The Bird

December 15, 2011
By , Tallahassee, FL
It’s mid-morning. A man sits at a table outside a little French restaurant. He’s a large man with a balding head and great, big, sausage-like fingers. He strokes the condensation that’s been forming on the outside of his glass while laughing at whatever stale joke the man in front of him says. They’re both wearing expensive suits, probably businessmen of some sort. The sausage-fingered man leans forward to whisper something to the other man, but before he can udder a word he slumps forward dead. A red ring begins to form on his back and over his heart. A perfect, clean shot. A woman screams and chaos erupts. I lower my gun and stand back up from the window sill. I put down the gun, an M40; finger-printless, and no serial number. Then ride down the elevator, exit the building and calmly walk away from the disorder. Simple and easy. It’s another 20,000 dollars in my pocket. The only thing I know about the man I’ve killed is, what I observed and that my current employer wanted him dead. No questions asked. On my way back to my temporary apartment I find a dead bird on the side walk. A robin. Its soft down is caked with its own blood, and half of its bones shattered or broken. A car had obviously been its ultimate demise. I scoop it up in my hands and cradle it for a few moments. Its splayed body looks small in my hands, fragile and delicate. I wonder if he suffered long. Did he have time to think about the life he had lived or see it flash before his eyes? Did he like what he saw? I walk over to a garden patch and dig a little grave for him. I pick a petunia and leave it over the little mound as an offering, then continue on my way. It’s strange, I can already barely remember anything about the man I killed only moments ago. And yet, I know, every miniscule detail of that tiny, little robin shall haunt my dreams tonight.

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