Thursday, May 9, 2013

Assassinate: A Short Story

This story might disturb a few readers.  I don't remember what prompted me to write it, but be forewarned, and know that this is from my (mentally unstable) character's POV, not my own.

Death is such a beautiful thing.  Such peace, such calm, such quiet.  No more worries.  No more fighting.  No more pain.

I decided when I was young that I would seek out the best way to make others' lives better, and then devote my life to that work.  No one could be more successful in meeting a goal than I have been in this.

Of course, it took work.  Study.  Dedication.  I had to research and learn.  I had to be careful, because my work is unique.  It is one of those things that must be done unseen, because there are those who do not understand the beauty and kindness in my job.  These people must never know of me, or the people I help would go on suffering.  I could not live with myself if I neglected my task, thankless as it is.

But I succeeded.  I pushed myself through years of study and practice.  I served clients from every walk of life.  They cannot admit it, naturally, but I know they are thankful.  They are the only ones who truly understand the great service I do them.

All this leading up to now.  Today will be my last day, when I retire and earn peace of my own, because after tonight I will have served my final client.  He is the ultimate end of my career, the one I have been working towards serving.  The final promotion, if you will.


I've prepared for this all my life, but this past year I have dedicated solely to the final client.  It has taken a great deal of planning to reach today.  I had to obtain the materials and security, both of which were not easy tasks.  But I do not mind.  My client deserves the best service that only I can give him - that I was trained to give him.

Tonight my life's purpose will be fulfilled.

***

The man did not appear threatening or unusual.  He wore the same suit and passed by lobby security as usual.  The elevator took him to the top floor without trouble as it had every week for the past five months, and the security officers there let him pass as well.

He turned right and strode through the halls, neither hurrying nor loitering.  The final door on the left opened to his knock, and the men on either side of the door ignored his presence.  He slipped into the richly decorated room while two more security officers slipped out.

"Damian, good to see you again.  How are you?"  The men sat on the deep red chaise and the leather-upholstered wooden chair, separated by a small mahogany coffee table.

"I'm well, thank you."

Their small talk continued for a few minutes.  One man shared his frustrations from the past week as the other listened patiently, just as he had for the past five months.  Today, though, he glanced at his watch often - a small silver watch, never worn before today.  It was the only variation from the past five months.  The speaking man did not notice.  He continued talking until the listener finally abandoned routine and interrupted.

"Sir, I apologize, but I haven't much time left."  He stood and checked his watch once again.

His companion looked at his own large gold watch.  "But it hasn't even been half an hour."

"Precisely.  It's already been twenty-seven minutes, which means we've only -" he looked at his watch again "-yes, sixty-three minutes left."

"Only?"  The man laughed, but his friend did not.  Eventually the laughter was replaced by a confused look, and he stood.  "Damian, what's come over you?  Are you okay?"

"I'm perfectly well.  I have a job to complete."

"A job?  I'm not sure I understand.  My assistant didn't notify me of any changes to the schedule-"

"You'll understand shortly."  Damian reached inside his suit jacket and pulled out a pair of disposable rubber gloves, sliding them on silently.  He then pulled out a thin wooden case, similar to those in which quality pens are sold.  This he opened to reveal two syringes with glistening silver tips, partially filled with a clear fluid.  After removing one of the syringes, he set the case carefully on the coffee table in front of him.

"Damian..."  His companion's face clouded over and he stepped back, putting up his hands slowly to calm Damian, who stepped around the coffee table towards his friend.

"I have a job to complete.  You will understand.  Don't worry.  I am one of the best in my field.  In fact, after I complete my task for you, I will be the best.  Then I can retire in peace, the same peace I have granted to so many, the same peace I am now prepared to free within you."

The business man's face twisted in horror and he opened and closed his mouth like a suffocating fish.  He stepped back and fell onto the chaise behind him.  His terror froze him as the man before him calmly approached, syringe held out in his gloved right hand.  The needle slid easily into the tender, pale, slightly wrinkled flesh of the man's arm.  Its contents entered his bloodstream.  After ninety seconds his eyelids began to sink and a restful expression replaced the fright etched in his features.

Damian smiled and returned the empty syringe to the case before rearranging his client's body more comfortably on the chaise.  He picked the case up off the coffee table and seated himself once again in the chair next to the chaise.  "I understand your gratitude, and you're quite welcome, sir.  It was a great pleasure to work with you.  Thanks to your benevolent assignment, I have now earned peace of my own, as well."

He lifted the unused syringe from the case.  He administered its contents into the crook of his own tan arm.  Swiftly he placed the empty syringe next to its companion and slid the closed case back into his coat pocket.  Arranging his arms on the rests, he leaned his head back against the chair and closed his eyes.  With a gentle smile, he awaited the quiet, dark peace he had granted to so many.

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