He lets out his breath slowly

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His eyes regularly survey the surrounding area, picking out details on the house imperceptible to the untrained eye. He sighs loudly as if to break the shattering silence, flicks open his petrol lighter and brings it slowly to his mouth to light the awaiting cigarette. He inhales deeply, feeling his body relax whilst his mind remains alert.

Every few minutes he becomes tense as a car passes on the dirt track which runs nearby, he contorts into a crouch, glancing quickly at the road whilst remaining camouflaged in the scrub in which he has chosen to wait. Once assured that the passing car is not the one he is awaits he sits on the damp ground, stretching his legs, leaving long indentations in the grass. He caresses his rifle, admiring the cool steel, the loving craftsmanship, he looks, as always, straight down the barrel to check for blockages.

He does not consider his safety, if it is his fate to die he will die. He can see the house perfectly from his current vantage point. It is neglected, unloved. It has been left to rot, an eyesore which seems past the state of repair. The shutters hang from a single hinge, rust has long since caused the others to tear away from the wall. The timber is infested with rot, the boards appearing to to be slanting towards the earth at a precarious angle but after further observation this is revealed to be because the house has been built on a small mount, unstable from the outset.

The contributing factors give the house an eerie feel which is aided by the dark grey storm clouds that are quickly approaching and thunder growling across the hillsides. An air of foreboding surrounds the area. A stillness. He welcomes this, the power that surrounds the area. It seeps into his pores, his body aches with his longing to kill. There are no outward signs of his addiction, his features remain impassive, his breathing barely audible. He is not unattractive although the stern lines of his face never lighten and the mouth which promises a warming smile seems permanantly twisted into a sneer of contempt.

There is a metallic sheen to his eyes, so dark that the appear to be completely black, they show none of the conflicting emotions that rage inside him. Only his pounding heatbeat betrays his excitement; tension sits just below the surface waiting to be freed. This heartbeat is magnified inside his head, pounding. It is the sign of paranoia which will mount steadily until he is safely away from this place. A dull throb of thunder echoes across the sky and a single drop of rain collides with his face. As he wipes it away he leaves a smear of dirt on his weatherbeaten skin.

He knows it is there and yet he makes no attempt to remove it. It clings like a friend, the only pure thing in this Godforsaken place and he has been forsaken with it. His ability in his chosen field is unparalleled, he hurts with a deadly accuracy, leaving families bereft, children fatherless. He will kill any person, for any reason, in any place. He feels no regret, he needs it, it is like a narcotic, morbidly fascinating. He is reminded of his task, of what he really is, by a sound that has infiltrated the silence. A steely ruthlessness sets into his eyes.

An expensive looking black car pulls into the driveway, it also is stained with the dirt that has gathered in pools around the house. He crouches. The engine is cut, the key turned in the ignition. A man climbs out of the drivers seat, carefully avoiding the muddy areas to save his perfectly cut suit. He walks to the passenger door and slowley opens it. Her legs swing out first, cautiously placing her feet on the ground, a grimace of distaste colours her face. He pulls her to her feet as she glances around her, letting the location sink in. He watches them with a predatory look, they are nothing more to him than dead meat.

He admires the smooth curve of their foreheads in the manner in which a doctor may inspect his patient before informing them that their slight headache is in fact a growing tumour which is soon to extinguish their life. He reaches out slowly and grasps his rifle in a practised manner. He checks first the silencer and then bringing the sight in line with his eyes, flicks up the safety catch. The woman holds the mans arm, they avoid eachothers eyes, keeping them concentrated on the ground as they make their way towards the house. The woman trips, her free arm flailing.

She composes her face with all the dignity she can muster and they continue towards the door. At arrival the women knocks on the door. Three times. They always knock three time in quick succession, it is a certainty like the sun rising in the morning or the kettle never boiling if you watch it. The door, as planned, is not opened. The third knock is his signal. He squints, peering through the sight. He shoots. The muffled sound alerts the man, a look of startled anticipation dawns on his face, there is no time for the terror, which would surely occour when faced with ones own certain demise, to show on his pale features.

His body drops unceremoniously into the dirt. The bullet tears through his left temple, blood pours into his eyes and froths up from between his lips. The gun fires again, by this time, through instinct alone, the women has thrown herself to the ground and is dragging herself through the filth in a vain attempt to outwit her death. The metal projectile shatters her frails extistence, the bullet tears through her left cheek, she is not killed instantly but continues to writhe, clawing desperatly at the mud. The majority of her face has been ripped away, splitered bone rapidly being covered with blood, but still she does not die.

She is no longer able to comprehend her situation. She screams. It is a bitter sound, filthy, desperate, enraged. With one final despairing moan her skull caves in, her eyes roll back into her head. The assassin cradles his gun lovingly, satisfied at last. Unhurridly he places it back into its case and kicks the lid shut. The rush of adrenalin that had streaked, like lightening, through his body as it always did once he has made his kill is beginning to subside. It leaves him feeling revolted, his body aches from the cramped position and the damp. He hates himself. He hates the pleasure that he takes at killing.

He is judge jury and executioner; but it is only the execution he loves. He surveys the area he has inhabited, minutes have merged into hours, he kicks at the damp grass; the indentations become indecipheral. All signs of his precence are cleared swiftly. His emotions, supressed for so long, struggle to rise to the surface. Dementia starts to kick in, the bloody image of his father laughs in his mind, he whispers to himself, ‘remind me… remind me… remind me of what i am. ‘ He desperatly tries to supress a malevolent giggle. Shivering he half-heartedly he tugs at his dog collar and contemplates his return to the vicarage.

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