The Mark

The Mark

I do not get angry. In my line of work, angry people have a short work life and generally a short life.

In my house I have a room with padding on all the walls and floor. It’s like one of those rooms they hold the medically insane who are dangerous to themselves and others. Actually it’s one of those rooms; I had it built specially. It’s also sound-proof. Right in the center is a dummy.  I have beaten the dummy out of that dummy but it just won’t die. I am sure it will be alive and well long after I am all bleached bones looking accusingly at all comers and reminding them how we destroyed  the planet with plastics and waste.

When I am out of my house, I do not get cranky; I do not get annoyed; I do not raise my voice or my fist; I do not hyperventilate. I am as calm as the ocean before the storm. But once in that room, I let loose. Those who have no self-control do not last long in my line of work.  They serve as punch lines for other’s jokes – most of who will soon fall victim to the same thing themselves.

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I am standing at the corner of 4th and 5th. An unlit cigarette in my mouth. I don’t smoke and when I am done it goes down my throat. Yeah, I know but not to worry. A bullet will probably be the death of me. Long before “C.A.” has any chance to shrivel my organs.

I shouldn’t be here. But the situation calls for extreme and decisive action if I am to save my head and my reputation.

It helps that I am one of those people who are largely transparent to others. I have a non-descript visage. The police could be braining people with batons during a violent riot, and I could walk past their line with not a second glance from anyone. I have sat next to people for hours on a train and the only description they could give less than hour later is “a man”, tall, short, thin, young, middle-age – they couldn’t be certain. Which suits me very well.

There was only one way out of the building and the “mark” has to take it sooner or later. I am standing there with a Remington 700 under my non-descript coat. I could whip that gun up in a second and have a bullet racing towards my target in two. It’s a fact: practice makes perfect.

There was a little commotion at the entrance of the building and the mark came out. He had lawyered up. And was surrounded by chaps in dark suits and darker glasses who thought they were mean. I did not move a muscle. I waited as I have for several days now. He had to get in the bullet-proof car.

As he was hustled towards the car, I could see how he could think he was safe enough for the time of day. Twenty seconds after the front door opened he was at the car. The door swung open from the inside and he was helped in quickly from within and behind. In the split second when it took him to enter I sent a neat little specially-made projectile towards the car. It was a difficult shot by any reasoning. The purpose was for the bullet to hit the target’s neck through the slight gap between the car frame and the open door as he passed from outside into the vehicle. Timing was key. Instinct was everything.

I couldn’t see him but I knew he was dead before he knew it. That bullet was made to explode on impact with anything harder than flesh. It would have hit his vertebrae, snapping his neck, exploded and taken his spinal cord along for good measure while delivering a highly toxic and corrosive concoction into his system.

I could tell by the commotion I could hear behind me as I made my way nonchalantly and slowly past the gathering crowd and the car pulling off the curb in a hurry.

I still couldn’t get mad. There was one more thing to do before going home to beat the dummy.

01/SEPT/2011

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