The Winding Scope

The roof stank of cat piss and exhaust fumes, drifting up from the rain soaked concrete and heavy traffic below. Agent 47 altered his position, his side numb leaning against the cold steel trim that ran around the small overhang on the lip of the rooftop. His arms felt heavy, the rifle doubling in weight every minute he lay prone, starring through its magnified scope at the 15th floor balcony of the Lebermann Hotel across the street. His eyes were marbles, frozen and trained on the double glass doors still closed and tinted against the afternoon sun. He'd been there five minutes already, arrival, two minutes to prepare and then the wait. In his youth he'd been okay with this requirement, patiently able to wait hours for that perfect shot but now he felt the cold sooner, his bones ached and far too often his muscles got cramps despite his still formidable and vigorous physical routine. Comfortable clothing could only do so much and he turned sickly lying out in the turning heat for any length of time. Agent 47 acknowledged to himself that he never felt old until it came down to the wait, his preparation, information gathering, setting up of the contract each individual aspect made him feel quite the opposite, alive and focused but he knew lying there waiting that his time was coming, slowly but surely creeping after him hand over fist. He tried to reign in his thoughts and began to run through the checklist in his head. Area swept, entry and exits secured, alternates established. He ticked them off mentally, running through each process in forward motion as confirmation before letting out a slender sigh, check complete.

The scope clicked, a solid mechanical sound as Agent 47 made a subtly adjustment, shifting the sight a minuet fraction over to avoid depth shadowing as he saw the reflection of movement swim towards the door from within the darkness of the apartment. Click, adjust, Click. Focus. The rifle felt solid, as though an extension of his arm, its weight moulded and linked with the muscle. He scanned the glass surface, his eyes skating across it in anticipation, his breath slowing with enforced momentum. A ghost like hand reached out and silently dragged the doors open, the interior of the hotel apartment dark in stark comparison to the blinding flash of the baking sun outside. A women stepped out, one long naked leg reaching cautiously over the threshold of the doorway. She held a plush white towel to her chest, its length covering her still wet body fresh from the shower, her damp auburn hair dangling heavy onto her shoulders. The world froze.



Agent 47 couldn't see her eyes but knew that they would have seen nothing but the blinding sun bouncing off the tall glass office buildings that surrounded the hotel. He watched as the woman's body thumbed backwards, the first shot hitting her square in the chest, throwing her back a step the towel flying from her grasp. She leant flat against the glass door behind her for only a split second as the second shot pushed her head clean through the glass, shattering it in a cloud that twinkled like stars through the tunnel of the scope. He watched her for that dying moment fall naked back into the apartment, dropping heavy onto a bed of scattered glass shards. The towel floated momentarily, its material barely damp in the air before drifting into a discarded heap on the wall of the balcony its pure white radiant in the sun like a piece of art formed from a single splash of thrown paint. Agent 47 climbed to his knee, packing away his materials with delicate precision with the image of the towel twisting in his mind and reminding himself he had to pick up some milk on the way home.