Monday, April 13, 2009

The Assassination

The stick spun and twirled. It fell far for such a simple flick of the hand. The dog was after it in a flash. It picked the stick up and brought it back to its master. The general took the stick from its mouth and looked at it fondly. The dog never failed him. It was the only living thing that he trusted. He kept his distance from everyone else. That was what made him so efficient. So ruthless. So dangerous.

The man, spying at the general from outside, took out a cigarette from his pocket, threw it up and caught it in mouth. He lit the tip with his lighter. He was an assassin hired to kill the general. He felt this assignment was going to be particularly easy. He watched the general get into his car with the dog. A posse of four guards led the car in the front. He looked at his watch needlessly. He could have sworn it was 10: 30 am in the morning. The general was a machine. Everything around him worked like clockwork. That was going to be his downfall. The man took one last drag at the cigarette and flicked the stub away.

The man walked away slowly. Head bent in thought. Replaying the events in his mind. Tomorrow was the day. He was prepared. This certainly was going to be very easy.

He was in his position a little early. He had planned an all out attack. There was no need for him to find a secluded place from where he could choose to snipe unnoticed. Secrecy or delicacy weren’t the issue here at all. The people who’d hired him only wanted his assignment done. He promised results. The methods that were used immaterial.

There were only four guards and he would take them all out. The amount of time it would take for any other back up to arrive for help, was more than enough to make his getaway. With practiced dexterity he replaced the existing magazine in the gun with a new one, patted his overcoat to see if the explosives were still there, patted the other side to check for his knife and extra magazines, and mentally checked that the other gun was still in his right sock. He would not need to use any of the others except the gun in his hand. This was just force of habit.

He still had some time to kill. He lit a cigarette and waited.

And exactly at 10:30 am, as predictable as day, the general got into the car. His dog followed him in. The posse of guards got on their bikes. The man took a deep breath and stepped forward, his weapon already in firing position. The moment all four bikes and the front of the car came into his shooting range, he started to shoot. He reeled off six shots in a matter of three seconds. Every one of them hit home. The four guards fell before knowing what hit them. The chauffeur was slumped over the steering wheel, with a hole in his forehead. The man covered the distance between him and the open rear window of the car within the next two seconds, so that the general could see who his assassin was. That was his trademark. He made sure that the last thing that his victims saw before they died was his face.

He pointed the gun at the general and expressionlessly pulled the trigger. The gun clicked hollowly. Taken aback, he clicked thrice in succession. The gun was completely jammed. Nothing like this had ever happened before. Time slowed to the point of being completely still. The general recovered form the shock remarkably fast. A gun materialized in his hand suddenly, as if by magic. He fired once. The man felt the bullet thud just below his chest. He stepped backward half instinctively, half by the force of the bullet. The general fired again. The man felt the bullet enter his thigh this time. He was now falling backward in slow motion. After what seemed like an infinite time he hit the ground. The man was completely on auto-pilot now. In a daze he tried to reach for the gun in his socks. Bending over that much with a bullet in his stomach felt impossible. Automatically he removed a stick of explosive from his waist, lit the tip with his cigarette lighter, and threw it into the car through the open window – all in one movement.

All this had probably taken less than a few seconds. It felt like hours to the man.

The explosive fell on the seat next to the general. It still hadn’t gone off. Blindly the general picked it up and threw it back out of the window. The man followed the parabolic trajectory of the explosive from the car to where it fell just out of reach of his hands. He vaguely remembered that he should be having sights of his whole life flash before his eyes, at times like these. It seemed slightly ridiculous that the only thing he could think about was how he was watching his own end in slow motion.

The dog jumped out from the open window in a flash. It picked up the explosive stick, jumped back into the car and brought it back to the general.

The dog never failed him.


Mathangi Raghuraman said...

I happened to see the last line first and had an entirely opposite climax anticipated...The kick lied in the fact that it dint happen that way!..Worthy one, man!

Dha said...

its rather predictable if you read it the right way..
i should put up a message askin people to read the last line first
thanks, btw!

srikanth said...

Oh man, don't worrk... I read right and yet it worked like a charm.... Funny that it started out so morbidly and ended up so dark and hilarious...

Great work...

vk said...

Nice way you finished off the story..

I'm sure Takaal would love the story too :P

Dha said...

and i am sure Takaal would like the story

Sandeep said...

good ending... :)

Dha said...

thanks, man!