Hope Rage Sunflowers – A Poetry Anthology to Raise Funds for Ukraine

Hi everybody.

Something slightly different from me today. Anja, a poet friend of mine has put together an anthology to raise funds for victims of the Ukraine war.

Donations are on a pay-as-you-can basis and made to a charity based in Berlin providing aid to refugees. Once a donation has been made, email or DM Anja on Twitter with proof of donation and she will send you the anthology in PDF format.

Aside from poetry, the anthology also features stunning artwork and Anja has worked extremely hard and efficiently in getting the publication finalised.

The link to donate is https://www.ukraine-hilfe-berlin.de/spende/

Anja’s email is annickyerem@gmail.com

The link to Anja’s Twitter post detailing the information is https://twitter.com/missyerem/status/1502186977654980609

Thanks for Reading


Crime Writing Class

For Christmas, my wife bought me a Crime Writing Class from CityLit.

I’m just over halfway through and it’s fantastic. I feel like I’ve learned so much already. It’s weekly over zoom and we receive peer feedback on our writing. 

One of the pieces of homework was a 250-piece monologue from a villain’s perspective after committing a crime. It was to justify their actions. I chose to have a corrupt cop who’d just killed a drug dealer for not paying a debt. 

Below is his internal monologue;

He had to die really. I had no choice. If I’m honest with myself, I was going to have to kill him sooner or later. At least I had a good excuse, no not excuse, a reason to do it now.  He disrespected me. The little smackrat weasel. Who did he think he was? He was getting too big for his boots. Plus, if I went down, who else would control this dogshit of a town. My arrest record speaks for itself. I get confessions as well. Sometimes they require a bit of incentive I admit. Like threatening to break a wife’s kneecaps if they didn’t admit to what was it again? Oh yeah, affray. What was I thinking of again? That’s right. Who’ll clean up the sludge and filth in this cesspit of a town? The DCI and his Conservative club friends? That new DC who’s feeding info to the police corruption unit and thinks I don’t know about it? Do me a favour. They’re not fit for the frontline. I am. But if this little junky rat gave them what he knew – well that would be it. I couldn’t cover that up. Too many handshakes. It’s right that he’s dead. And he died with the love of his life. Heroin. End of the day, one more dealer and junkie off the streets is a good thing. Burglary will fall a couple per cent. Bonus. I just need to make it look like I found him. Little weaselly scumbag.

I’d love to know your thoughts and welcome any constructive feedback you may have. 

Take It Easy


Ricard’s Fall

His midnight-blue suit was sharp and shoes were polished. He flipped his lucky coin. Heads. He felt good. To the casino it was.

He walked outside into the winter air, blowing rings resembling sleeping dragons. The higher they floated, the more they grew.

The car pulled up. Tonight he was using the Silver Phantom, his favourite, his driver’s favourite. He won it last year in a game of cards. His driver was dumbstruck when he’d handed him the keys.  Ricard, the previous owner, still wasn’t happy about it. Especially as he’d rigged the game and still lost.

The Phantom pulled up to the casino. This wasn’t what he expected tonight. He just wanted to play some dice and speak to some interesting people. Out of the darkened windows Ricard and his crew were standing outside, guns visible and a hungry look in their eyes. He knew the guns were for show only. Ricard and his crew didn’t need weapons to kill. He flipped his lucky coin and caught it on the back of his hand. After three taps it sunk into his skin. He opened a compartment in the armrest, pulled out a silver sabre and silver rope, got out and slapped the car to leave. 

He breathed three rings out into the cold air touching each one. They floated higher, changing colour in the reflection of the casino lights, then disappeared. He smiled and said “I don’t want any trouble. Why don’t you and your pals just put your weapons down. It’s the only way you’re gonna live”.

“You against us? You don’t even know what we’re capable of”. Ricard replied, baring his teeth and long reptilian tongue.

“Oh I know exactly what you and your followers are. A bunch of cheats and sore losers. Look, let’s be as civilised as possible. I’ll count to three. After that I’ll have to draw my sword. I really don’t want to ruin my suit and shoes. One,” he said.

“Brave words for one man against twelve of us.” Ricard loved an audience.

“Do you want to call more men, I still fancy my odds. Let’s make it interesting? You can have a hundred if you want, that’s two by the way,” he said matter-of-factly.

“Who the fuck do you think you are. Nobody threatens me. I’m gonna have fun killing you. Maybe I won’t kill you, maybe I’ll keep you as a slave.” Ricard snarled, he hated losing face.

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you. That’s three!

He drew the sabre and whispered something in a dead language. Two of Ricard’s guys rushed him, teeth bared, fists clenched, salivating. He sliced through the air. Their bodies were no more, disintegrating immediately into the ether. He took his handkerchief from the suit and wiped the sabre. 

Five more stood on the casino steps in a crescent formation. They leapt. The rope in his right hand slackened. He raised his arms, cutting the air like a circular saw, every circle expanding. He watched four of the five explode when the moonlit-silver rope made contact. He smiled to himself. Ricard was shaking with rage.

The earth gave a tiny ripple as the fifth of the pack landed behind him. He let him approach. Clenching his fist, he pirouetted and threw a right hand, catching Ricard’s footsoldier clean on the jaw so he dropped to his knees. Lightning fast, he followed through with the sabre again and took his head clean off. There was no blood because they were already dead. His suit was still sharp but there was a scuff on his shoe. He cleaned  it with the handkerchief in the breast pocket.

“Ricard. Let’s stop this. You can leave. Take your minions with you.” he said calmly. A few people were watching them now. He gave them all a wave and a smile. They turned away walking inside the casino.  Ricard was mouthing instructions to the last of his men and stepped forward. In an instant they vanished from the steps and he found himself surrounded.

“Your luck’s eventually run out. Who even are you? I could make good use of your skills. Join us. I’ll give you eternal life. I’ll give you this casino. I’ll give you all my casinos.” Ricard still seemed confident. Replying evenly to Ricard and the last of the group around him, he said,“You must be scared or stupid or both to be trying to bargain with me.”

“Not scared, just intrigued. I think I’ll enslave you after all”, Ricard smirked.

Just as Ricard had said that, there was a change in the air. Warmth just above them. Five dragons the colour of the night, the colour of dazzling neon lights,  the colour of the moon, swooped down like mist on the wind grabbing Ricard’s gang, tearing them apart, then engulfing them in flames. 

He watched Ricard’s face. Saw his mind racing.  He felt the back of his palm again. Pulled out the coin and flipped it. Heads. A little smile. He saw Ricard’s expression change to panic, because he didn’t understand what it meant. He knelt down placing the sabre and rope in front of him. Ricard flinched and anger flashed behind his dark eyes.

“How long have you been around Ricard?” he asked.

“Long enough to know I’m not going to die. You’re too weak to take me on” Ricard replied.

“But you’re already dead aren’t you. Why don’t you show your real form Ricard? It’ll probably make you a little stronger, won’t it?” he asked.

Ricard smirked. “I’m dead, yes. As for my form, this is my real form now. I made a deal a long time ago to make sure I’d always be the strongest I can be in this form.”

“So you’re at full strength? Tell me then how long you’ve been wandering the world, building wealth? Were you a greedy man when you were alive Ricard? Is Ricard your real name?

“Yes, I’m at full strength, don’t you believe me? My name, I forgot my birth name a couple of centuries ago. I’ve been here since the English came to the Americas. I sailed on the first ship. My ship. They were all my ships back then. All the people belonged to me as well. Then freedom happened.” Ricard spat the words out.  

“The thing you made the deal with, what did it take in return? For you to keep your wealth, make more and make sure people would always belong to you or serve you?” he asked. “You’re very knowledgeable about my history. I suspect you’re the same as me. A creature of darkness, yes? All I had to do was kill a pagan on each full moon. In pitch black. It was easy.” Ricard was arrogant again. When Ricard had tried to cheat him out of the Phantom, he had the same tone.

“You will pay for your crimes.” His voice was getting louder.

“Not today I won’t.” Ricard hissed then vanished, appearing for a split second, dust rising from the earth, a couple of specks hitting his dinner jacket. He’d stolen the sabre. A scream echoed through the wind and Ricard reappeared, on his knees, his hands on fire.

He picked up his rope, it was shifting between glimmer and shine. He straightened it through his palms, transforming it into a spear. He struck it in the ground then removed his jacket and waistcoat and hung them on it. He did the same with his shirt and tie. His eyes were fixed on Ricard. He put his hands in his pockets. “Ricard, it’s time”. The wind carried his whisper, extinguishing the flames that were once Ricard’s hands. 

Pulling out the coin, he flipped it and let it fall to the floor. A great light enveloped them. Horns grew from his head and down his back ending at his waist. Black and white wings expanded from his body. Finally, his hair grew down his back, a shimmering haunting silver. He held a giant glowing longsword. “Ricard, you asked if I was a creature of the dark? I am so much more. The darkness cannot truly exist because of me. Some know me as Tsukoyomi, others as Khonsu or even Máni. I am the Moon God. STAND UP AND FACE ME!” His voice boomed inside the light, it was everywhere at once, in every language, known and forgotten. He watched Ricard stand up, his eyes were hollow with jet black smoke snaking through each one. He spoke the dead language again. “For the slaves, for your greed, for the suffering you have caused, and for all those you have cheated of life, I JUDGE YOU UNWORTHY OF EXISTING ANYWHERE UNDER THE SEVEN SACRED SKIES AGAIN. With one quick nudge of his arm he, the sword sliced through Rickard top to bottom and he was gone. A black cloud expanded trying to escape the light from the sword’s blade. Khonsu released a sliver of silver and sapphire lightning. It covered the smoke, swallowing it up. Nothing remained of Ricard, but Khonsu wondered which God provoked him.

Returning to human form, he flipped the coin again. Heads. He walked into the casino. He wanted to listen to some stories and throw a couple of dice. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this short story. I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know in the comments. Khonsu will return…

Take It Easy


The Stranger

The New York night was bleak, cold and solemn. Even the moon concealed itself in the comfort of clouds so it would not bear witness of what was to come. Tonight, death felt inevitable.

Carter Samson’s stomach rumbled as he got out of the elevator at basement level. His senses took ten seconds  to adjust as he stepped out of the soft lighting and droning muzac into the pitch darkness of the subterranean garage. Clumsily, he pulled out his keys and used the mini torch on his keychain to light the path to his car, clicking the remote central locking. He climbed in, started the engine, then felt the firm crush of steel on the back of his shaved scalp. He checked his mirror and stared into the eyes of a face he didn’t recognise. 

‘Where did you hide the bodies Carter?’ the Stranger asked calmly, in a thick Russian accent.

‘W-w-w-what do you mean? I think you have me mixed up with someone else’ he snivelled.

‘Carter Samson, or should I say Cesar Samsonivich you’re not going to get away with murder any more, I know who you are and what you’ve done. This is the last time I ask, where did you hide the bodies?’

The worry on Carter’s transformed to a wide grin, a gold tooth glinting in the mirror’s reflection. ‘I didn’t hide the bodies, Comrade, I feasted on most of them and fed some to my wolves back in Saint Petersburg, well my Russian delicacies anyway. I am the embodiment of the demon, Bauk and tonight I will feast on you. It has been a while since I’ve tasted a Russian eyeball and heart. and I am hungry’

‘Oh, tonight you will only be tasting justice for the lives you’ve taken, zasranec. Turn off the engine. Now’, the Stranger replied angrily.

‘You can’t kill me here, there is security all around, you will never get away. Mmm, I  can smell the doubt on you now. A pity. It sometimes gives flesh a sour note. Maybe your blood will be sweet, though, we’ll see’ Cesar said matter-of-factly.

‘You talk of security, Comrade, but I got in here unnoticed. Very easily. I have no doubt I will be ending you tonight. So tell me, how many have you killed in total? I know of forty-seven in the Motherland and thirty-five in Finland, and for the last time turn the fucking engine off, ’ the Stranger demanded.

‘You are quite the investigator, aren’t you. Okay I’ll play along. You’re right about Russia and Finland, very tasty morsels there. Especially that young couple from Lieksa, they were pure, saving themselves for marriage. I gave them a taste of each other before they died, it seemed fair but they didn’t want to taste each other so maybe their marriage would have failed. There were only ten in England, I wasn’t there long. Then two here in America. The Americans taste of processed foods. My palate is more  refined, I can keep you alive while I gorge on you and tell you how you taste if you wish?’ Cesar replied with a maniacal look in his eyes, his lips being soaked by his meaty tongue.

Seeing the disgust in the Stranger’s eyes, Cesar used this as a distraction and pressed his foot down hard on the accelerator then braked. He no longer felt the gun on him. He turned his head, hoping to see the Stranger crumpled and disoriented in the back seat but his hope immediately turned to horror. The gun’s chamber met his eye and he felt the faintest glimmer of heat on his eyeball a millisecond before the bullet killed him.

The Stranger climbed through to the passenger seat and turned off the engine. He pulled a small axe from the back seat. It had nearly ripped him open when Cesar had tried to knock him off balance but now he was meticulously hacking through flesh, sinew and bone. He started with the head, it always took the longest time and the Stranger wanted to get this done as quickly as possible. Once the head was detached, the hands, feet, arms and legs quickly followed. It was a tight space to cut up a dead body and somewhat impractical but the Stranger had worked in tighter spaces before this. He knew once the remains were bagged up, there would be much more space. 

The Stranger drove Cesar Samsonivich’s car to the Russian embassy. He wasn’t worried about being caught; the tech team knew how to get the Motherland’s preferred candidate into The White House, so making a car disappear from traffic cameras would be easy. When he pulled into the gates, a man he recognised as Ilya took the keys and drove it to the hidden workshops where there was a team ready to change the car’s silver colour to something darker and remove the New York State license plates. The Stranger knew the plan; the car would be sent to Russia by plane tomorrow with the bags of Carter’s body laid out on the leather interior and be used in a propaganda campaign to arrest some foreign nationals the FSB had identified as terror cells. Some information would be leaked. The State media always needed fed and dead bodies and terror cells always kept them full for a few days. 

The night felt cold and pure as he walked through the embassy gardens toward the rear door. The guards on duty saw him approach and waved. The youngest asked him for his identification even though they had sat together at the breakfast table earlier that day. He appreciated the normality after killing that piece of scum. The Stranger looked up watching the breath escape his mouth. He caught a glimpse of the moon peering out from behind a cloud seemingly happy at what was going on underneath it as it grew brighter. He opened the embassy door and let the rest of the night swallow him up.

Thanks for taking the time to read this short story about The Stranger. I may do a crossover with the main character in this and Killing Time in NYC. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

Take it Easy,


The Magpie – A Short Story

I can hear a constant thumping on the door. That pisses me off. That’s what the doorbell’s for. Probably the pizza delivery guy. He never uses the bell.

I pull open the door and two men in black tracksuits push me back, one of them slams the oak shut. I hope it hasn’t splintered. It cost a fortune. The two invaders look and smell like a day-old shit that hasn’t been flushed. The tall one’s nose is twitching. Maybe his aroma is burning his nostrils as well as mine. The smaller of the two ushers me to sit on a stool next to the marble island. “Keep quiet and we won’t ‘urt ya”, the taller one spits out in a thick cockney accent. I keep my mouth shut. It gives them the illusion of control.

“The car keys, your phone, wallet, laptops, all your gear, where is it old man?” says the shorter of the two. He seems to be the brains of the operation.

“Well I wouldn’t keep them in the kitchen, would I?” I reply.

“You stay ‘ere and watch ‘im, I’ll check the place out” he orders, giving me a slap with the back of his hand. He’s happy with himself as I wipe my lips checking for any signs of blood. “Be quick” the taller one replies. I watch as the shorter man scurries off in the direction of the lounge. He’ll be happy with what he finds in there. I like expensive things. It’s why the people who hire me call me The Magpie.

“We’ve hit the jackpot” I hear him shout.

I’m getting more and more pissed off. These two cockney cockroaches think they’re going to rob me, one gave me a slap and called me an old man. I look at my lanky guard. He has a good foot on me but his frame is slight. His eyes are darting back and forward and he keeps touching his jaw. It’s clear now that he’s full of cocaine. I stand up from the stool. Just to see his reaction. He’s twitching. He says “sit down now”, pulling a knife from his hoodie pocket. It’s only a small blade. Four inches, if that. Probably stole it from his mothers kitchen drawer. I raise my arms in submission and step back further from where I came from. I sit on the stool furthest away from him. “You should be fuckin’ scared old man” he says.

“How old do you boys think I am?”, I ask.

“Fifties innit” he says.

“A couple of cheeky, robbing cockney bastards”,  I say.

“Forties? It don’t matter, you’re still ancient compared to us”, he laughs, pleased with himself.

“I’m in my thirties, you little twat. And since you’ve pissed me off so much, I won’t let you leave this house alive.” I stand up again, stretching my arms out, then sitting back down immediately. I doubt he notices what I slip in my hand. He walks straight towards me then picks up a glass from the island. Pours himself a glass of water from the tap. Gulps it down. Burps in my direction. Laughs again. 

The short one returns with my laptops, Ipad, Mac, Apple Watch, Rolex, Omega, Breitling  and the keys to my Jag. My wallets sitting on the top of the pile. “I’ll need help with the TV’s then I’ll check upstairs. May as well check the basement as well,” he says greedily.

“I’ll get the TV’s while you keep an eye on him,” the tall one replies. It’s agreed. I watch the tall one walk through to the lounge. 

“Must be pretty embarrassing for you is it?” I ask.

“What you talkin ‘bout?” he replies, a glint of confusion in his voice.

“That you need to bring along the big one for the higher stuff, ‘cause you’re a short arse?”.

“Shut your mouth, it ain’t like that. One more word and I’ll do ya”, his voice is full of spite.

“Sorry Jim, no need to get so angry”, I reply.

“Who the fuck is Jim, you old twat?”, he says, stepping closer.

“Sorry, I just came up with names for you both” I reply. He steps closer again.

“Yeah? Jim and what?” He snarls. He’s within a couple of feet. 

“Jim and the Beanpole obviously, like a budget Jack and the Beanstalk”. I see him open his body up, pulling his right arm back to throw a punch. I’m too fast for him and cold Japanese steel slides through his shoulder like butter, severing the tendons with ease. He lets out a wail and slumps to the floor. He’s sobbing and I can smell piss. I’m glad I bought the new mop last week. 

Beanpole has heard the wail. He comes running through, his small blade in hand. He lunges, but I drop down pulling the knife out of Jim. He stabs down but I roll out the way and slice the back of his ankles. Then the backs of his knees. He goes down. I get his used glass from the counter, swing my arm as hard as it will allow and bring it crashing down over the bridge of his nose. He passes out. 

The doorbell rings. I go to answer it. “Who is it” I ask through the door.

“Pizza delivery” replies a young voice. I open the door and hand him a tip. He smiles at the sight of the £20. I hear a scooter engine start up and fade into the distance.  I take a slice of pizza from the box, savouring the cheese. I’m always hungry after a fight or a kill. It’s the adrenaline crash. 

I’ve made sure Jim and the Beanpole are unconscious. I carry them to the basement. All my equipment is down here. I can have some fun. Should I use the axe or the saw or maybe both. Definitely the mallet.  I hear a phone buzz in one of their hoodies. It pulls me back to the present. It’s Beanpoles. A text message. I’ll reply to that later. I’ll keep the phone as well. It’s expensive. 

Thanks for reading, i’d love to hear your thoughts.

Take it easy,


Celebrating a Win!!!

Hey everyone, just a quick post to say I won a writing contest in April for Press 53.

The contest was to write a 53-word short story using their prompt of taste. I found out on Friday that I’d won and I’m really happy about it.

If you want to read “That Awkward First Kiss” click the link:


Thanks for reading.

Take it easy,


Image courtesy of Danny Howe via Unsplash.

Killing Time In NYC

There was nothing ornate or sparkly about the dagger in her hand. It was her instrument of death. The blade was fatally sharp and coated in black oxide to prevent any glints from flashing in the restroom mirror that may alert her target. She had learned that bruising lesson in Berlin a couple of years ago. 

She had been waiting almost an hour in the stall, still focussed. There had been a trickle of visitors in the first thirty minutes or so who had added some floral fragrances from the handwash and their perfumes. The occasional waft of garlic, beef, and seafood permeated the walls which made her lick her lips.

A clean, crisp server’s uniform with a stranger’s name on a white plastic rectangle, a purse, and a blonde bob wig hung on the back of the door looking down on her. That was the only company she had. She had rigged the remainder of the stalls with a remote control locking device and they were now all set to ‘occupied’. Can’t have any distractions or witnesses. It was a waiting game which she would always win. She’d not waited in Berlin and that had ended badly.

To pass the time, she thought about the small space she was operating in. There was no room for a struggle. She knew it would be a quick kill. The dagger allowed that. In. And. Out. A few times. Rhythmically. 

She placed the dagger in the purse. Removed her phone from her pocket and checked an app that was streaming the CCTV of the restaurant floor. It was busy for early evening, probably a theatre crowd, she thought. Her eyes were drawn to the round table in the back. Her target, a heavy-set woman in her fifties wearing a figure-hugging scarlet dress that accentuated her curves, was just finishing a glass of wine that had been spiked by the sommelier, with a specially formulated laxative, at a cost. One hundred dollars, her phone number (which was fake), and the promise of a date. After two minutes she saw the look on the target’s face change from joy to fear. She watched her stand up reading her lips as they mouthed “I don’t feel so great, I’m just going to nip to the ladies’ room.” The target clutched her stomach. When she saw this she used her phone to unlock the cubicle directly next to hers then put it in her purse. It gave the target only one destination. Controlling the situation was the key to her success.

The night before, before rigging the locks, she had timed how long it took to walk from the same table to the restroom. She took into account the extra patrons and factored in the polite shuffling of chairs for the target to get by, estimating it would take her target around two minutes to reach the sanctuary of the restroom. She wondered whether they would make it there before soiling herself. It sometimes happened. It had in Berlin.

The hurried click-clack of heels on the restroom floor tiles announced her target’s arrival. She lifted the dagger in her hand, feeling its perfectly balanced weight in her palm. She listened as the clack got louder and closer, hearing the lock on the stall next door slide into place, the gentle thud of flesh hitting the wood, panting groans, and a violent explosion of crap hitting the pan. Her target sighed deeply, then in a low, thick New York accent said “Thank fuck I made it in time”. A smirk slid across her face. She had made it. She waited for the target to stop tearing the luxury toilet roll and for the flush. It ended being a couple of flushes. It wasn’t a surprise based on the amount of paper used. When she heard the door unlock and a more relaxed click-clack of heels on tile and the sudden rush of water, the waiting game was over. 

She stepped outside the stall, knowing that the noise and possibly shame would make the target turn around instinctively. Which she did. The dagger plunged deep into her throat. In. Out. No need to worry about screams. Then the dagger was plunged into the target’s heart, the thin blade scraping between the ribcage. No heartbeat. A quick kill. She walked calmly to the restroom entrance and locked the door. Then she returned to her target and went to work on the rest of her vital organs, precisely, rhythmically, then finished chaotically with a frenzy of slashes. Her clients had paid extra for that. Something about sending a clear message to some crime family, but she wasn’t interested in why. 

She cleansed the blade of blood under the running sink and went back to her stall, navigating around the slowly seeping pool of blood. Put the blade in the purse, took out her phone to take a picture to confirm her kill, and used the apps to unlock all the other stalls and turn off the CCTV in the hallway connecting the restroom, entrance, and kitchen. She changed into the uniform, fixing the nametag so it was straight.  She hid her other clothes in the toilet tank. She left the stall clutching her purse and used the mirror to straighten her wig. She looked like the name on her tag. Sasha. She walked to the restroom door and unlocked it. 

She was face to face with a younger woman, mid-twenties from the same table as her target. “Oh, sorry, this restroom is out of order”. Her words came out musically. “I’m looking for my mom” the girl replied in a lighter version of that thick New York accent. “You’re on the round table at the back yes?, I think I saw someone from your table with a red dress run into one of the accessible restrooms, the middle one I think, she didn’t look so good, give me a tick, I’ll just lock up here and grab the Out of Order signs from the storeroom, and let’s see if I can help you find her” her tone was reassuring. The daughter smiled and stepped back to let her lock the door watching her shuffle the keys to find the right one. “Thanks Sasha, that would be great”. 

She left the girl by the locked restroom door then walked into the kitchen, turning and holding up her fingers in a peace symbol to indicate it would be two minutes as she slid through the door. She glided past the busy fish and sauce sections and out into a yard where the staff had cigarette breaks. She asked for help, pretending to struggle to open the black security gate then walked to the end of the alley, dropping the wig into a dumpster, and stepped out into the slipstream of New York foot-traffic.

She walked casually to the end of the block hopping into a vintage boutique. She picked out a full outfit including a stetson and a pair of suede cowboy boots. She giggled with the sales assistant saying she had a date at a line dancing bar and wanted to look the part. She asked if she could pay and get changed there and then. Her eyes smiling and hopeful. She knew she had an easy way with people. The sales assistant agreed. She handed over a credit card. It was printed with someone else’s name on it. She asked for a bag for her belongings and headed for the fitting room. She removed the dagger from her purse and wrapped it up in the trousers from the server’s uniform and placed them on top of the shoes that were nestled tightly in the bottom of the bag, folding the rest of the clothes neatly on top. She tipped the assistant fifty dollars and walked out to hail a cab. 

The cab driver was Jamaican and talkative, giving out tidbits of New York trivia believing she was a tourist. She instinctively glanced over her shoulder at the sound of the sirens and saw the unmistakable blinking of an NYPD squad car echoing behind her. She asked to be dropped at Times Square and said he could take his time. She thought about the daughter of her target wondering whether it was her who raised the alarm. She would make sure to check the news websites over the next few days to see if it was reported. It wasn’t out of sympathy, she simply would like to know. She took out her phone and removed the sim card, snapping it in two and dropping it to the floor of the cab. She knew she’d never be caught or prosecuted. Her clients valued her too much. But a loose end is a loose end. She thought of Berlin. Control the situation. She inserted a replacement sim card then turned the phone back on.

She got out a block from Times Square. Tipped the driver fifty dollars. She quickly found a dumpster and discarded the bag of clothes and her dagger. She spent time gazing at the dazzling lights, inhaling the smell of a busy New York evening, the city felt alive. Until her next assignment, she only had time to kill. And where better to kill it than right here?

Thanks for taking the time to read this short story, I hope you enjoyed it. It’s my first time writing in this form so would appreciate any feedback. I may write a series based on the main character…

Take it easy,