Rome

Posted: August 3, 2010 in Short Stories

His long dusty brown hair flickered in the wind, despite the gold headband he used to tie it down. As long as it kept the strays out of his face, he was satisfied. For the 9th time he checked his attire; the armguards were secure, his jerkin was tightly bound by a golden sash, inside the sash he checked his various hidden pouches, poison salves, shurikens, lock picks, throwing daggers, all in place. His brown leather pants were boiled and well worn, smooth and silent as he was. He checked his deerskin boots, the hidden compartments were intact and their spring mechanisms were well oiled. His cloak was specially designed to conceal his composite bow, as well as the reverse scabbard and quiver which he carried on his back.

The wind was fickle today, constantly changing, he could tell by the shifting of hot and cold air that it was not going to be easy, especially at this range. But though the wind may seem unpredictable, to one such as he it was an orchestra of movement and he was the maestro. He knew exactly when it would rise or fall, when it would gust or gale, when it would push or pull, he could feel it, smell it, taste it.

His blue eyes were sharp, intense, like a bird of prey. He smiled to himself, the target was well over 2,047 yards (1,871.84m) away, an almost impossible distance for an arrow to cross with any accuracy. Today he would earn his pay.

Rome re-checked his assignment. His target was a diplomat, above the law. A child molester and a glutton, he had a taste for boys. The sight of the pompous arse made him sick. Rome did not view himself as an assassin, but more of an executor of justice. He thoroughly investigated the charges made against his assignments, and only acknowledged receipt if he found irrefutable proof that the mark was guilty. This man was beyond guilt, and today; in mere moments, he would meet his fate.

* * *

Julian Deere was a big man, big in stature, big in funds and big in girth. He had his hands in every purse of every influential person in Hawklar. Today was the first day of the Soaralian Olympics. It was his honor to speak to the athletes, and the citizens of the 7 civilized continents. It was an honor not deserved.

Councilman Dynes guided the overweight diplomat to the amphepodium. The diplomat huffed and puffed the entire way, as though each step was like giving birth to a new child.

“Stand aside, peon!” Julian demanded with an heir of superiority. “Today, I stand before…”

That was all he had time to utter, for from his mouth, like a dainty treat shoved just a bit too far, protruded a golden shaft. Julian’s eyes blinked once, twice and a third time before he toppled over, his head snapping backwards and cracking his skull open against the graveled earth. Tears rolled down his cheeks as the life slowly flittered away from him. Whether the tears were in pain or for the loss of his stature or in regret, no one living would ever know. But today, in that moment, justice was served.

* * *

Rome put away his gear. Normally he would make more haste, but this was a target no one really cared about. Killing was not something he liked to do, and it hurt him each time as though it were the first, but sometimes to cure the garden, weeds need to be plucked. Today, Julian Deere was the weed, a sickness that had overrun the fair city of Hawklar, and he was the gardener.

fin

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