A Man of Good Character

Posted: January 9, 2014 in Free fiction

The assassin waited.

The cheap hotel looked tired; its windows so old that even regularly cleaned they looked grey, its brickwork scarred and pitted like bad skin. Incongruously the front doors had been painted a bright, vibrant red, making the place look like a ravaged old tart who’d applied fresh lipstick.

The assassin’s Capri was grubby enough that he attracted little attention parked in this run-down part of town. The radio was turned down low, Northern Soul just audible, and the tail end of a rollup that had as much life left to it as a terminal cancer patient hung between wet lips.

His weapon was in his lap. He’d have time for one shot, maybe two if he was lucky, but you couldn’t count on luck in this game.

The doors opened and the target walked out, bold as brass. The dolly bird hanging off his arm was laughing at his jokes, earning every last quid of her fee.

He chose a different girl every week, used different hotels, but the town wasn’t that big. There were only so many whores, only so many hotels.

The target’s Daimler was already waiting, the chauffer holding the rear door open.

Now or never.

The assassin got two shots off before the chauffer spotted him, bundling the target into the back of the car before jumping in himself. The Daimler roared away leaving burnt rubber and a fallen hooker in its wake.

The girl hurled unintelligible insults after the car before staggering off. The assassin thought he’d caught the councillor with the whore on his arm, maybe even planting a kiss on her cheek. He wouldn’t know for sure until he developed the film, but he would feel no guilt if he’d succeeded. You couldn’t disgrace a man who’d already disgraced himself.

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