Smoke fills the car, bumping gently against the roof before uncoiling out the window. I take a deep breath and the cancerous vapor fills my lungs in a loving embrace before I slowly exhale, tearing the two apart forever. I glance out the Taurus’ window; heat shimmers off the black top in waves, it was over a hundred degrees outside my air conditioned sanctuary. I glance at the time on the clock radio and wipe sweat off my brow. Stakeouts aren’t nearly as glamorous as they appear on TV.
Another dose of cancer fills my lungs as another car pulls up to the Borders, its occupant dressed strangely in a pair of loose fitting khakis and a long sleeved shirt. I looked down at my photograph and smiled as I realized he was my mark. I gathered my things together hurriedly and…shit where did I put that silencer? I groan audibly and search frantically for that vital piece of equipment. This hit was starting to get on my nerves.
“Ah hah!” I exclaimed as I found the silencer under the seat right next to my zippo, which was fortunate because my smoke had reached the extent of its lifespan and I wasn’t planning on stopping to mourn the loss. I got out of the Taurus in one smooth motion as another smoke appeared between my lips. It was so hot out, I immediately began to sweat and didn’t think that I would even need the zippo to light my smoke. I mop the sweat off my brow and dashed inside back into the waiting arms of the air conditioning.
The Borders was a large store, couples, singles, and families hustled about in varying amounts of urgency. I had always liked bookstores. The people in them were generally so into their papers that it was surprisingly easy to sneak up on them. Nobody paid attention to me as I flitted through the mystery section hunting my prey. I swung my bag down from my shoulder and deftly screwed on the elusive silencer. The pistol swung into my pocket as if by a string, and nobody noticed. Perfect.
I found him in the back, in the romance section tearing into a book hungrily. He didn’t even notice me as I walked up behind him and slipped my weapon out of my pocket; like I said before, I like bookstores.
“They sent you to come kill me?” the mark said.
I jumped, startled, he hadn’t even looked up, that slick bastard!
“Who else did you think? They’re not going to send one of their own into a mess like this, that’s asking for trouble.” I replied cautiously.
“They’re cops, they always get trouble.” He flipped a page nonchalantly.
“Don’t do this Collins I got you fair and square just come…quietly.” My voice trailed off as the mark vaulted out of the chair and moved towards the fire exit.
“Shit.” I deposited another cigarette in my mouth as I chased after him. A nearby mother looked at me with disgust and I just shrugged as I took off after Collins. I reached the back of the store just as the alarms and sprinklers went off.
I rushed out the store into the back alley and looked hurriedly around, sweat forming on my temples yet again. I took off towards the street as I caught sight of him, and he already had a good 50meter head start. Fast little bastard, and my lungs were already burning. I chased him for blocks, in, around, and through buildings and alley ways that many ordinary people didn’t even know existed. Always the fighters, just my luck. No one who wanted to go easy and save us both the trouble.
I finally cornered him near the 7-11 and drew my weapon hurriedly.
“Alright Collins,” I said breathing heavily,” can we please just give this up? You and I both know how this one ends.”
He just replied with his gun, and I dove frantically for cover. Goddamn it. Never the easy ones, always the fighters. I peeked around the corner of my dumpster and was met with sparks just inches from my face. Jesus, maybe this guy really doesn’t know how this ends. I fall quickly on my stomach and peer underneath the dumpster. I see Collins’ feet behind another dumpster and I pull the trigger; two bullets heading silently right for his feet. I hear him cry in pain and fall to the ground. I smile and another cigarette appears in my mouth. I stand up and pat myself down.
Goddamn it. I lost the zippo.