Unusual Acts of Violence

Prompt Day #130: Begin a piece by having an offbeat assassin of some sort unpacking his/her/its suitcase.


Unusual Acts of Violence


He advertised his services (in the secretive, underground, word of mouth way that any murder-for-hire would) as murders so unusual they’ll never be questioned. As far as he knew, he was the only assassin in history that switched up his methods. He was the only one who had orchestrated a death by elephant stomping, by falling into a large dough mixing machine, and one of his favorites: being crushed by trash in a garbage truck. Yes, he was good at it, and he accepted jobs all over the world. He had a reputation. There was nothing he wouldn’t do.

He’d just got back from South America in fact. Here, he had pulled off another unusual and practically blameless death. When he considered all the trouble he’d gone to for this one, he smiled because more trouble meant more money, yes, but mostly because more trouble ended in an amazing piece of art. And he considered what he did a form of art. Each piece well planned, supplies purchased and utilized for a seamless outcome.

He opened his suitcase. He pulled out the long red piece of material he’d used for a loin cloth, and a pile of beaded necklaces. These would all need to be burned. He picked up the wig that, when he wore it, made him feel ridiculous, like Moe from the three stooges. That went into the burn pile too. Next came the piece de resistance: the long bamboo tube tied with dried grasses. One end had been blackened in a ceremonial fire—to ensure that the end put to the mouth was always the same. He knew it, too would need to go to the fire but it would be hard to give it up. He’d practiced on this thing for months before he was a sure shot. The darts, almost the same length as the gun itself were carefully wrapped in a canvas typically used by chefs to carry knives. He loved to unroll it and see those primitive darts sitting inside, their tufts of cottony fluff giving them the innocent look of a school girls pink pen. These darts with their traces of poison would definitely need to be destroyed. And one could never keep knives in the canvas roll either, unless you wanted to poison all your dinner guests. He stopped and thought about that. Perhaps he should keep it. He’d need to look into the length of time a poison dart frog’s poison remains potent. He’d seen the quivers full of poisoned darts the natives kept so he suspected it was a long time. He took the canvas roll off the pile and removed the darts. He would keep this—a poisoned banquet was right out of an Agatha Christy novel and he liked the thought of it.

The frogs would be the hardest thing to part with. He knew this day would come though. He looked at their bright yellow skin shining under the heat lamps, the humidity fogger adding a mystique and ancient feel to the terrarium. He remembered ordering them, long before he got this job, he’d read of their importance to the native tribes in South America. He took notes, and kept them, like short stories, imagined ways to kill a man or woman that would be so strange and unique that any investigation would be written off as a freak accident. It would be obvious that the victim had fallen due to a stray dart. Poor guy had simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nothing could be done to the natives. It wasn’t their intention after all, or perhaps it was, but the victim had wondered a bit too far into the jungle. Accidental death, case closed. God, he was good, and good made you rich, and rich was better than good. He laughed.

He powered up his lap top and logged on Ebay. He never posted his left overs for sale, he instead perused the “In Search Of” sites. He could almost always find buyers for things like his frogs. Things he couldn’t bear to destroy. He found four people looking for poison dart frogs. He picked up his cell to contact the first one when it rang. This phone only rang for one reason. No rest for the wicked, his mother always said. He punched the accept button.

“Talk to me.”