When he entered the room, he was surprised by what he saw. The man he was there to see was cowering before a woman. The woman wore a simple black turtleneck and black jeans, had long brown hair, striking yellow eyes, and held a gun masterfully in both hands.
“M-Morana,” the man on the floor stuttered, “You don’t want to do this.”
“That’s where you’re wrong.” The woman said, and fired the gun. She only fired a single shot. That was all it took.
Calmly, the woman identified as Morana pulled a tissue from a box on the desk, wiped the gun, and placed it in the man’s hands. This completed, she walked placidly from the room, wiping the doorknob as she went. She walked right past him, and he cocked his head at her, intrigued. However, he had work to do, and little time to do it – he needed to be in Malaysia in a couple of minutes. Quickly, he walked across the room and finished Morana’s work.
He saw Morana again a few weeks later. She was sprawled on the sidewalk a few feet away from the mangled remains of a black car. Stepping towards her, he knelt beside her and looked into her face. She moaned, and her yellow eyes looked up at him. She frowned, but said nothing. He knew she was fine, but could not help but worry about the injury on her head. But there was nothing he could do – for she had not been the only one in the car, and he had to tend to the other.
Making his way unnoticed through the crowd that had surrounded the vehicle, he did his work and then swept away, but Morana’s gaze stayed with him.
He was running behind when he saw Morana again. They passed as she left the coffee shop and he entered it. He noticed her head-injury seemed to have healed without problems.
He could have sworn she looked right at him as she passed. Turning, he saw that she had stopped and was watching him. Then she blinked, shook her head, and walked away. He shook his own head – it was impossible.
Quickly, he took care of the man slumped at the table. Though he needed to be in Albany, he paused a moment to sniff the contents of the man’s cup, and couldn’t help but smile. Cyanide. A classic.
When next he saw Morana, she was standing in front of a store window, inspecting a pair of shoes that were on sale, while the building across the street burned. He stood behind her, examining her reflection. She glanced up and seemed to catch sight of his – though he knew this was impossible.
“So,” she said, “Are you going to tell me why you’ve been following me?”
He looked around, but there was no one else near-by. Everyone on the street was completely engrossed in the raging fire behind them.
“Are you a cop?” she asked.
“No,” he said, his own voice sounding strange to him.
“Then why’re you following me?”
“You can see me.”
“Of course I can see you, don’t be stupid. Now, if you’re not turning me in, why are you here? Are you going to kill me?”
“You’ve been killing people.”
They stood in silence.
“And?” she prompted.
“That’s why I’ve been following you.”
“To stop me?”
“You’re very clever.” She smiled. “So what are you trying to do?”
“Just my job.”
“Sounds like we have a lot in common.” She drew a pair of sunglasses from her purse and slid them on, “Walk with me.” she ordered. He watched her walk away, hesitating for a moment. The building was burning, a ship was sinking in the Atlantic – and still, after the initial vacillation, he followed her. Walking quickly, he fell into step beside her.
“You still haven’t answered my question,” she reminded him.
“Why are you killing people?” he asked.
“You don’t get an answer until I do. You know I’ve been killing people, but you have no desire to stop me.”
“I didn’t say I didn’t have a desire to stop you – just that that isn’t what I’m trying to do.”
“What are you trying to do?” she sounded a bit irritated now – which, considering how many times she had asked the question, he couldn’t blame her for. But she retained her calm composure, and he admired that.
“At the moment,” he said, “Figure you out.”
“Me?” she smiled, “I’m simple.”
“You kill people.”
“Why? Are you an assassin?”
“You could say that.”
“Who are you working for?”
She smiled again.
“I like you.” she decided. Then she held up a hand to stop him. “I have to go now. I suspect I’ll see you again. When I do, I expect more answers.”
She ducked down a side-ally. He didn’t follow her. She was right – they’d see each other again. Surprising himself, he found he couldn’t wait.
Today's Novel Idea Prompted by: "Death's Bride" as well as the picture above, courtesy of Nighthags Writing Corner.