Day 184 – Half Hour Hitman – Part 10

Word count: 939

It was dark. Andy’s captor was throwing his belongings into the back seat of the car while Andy himself was tied up and gagged by the edge of the car, waiting to be thrown in the back of the boot again.

This was the first time Andy had been out in the fresh air in weeks, if not months. He had no idea how much time had passed, though he knew it was after New Year. A light dusting of snow had settled on the trees. Sitting slumped against the back tire, he could see the enormity of house had had been trapped in these last weeks. It was an old manor style house quite far out in the country. Above him the stars shone and far over to his left the tungsten glow of a nearby city devoured the universe from sight. The place was deserted apart from them and there was not a sound of evidence that there might be anyone living nearby.
Andy had no idea where they were going now, but judging by the thudding of luggage behind him and as the car’s suspension rebounded when each piece of luggage was hurled into it, they were not likely to be returning. Andy was still shaken from earlier that evening and clearly this Half Hour Hitman was too. Immediately afterwards Andy had tried and failed to interrogate his captor about who he was and why he had not killed him yet. But this man would never dispense answers: he was a brick wall of silence.

After a few minutes, Andy was hoisted into the back. This time he did not protest or try to struggle. There was no point. Within the last few hours Andy had slowly come to the realisation that he would not be leaving this man’s company alive. Mentally, he was beginning to say his goodbyes to his friends and familiar; to everyone he would never see again. Even now, as he was lowered into the boot unceremoniously, he felt an asphyxiating tear fall from his eyes. He would never see his parents again, nor his brother and sister. They might never find his body, but keep on searching and searching for him all their lives. They might eventually grow to hate him, thinking he had run off to leave them to the misery of being in limbo. Maybe they would give up and just declare him legally dead. Maybe in their hearts he already was.
The Half Hour Hitman gave Andy a solemn stare before closing the boot door on him. The car engine started and Andy rolled to the front of the boot as they set off. The steady hum of the engine was somewhat comforting to Andy. It made him sleepy and almost warm inside. For a few hours they drove, at least. Andy guessed that they were traversing a town of some sorts as they were stopping and starting quite frequently. In the front, the Half Hour Hitman was playing classical music loudly.
Eventually they came to a stop and the Half Hour Hitman unloaded everything from the front of the car first. At last the boot door was open and the man hoisted Andy over his shoulder and took him inside. They ascended a narrow little communal staircase and entered the last door on the top floor. It was a dingy little flat with a grubby carpet and no lighting.
Andy was dumped on a frayed brown sofa and told to sit still until the man returned. Shifting around in the sofa so that he was sitting upright, Andy took in his new surroundings. The flat was bare save the boxes that were piled up high in the corner. Many of the boxes looked as if they contained files – not knives and guns as Andy had suspected. The only light source in the room, if turned on, would come from a single lightbulb dangling from the ceiling. The walls were greased in a yellow paste of tobacco and the only window in the room was boarded up with chipboard.
The Half Hour Hitman soon returned and locked the front door behind him, a cold draft closely following him. Andy stared at him as he entered the living room and tried to judge his next movements. This did not look so much a place of execution, but a safe house. The man ripped the tape from Andy’s mouth. Andy wiped his mouth on his shoulder.

“This is where we’re going to be from now on,” the man said, resting on the edge of the sofa and staring out across the room. “Not quite as grand as the other place, is it?”
Andy was a little unsure of how to react. The man had never shown this side of himself before. Previously it had always been the robotic desensitised and emotionless self.
“Are we going to be safe here?”
The man turned to look at Andy, “I hope so.”
“Were we in dangers at the other place?”
“Yes, Andy, yes we were,” the man crouched beside Andy, “But don’t worry. We’ll be alright here. I’ll protect you.”
“Then what are these about?” Andy raised his tied hands.
“Protection.”
“From what? You were sent to kill me!”
“Protection from yourself and protection from the people who wanted you dead in the first place.”
“Who are they – the people who want me dead?”
The man stood up and looked away, “It is best if you don’t know.”
“Someone’s trying to kill me and it’s best if I don’t know who?”
“Yes. But rest easy. You’re not alone. They want me dead too.”

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~ by S.G. Mark on April 8, 2012.

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