The Assassin's Supplier

It was early morning when a cloaked man knocked on my front door.

Half-groggy from sleep, roused by an urgent phone call by one of my clients, I wrapped a petal-pink robe around me, trying it closed. As I made my way down the hallway, I grabbed a discarded chopstick from last night’s Chinese food and used it to hold my hair back.

The person knocked again and I sighed inwardly. I flipped on the lights and called in a cheery tone, “One moment, grumpy! Have patience.”

I made my way across the cozy plant-littered living room and unlocked the multitude of locks on the door, one of them being a fingerprint reader. I tugged the door open to see a cloaked figure standing before me. The upper half of their face was obscured, but by the sharp lines of their jaw and the faint stubble along their chin, I could tell that he was a man. Through his tight shirt, I could see the faint traces of muscles and weapons that were strapped to him. Guns and vials and syringes and knives. All sorts of exciting things that I got to confiscate.

The darkness of the night beyond him made it difficult for me to see if someone was lurking in the shadows, but I doubted anyone would try to kill me. It was too darned early to worry about blood.

I braced my hand on my hip. “You know, mister, it’s four in the morning. I didn’t get back from dinner until midnight! Can you imagine that? I must’ve lost track of time. I never stay out later than eight.” I lowered my voice into a conspiratol whisper, “That’s when the spooks come out, you know?” I feigned a shiver. “Freaky, no?” He took a short shuffling step backward. “So how can I help you, sir?”

“Uh.” He fumbled for words. “I, uh, think I got the wrong house.”

I clicked my tongue and shook my head. “Silly, come get your poisons. It’s cold out there. I wouldn’t want you getting sick. I hear it’s very inconvenient when it comes to assassinating.”

He stood still for a few moments, paused like a statue, then took a few steps toward me. I stepped aside, letting him in. However, I grabbed onto the tail of his cloak as I shoved the door closed. I gave it a firm pull and he snapped his head toward me, causing the hood to dislodge.

“Oh my! You have the most wonderful green eyes,” I said, giving his cloak another tug. Getting the message, he shrugged it off and cast it aside on the antique chair sitting nearby. “My second husband had green eyes too, though they were far less charming than yours. If he had eyes like yours, maybe I wouldn’t have killed him.”

I hummed for a moment as I puzzled over his appearance. Indeed, his eyes were like my second husband’s but with actual intelligence laying beyond. If idiot Oscar hadn’t thought my hemlock leaves were mint, he wouldn’t be ash on the wind.

I gestured to the old, worn dresser on the other side of the hall. He looked at it, an eyebrow raised. I let out a strangled sigh. “Top left, knives. Top middle, syringes. Top right, poisons. Middle drawer, guns. Bottom drawer, any miscellaneous item that could be used as a weapon.”

He gave me a confused glance as he shucked off all of his weapons, slotting them into the assigned drawers. When he finished he looked back to me and asked, “Why did you take away my poisons when we’re walking into a den of them?”

I shrugged a shoulder as I stepped up into the house proper. He followed me, a small gasp falling out of his lips as he laid eyes on the dozens of plants that littered the living room/kitchen area. They hung from the ceiling, sat in planting pots on the floor, lay, dried, in bottles tucked away in many different areas. The air was full of an earthy scent so unlike anything else.

“You’d have to identify them first, and even a genius botanist would have trouble finding something adequate and fast-acting in this mess.”

I paused in the centre of the room and turned to the man, clapping my hands together. I grinned, dislodging the seriousness that had overtaken me.

“So, mister, what type of poison would you like?”

Hesitantly, he answered, “Invisible and slow. Painless, preferably.”

“Ah,” I said with a wink, “political espionage. I see. I have just the thing.”

He looked at me, flummoxed, as I made my way around my house, gathering items and mixing them together with a mortar and pestle. It wasn’t even five minutes later that I had a vial full of a murky green liquid. I handed it to him and said, “That’ll be two thousand.”

Grumbling at the price, he took out the cash and dropped it in my hand. I watched him closely as he gathered his things and left, a grin spreading across my lips. Business was booming.

Written by Celeste
Category: Crime Stories

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