Cri-FiShort fiction

Assassin’s Mark: a story by: GF Willmetts.

‘Thank your secretary for letting me in, sir. On my advice, she’s gone home for the night.’

The man at the desk looked up and seeing a detective badge facing him before looking him in the face.

‘I doubt if my secretary would have been able to stop you let alone disobeyed you. What’s the problem, officer?’

‘I’m here to witness a murder?’

‘Witness a murder?’

‘It hasn’t happened yet.’

‘Who’s the victim? Who would want to kill me?’

‘All I know it this is the scene of the murder.’

‘I’ve heard of this. You’re supposed to stop the murder happening or at least capture the murderer? I’ve heard the results are pretty divided, especially for the victim.’

‘Even if we are here, there’s no guarantee we can be fast enough to stop it. A sniper’s bullet is difficult to stop. Our success rate with a close-up assassination is much better.’

‘Or find out who fired it, Forensics takes over in that case.’

‘This pre-murder stuff is confusing.’

‘We find it so, too. We only know where not who. Parties are always difficult. Are you expecting visitors or guests tonight?’

‘How many victims have you saved?’

‘Me personally? A good percentage.

Assassin’s Mark: a story by: GF Willmetts.
Assassin’s Mark: a story by: GF Willmetts.

‘As to your question, no. I was planning to go home but…’

‘You want to see who dislikes you enough to kill you so will stay here now?’

The businessman nodded. ‘I might have rivals but I doubt that would turn any of them into killers.’

‘We’ve found that it isn’t always rivals, it can be anyone including girl-friends, mistresses, wives, nutjobs. Any of them prepared to hire to professional assassin to do the job. Cams are set-up so evidence is provided for court cases…’

‘In case they succeed?’

‘Mostly, whoever it is fails. We need supporting information so they are locked up. It was never like that in the old days. It took some real detective power to find killers. Whoever it is probably won’t do it personally. The data for the hit here tonight was on an assassins database. They don’t line up, one just has to pick the hit. They now see avoiding the cops as an operational hazard and increases the fee.’

‘So you just look up the wanted ads on the blackNet, keeping space between those who hire and the assassin. That’s how you found me? But why wait until now?’

‘End of the contract. Most like to leave it until the last moment, get the target and spit in our faces how good they think they are and us watching it happen. Why come in early and waste both our times?’

‘So that’s why assassins wait until the last moment?’

‘Occasionally, contracts get rescinded or counter-offered, sometimes by the victim when they know how and can respond. Having the assassin killed tends to send a message back. You seemed surprised when I arrived so I guess the latter isn’t an option. We just want to avoid a tit for tat until the hire’s name is discovered.’

‘As I said, your arrival was a surprise. Would I kill an assassin? That would make me a murderer and arrestable?’

The detective gave a curt smile. ‘You’re still a potential victim if no one else arrives.’

‘And you don’t want to see me die. I’m glad as you see me as an honest citizen.’

‘I never said that. We are given access to all records, even closed ones, just to get some idea of who does the hiring.’

‘But a victim is a victim. Does this end of contract have a time?’

The detective consulted his watch. ‘Any time in the next five minutes.’

The man pulled a gun from under his desk and shot the detective who collapsed to the floor. He got up and shrugged his shoulders. ‘Someone had to die. Better you than me.’


The man collapsed dead. A sniper bullet.

The detective opened his eyes and looked down and then poked his finger through the bullet-hole in his shirt, patting the Kevlar vest beneath.’

‘Always got to be someone who thinks having someone else killed will take his place,’ he muttered to himself.

He fingered his mic. ‘Did you get him?’

‘Yep! I think he thought the victim might try something flash.’

‘Textbook then. Tell the assassin if he co-operates, we’ll get the judge to reduce his sentence.’



© GF Willmetts 2024

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Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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