The Title

by David Caldwell

Black and White: Part 03.


Victor Blu eyed the soon-to-be-dead man slowly navigating his way through the congested humanity that was the sidewalks of NYC. Victor smiled, amused that the hapless mark was clueless to his fate. He walked; unhurried; his gait purposeful; graceful; in a sense, feminine. Victor thought of himself as clever. He was of slight, yet wiry build. Stood just a fraction under five feet ten inches. His black hair was straight, neither long nor short. His clothes were stylish, yet functional. At a distance, someone would be hard pressed to determine his gender. Upon closer inspection, gender would still be a questioning issue and Victor liked that. He enjoyed the game of obfuscation. Shrouding himself in shades of gray. His thoughts drifted, but his eyes never wavered from his target as he waded through the undulating sea of street people.

He was going to profit from his actions today, a profit that could be measured in hard currency and a profit that could not be weighed and calculated in such a numerical fashion. Victor's concerns, which seemed to be growing at an exponential rate, were now reducing themselves to a manageable ratio. Could he manage murder? The thought did flicker briefly in his mind, like candlelight in a flurry of wind. I get paid to kill. That was his rationale. His answer to the nagging little question that on a rare occasion would worm its prickly way into his psyche.

The mark continued his way downtown. Victor smiled. The further downtown the fool went, the easier it was going to be for him. A quick pull of the trigger. Make it look like a robbery. Another round-eye dead in the soggy, litter-strewn gutter. No one would care. No one would even blink. Just step over the body until the cops bothered to show up. Or the sanitation drone. Whichever came first. Could anyone ID him? Victor could imagine the sector cops going through the motions of questioning potential witnesses. What did the shooter look like? Black? White? Asian? Yeah… Asian? Whaddya mean you don't know if it was a guy or a girl… what kind of shit is this?!

'Welcome to Chinatown Sector South,' Victor thought and a slight grin creased his smooth complexion. The mark picked up his pace. A nervous glance over his shoulder.

'Do you know I'm following you?' Victor whispered in his mind.

The mark resumed his previous stride. Head bent forward.

A spike of uneasiness poked Victor's stomach. He thought about this job. Then about the mark's wife. The unbridled, passionate liaisons with her. Sexual taboos broken with wanton abandon.

The mark made what looked like a casually abrupt turn into an alley.

Victor blew a forceful breath of air through his nostrils. He did not like this. He had been watching this mark for quite a while. Knew his patterns cold. The gun in his waistband felt heavier. Burdensome. Victor was almost certain that the target was still oblivious to his destiny.

'Almost doesn't cut it,' he thought. 'It could very well get me killed!' Victor knew that today was it. It had to be done now. If he wanted to get paid and subsequently laid, most vigorously laid, he had no choice.

'Dopey bastard doesn't know. I've been watching him and banging the hell out of his wife and he still doesn't know shit!'

Victor steeled his resolve and calmly followed the mark into the alley. Unaware that he too was watched just as intently. Followed. His patterns noted. Victor proceeded into the steam filled alley mortally unaware of his providence.

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