Friday Fast Fiction: The Hit Man’s Last Act


PaperArtist_2014-03-29_02-48-55_resized (1)Jake Reese sat in an oversized leather chair with a soft yellow light from a floor lamp covering him like a blanket—it made him look sickly. He held a wine glass in one hand and a .22 in the other.

If he’d spent more time in school, he might have been able to write a manual for hit men. But it was too late. He was frail and without friends or family. He’d killed 27 people during his career, but none in the past five years. No one would hire him. He reasoned the mob thought he was too old and not sound of mind, as if murder required intelligence.

His last ten thousand in cash was stuffed in a mattress. Maybe he could last another year without doing something rash to raise some funds, if, in fact, he wanted to go on.

He sat there pondering what made him good at this dark calling. No prison time. Sure, he’d been interrogated a few times, been under suspicion, but never arrested. It was if he wanted someone to interview him, to record for history how he made bullets, altered guns, erased any trace of weapons used in a hit. But the real deal was tracking targets, the long hours spent predicting human behavior and identifying moments when a person’s defenses would be down.

Years later Detective Moran would relish telling rookies about the night Jake Reese phoned him.

“He explained how good he was at murder, a confession by the devil himself. Remorse never came up–that’s what we up against.”

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