The Last Contract

Avatar Author: Kespan Husband, father of 4, full time software engineer, aspiring author Read Bio

Inhale. Exhale slowly. His finger rested gently on the trigger of his Barrett as the crosshairs settled in the center of the old man’s chest. 50 caliber, he thought. This is going to be messy.

He reviewed in his mind the briefing his top client had sent earlier this morning:

“Male, approximate age 85. High priority contract. Collateral casualties acceptable. Past four consultants failed to complete. 50 caliber required. 500 yards minimum.”

It was an odd contract. His client always kept things very quiet, but for some reason changed their rules for this poor bastard hobbling down the street. The old man looked harmless enough, but his client was paying very well for this contract, and he had learned not to ask questions.

Slowly squeezing the trigger, he blinked suddenly in confusion. The old man was gone.

A moment later a gnarled, bony hand close painfully on his shoulder, and a soft chuckling inches from his ear.

“A fifth, eh? Guess they’ll never learn. Brace yourself, lad. This is going to be messy.

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Comments (4 so far!)

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  1. Avatar Mostly Harmless

    That’s wonderful!

    A really clean, original example of giving us a throwaway piece of information – four consultants failed to complete – and then making it crucial to the overall story.

    You should be very proud of this, it’s a lovely piece of craftsmanship that works well as a one-shot, or as a tantalising opener! Bravo! MH :)

  2. Avatar Kespan

    Thanks MH! A lot of this story came together as I was editing it – the part you mentioned wasn’t even originally in there :)

  3. Avatar DoItForScience

    Silly, should have used a drone, the old man wouldn’t be able to read the robot’s mind!

  4. Avatar ElshaHawk (LoA)

    surprising speed and agility, i thought maybe it was a hologram old man walking so the real one could sneak up on the sniper. read his thoughts.. i never thought of that…and the four consultants failed, see i missed that detail, i thought the old man was the failing one.

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