Chapter One – Present Day
There’s a man sitting on a park bench, he pulled back the sleeve of his plain black jacket and checked the time, 11:48. He hated waiting for these moments, he was impatient at times. A part of him wished he would just get on with it but then all his meticulous planning would go to waste.
It was a clear bright day, the birds were quietly chattering in the background and the sounds of a nearby fountain relaxed him. His bench was offset from a path that ran through the centre of the park. With all its serene and kempt beauty it still managed to be plumped dead in the middle of a dense modern environment. To the left, above the beautiful birch trees the plain man could see a modern corporate building with its tinted reflective windows and signature spires reaching for the sky. To the right there was a high class hotel which he knew quite well, the prestigious Maxman Hotel. He'd stayed there before, three times, as Mr. Green, Mr. Leif and last week as Mr. Greenleif. He enjoyed that joke; Mr. Greenleif. The plain man considered himself as a master of disguise. Today he had on an itchy moustache, which he constantly had to scratch.
He smiled to himself as he checked his watch again, it was 11:54.
The plain man had been coming here for several weeks now and had begun to notice the regulars who passed by his bench at any given time. There was a man who he knew was cheating on his wife, sneaking out the office at lunch time for a quickie with the hotel receptionist. A woman who he knew was having trouble being a single mom with two rebellious teenage children. Mr. Greenleif knew these things because he had to know.
He glanced at his wrist and read 11:59.
The plain man got up, smiled at a passing policeman before looking around as if admiring the beauty of the park. He arched his back to relieve the stiffness before he darted into the low-cut bushes flanking the path. When he was sure no one had seen him he moved carefully pushing aside the dense shrubs. He headed left and arrived at a spot that enabled him to see the entrance to the hotel. He dug ferociously near the root of a nearby bougainvillea and extracted a long slender rectangular tube from the earth. He looked at the hotel while he was removing the contents of the tube. Now he wished he hadn't spent the last five minutes reveling in his wit.
He laid out a large handkerchief and assembled his VSSK Vychlop 12.7mm silenced sniper rifle with quick motion. When he was done he knelt on the hankie and pointed his rifle out towards the entrance of the hotel. He saw the cute little receptionist he knew was having an affair with the married man from the corporate building. She seemed to be busy dealing with and unsatisfied customer. He remembered purposefully ‘distracting’ the receptionist to get a look at the hotel register. She kept asking him to call her afterwards but he knew was never going to. He was Mr. Green that day.
He saw a young man pulling in a cart of bags that was way too heavy for his size. He had chatted with this boy before, and had managed to get a rough idea of the security surrounding the name he saw in the register. That day he’d dressed up like a drunk with full fledged beard and alcohol stench in tow. He remembered paying quite a bit of cash for that little piece of information. Greenleif thought about shooting the kid too but decided it would be a waste of a good bullet. A group of private security guys were having cigarettes at the entrance. One in particular caught his eye; he seemed to be telling a very animated story from his hand gestures he could tell it as about a woman.
Slackers, he thought to himself.
He glanced at his watch, 12:03.
He’s late. The plain man knew this because he had to know everything.
Ten more minutes passed and just as the plain man was about to have a cigarette he saw the slack security guys moving around into some kind of formation. Here we go. He pulled off the irritating moustache and slipped it into his pocket.
“Better,” he muttered to himself. He made a mental note to burn the itchy moustache when this was over.
He felt rejuvenated; the excitement of the kill to come was amazing. He’d never felt like this before, maybe because he didn't have any real reason to actually kill someone except for money.
He watched as a sleek black limo pulled up to the entrance. He glanced at the number plate, 250283ST.
Why that cheeky bastard!
He watched as the security guys looked around and wanted to shout I’m over here. The story telling security guard moved to the side of the limo and opened the door. The plain man held his breath. A portly man probably in his late fifties stepped out of the vehicle. He was wearing a crisp pinstripe suit with a pressed white shirt, but something wasn’t totally right about his appearance, his face looked pale and locked in a fearful expression, like he’d just had a Botox. Greenleif pushed his paranoia aside and focused.
The portly man looked around suspiciously before looking straight at the bush where the plain man was hiding.
Go to sleep my darling, he fired twice, go to sleep.