Flesh and Thieves

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Flesh and Thieves

If people really knew me, some of them might not be too fond of me, considering my line of work is theft and murder.

But really, it's always best to know someone before you judge.

Today, I was lying in the underbrush, flat on my stomach, in full camouflage. Granted, I don't look as good in green as I do in black. And Colombia is not my favorite place.

But I only take jobs were I know justice is served, and my client is on the side of the righteous. Which is why I'm here. In the mud. Looking through my binoculars.

bI hear a twig snap. It's very quiet, but it brings all my senses to alert. Fuck! There shouldn't be anybody out here on this ledge looking over the compound.

I hold my breath. I can hear breathing and steps. Very quiet. A man. A big man. He stops maybe a few steps from me. I'm still holding my breath.

My first thought is that he's a guard. The rich bastard I'm trying to case out is a major player in the drug and art world. He wouldn't be on my radar if he hadn't stolen from my client. But now that he did, and he was in my sights, I would have to take care of business.

I was under a bush. There was a possibility the guard could be almost on top of me and not see me. Men rarely look down. Typically they expect trouble to come from their own height.

I'm still holding my breath, but I'm going to have to breathe soon. I'm waiting for him to wander off. That's the thing about guards. They are always walking their rotation.

He doesn't walk away.

In fact, he's not walking at all.

I take a very shallow breath. So far, he still doesn't notice me. But what worries me now, is the absence of sound. Guards have no reason to be so quiet. They are always making some noise and not realizing it. Playing with a lighter, humming softly, talking to themselves, fingering their guns.

Not this guy.

In fact, it's so silent, for a second I wonder if maybe it was an animal that made that small snap.

I breathe in through my nose, very quietly, all my senses focused on smell.

And I do smell something.


Lots of it.

Oh shit.

Not an animal. Not a guard.

What the fuck?

I calm myself, picturing a mandala drawn by Buddhist monks.

Not an animal. Not a guard.

An assassin.

Well, I have a certain respect for those.

He moves closer. I sense him. He's still making virtually no noise.

Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.

He's looking for the very best vantage point.

And I'm in it.

Oh crap.

But I have one thing he doesn't. The element of surprise.

Until he whispers, "So. You just going to hang out there, or are you going to introduce yourself?"

So much for the element of surprise.

"You smell great by the way," he says.

I part the bush and tall grass and find myself looking at green fabric tucked into combat boots.

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