Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Flash Fiction: The 39th Assassin

Every Friday Kurt posts a new piece of flash fiction. This week...

The 39th Assassin
Word Count: 597

Damon bypassed the razor, the poisoned wine, and the tiny pistol to pick up a bottle of bourbon. He peeled the wax off the top and unstoppered the bottle, taking a moment to inhale the vapors. “I’ve been wondering how I should kill you,” he said to the man he knew only as Claude. “You’re the 38th person who has tried to take my life.”

“I won’t be the last,” said Claude, tied up and bleeding all over the chair and carpet.

Damon smiled and crossed the room to a small bar. “Do you have an opinion on the matter?” he asked. His finger lingered on a dagger for a moment before he pulled two glasses from the cupboard. “Something painless, I imagine.”

“Don’t go to any trouble on my account,” said Claude.

“Oh, it’s no trouble,” said Damon. “Care for a night cap?”

“Most kind,” said Claude. He leaned forward and spat out a mouthful of blood that might have had a tooth in it.

“Terrible business, this,” said Damon, pouring the bourbon. He took one glass and held it up to Claude’s mouth. The beaten man placed a bloody lip on the glass. Damon tilted it back for him. Claude sipped and swallowed and hissed as Damon set the glass on the ground. “Not to your liking?”

“Burns a bit,” said Claude, spitting out more blood.

“The first man who tried to kill me was a sniper,” said Damon. “I shot him in the head. The next man used poison gas, which would have been slow and painful, had I not been able to evade it. I garroted him. Then, when he’d passed out, I let him breathe. Then I garroted him again. I’ll spare you the details, but his death was most unpleasant.”

Claude nodded.

“And you left me in a freezer. Freezing to death is not pleasant at all. I suppose you’re beginning to regret that choice.”

“Only because you escaped,” said Claude.

Damon smiled and walked back to the bar. “So you see my dilemma,” he said. He picked up the second glass and sniffed at the spirits within. He gave it a little swirl. Good legs.

“You could always use a slow-acting poison,” said Claude. “Put it in a bottle of bourbon, perhaps.”

“You insult me,” said Damon. “This is a private stock from a small distillery in Kentucky. I order it from them directly. $350 a bottle. One does not poison a $350 bottle of Kentucky private stock.”

Claude laughed. “Well, then I’m out of ideas,” he said.

“I might ask you why you chose a freezer?” asked Damon, swirling his glass.

“You left my brother in Siberia twelve years ago,” said Claude. “He froze.”

“You’re Rene’s brother,” said Damon. “Terrible business, that. He was a good man.”

“A good man that you killed,” said Claude, with a hacking cough

“Sometimes even good men have to die,” said Damon. “It was never personal—not with him, anyway.” He took a long, slow pull from his bourbon glass. Sweet, oaky, nectar. “It was a shame I had to do that to him.”

“Well, I gave you the chance to make amends,” said Claude, coughing even worse now. “But you had to go and escape.”

“Indeed,” said Damon. “Do you have any other family I should be wary of?”

Claude coughed again, spitting out more blood. “Just a sister,” he said.

“What does she do?”

“She runs a small distillery in Kentucky,” said Claude, laughing, coughing, spewing blood. His head rolled back and he began to twitch.

Damon dropped his glass.

Edited by Carolyn "This Character Is A Paranoid Nut" Abram.

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