Best Laid Plans
This is a short story, one of various scenes that I'm working on involving a female assassin character. British, around 25, 5 foot 3", she has followed her parents into the business.
As always I'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback, both good and stuff to be improved upon. And frankly, if you just hate it that's OK too.
Best Laid Plans
Windthrop, Montague & Booth. The biggest architectural firm in town. An imposing office block, reaching up into the sky, seemingly without end. Like some sort of middle finger up to the rest of the city, fuck you, we’re the best. Glass. Nothing but glass. The poor bastards that have to clean this.
The lobby doors slide open and I walk up to the desk.
“Can I help you ma’am?”
Same bloke behind the desk as when I was here casing the place last week. Bike courier, cap, dark glasses, massive headphones, hiding in plain sight. Today I’ve gone for the olive skin, black hair, brown contacts look, vaguely Hispanic, could be half Indian, that sort of vibe. Cameras everywhere, unless I’m hooded and in the shadows, I always work in costume. Too many cameras around these days. Man, he’s hot. Not in a traditional Brad Pitt handsome sort of way but there was something about him. Kind eyes, nice smile, good teeth. Maybe I’ll ask for his number on my way out.
“Yes, I’m here to deliver some plans to Mr Windthrop.”
He clocks the long cylindrical plastic case over my right shoulder and nods. He holds out his hand.
“I can take that for you and I’ll make sure that he gets it.”
“He is expecting me.”
“Certainly, please take a seat, I’ll just call up to his office. What’s the name?”
He gestured over to the collection of leather sofas opposite reception.
I walk over, place the case on the floor and sit down, adjusting my skirt as it starts to ride up, keeping one hand resting on the case. I look over to the other people in sofa limbo for something to do, no doubt they’re also waiting to be granted permission to step past the vast holding pen that was reception. One girl sips on a mocha choca fucka latte whilst reading The Da Vinic Code. Cunt. Bigger cunt was the label awarded to the guy a couple of seats down who I caught staring right at my tits, trying to look like he was busy on his phone but clearly hadn’t noticed that he had it upside down. He suddenly looked sheepish when I shot him a look, as if he’d been caught by his mum flicking through the undies section of her clothing catalogue.
“Mr Windthrop will see you now Miss Stevens.” Came the voice. I walked back over to the desk and wondered quite what the point of that little sofa adventure had been.
“Take the lift just here up to the top floor, the whole of the floor is Mr Windthrop’s offices, you’ll see his assistant as you exit the lift.”
The journey to the top was quick but not quick enough to save me from a full verse and chorus of Lady in Red played by ocarina choir. School band, front desk of the clarinets, Ms Rogers made us play that fucking song in at least four concerts in the five years that I was there. I thought it was a hideous bunch of crap before we had to butcher her dreadful arrangement of it, let alone by the end of Year 11….
I couldn’t get out of the lift fast enough. And sure enough as I stepped out it was directly into a corridor with a desk at the end, a blonde girl sitting behind it. I could smell her cheap perfume from the lift doors. I admired the paintings as I made my way down the hall, name checking even the more obscure of the modern pieces thanks to three years of joint Classics and History of Art at Oxford. This guy either had impeccable taste or he simply buys as investments. I’m thinking the latter because anyone that hangs Leighton’s Flaming June between a Mondrian and a Rothko deserves a fucking good slap.
“Good morning, Mrs Stevens is it?” came the brainless drawl of a girl that appeared so dim witted she could only have got this job after a fifteen-minute interview on her knees. I could almost feel sorry for her if she had got my name right. I mean, she was told it on the phone, all you have to do luv is write it down and then read it out. Apparently a little too much for some to cope with. Hideous, cheap shoes, dark roots, ridiculous red lipstick that doesn’t go with her skin tone, the girl is a fucking car crash.
“Mr Windthrop is expectin’ you, go on froo.”
I nod and wonder to myself it’s only 9.35am, how many cocks has she had to suck this morning alone to keep this job?
I push open the heavy double doors to be greeted by a man in his late forties, immaculately dressed and groomed within an inch of his life. He had the kind of shit eating grin that closed billion-dollar deals before he’d even had his coco pops.
“Ah, Miss Stevens, thank you for coming.”
“It’s a pleasure Sir.”
“Ah, but the pleasure is all mine.” He purred. “Would you like a drink before we get down to business?”
“No thank you, I have various other appointments today but I appreciate the offer.”
“In that case shall we look over the plans without further ado?”
He gestured to the large glass table over by the window, opposite his imposing vintage desk. I nod and he lets me go first, I imagine to appear gentlemanly but I don’t have to be a genius to know that he’s also having a sneaky look at my arse. To be fair it did look pretty great in this particular skirt. One for the wank bank once I’ve left no doubt. He stood on the opposite side to me and placed both hands on the table.
“Ok, give it to me.” He said, extremely aware of the carefully chosen, sledgehammer like innuendo.
I popped off the cap of the case which flopped down to the side, attached by a thin chord. He looked puzzled as I scanned my thumb over a pad section, but this thought was interrupted as a muffled hiss came from the bottom of the case. Something shot out into the air, catching the sunlight that was pouring through the full-length windows. He couldn’t help but turn his head away, shielding his eyes with his hand. When he turned back to face me, I was crouched on top of the glass table top having adopted this new position without making a sound, even in my heels. My left hand was down, fingers outstretched to steady me, only the tips making the slightest contact with the glass. He followed my right hand up, held above my head, to see my hand gripping the handle of an unmistakably Japanese sword. Surely a man who buys a Hokusal for his office would recognise a Katana when he sees one. He drew breath, no doubt to ask what the fuck was going on, gormless expression on his face just as the blade swung through the air. Skin, muscle, veins, bones, tendons, none of which slowed the blades path. I stopped the sword just before cutting through the tip of his outstretched right index finger, held up in order to emphasise the question that he’ll never ask. I wipe the blade across his pinstriped shoulder to clean it, jogging his body slightly in the process and prompting his head to slide slowly from his neck and on to the table with a dull ‘thunk’ as I admire the consistency of my angle of cut and the power behind it. I always make note of how long a body stays standing without a head, a couple of seconds in Windthrop’s case which may not sound like much but is a couple of seconds longer than most. His open neck wound squirted blood like some sort of macabre water feature as his legs fold and his body falls backwards.
I swing the case back over my shoulder as I pull the double doors closed behind me and walk past the bimbo’s desk.
“Everythink alright Mrs Stevens?”
I stop in my tracks. Slowly letting the shoulder strap slide down my sleeve until the case sits on the floor, resting against my thigh.
“It’s ‘Miss’…… “ I say through a forced smile as I pop the top off the case for the second time that day…