Sometimes I write a short piece starting from a writing prompt. One of those prompts was “A whisper on the stairs”. As an additional challenge, I decided to write 2 different short pieces on that same prompt. Following is the second one.
A whisper on the stairs. (2)
“Crap.” The word comprised the world in general, and the rain that kept messing up the view through the scope on the precision rifle.
“What’s that?” Welkins’ thin voice in the earpiece demanded to know.
“The fuckin’ rain messes up my shot.” Another attempt to wipe the scope dry, with a success span of about a second, did not improve the sniper’s mood.
“Shut up and keep your mind to it, Roy,” Welkins’ voice told him. “You off the boss, my contacts will bring the cash and we’ll be rich.”
“You shut up. I’m not an amateur,” the sniper growled as he wiped the scope again.
“Good,” the voice in his ear said. “Our vic will be out soon, I’ll be close by to keep him in the best spot for you.”
“We’re good,” the sniper responded as he scanned the street. Oh yes, we’re good.
“Right. I have to go now or they will notice me gone.”
A soft pop in the earpiece told Roy, the sniper, that the talking was over. The waiting game began, but it did not go on very long. The crosshairs were on the door when it started opening. A group of people came through it, and one of them would not make it out of the street alive. The sniper was there to make certain of that.
Roy gently tested the trigger, finding the pressure point. The crosshairs of the scope had already found the target.
“What are you waiting for?” Welkins’ voice came as another whisper, from the earpiece. Despite the thin sound Roy caught a nervousness in the man’s voice.
“Relax,” said the gunman. Welkins’ voice made his mind flash back for a fraction of a second.
He recalled the slow change in Lissy. The mentally limited girl, his boss’s daughter that he so often took out for walks. Roy kept her safe.
At first it was just a request from the boss. “I know you’re not a nanny, Roy,” the man had said, “but it would really make me feel good to know she’s in capable hands.”
The first weeks had been difficult, but soon Roy looked forward to the short trips. Going to one of the parks with her and look at the flowers. Taking Lissy to the pond with the ducks that made her laugh as the birds chased after breadcrumbs they had ‘stolen’ from the kitchen table. The laughing over the songs they tried to sing, despite her lacking memory of the words. They both loved it, she because she could get away, and for Roy it was also a way to get away. Away from his work.
But her laughter had become less, shallow. Until she had not laughed anymore, and refused to sing. She did not want to steal the bread and go to the pond. The few times they had gone to the park by then had been near disastrous, and Roy worried like mad. She did not want to go out of the house anymore, almost had to be carried out of her room for meals. Roy had been one of the few who could reach Lissy and suddenly there was this wall around her. One he tried to break down and could not.
His boss had called in doctors and specialists, but nothing had helped. “It’s not your fault, Roy.” The words still echoed in his head.
In his mind’s eye Roy then saw the face of security manager Welkins, the man whose voice was in his ear. Roy recalled the smugness on Welkins’ face as he told about how he had repeatedly groped and harrassed Lissy, and how some day he would go even further. Welkins had somehow never found out about Roy’s relation with the girl. Welkins, security manager. Welkins, grade A dumb-ass.
The sniper had immediately told his boss about Welkins. His employer, dumbfounded to learn about it, had said “Are you sure about this, Roy?” And Roy was dead sure. So they had thought up a plan.
“The wait is over,” the sniper informed Welkins. His finger moved the trigger through the pressure point. The rifle barely trembled as the bullet left the barrel, the silencer made it all a quiet affair. There was a slight gasp from the earpiece and then silence. “That one was for Lissy.” His voice was like ice.
Without paying attention to the sudden upheaval in the street, Roy started to disassemble his weapon and put it in the small violin case. He loved old traditions. And the drawing Lissy had made for him, that he had glued on the inside of the case.
Maybe, on the way home, he could find something pretty for Lissy. He would never give up on her. One day she would whisper “good night, uncle Roy” to him again and kiss his cheek, on the stairs, before going to her room to sleep.