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Michigan Jones: Hit Man: Chapter 5 Michigan Jones: Hit Man: Chapter 5
by Asa Butcher
2008-07-26 07:55:09
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It wasn't the first time somebody had personally asked me to terminate their existence, but there was something about her manner that disturbed me. She didn't fidget with self-doubt, her eyes didn't betray her hopelessness and her brow wasn't perspiring with nerves; in fact, she was disturbingly in control for somebody asking to be murdered. I've been in this business for a long time and this was the first time my conscience actually twitched.

All I wanted to do was ask her why, but that was completely against my personal code… okay, it was against my business code because if a customer revealed their motive then I was legally obliged to report it - can you believe the fucking bureaucracy! Only in this country would they legalise assassination and throw in a few legal catches, bump up the paperwork - perhaps commercial sponsorship really is around the proverbial corner.

I purposely let her sit in silence for a few more minutes just to analyse her further, but she was giving nothing away. She was as calm as they come and this was not fucking normal. My work is murder, I have now romantic qualms about it, but these personal murder requests were nothing more than assisted suicide. The customer may have more to gain through being murdered, such as higher insurance payouts for family or guaranteed entry to their chosen after-life, but, as I always joked to myself, I would rather kill myself than commit suicide.

I went to pour myself another drink but the whisky bottle was empty, so I turned my attention to the tranquil form of demigod_943876. "So, demigod_943876, sorry, can I call you demigod or do you have another preferred alias?" She shrugged as if to signify whatever, so I continued, "I am more than prepared to carry out the requested service. I will need a few further details, such as method, date, place and any other personal preferences - I'm quite flexible in my service."

Did she just smile or is my mind playing tricks? I've never seen a face so devoid of emotion and god those translucent eyes are disturbing, they're betraying nothing. She reached inside her cloak and pulled out a crisp-white envelope - old school, I thought - and slid it across the table. "Shall I open it now or would you prefer I wait?" Again she responded with that shrug, so I decided to open it immediately, but before I could rip it open with my forefinger my conscience twitched again and I found myself reaching for my hunting knife - it seemed the cleaner way.

I pulled the envelope off the note contained within and was struck by the contrast between the white paper and my filthy hands; I almost felt embarrassed to be handling it… embarrassment is not an emotion normally pulsing through my body. In crisp capital letters were two words 'SURPRISE ME' and that was it. 'SURPRISE ME', what the hell! I looked up at demigod to confirm what was written and she just nodded.

I shrugged her patented whatever-shrug and told her how much the job would cost. She reached back inside her cloak and handed me the exact amount in cash. I gave it a quick count with my thumb as she signed the one document required by law and then she stood, smoothed down her cloak and began heading across the bar to the exit. The weight of the cash sat heavily in my pocket as I watched her walk away.

"Demigod, wait!" I shouted, she turned to look at me once more with those translucent eyes and, before I knew what I had done, she had fallen to the floor and the gun's barrel smoked. 'Surprised?' I thought to myself as I walked out of the bar's back door, with the gun still pressed into my hand and the cash tapping a steady beat against my leg as I hurried away from the screams and chaos of Milton's.

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