I was standing in one of New York's vast parks, last nights cold apparent from the white frost that lightly covered the normally green grass. My next victim stood ahead of me, silhouetted by the low, early morning, autumn sun. I made sure that I traced his steps, placing my shoes in the imprints made by his in the grass. This meant that I didn't leave my own footprints and that I also did not crunch the frozen dew on the grass, making my approach that little bit more stealthy.
I was yards from him when I reached inside my black Armani raincoat, my hand grasping the gun, placed inside the holster wrapped around my shoulder, the harsh coldness of its metal handle not felt through my black leather gloves. I quickly withdrew the weapon and, with practised ease, took a fix on my target. He was much smaller than me, although most people were, and I could see the wisps of his clouded breath, fogged by the early morning chill, rising up above him. I had to aim slightly downwards to get a fix on the base of his skull. This point would kill the man instantly.
I didn't realise until I slowly released it, but I had been holding my breath. I applied minimal pressure to the small piece of metal that would start the chain reaction soon to follow. The 'phut' of the bullet leaving the barrel of the gun was hardly heard, quietened by the silencer screwed into the end of the device. Only the birds seemed to pick up on this sound as they all flocked from their morning resting grounds of a large oak tree nearby. The bullet hit the man at the point where the neck and skull met and his body and, although only momentarily, went taut; almost as if he had been expecting such a thing.
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His body then swiftly slumped to the ground, his life draining quickly from the new orifice in the back of his head. Blood oozed from the fresh, smoking wound and left deep, crimson stains on the ground, the white frost a great contrast to it. A bee busied itself amongst the wild flowers beside me, its monotonous drone, a testament to the normality of the day. Ahead of it, birds dodged between the trees, almost chasing each other in some game that only winged creatures could play. Above me, an aeroplane, carrying it's passengers to a paradise destination no doubt, carried on regardless.
How could the day take no note to the act of violence that had been perpetrated; how could this vicious act not taint the air itself? Funny as it may seem, after delivering death upon this man, I myself considered life. As I stood in the beauty of the park, the many different colours of the leaves as they died and fell from the tree staining on my mind, I wondered, for what reason was I placed upon this Earth? What was the point of life? Was it cyclical? Is there such a thing as reincarnation? Would this dead man get his second chance....... would I?
Maybe I would be given the opportunity to seek my redemption, to ask for the forgiveness that I hardly deserved, to repent my past indiscretions. If I could, would that not mean that I would spend my life paying for the awful things done in my past lives? Repaying the debt to society that I have amassed in a different time? The answer was no! I would repent my sins in this life, not having another chance, just now. I always had the feeling that my past would catch up and haunt me. I was, however, totally oblivious to just how close this time was. So what was this past that would catch up with me?
I'm not going to blame my childhood for the life I now led. I grew up in Brooklyn, a poor black boy in the heart of the gang run ghetto. My mother died when I was very young, and the only memory I have, the only reason I knew that she existed, was that life was once good. After she died, my father grew distant, telling me that I was too much of a resemblance of my mother. I was an only child so had no brothers or sisters to turn to for help.
Soon after this time, when I was about 7, my father would invite his 'friends' around, they would give him things, beer, money, anything that he wanted at the time, and he would give theme. I was abused mentally, physically and sexually and my father sat back and let it occur while he gained everything and I lost my innocence and my childhood. He sold me as a possession, rented me to anyone willing to pay. This happened many times over the years- too many to count, too many to remember, too many that I could remember- until I finally ran away. I turned to killing to support myself, not because I was forced to or because of the things that had happened to me, but because I chose to. The first person I ever killed was the first man that ever laid his filthy hands on me.
I can remember that day like it only happened seconds ago, I made sure that I remembered it. He was walking home, it was late at night and I seem to always remember the smell of him. Even now, to this day, the smell of whisky turns me sick. I will save you the details of exactly what I did to him but when they found him in the morning, they needed to use his dental records to discover his identity. I was only seventeen years old. I almost love that night, remember that I enjoyed that moment so much, drew it out for almost two hours, torturing and humiliating him, before finally putting him out of his misery.
But why did I put him out of his misery? Did he show me the same compassion? It was, I realised, because I was ashamed of myself, what I had done to a human being. I was twenty-two when I received the news of my fathers death and had made a relatively good life for myself. Despite all the things he had done to me, I cried when I was told. To this day I'm still unaware of the reason I cried. Maybe it was relief or maybe it was grief of losing my father. But back to now, this time, back to the park where another cadaver lay, felled by my hands.
I was not killing nowadays for me, but for others. They would pay me to kill their tormentors. Many people would say that I was nothing more than a 'hired killer', but I saw myself as so much more. I would only except cases where I was killing a true fiend, although people would never know this. On the exterior, I was a successful stockbroker, rich in life, rich in money. However it was my shady interior that nobody knew about. The money I won in the stock market was used to supply my weapons. I made a killing in the stocks and through this, made a killing on the streets.
I left the serene park behind me, walking at a quick enough pace to distance myself from it and yet slow enough to make it seem I was not. People walked by me on the streets and, when I reached the mail office, were happily holding doors open for me and wishing me a 'nice day'. If only they knew of the horror I had just committed. In the mail office, I had my own personal mail box, owned by myself and under the name "Block and Wood enterprises". This meant that I could receive information on future 'hits' without getting my own name or address involved. There was one letter in my box, I removed it, placed it in my pocket and left.
My apartment building was not harsh or an eyesore to the skyline of New York. In fact, it seemed to make it better. It was a very tall structure, with large glass windows and a sprawling lobby which was decorated with white marble and gold-look metal. Each floor housed its own apartment. I owned the apartment on the top floor, the penthouse. It had sweeping views of the whole of New York City and possibly the best view of the Statue of Liberty in the whole of Manhattan. My keys slipped into the lock and turned with the ease I expected. I threw the door open and the comforting smell of 'home' greeted me.
I placed my keys onto the small table in my hall, closed the door, hung up my raincoat and started towards the luxurious bathroom. The large living room stretched out ahead of me, my expensive furniture seemingly glowing due to the light in there. It was well lit due to many factors. Firstly I was so high up that hardly any other building could block the light, secondly, the sprawling glass windows spread around the apartment let in much light, often too much and so I had blinds installed to occasionally block the sun. I stopped suddenly, somehow aware of a presence in the apartment.
My gun was swiftly out of the holster and, like I had many times before in other peoples houses, was stalking around, jumping around corners, hoping to catch the crook who was here. After a thorough search of my premises, I found nothing out of place, nothing stolen and no one in any of the rooms. I put it down to the recent hit I had performed and it was just the jitters or the 'high' I got from killing. I made my way back toward the bathroom and noticed that the front door was still open. Had I closed it when I walked in? I was sure I had. I then remembered the letter in my coat pocket.
It must have been my imagination playing tricks on myself. I closed the door, grabbed the letter from my coat pocket, settled into my reclining leather chair and began to read. "Dear Mr Johnson" it read. People were always formal even though they knew they were writing to a killer. The letter went on to describe the man I was to kill, the manner in which they would like me to do it (I never did do any personal requests) and the time and place. People always seemed to assume that I was uneducated or dim because they always told me every detail, as if I wouldn't research the hit myself.
I decided to take this one on as the man to be killed was nothing short of scum. He had raped the woman asking for his death and had beaten her and stolen from her on many occasions. To make matters worse, it was her own uncle. I called the woman, from an untraceable safe cell phone, to tell her I would do the hit, not letting her say anything and hanging up as soon as I had finished. I finally had the chance to take a well deserved shower. It was a Sunday and I would not be working today. While in the shower, I thought of the new target I was to kill.
Normally I didn't take on a hit so quickly yet this man was too vile to keep on this Earth any longer. I would squash this cockroach in 3 days time. A smile crept across my face as I thought of eradicating another life that shouldn't have been started at all. I slept that night, a dream filled slumber. My head was filled with memories, old and new, and some, I realise now, were thoughts of events that had not yet happened. Thoughts that would lead to my demise. It was mere hours before the job was to be done. I had followed the target for the past 2 days. His name was Attis Jones and he was, it seemed, a recluse.
He lived in an old lighthouse that he had converted himself. His wife had left him many years before due to his alcoholism and his children had severed all contact with him soon after this. He drunk even more severely following this and even turned to drugs, a healthy lifestyle he was still continuing to this day. He was now only forty yet seemed much older. His white hair seemed that it hadn't seen a pair of scissors in many years as it was down to his shoulders. It was thinning on the top of his head and seemed to abandoning him, just like everyone else in his life.
I was in my car driving towards the coastline where his lighthouse was situated. I had already found a way around his poor security. The chain link fence was easily climbed and although he had a security camera pointing at the drive way to the lighthouse, it was simple to avoid. In any case, I was a careful man and so parked quite a distance from the lighthouse and walked the final mile or so. I had my trusty 9mm silenced baretta in its holster around my shoulder where it was always kept. However, today I brought my colt revolver also, just because it was a secluded area and I hardly ever had the pleasure of hearing the gunshot well.
It was beginning to get dark by the time I had reached the lighthouse and there was a light rain starting to fall. As I approached the tall structure, a rather stereotypical lighthouse with its red and white patterned stripes going down its shaft, I noticed that the grounds were littered with many skeletons of cars that had been left to rust. The grounds themselves, surrounding the lighthouse seemed to be in a state of disrepair, weeds choking the last of the wild flowers growing around. I also noticed, for only the second time, a small jetty.
It was secluded around the back of the structure and was very neglected. This time, however, the jetty had changed for now there was a boat at it. A figure stood hunched on the deck, pouring diesel into the engine's fuel hatch. The rain, now heavier, fell on its bare skull, onto the white hair that plastered its face and shoulders, onto its black coat and black leather boots. He must have sensed me approaching for he looked up, a smile slowly spreading across his face. He was, I guessed, about 6 feet tall, with long, white, tapering fingers and pale, elongated features.
In the dusk, his eyes were a deep, dark blue, bordering on black and his almost lipless mouth seemed to start just where his nostrils ended. It was, of course, Attis Jones. Diesel spilled onto the deck of the boat as he had momentary lapse in concentration. I wondered why he was smiling and it was only when I noticed the handgun in his other hand that a smile spread across mine. "Clever boy", I shouted "Have you been expecting me? " "We all have", was the only reply. The gun in his right hand was quickly raised an aimed at my head.
I was faster however as my gun was up and releasing a bullet before he realised. It tore through his right arm, shattering it, sending the gun to the watery depths below. "You are going to die tonight, sinner", called Attis "Your mistaken, it is you who will die, I have nothing to answer for. God did not send demons to kill the firstborn in Egypt, he sent angels. I am an angel, sent by God to clear up the mistake he made by allowing you to be born. " I was happy with this reply and was seconds from releasing another bullet, this time toward his chest when he mouthed 4 simple words to me, "Good bye, Mr Jones".
It was then that something hard struck the back of my head, leaving me sprawled across the floor. A brown shoe stamped down hard on my fingers, causing me to release the gun from my grip. It was kicked away from me and a huge weight seemed to press down on me. There were knees in my back and my face was being pushed into the mud. The water and mud burned my eyes and the weight on my back was restricting my breathing. I fought hard and managed to throw the being from my back. I quickly remembered the colt tucked into my sock. It was out and shooting my assailant before he could say, or do, anything about it.
Again I was struck from behind, only this time, it was more than one person. I was thrown to the ground again and kicked and punched repeatedly. I lost the grip of the gun in my hand and this one, like the first, was kicked from my reach. I tried in vain to fight back but was overpowered by the many people around me. I was held to the floor by my captors and then Attis Jones was standing over me. Despite his right arm being splintered by the bullet from my barreta, he was standing over me with relative ease, the pain not very visible on his face.
What was, however, visible on his face was the malicious look. I wondered why these people were doing this, for what reason they were holding me to the floor. "I said you would die sinner", Attis scolded, "Just as my son and their brother died at your hands, so you shall die at ours! " With that, he knelt on my chest, placing all his weight on top of my lungs. This constricted my breathing but the cold hand around my neck restricted it further. I was staring up into the eyes of hell. All of the malignant thoughts that Attis Jones could muster were being forced to the front of his mind.
I could almost see them through his eyes. Attis's grip shifted so that his thumb was pressing hard, trying to crush my Adam's apple. I was trying to free my hands but they were held tightly to the ground by Attis' Sons. I tried in vain to kick my legs but again, restrained by someone. The pressure in my head was increasing as my windpipe was constricted. My ears were filled with the roaring in my head and the laboured, spit-flecked breaths of the man who was killing me, I felt a burning pain behind my eyes, a numbness spreading from my finger.
I desperately tried to free myself, but I was losing the battle, the feeling in my body. My vision was blurring and my lungs burning as the last of my life was choked from me. The only sound, apart from the steady rhythmic beat of the rain, was me, gurgling the last of my air out. Everything became dark and the last thing I remember hearing was "Take 'im inside, we'll chop 'im up and feed 'im to the sharks! " Now, looking back on my life, I realised how what I had done was right. If you believed that what I did was wrong, that killing those awful people was a bad thing, your deeply mistaken.
I killed those people because they were delivering pain onto others, what I did was stop them from hurting them, or any other, ever again. Attis Jones had set me up so that he could take revenge upon me for killing his son. Had I researched deeper into his background, I would have found that the web of lies I was fed were given to me in the hope that I would be led straight into the trap. It worked. I now know that his son was a certain Joshua Jones. I had killed him many years before. He was a personal call. There was no money when I killed him. There were no people who specifically asked me to kill him.
I did it because I wanted to. He was grooming small children, taking them from the streets and teaching them how to become prostitutes. He was using them to gratify his own pleasure, acting like nothing more than a common pimp. For this reason I had to kill him. His family was totally oblivious to what he had done and I think that they may have reconsidered taking my life had they found out his true past. So this was my past catching up with me, it never actually haunted me, just left me for dead. There was no afterlife, no Heaven, no Hell. There was in fact, nothing.
Just a black void that I seemed t float around in, left to contemplate my life and the things I had done. The hurt I had caused, the pain visited upon the innocent bystanders of the families of my victims. I also thought of the good I had done, killing all those people, taking their lives so that they could no longer harm anyone else And as I did, I realised that I wouldn't change a thing, if given a second chance at the same life, I would do it all the same as I had, doing everything the way had intended to do. I looked back and saw myself as sort of makeshift hero.
Saving the common folk and helping their lives to be lived better. Maybe they would find out of my secret past and declare me a hero, or maybe call me a murderer, tell everyone that what I had done was a terrible thing. In any case, I knew that I had done right and did not care what people thought. The only part of my life that I truly hated, the one thing that stuck in my mind as the thing I would change, would be the manner in which I died. But there was nothing I could do about that now, I could only watch it over and over again, in my minds eye.
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