Owner’s Day

By Aniekan Andikan:

This was by far the easiest money he was going to make. Despite this, he felt so insulted that he developed a certain malicious attitude towards his agent. How could he sign him up for such a simple job when his experience and expertise were for far more complex executions?

The only reason he had decide to continue with the job was because the pay was good – same pay as a complex job. Anything less than that, he would have walked off, gotten rid of his agent and made sure his portfolio was well advertised in the circles of people who required his services.

He specialized in making his jobs look like accidents. He was so good in the art of concealing the real cause of death that those who hired him sometimes doubt if he was the actual cause of death or if it was just fate in play.

Over the years, he had made an uncountable high profile, heavy security detail kills in four different continents. This was his first time in Africa, Nigeria in particular.

It usually took him seven days to deliver on a job: three days to observe the target, know about his security detail, know where he ate, shit and sleep; two days to cook up a plan and type it out carefully and sequentially in a mobile device which was encrypted with a 52-character-long password stored in his head; one day to practice the plan and the last day to carry out the plan.

He had begun observation of the new target and halfway through the second day, he had already decided to kill her the next day (the third day) because she had no security detail and she walked around town so freely like she was not aware of any evil in the world. He wondered why his contractors wanted her dead but he couldn’t ask that. That would be totally unprofessional.

He also wondered why they paid him top dollar to kill her when a local thug could do that easily for a fraction of what they were paying him. He concluded that it was plain foolishness on their part. They were thinking like Africans, he concluded and logged into his mobile device.

He brought up the e-file that contained the details about his new target and started reading it. She was a state Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Police Force. She was single and lived alone in the heart of town. He viewed the photograph that accompanied the file. The target had a pretty face. He thought about how his bullet was going to disfigure such a fine melanin skin and decided against shooting her.

She was harmless so there was no need to waste any bullet. He was just going to sneak into her apartment and kill her in her sleep. He would probably use a pillow and snuff the life out of her.

Pillows were great tools of execution. He used them sometimes when he did not want to leave too much mess. And for this job, the lady was too clean and too beautiful for him to mess her up like that. He will just let her maintain her beauty to the grave. One cannot be more considerate than that.

“I have some human sympathy after all,” he muttered to himself and smiled.

On the third day, when night had come and the moon was bright, when he was sure she had gone to bed, he slipped into her room. He could see her lying spread eagle on the massive bed, fluffy pillows all about her. Her ebony skin gleamed from the moonlight coming in through the parted window blinds. She looked even more beautiful asleep.

He picked up one of the pillows, hesitated for a moment, climbed the bed quietly and placed the pillow gently but firmly on her face. Almost immediately, the struggle started. This was what usually kill them.

Struggling.

He knew that if they did not struggle so much under these conditions, they would last longer but they burn their precious energy in a fortuitous attempt to be free of his firm grip. He pressed harder to prevent her from escaping his grip. Suddenly she stopped struggling. Was she already dead? That was fast!

He removed the pillow to feel her pulse, to his surprise, a hand shot out and punched him hard in the middle of his face. The punch landed on the upper side of his nose, in between the eyes. Dazed, he fell off the bed and landed hard on the hard floor.

Half-blind, he scrambled off the floor to find her standing on her bed. As he straightened up, she flew in the air and let her right leg connect with the left side of his head making him stagger to the other side of the room.

She closed up immediately, dipped low and shot out a leg that picked both his legs off the ground. He fell with a thud and a grunt escaped him. In a flash, she was on him, straddling him at the waist, a gun in her hands.

“Put your hands up!” she said coldly.

He figured she wouldn’t hesitate to shoot if he tried to be smart so his hands shot up instantly. With her left hand, she placed the muzzle of her gun on his chest, on the left side where his beating heart was and leaned over with her right hand to cuff his hands, one after the other.

“You are under arrest for attempted murder,” she said.

He had never been arrested but then and there, he remembered what a wise man once told him.

“There is always a first time.”

Just then his hatred for his agent quadrupled.

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Aniekan Andikan
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