Killer. Short Story.

Jeremy stretched and yawned. It had been a long day but he was almost done. He was feeling cold and sore, he had been sitting on the roof of the building for hours now. He watched the people walking back and forth below, there were so many of them. Most carried backpacks or satchels. He had been given the descriptions the night before. A young man, black short hair, glasses, a bright pink backpack. He had been easy to spot, despite the crowd of students milling about the square at the time, most of the bags were low, muted colours. The second was a woman, middle aged, tall, wearing a black suit, she had bright red hair and a mottled burn scar on one cheek. He had spotted her at about three. The final person, at least in this place, had yet to make an appearance. He was told they would all walk across the square before five. He was starting to feel antsy now, what if five came and the target didn’t walk by? He had heard of that kind of thing happening before. He dismissed the thought, no, everyone had always shown up for him before, why would this time be any different? He went back to scanning the crowds, thankful that the sun had finally broken through the dark clouds. There. A woman, more a girl, still young, probably middle teens. Her hair was a mixture of blue and purple and almost down to her hips. She was short, and had pale skin. Jeremy studied her for a moment, watching her as she walked. Then, just before she was about to leave the square he pointed at her and released a slow steady breath. He felt it tear away from him, careening across the sky and slamming into her. She didn’t flinch, didn’t slow. Jeremy smiled, she didn’t know what had hit her. He didn’t know what she had done, or why she deserved to die. He had learned not to ask those questions long ago. That wasn’t his job, his job was to make sure it happened. He didn’t know what would happen to her or the two others, only that they’d die. He hoped it would be quick for them, after all he held no animosity towards them.

Jeremy stood and stretched, groaning in pleasure as he worked the kinks from his muscles. Once he was done he went to the door and opened it, stepping into the stairwell. As he moved deeper into the building the air grew hotter and his limbs started to tingle with the warmth. He hadn’t realized just how cold he was up there. He stepped outside and onto the concourse, moving through the crowds with ease. They surged from the buildings as class let out, swarming around him. He didn’t touch any of them. None of them knew how close they came to death. It had been years since he had last touched a person, actually touched them, skin to skin contact. A handshake, a hug, sex. All out. Not since he had started this gig. He had been warned that would happen, but he didn’t mind so much. He was always a bit of a loner.

Jeremy sat into his car and started it, he fiddled with the radio while he waited for the car to heat up. After a few minutes he pulled out of the parking spot and joined the steadily building traffic as people left the college. He still had two people to check off the list and he was done for the day. He glanced at the clock in the car, he had plenty of time still. One was going to be in a restaurant between six and seven, the other was going to go into a nearby shop at six thirty. He’d deal with them both then get some food.

He dealt with the man at the restaurant first. He settled himself at the bar and ordered a drink. He took a sip every now and then, mostly wetting his lips. He didn’t like to drink while he was on the job. Jeremy had positioned himself so that he could discretely watch people walking into the restaurant. The man he was looking for was old, mid-sixties, balding, hair that was dyed brown, walking with a cane and a faint limp. The man entered the restaurant at ten past six and was seated immediately. He talked to the hostess for a moment and she laughed, the waiter brought him a drink. A regular then. Jeremy waited until he had a clear line of sight and discretely pointed at the man. Again he felt the surge leave him. The man took a sip of his drink as Jeremy stood from the bar and threw down some money. He made his way out of the restaurant and towards the shop.

He was looking for a young mother, two children, both in a pram. She was about average height, blond hair which was cut short. He browsed around the aisles, an empty basket held in one hand. It had been a long day, he was tired and he didn’t feel like cooking. He picked up a few sweets and threw them into the basket, along with a bottle of soft drink. Then he saw her, again he pointed, again the energy flew out. As he walked towards the till he noticed she didn’t have a wedding ring. He winced slightly. Hopefully there was someone who could look after the kids once she was gone. She smiled at him as he passed and Jeremy smiled back. He hated doing it when the kids were around. He didn’t see her again as he paid for his items and left. Outside he walked back to his car and got in. One the way he stopped at a drive through and ordered his food, careful not to touch the woman who handed him his bag of food.

When he got home he put his food on the counter and stripped out of his suit, changing into loungewear. With that done he went back to the sitting room, turned on the TV and started to eat. His apartment was large, with a beautiful view of the city. He was paid well for his work, which always helped. Once he had finished eating he looked at his watch. Almost time. His phone rang and he answered on the third ring. He nodded as the person on the other end told him his targets. There would be seven tomorrow. He repeated them all back then hung up the phone. He wasn’t allowed write it down anywhere. There couldn’t be a paper trail. With that done he turned off the TV. He was tired and he had a long day tomorrow. Yawning, Jeremy stretched and made his way toward bed. It was a tough job, but at the end of the day someone had to do it and it might as well be him.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 24 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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