by Gabrielle R. Lamontagne

Drake slipped his index finger out and then slowly replaced it at the trigger. He strained his core muscles, once again, to keep his body perfectly poised: kneeling like a man about to propose. Except instead of a ring, he had a sniper rifle and instead of a woman he had a target, a partially open window on the third floor of an abandoned cotton manufacturing plant, and a scope. He heard the stroke of the massive town hall clock from five buildings away. He gritted his teeth as a large drop of sweat dropped down his cheek and hung against his jowl, daring him to nudge his shoulder up that last inch to wipe it away.

Maybe it was a sign of heat stroke that for a moment he saw her again in his sheets, laughing and begging him with those large brown eyes to come back to bed. The sound of the door slamming as she’d left that warm morning in June when she’d heard the message on his landline and he’d had to explain his job.

Sure, he’d chosen the job. Not because she wasn’t a dream come true, but because he knew he could handle the job. It wasn’t that he had a passion for the work or that he didn’t care about human life. It was more about the numbers. Numbers dead meant numbers in the bank. He couldn’t argue with those results – even for a woman. Even for her.

It wasn’t personal. Hell, this guy seemed okay, as he stepped out of his blue Buick and headed for the Rolex shop through the crowded Milton street. But he’d pissed someone off and that’s why he now lay in a puddle of his own blood, red as the leaves on a nearby maple tree, underneath the golden Rolex sign. People were screaming and running from the scene.

Drake admits it’s a shame, but what can he do? He’s a numbers man, through and through.


Images via Pexels by Laura Tancredi