Initiation. Short Story.

“Nervous?”
“Yeah.”
“Well, the first one is always the hardest, after this it gets easier, trust me.”
“Yeah I guess it’s just that-”

“Nope, just nothing. If you think like that you’ll talk yourself out of it and you know what will happen then. I want you to look at me, directly in the eyes, ok, good, now take a deep breath and release it slowly, then tell me what you’re gonna do.”
“I’m going to go out there and kill someone.”
“Good, just focus on that. Don’t let anything else cloud your mind. That’s all you have to focus on, are you ready?”
“Yes.”
He grinned, “Now get out there and prove it.”
Larry left the building, he was feeling a little better but his stomach was a big ball of nerves. Sure it was easy for First Point to say stuff like that but he wasn’t the one on the hook if things went wrong. Larry tried to push the thoughts away, obviously he’d just have to make sure that things went right. He had been preparing and building up to this for months, he couldn’t back out now at the last second. Besides, even though they said he was free to leave before his first kill he wasn’t so sure he actually trusted that. It would be easy for them to arrange an accident for him after all. Once he did it however he was in and he was safe. He’d finally be able to meet the others and finally learn an actual name for First Point.

Larry scanned the crowds as he walked, he had been given specific instructions as to who his target was, someone who was going to be easy. A man in his fifties, balding with grey hair, overweight, he would be wearing a black Armani suit and carry a leather briefcase. Every day at around one he would get a sandwich and eat it while sitting at the fountain. His routine never varied. Once this was done he’d be able to go after who ever he liked, within reason of course.

If was five past one when the man appeared. Larry wasn’t entirely sure it was him until he sat down and took out his sandwich. The man was larger than he expected, both in height and weight. The man didn’t look too fit at least, from what Larry could see he seemed to be breathing quite heavily, that would certainly make things easier for him. Larry watched as the man ate the sandwich, surprised by the small, dainty bites the man took. After fifteen minutes the man ate the final bite of the sandwich, brushed off his hands and legs, then stood. Larry didn’t know his name, didn’t know anything about him at all other than his schedule. Soon he would be back at work, in the Henderson Building, Larry was to kill him before then. The method was entirely up to him, poison, knife, whatever. Larry had chosen knife, he wanted to be close, to feel the life draining out of him, to see the light in his eyes die. Now he was starting to second guess himself. Was it really such a good idea? The man was fat, would the knife be long enough? He could do some damage, but what if it wasn’t enough? He had to be fast after all. Larry stood and followed after the man, trying not to get too close.

The man turned into a thin alleyway and Larry sped up, this was his spot, he couldn’t miss it. They told him if he didn’t do it today he could try again another time, that he had three chances to try before it would be considered failing, but he had to prove himself. He walked up behind the man and after a quick glance around, removed the knife from his pocket and stabbed it into his neck. The man made a strange, guttural sound, an almost high keening of pain, Larry removed the knife, ripping it out at an angle, trying to do as much damage as possible. Before he had planned to make it look like a robbery gone wrong, but that seemed like a bad idea considering the mans size. The man swung his arm around, Larry ducked to the side, just missing the briefcase. He stabbed and slashed again before skittering back. The man stood form a moment, lashing out wildly with his briefcase as one hand tried to stop the bleeding on his neck. He spun around once, then fell forward. His head hit the ground with a meaty thud. He moved weakly, trying to get one arm under himself. Larry quickly went over and slit his throat, this slice was deeper, more determined. The man gurgled and Larry waited, he didn’t have long but he needed to see. He watched as the man died. Larry stood up straight and kept walking, a steady, even pace though his heart thudded wildly and he longed to break out into a run. He realised the knife, still dripping blood, was clenched tightly in his hand. He flung it away from himself, it hit the wall with a clang and fell to the ground. Larry kept walking, he had worn gloves, the knife wouldn’t be traced back to him.

He reached the end of the alley, walking out the same side he entered, he took a right and joined the foot traffic seamlessly, no one noticed him, no one noticed the man in the alley. It had all gone perfectly. As he moved away from the body he felt his elation grow with each step, a giant bubble filling his chest, lifting him up, he longed to punch the air, to scream in victory, but he knew he needed to remain quiet, unnoticeable. There would be time for celebration later.

Larry entered the building, there was no doorman, no secretary at the front desk, there was simply an elevator with a key pad. Larry entered the code he had been given, one that would take him to the first floor and the first floor only. He had never been inside the building before, he always met First Point somewhere new, never in the same place twice.

The first floor wasn’t as nice as he was expecting, he had thought there would be thick plush carpets, tasteful paintings, all the usual trappings of fancy offices. Instead he was treated to concrete floors and bare walls. The lights were there, but they were dim. He followed the directions he had been given and after a few minutes found himself standing outside a door. He knocked and waited. “Come in.” Larry opened the door and stepped inside, First Point sat behind a desk, writing something, “Ah, Larry, right on time. Please have a seat.” Larry sat down across from him, the seats were comfortable at least. “Sorry about the place, we’re undergoing a bit of a remodel at the moment. We took you on a little later than usual, so we weren’t expecting to need this space for a few months.”
“That’s ok.”
“So I see you’ve completed your task and as such you’ve gained membership, I’m Toby, welcome to the club.” Toby stuck out his hand, Larry grasped it and they shook, both smiling.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 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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