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Blood Rose

Derrick stood in an absence of light, a passing feline the only movement. He watched the emaciated cat spring on top of a mouse and proceed to rip it apart. Derrick’s lips curled upwards as it fed itself. Death was life; what a wonderful concept. He caressed his gun.

He was one with the trees behind the church, standing still, serious, and staring. Derrick didn’t camouflage himself. He didn’t need camouflage. Years of training warranted that.

Derrick was the best. He could shoot a clean hole in a twisting, falling leaf if he wanted. They only used him when they couldn’t afford any mistakes. Like now.

The church itself wasn't worth notice; it was a bare gray building with a solitary cross on the roof. The parking lot was packed with beat up old cars and bikes. Derrick smothered a snicker. Had they sent him for some lowlife? All the better, then. Less ends for him to tie, more fun for him to have.

The front doors burst open and a torrent of people swirled out, streaming along their own currents. Derrick sighted her and fingered the trigger, then sighed with frustration. It was too easy. He tracked the woman as she made her way across the parking lot. She continued on to the sidewalk. Derrick lowered his arms. If she didn’t have a ride, then maybe he could…

He stuffed his gun in the back of his belt, covered it by his jacket, and strode out of the shady trees. Time to have fun. Adopting a pleasant and benign smile, he worked his way between other churchgoers. She was turning the corner, so he quickened his pace. Derrick stepped on the sidewalk and merged with the others, following her deeper into the city. High-rise condos and restaurants were soon replaced by seedy inns and bars, and people thinned out. Beggars and street urchins slumped against shadowy buildings. Everything was suffocated with despair. He smiled.

The woman abruptly turned off into a grimy alley. Derrick almost giggled; it was just too much. He reached behind him and grabbed his handgun, shivering in anticipation, and crept up to the corner. The next few moments would be beautiful. Derrick spun out, finger tightening.

The woman was facing him. Something flashed in her hands. Derrick’s eyes widened with blank shock. Then horrible, numbing pain. He staggered, then crumpled, a blood rose of death blooming in his chest. Darkness.

She slipped her pistol back into her purse. The woman stalked over to him and picked up his gun, tucking it into her coat’s inside pocket. She reached down again, gripped the back of his jacket, and dragged him through the filth to the dumpster. Then she grabbed his arms, grunted, and shoved him in. The woman turned and strolled out, side stepping the red smear.

They would want to know she got him.



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