Day 227 – Half Hour Hitman – Part 13

Word count:816

“What did he say to you?”

Andy’s vision was eclipsed by the Half Hour Hitman’s face. He was so close, Andy could see the fine stubble poking through the skin on his chin. Andy had never seen him like this before. The last time, in the old mansion, he had been somewhat calm, somewhat collected. Fear was gripping him now, though: his body was shaking with it.

“I – I don’t – he was speaking through the letterbox… he saw me… He was looking right at me…”

Anger splashed across the Half Hour Hitman’s face, “Shit. We can’t move though. We can’t.”

“Why not? We did last time!”

“They’re going to be watching the house… here they don’t dare come in.”

“Why not, what’s stopping them?”

The Half Hour Hitman withdrew and slumped himself on the floor, against the wall. “Because they know me. Because they fear me.”

“Fear you?” Andy assessed him. Right now he resembled a stressed and exhausted man in his forties: it was odd how human he suddenly looked.

“Yes, Andy.”

The question had been tingling on the tip of his tongue since he had first heard of the title, but until now he had never the courage to ask, “Why are you called the Half Hour Hitman?”

The Half Hour Hitman scoffed, “Clue’s in the title…”

“Elaborate…”

“I get the job done in half an hour. You call me, tell me who to kill: they’ll be dead twenty-nine minutes later.”

Andy’s heart throbbed in his chest. Why it had only just dawned on him, he had no idea: perhaps it was because for the last few weeks they had been living more as housemates than house-arrest, perhaps it was because he appeared so vulnerable right now, but it was only now that Andy realised he was looking at, he was speaking to… a murderer.

“How many?”

“How many what?”

“How many people have you killed?”

The Half Hour Hitman paused to reflect, counting on his fingers. Andy thought this curious. In the movies, in the media and books and television – did they not all know the exact death toll they had caused?

“Somewhere in the region of around a thousand.”

Andy yelped, “What?”

“It’s my job. It’s what I’m good at.”

“Killing people?”

“Yes. I get paid very well for it.”

“Why not me?”

Andy’s gut instinct was right: the Half Hour Hitman stood up and completely ignored his question.

“Come on, let’s get you back into the living room,” he said, grabbing Andy by the arms and lifting him up.

Andy was deposited back into the realm of the sofa once more and the Half Hour Hitman returned to the kitchen. It was as if nothing had happened. No one had come to the door, no one had threatened anything through the letterbox and no one was watching the house. While Andy felt a million pairs of eyes, binoculars and cameras watching him, the Half Hour Hitman quite happily and seemingly obviously continued with his cooking. This was too much for Andy. This man who had turned from captor to … housekeeper… there was something not right there and Andy needed to raise it. He got up from the sofa again and walked into the kitchen.

“What are you doing?” the Half Hour Hitman said vacantly, darting around the kitchen with a chopping board. The domesticated hitman looked strange in an apron; Andy was more than a little disconcerted.

“Why am I still alive?”

“Because you’re brain’s telling your heart and lungs to work.”

“Why have you killed a thousand other people without a thought and let me live? Why didn’t you just do the job?”

The Half Hour Hitman continued to ignore the topic. Andy was growing more and more frustrated with every chop of the Half Hour Hitman’s knife.

“You could kill me at any time – you could let them kill me at any time – and yet you’re cooking me an omlette?”

The Half Hour Hitman looked back at Andy as he poured the chopped onions into the frying pan. They sizzled scrumptiously.

“They didn’t pay me enough.”

“How much were they offering? Can’t have been that much, it’s not as if I’m important!”
Andy scoffed a laugh, “Too right.”

“Then why?”

“Because I’m getting old and have found my heart…”

“Why?” Andy demanded, blood burning with rage.

“Because you seemed like a lovely young lad….”

Andy stepped up towards him, “Why?”

They were reversed now. Andy was in control; the Half Hour Hitman was the vulnerable one now.

“Why?” he repeated, louder and angrier when no reply came. The Half Hour Hitman was growing agitated. He was stirring the onions as if he were torturing them, but still he did not answer Andy’s question.

“Dammit, why didn’t you kill me in that car park!” Andy yelled.

“Because I realised why they wanted you killed in the first place!”

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~ by S.G. Mark on May 21, 2012.

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