For some Saturday flash I broke out the Story Cubes. Hope you like it!
As the plane hurtled toward the ground, my thoughts branched out in a bloom like a tree growing in my mind. I’d always expected the cliched flash of my life flipping by in a series of images, but I got nothing like that. Only one image came to mind. Him. I didn’t have much of a life for a photo montage. Not really. Unless you counted images of all the people I’ve killed. Politicians, Kings, Presidents, Ambassadors… you name it. Was it considered murder if your government paid the tab?
Keening wind howled through the gaps in the fuselage. Ironic how I knew the way to use my seat as a floatation device, but what good was that when we were about to crash into the earth? They should tuck parachutes into the seat-backs so they were already attached when you fasten your belt. Typical to have the zillion dollar idea at this moment.
Something exploded in the rear of the aircraft. A fountain of flames shot up the aisle and disappeared. This time there were no screams to accompany the blast. Was I the only one awake or were all one hundred sixty three of the other passengers also contemplating patents on James Bond ejection seats?
Night filled the window to my right. The darkness broken only by the occasional blur of lights that flew by as we spiraled ever downward. There was a city below us, of that I was sure. Did the people below us know? Guess who’s coming to dinner, indeed.
I tried to calculate the distance to the ground but instead found myself analyzing what I’d seen just before the explosion. I replayed it in my mind and ran the details under a microscope, just to be sure I hadn’t imagined it. The fighter jet trailing the plane high and to the right. My wondering if they were escorting us in so they could arrest me when we landed. I’m sure they had the perfect story fabricated and waiting for me. The burst of the missile ignition followed by the streak of smoke and flame as it careened toward our wing. The impact out my window, and the simultaneous explosion on the left side of the plane. People screaming.
I didn’t know the identity of my target when I got that last job. I was told simply to be at ready on the roof of the building across from the hotel with my radio on and my rifle trained on the penthouse. As I waited for the call, I watched the room.
I saw what happened in that room. I watched what he did to those girls. I saw the secret service freaking out over the bodies. Watched them go frantic at the sight of all that blood. The look on his face. Animal satisfaction. I never got a call on my radio. Maybe someone just wanted me to see?
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, I was the only one who walked away from the crash. I’d slipped my watch onto a dead man as I crawled from the wreckage. It might fool them for a while into thinking I was dead, but someone would eventually do a count. Realize they were one light. Someone ordered me to that roof that night. And someone else didn’t like that. Not one bit.
As I slipped through the gathering crowd I thought of one thing, and one thing alone: There would be justice. I would make sure of that.