, gentle wave of movement. Breathing is the same. Alive is all about motion, whether you want it to be or not.
It makes taking the shot difficult. Even the tiniest amount of movement shifts the gun, fucks with your aim. There’s a sweet spot, a window between waves, where you can fire if you’re quick, and if you’re ready.
Back in training, they said to use the hours spent waiting to make a story. You gotta turn off your sympathy, turn yourself into a murderer. If you listen to the hype, imagining that the S.O.B you’re about to off is intimately connected to your life helps. You imagine marrying them, the look in their eyes when they first see you walking down that isle, the way their gaze shifts to take in the curve of the fabric, the way the beads hit the light. You imagine loving them, heart and soul, until you convince your brain that their you’re fuckin’ soul mate.You imagine the feel of them rutting against you, imagine making love, imagine the post-fight fuck. The moans they make, the money they waste on the shit you’ll never understand, the fights you inevitably have. Maybe she fucked the butler, maybe he punched your baby girl on graduation day. There’s always something. Something that makes them good and deserving of a sudden, unwelcome death.
Gives me the fuckin’ creeps, that. I don’t want to pretend I’m shooting the love of my damn life. Besides, if I need a reason reason to put a bullet in an asshole, I don’t need to use my imagination. I just read their file. You don’t get stuck in the middle of nowhere, watching a Mc-mansion, if some rat-faced fucker doesn’t have it coming.
You get lots of time to think, waiting for signs of life, especially if the target is rich. The rich ones tend to like their sleep ins. Fuckwits like this? They watch movies, think that just because the rich guys in shitty movies act a certain way, means that shit is mandatory. You’d be surprised how many idiots get a terminal headache.
Fucker in question goes by ‘El Capitan’. He’s the whitest Yank you’ve ever seen, got no reason to call himself that ‘cept he thinks it makes him sound scarier. He’s not what you’d call a criminal mastermind. His Daddy was, though, and when Daddy copped a blade to the throat, Junior stepped into the role with all the flair of a cartoon super-villain.
El Capitan sleeps late, and unlike his Daddy, Cap samples the merchandise. Also unlike his Daddy, he also thinks abducting the kids of his enemies and selling them into the bad life is a useful business strategy. He calls them gifts for the highest bidder. Santa over there thinks these kids are gifts for the good boys and girls of his inner circle.
Just call me Krampus, because I’m more about bringing gifts to the bad boys and girls
Today’s worthy recipient saunters out onto his balcony like he’s the King of England out for a goddamn stroll. The too-small velvet looking dressing gown flaps like a particularly sad flag in the breeze, cheesy red fabric showcasing black satin sleep pants that flutter like goth butterflies against his legs. Some guys wander out naked, so I’m not complaining. You’d think, given how dangerous it is to be a thug or a trafficker, you’d be more careful, and make it harder to have your dick shot off. It’s that alpha-male thing. Makes you think the world needs to see your junk. Not sure you’d be able to see Cap’s over the belly.
El Capitan checks the perimeter like a goddamn amateur, pudgy hand shielding his eyes from the glare before he barks an order at someone.
She’s tiny, far too young to be dressed in his favourite kind of leisurewear. He’s dolled the new girl up like she’s working a cheap brothel, and she struggles to navigate the cobblestoned patio in knee-high boots with heels to make a pro wince in sympathy. She hands him a pair of sunglasses, her hands shaking. Through the scope, her bruises are obvious.
Those bruises make it easy to line up the shot. They don’t make it easy to grit my teeth as he backhands her. She regains her balance and scurries back inside, returns a moment later with another pair of glasses that she frantically cleans with a black cloth. Another backhand, and she’s back inside.
The golden window passes in a blur. It’s hard to steady my hands, hard not to taste his death already. All deaths carry a taste. It’s why psychopaths and serials have such varied, but particular, tastes. You get to like a certain flavour. This bastard tastes greasy as the food he favours, tastes like sweat and human misery and like an impotent little bastard playing that he’s a man. Not a flavour I’m fond of.
Close your eyes. Focus. Breathe, and find your calm. Get it to-fucking-gether.
The sight, the wind, it’s like God himself wants this fucker dead. Who am I to challenge the will of God? All I need is to get back to that golden window and fire.
The crack could be another rockslide. This place is full of them. He doesn’t hear it, of course, because one second he’s leaning against the railing, overlooking his makeshift kingdom, and the next, he’s crumpling to the floor. There’s a spray of red and grey that catches the light like rubies and those crystals my sister always loved. Labra… something.
Her scream echoes, bounces its way back to me. I spare her a glance. She’s screaming, but it’s not out of fear, and it sure as shit ain’t grief. It’s what you do. You scream, you get help. And when they ask why you didn’t throw yourself at the body, you cry shock for all you’re worth and hope the explanation holds.
The comms pitch some static before delta team demand an update.
“Send in the extraction team. The King is dead.”