The Hitman’s Last Job
in her sleep, words she’d said a thousand times before. She was
having a dream…THAT dream, all over again, like she’d had almost
every night of her life. She always stayed 9 years old in her
nightmares. Maybe because at that age everything changed forever or
maybe it was because deep down she still was that 9 year old girl.
She flayed her arms as if fighting an invisible attacker and tears
squeezed out from her clenched eyelids.
“It was the day
No! I don’t wanna!” she cried as if protesting would stop it
after her ninth birthday when she noticed the look in her father’s
eyes change. He lingered on her for just that second longer and the
intention on his face was something she had never seen before. Was
it love? Hunger? She’d soon find out.
She’d gone to
bed like she always and climbed beneath the covers with her
favorite stuffed toy, an owl named Archimedes who she often spoke
to as if he was her best friend. She rubbed her face against his
soft, fake feathers and felt the blissful relaxation that only came
in the twilight seconds of sleep taking hold. But something snapped
her from the comfort… the creak of her bedroom door.
Be quiet sweety,”
Why? Is there something wrong?”
Just be quiet,” he grunted.
terrible but that was no surprise. Anna had left her father in a
drunken stupor on the couch with an old Western playing loudly on
the TV. He was filthy and sour and as Anna wondered whether she
should lean over and kiss him goodnight, she looked to his
corpulent body and found him repulsive.
disgruntled face was crumpled into folds of gray skin with a five
o’clock shadow peppering his chin. His hands looked as if they’d
seen a fight that day and the stains on his clothes showed
themselves as a map of his daily habits. Anna hurried up the stairs
and hoped that in the morning he’d be in a good mood.
But here he
was in the middle of the night standing in her bedroom, swaying
like he always did when he was drunk and wanted to start an
argument. Then he moved in closer and for a moment, Anna thought he
was going to pounce onto the bed like a wild animal. She was almost
right. He lingered for a moment by the side of the bed… just
watching. Anna could see sweat begin to form on his brow.
Are you sick Daddy?” she tried to reason why he looked so
“He pulled back
Just sick of not having you,” was his peculiar reply that she
the bedsheets. Anna shifted herself away quickly but soon found she
was trapped in the corner, with her father blocking any escape. Her
eyes were wide in fear and confusion. She clutched at Archimedes in
a futile attempt at gaining protection. Used to being afraid of her
father, she sensed this was different. There was an insidious look
in his dark eyes.
He grabbed at
the stuffed owl and tried to pull it from Anna’s arms but she held
on as desperately. A struggle broke out and soon the pair was
fighting over the toy. Fake fur and cotton stuffing flew out over
the bed like a scattering of artificial snow. Her father won the
battle quickly and tossed the artificial owl carcass on the floor.
Anna looked to it with tears clinging at her eyelashes.
But a sharp
pain in her wrist made her turn back to her father. He was gripping
her arm hard and pushing her down underneath him. He was sitting
astride her now with that vile stench of his permeating her
nostrils. She tried to struggle but it was pointless. Her meagre
frame was like a matchstick beneath his bearish body. All she could
do was try to breathe.
His attack was
relentless that night and Anna thought that nothing could be so
painful again. Of course she was wrong. Her father’s nightly visits
became a routine and like clockwork for the next ten years his
depraved and torturous acts would become a normal part of her life.
Normal for him anyway… Now aged 19 she barely thought of anything
else once she closed her eyes at, even though he didn’t creak open
her door as much as he used to. His fists though… she was still at
the receiving end of those.
and visceral her father’s anger was like an untamed wolf. Each
night she’d try to dream of freedom but as always his face would
intrude on her serenity and the attacks would begin all over again
in her mind.
This night was different though because her dream was stopped
in its tracks by something alien, something loud, something…
deadly. A gunshot. It echoed through the house and drifted up the
stairs. At first Anna thought that she was still dreaming but that
was until she could smell the gunpowder and she sat bolt upright in
This isn’t a dream, this is really
For a confusing moment she
genuinely cared for her father and her instinct was to run
downstairs to check on him.
Her bare feet slapped on the wooden floorboards as sheAs if her
hurried. She reached the living room and the sight hit her. Death
and blood, shock and horror… Her father was lying in the position
she left him in but his nicotine stained vest was now running with
a cascade of blood that sprung from an open wound in his head. Anna
immediately gagged and clutched a hand to her mouth. The blood ran
a river from his body to hers and seeped in between her toes. Total
fear racked her body for a moment until the reality of the
situation hit her… he would never hurt her again!
But who hurt him?
thoughts were mysteriously read a floorboard creaked behind her and
she spun round in the dark to see a figure so tall it towered over
her. The demonic shadow loomed in closer and Anna began to shake.
Then a hand as strong as a vice spun her back around. Her arms were
violently and expertly pulled behind her back.
an animalistic cry for help but was soon silenced by the cold steel
of a gun against her temple. Anna assumed death would come in a
second and she began to pray but it never arrived. The murderer in
her house appeared to be hesitating or was he just playing with
her, trying to make her last few seconds on earth as terrifying as
possible? She felt his hot breath on the back off her neck and the
clean smell of his aftershave. She wanted to see his face and put a
name to her father’s killer but the tight grip on her never
Meanwhile the killer was looking at her intently.But something
She’s a pretty one
. He looked over every inch of her body as he held the gun to
her head. She was shaking in her underwear. He could smell the fear
coming off her. Wondering what to do with her, he looked her up and
down again. He killed the men easily. That was what he was paid to
do. But the women? He never got involved with them, but this time
he had no choice. She was a witness after all wasn’t she? But she
didn’t see his face. Still… she’d complicate things. She’d have to
was stopping him pulling the trigger. He’d never killed a girl
before, and he found himself not being able to even contemplate it.
But his boss specified, ordered even, to kill everyone and that
meant the girl too. He looked her over once again and saw the
fragility of her body, the coyness in her face and the sheer terror
in her eyes. He couldn’t do it, instead he felt the deep compulsion
to wrap his arms around her and tell her he’d save her. It was an
odd thought to have considering he had just put a bullet hole in
her father. He hesitated for a moment longer and then an idea
flashed in his head.
Come with me,” he spoke gruffly and let her arms go. “But
don’t say a word or I’ll kill you.”
walked briskly and silently through the house and, noticing one of
Anna’s coats hanging in the hallway, tossed it to her.
Wrap up warm, there’s no heat where we’re going,” he said
What the hell does that mean!
thousand thoughts a second were flying through Anna’s mind.
Why didn’t he kill me? What’s he going to do
She was too scared to resist, and
so dutifully followed him out of the house and onto the street. A
black SUV stood proudly amongst the battered, second hand cars of
the neighbours. She looked to see where her father’s van was and
was surprised to see it wasn’t in its usual parking
Hurry,” the killer whispered through the frosty darkness. “In
the car…” he pulled open the passenger door. “Come on… get in
freezing bare feet ran quickly on the cold tarmac as she hurried to
the vehicle. She jumped in the passenger side and he slammed the
door behind her. As he moved round and sat in the driver’s seat the
soft light from the street lamps showed his features and Anna saw
him clearly for the first time. She was immediately struck by how
handsome he was. Square jawed and blonde, young and athletic… he
wasn’t what she expected him to be. He looked so normal and
respectable, the kind of guy you proudly took home to your
He started the
ignition and softly pulled away from the curb, driving gently away
down the street, gliding silently like a ghost. No one would have
noticed a thing… except for the gunshot, but in this neighbourhood
people heard them often and knew not to stick their neck out by
calling the cops. For a long while they drove silently through the
streets of Chicago with nothing but the sound of silence and Anna’s
rapid breathing. Anna was desperate to ask who he was, where they
were going and what he was going to do with her but she couldn’t
get the words out. She just watched him, trying to figure out what
was going on in his head by the expression on his face, but there
wasn’t one. He was a true professional, strong and silent,
foreboding and solemn.
nothing until they reached a depressing looking motel that stood
rickety and old off the side of the freeway. It would have looked
abandoned if it wasn’t for the neon sign that flickered red in the
night. It flashed the words “Sleep Eazy.”
“She was lead
You know, I always wondered why they bothered with the second
‘E’ and the ‘P’.” The man commented dryly, turning to Anna, and
smiling at her confused expression. “If you co-operate, you won’t
get hurt. Now get out the car.”
roughly to a room at the end of the building. Far away from
everyone else and containing nothing but a bed, a wicker chair, a
lamp and an ancient television. It was only slightly dirtier than
the house she had been taken from.
“She did as she
Sit there,” he said flatly and pointed to the bed.
was told and shook nervously under her coat. She pulled it tighter
around her and began to cry.
Stop crying,” he said angrily. “It won’t bring your father
I wouldn’t want it to,” her words hung mysteriously in the
looked to her face and saw her delicate features accentuated
perfectly in the auburn lamplight. He wondered how someone so
dainty and perfect could have sprouted from the cesspit of her
neighbourhood. He felt himself soften to her but wished that he
wouldn’t. Straightening himself in his chair he tried to make his
body look more masculine, erect… strong. Anna responded by
shrinking inside her coat even more. He felt guilty for scaring her
but at the same time wanted to keep the upper hand. He stood up and
walked over to her.
“She looked up
Look kid, just do as I say and you won’t get hurt,”
to him with her big, pale eyes. There was uneasiness inside her as
if she wasn’t sure if he was tricking her into something.
Just do as I say… Ok?” and he got up and walked over to a
As he opened it Anna thought it looked military issued, and
her eyes lingered on his buzz cut and stoney expression.
He can’t still be in
He pulled out a length of rope
from the bag and began to make shapes with it between his hands.
Anna panicked and scurried away from him but the furthest she could
get was the headboard. He leaned in closer to her and his height
and muscles couldn’t have been more intimidating. But as he held
her limbs and tied her hands and feet together she noticed that he
did so softly.