Disclaimer: Please see Part 1 Chapter 1.


Chapter 3

The morning sun was mid-sky when Philip George Hewitt went through LAX Immigration control from the 8:30am London Heathrow flight. Nobody paid him any attention as he collected his single large suitcase from the carousel because he was one of those people who are instantly forgettable. Of medium height, his hair would be called 'straw-coloured', his eyes an ordinary grey in a round, pleasant but unremarkable face. He looked exactly like any one of a thousand other businessmen who flew into and out of the United States every day.

Which was why he was such a successful hired killer.

He wasn't the Philip George Hewitt of course, or even a Philip George Hewitt. This particular Philip George Hewitt had been born in Bayswater, London, thirty-four years ago, and died of measles seven months later. His travel documents stated that he was a loss adjuster for the international firm of Net Corp (UK) Plc. Its London HQ was Net Corp's nerve centre for offices all over the world and at any given time, some of its executive staff could be found in a major airport. Hewitt was indeed on the firm's payroll, but you would never find anyone amongst the company's 2,322 employees who knew him personally. His wallet contained pictures of his wife, son and daughter, none of whom even knew he existed, the shots being taken randomly in three separate countries with a telephoto lens camera. The Hewitt family who lived at his London address were indeed Philip Hewitt, his wife, son and daughter, but they likewise had no knowledge of the existence of this Philip.

He had lived as Philip George Hewitt for eight years, and for five years before that in Berlin as an accountant named Eric Wilhelm Schauffenberg for a globally successful soft-drinks company and for three years before that as a French-Canadian insurance loss adjustor named Marcel Antoine Lecque in Montreal.

His speciality was in 'invisible' contract killings. Unlike Julius Caesar he did not come, see and conquer – then depart with haste that might get him noticed. Instead he seeped gradually into the victim's sphere of existence like rising damp, living for months or even years in one persona.

The inconvenient geriatric relative whose too long life was delaying a much needed inheritance would eventually suffer a fatal fall down a flight of stairs, or would be found sitting dead in an armchair after doing the 'befuddled elderly' thing and turning on the gas cooker but forgetting to light it. For the in-the-way spouse and the attendant risk of the surviving husband or wife being suspect, his personal favourite was to recommend that the spouse who had hired him buy his or her husband or wife something he or she had always wanted. The husband's 'golf-buggy' style lawnmower or the wife's brand new hair tongs could then be guaranteed to have incorrectly wired electrics, or some other fault that would prove fatal. The toddler who was costing far too much in alimony ended up in a garden pond, the extraneous sibling who stood to share some financial bounty had a timely fatal accident, a troublesome business partner would have an unsurprising stress-induced coronary on vacation…

His business trip visa lasted a month, not that he expected it to take so long. One adolescent girl was not something to even think about much – teenagers daily put themselves in all sorts of near-fatal peril…

To be continued in Shadowed Souls Chapter 4…

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