The Executioner

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Micro Fiction - License to Kill

She picked up the paper that held her next assignment. It was a name she knew. Paper has never felt so heavy.

*****

Flash Fiction - Judge and Jury

 

Shadowy figures rush through the dim light of the alleyway.

 

“Hurry son! She’s right behind us!”

 

The thud of hurried footsteps echoed throughout the empty alley. It’s dark, dingy, and unfortunately, there’s nowhere to hide.

 

“Dad! I’m sorry but I can’t keep this up!”

 

The boy struggled between breaths as he talked. Even as his father dragged him along there was no denying it, she would catch up soon.

 

“No, no, no, NO! Shit, shit, SHIT!”

 

The man came to a grinding halt. With a yank, he pulls his son behind him. There was nowhere to run. Brick walls surrounded them and now there was a barred fence at their back with thick chains keeping it locked. There was only one way out and that was forward. 

 

The thud of her heavy boots thumped loudly in their ears. With each step closer the woman’s shadowy silhouette became clearer. She looked like a soldier of the night, dressed in a crisp, black uniform with a mask of the same color that hid everything but the glint of her eyes. In her white-gloved hand, she held onto a pistol with silencer already attached and no doubt loaded.

 

“Tsk, tsk, tsk, looks like you’re all out of pavement to run on. Here I thought  I’d enjoy a bit of fun playing cat and mouse.”

 

She raises the gun, it heavy in her hand. Just as she lines up the sights right between the man’s eyes, he speaks.

 

“Please, at least spare my son. He’s just a child!”

 

“Just because I’m an executioner doesn’t mean I’m a complete monster. Now, if I may?”

 

There’s no malice in her voice, in fact, it almost sounds carefree, even if her eyes reflect little emotion.

 

“It’s nothing personal sir. It’s a bloody job but someone has to do it, am I right? Now, Mr. Wayne Johnson, you are hereby sentenced to death for the murder of Callum Reed, son of Fredrick Reed, and for evading the authorities of said crime. I’ve been hired to pass judgment and execute, you, the offender. Not gunna lie, you did the world a service. It’s a shame that this is to be your reward.”

 

“But I didn’t have a choice,” cried the younger of the two.

 

The woman’s head tilts in confusion, “... You?”

 

She doesn’t lower the gun but her eyes shift their gaze over to the man’s son who had stepped from behind him.

 

“You mean to tell me you’re Wayne?”

 

Before either one of them could utter another word she says, “Prove it. Show your IDs.” She cocks the hammer as a warning, “Slowly,” she adds. “Any acts of bravery will cost you.”

 

Their heads turn as they give each other a nervous glance. The father dips his head in an anxious nod then reaches into his pocket.

 

The sound of a click breaks the silence and with it brings a ray of light from a small flashlight, just big enough to fit on the inside of a pocket. The light shines over the slick plastic of the cards.

 

“...” A low, agitated growl reverberates from her throat. Sure enough it was revealed that Wayne was indeed, the child, and the man? Samuel Johnson. The light clicks off, shrouding the alley back in darkness. “Explain yourself boy.” The hammer of the gun snaps back into place.

 

“He attacked me, held a knife to my throat, see?” The boy urgently tugs down his turtleneck, revealing the red line of a cut that was starting to scar. “He was going to make me … make me do things. I panicked and… and…” The boy starts to visibly shake as his mind scrambled to find the words.

 

“I’ve heard enough.” The sound of a ragged breath being sucked in catches their attention. “This contract was conceived under falsified information. I was led to believe that the killer was an adult male and the victim was killed during a kidnapping attempt gone south.” She lowered the gun and let it hang by her side, “But this was just another cover-up attempt by the Reeds,” her words were soft, meant only for her ears though the others could easily catch them over the silence of the alley. “You’re free to go. Escape this city. Leave the country if you can.”

 

The father and son look to each other then back to the woman. For the first time in what felt like an eternity, they could finally breathe freely.

 

“T-thank you! Thank you! Come on son,” the man grabs the boy’s hand and tugs him forward.

 

The executioner turns to watch them disappear into the dark of night.

 

“... Fredrick Reed … looks like I need to pay you a visit.”