Day 24: Write a scene that begins “It was the first time I killed a man.”

Well, let’s hope that we can make this one a little more glib than the last few. Of course, with this subject matter, it’s definitely going that way. 

It was the first time I killed a man. His name was Carlos Rodriguez Martinez and he was a douchebag of the highest order. I had been training with BRAVO for three years at this point, three gruelling years full of death and… Well, more death. Kind of what you get when you’re training to be part of the world’s fastest growing assassination corporation.

That’s right, there’s no such thing as a hit man any longer. We’re known as Wetbacks. As it turns out, the origins of BRAVO are from immigrants to the US. Those who the government decided at the time were… “Expendable.” It was disgusting behaviour, but it worked.

But it expanded. The Council took on the term, turned it into something to be proud of. Well, within certain circles. Hard to be a clandestine organisation if everyone knows your nickname. But now, for the modest retainer of $100 000, you can have a rookie Wetback take out the particular object of your ire and the price only goes up. By rookie, I mean straight off the production line.

I mean me.

So, this particular kill came with very specific instructions. No collateral damage (not that BRAVO are in the habit of slaughtering innocent people.) It had to look like an accident but Mr Martinez had to know that his death had been bought and paid for. Then, the strangest. Somewhere in the planning and execution there had to be a rubber chicken. We’d been taught how to deal with awkward requests at the Academy. Depending on how awkward, you make them throw more and more money at you until you say yes. This client was very specific, so I managed to push him up to $ 150,000.

Anyway, I feel like I’ve gone a little off track. First time I killed a man, no collateral. Oh yeah! This is the story about how everything went rapidly, catastrophically and irreversibly wrong.

So, I’m in Martinez’ pool, some tile and gold leaf affair, in full scuba gear. The man himself is sauntering past in his deck shoes and shorts, chuckling into a flip phone. A flip phone! It’s 2016, for crying out loud. Why on earth does this man have a flip phone?

That’s the thought that went through my mind as the phone exploded. Along with Martinez’s head.

‘What the fuck?’ I reached to the edge, starting to pull myself out of the pool when the first muffled whumph echoed through. ‘Oh. Shi-” That’s the noise a man makes when a million dollar house in the middle of Colombia, along with the entirety of the house staff, menagerie and local wildlife, explodes while he’s in the swimming pool next to it.

When the dust settled, I surfaced from the pool. I don’t know if you’ve tried swimming with at least three broken ribs sending lances of pain through your chest, but it’s really rather painful. As is watching $150,000 collapsing into rubble around you.

“I am so screwed.”

The Idiot In Tin Foil


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