I’m back home and this story has been sitting on a back burner for a few months, waiting for some more to be written.
The trouble is, there are also other stories to write, and I’m not very good at prioritising.
But, here we are, a few minutes opened up and it didn’t take long to get back into the groove.
Did he just witness an execution?
I could see the cogs in his mind turning over. Calculating what it would take to get past me.
Running would only help me.
Walking, well, he wasn’t going to receive far.
A fight? He might be more experienced, but I was more angry, now controlled anger aided by rational thinking. There would be no blindly lashing out.
Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Self defence.
We were ten yards apart when he stopped, moving to one side near the wall. I’d seen him looking for a weapon, but luckily none were on offer. Someone kept this laneway very clean.
A car had been parked at the end, and I’d seen him try the doors. Locked. It would not be available for his escape.
He glared at me. “You’re Jackson, right?”
A brief occasion of shock. How did he know my name?
“Who I am is irrelevant.”
“So you say. But I can assure you this is all wrong.”
Rule number seventy, or something like that, the target will say anything to get you offside.
“You harmed my friends.”
“Then, you’re in big trouble whether you regard them as friends. In this commerce, we don’t have friends.”
He was right in one respect. Having friends gave out enemies leverage. But without friends, the loneliness of the job could break you.
But, right then I wasn’t interested in his opinion.
When I didn’t answer he said, “This is a setup. I’m not the enemy, I’m one of you. I made a mistake, and now they’ve set the dogs on me.”
I didn’t ask why we were following him, that was above my pay grade, added to the fact I didn’t want to know. Knowing the perfidy of the target could compromise how I treated him.
“You’re the target, why I don’t care.”
“Look, I haven’t got much time. Find a man called Alfred Nobbin. I work for him. I found something I shouldn’t, which is why you are here, now. Tell him the evidence is ….”
I didn’t hear the bullet that killed him, but it came from behind me, hit him in the chest, its force sending him backwards, and he was dead before he hit the ground.”
I turned but there was no one there.
© Charles Heath 2019-2021