The successful assassin in the second decade of the twenty-first century doesn’t need to be fit, nor have a deadly aim, nor a psychopath’s indifference to human suffering. What he or she needs above all else is intelligence – cunning, if you like.
Dryden O’Spall had bad breath, a knee that collapsed without warning and a pie-eating habit that would probably kill him long before he made his first (and last) mistake.
Some clients wanted spectaculars – ‘warning shots’ as they were known in the trade – where the victim was to serve as an encouragement to others. Dryden refused these commissions. He specialized in stealth, in death by deceit. He was always on the look out for a tangential way to a nice icing.
‘Venice’ the message said. ‘Thursday, no later than noon’. A profile was attached. ‘42, white, rich, indolent and well-guarded.’
Dryden tapped at his keyboard – ‘Telemachus’, his hacker was quick, filling out the details. The medical records caught Dryden’s gaze.
The flight was on time; the pension clean and anonymous. The target’s itinerary had a visit to the glass factory, leaving from a supposedly secret location. Dryden spent an hour finding what he needed; his furry Passepartout resisted a little but the treats quietened him.
The chosen gondola was waiting. The target slipped into his seat and set off, unaware of his fellow traveler. Dryden sat in the café and watched the boat glide by, marvelling at how the vulnerable rich wanted solitude above all else. He could see the struggles under the canopy; the target’s severe allergic reaction to cat hair beginning to suffocate him. He lined up his stick – a modern version of the blowpipe – and when the barely breathing target sprung up, he loosed off one small dart.
This week’s microcosm prompt gave us; Assassin; Venice; thriller
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