Finish the Job (free short story)

finish-the-jobMrs Devonshire was sitting on the edge of the sofa, straight, her hands flat on her thighs. She was shaking. This was understandable because I pointed my gun at her chest. I was sitting opposite her, in a comfortable armchair. My hand wasn’t shaking. I wouldn’t be able to do my job properly if I couldn’t manage the stress.

“I’ll tell you the truth, Mrs Devonshire,” I said. “This isn’t a robbery, though, it will look like one after I finish here.”

She was staring at me, I could see in her eyes that she slowly processed what I had said. She was very pretty, actually, in spite of the small wrinkles next to her eyes. Her blue eyes were sapphires in her fine face. It made me sad to destroy such beauty, but I had a job to do.

“I’m here because your husband hired me to kill you.”

Her eyes widened in shock. She covered her mouth with her hand, and shook her head in disbelief. Having many years of experience I can tell what’s going on in their heads. First comes the surprise, maybe even real shock. What? How is it possible? Why? Why me?  For Mrs Devonshire it was inconceivable that her husband could be so cold-blooded to want to hurt her. Then comes the doubt. What if …  Fill the empty space with any reason for malevolence. It can be money, jealousy, power, hate. Mostly money.

“No. No, no, no. Not possible!” Her voice was muffled.

“It will take only a moment, you won’t feel anything. It will also be silent, nobody will hear it.” I pointed at the silencer mounted on the gun.

She dropped her hand into her lap. Her eyes were jumping from my face to the gun, then to her hands, and all over again. She came to the phase of doubt. I waited. I left her to think through the things going on between her and Mr Devonshire, to find out that there could be a reason why her husband wanted her dead. I could tell from her eyes that she had found it. I allowed her to think some more, I had the time.

It’s amazing how many solutions a human can find if their life is threatened. I was sure that Mrs Devonshire’s mind was racing like a wild horse to think of something to make me abandon my plan. I hoped she wouldn’t go for the option of running, I expected more sophisticated ideas from her. She didn’t disappoint me.

“I’ll double your payment if …” she gulped, but continued ” … if you kill my husband.”

I pretended to think it over.

“Mr Devonshire is paying me one million” I lied.

“I’ll pay two, then” she said without hesitation.

“Hm …” I said rubbing my chin with my free hand. “We can make a deal, I think. Is this amount available to you right now?”

“I have it on my account. I can transfer it immediately.”

“It’s agreed, then.”

She stood up, went to the table, and sat at her laptop. I followed her and stood behind her, pointing my gun at her head.

“Please don’t try anything stupid, I’m quite familiar with computers.”

She didn’t answer, but logged into her home bank application. I gave her my Cayman Islands account number and she made the transfer.

“Please, put your hands on the table, and stay put. We are waiting for the confirmation.”

I pulled my mobile out of my pocket and dialled the number. I got a bank clerk on the line, and after giving my code, he confirmed that the two million had been transferred. I hung up.

“Very well, Mrs Devonshire, it’s a pleasure doing business with you. Now you are free to go.”

I stepped back and lowered my gun. First she didn’t move. Maybe she couldn’t believe she had made it. Then she slowly stood up, and keeping an eye on me, started to walk towards the door. When nothing happened, she began to run. She almost reached the door when I shot her in the back. The bullet went through her heart. I’m a very good shooter, it comes with the job.

She collapsed and stayed motionless on the ground. I checked her pulse to be sure. No pulse. Job accomplished. I dialled the number I memorized before.

“Yes,” said Mr Devonshire at the other end of the line.

“It’s done.”

There was a short silence. “I’ll transfer the money now” said Mr Devonshire. I hung up without answering. It took a little while, but according to the bank clerk, the transfer was OK.

I sighed. Now came the hard part: It had to look like a robbery. So I searched the house for jewellery. I must admit, the Devonshires had an impressive collection of gold and pearl necklaces, earrings and watches. I put all of them into a plastic bag I found in the kitchen. I also threw vases and china pieces on the floor shattering them and pulled out drawers, scattering clothes all over the place. It really looked like a robbery. I was satisfied.

Then I sat down and waited for Mr Devonshire. I always finish a job I’m hired for, even if the client ended up dead in the process. He was supposed to arrive home in a few hours. I pulled out a thriller from my pocket and started to read. I had some time to kill.

~ o ~

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