Friends and Anger 4

Good reconnaissance is essential, but what must never happen is the opposition realising it’s occurring. If they detect it, they start tooling up. Forewarned is forearmed. They armour up and are en guard for the assault. They buy the personal security and your odds of getting at them go immediately astronomical.

There’s a thing you can do when walking across broken country in tricky bits of hostile territory; you move extremely slowly. People are naturally conditioned to spot quick movement, but something slow and nearly snail-like movement simply doesn’t get noticed. If you hold your hand out at arm’s length and stick your thumb up, your thumb nail; that’s as much as your eyeballs can physically see. That’s the pure anatomy of your optical system. It also sees the world upside down, but your brain flips the pic 180 for you.

Your eyes do what’s called micro movements and your brain stitches together all those thumbnail sketches into the big picture of our world that we’re all used to. It’s when your brain does it’s non-stop refresh of the picture and notices something big has changed since its last scan that the alarm bells go off and you’ve been spotted. Move imperceptibly slow, and you become almost invisible.

His plans followed along those lines. They were never rushed. All the preparation was in making tiny small moves which nobody noticed because they were so ordinary, boring, small and forgettable, but they were always a functional element of his plans. Uniquely for him, plan A got abandoned and he was going to just wing it, using a few bits of plan A he’d already put in place to get the job done.

The furnace of rage inside him that he’d always tried to damp down was burning brightly. Incandescent. He was in no mood to even try. No slow and considered moves on this one; it was going to be quick and dirty, a strictly wham, bam and thank you mam effort.

He got back to his place to pick up a pair of black leather gloves and some other stuff. Specialist items. There were small metal plates embedded in the gloves over the knuckles. They looked ordinary, but they were essentially knuckle dusters. One solid shot from either one of them and you went down. He had trained himself to hit you with either hand with equally devastating effect. He put them on. He’d be wearing them for the rest of the evening. There’d be no prints or contact DNA left behind after tonight’s work.

His next stop was a general store where he knew there were no surveillance cameras. Again, good recon in advance. He collected locations like that and bought a bottle of whiskey using cash. He stuffed it in an outside pocket of his jacket and walked a mile or so away looking for a car to steal. He tried a few car door handles discreetly, but with no luck. In the end, he spotted a Ford he knew exactly how to hotwire, so he put an armoured fist through the driver side window.

Being safety glass, it all disintegrated into a zillion quartzy pieces. He broke the plastic underside off the steering column, sparked the wires together, and she started straight away. He was off. The route he took to get to shithead boyfriend’s apartment had already been well reconnoitered. No security cameras on it.

He drove for a mile or so and then pulled over to knock out the remaining pieces of glass on the driver’s side window. No window at all looks exactly like an intact window to a casual eye. It’s neglecting the little details that get you caught.

There’s an expression – cutting trail, which most people don’t realise has a second meaning if you can track. The usual meaning comes down to someone swinging a machete cutting their way through some almost nigh impenetrable jungle hell. The second meaning is more subtle. If you know which direction they’ll need to be going in, you split out to either side of your position and look for spoor. That might be as smelly as a quickly needed piss or as subtle as a bent over blade of grass that’ll again spring upright in an hour or two.

The big plus is that once you’ve cut into their trail, you follow it. You’re now on their six, coming at them from behind without them being aware of it. That’s a murderous advantage.

Another expression in that area is breaking trail. It’s often confused with cutting trail, but if you’re a tracker the meaning is entirely different. In that sense of its meaning, it means doing your best to make it practically impossible for anyone to ever track you. No smoking, no talking, no hot cooking and you’ve got a guy at the arse end of the line furiously dusting up those blades of grass with a branch of some tree in your wake. You pick a good man for that job, one who really knows what the cost of him fucking up on that simple task might be to the rest of the crew.

Manannon was breaking trail. Getting to the target slowly but surely but constantly breaking trail. Conceivably and after ten or so years, whoever is after you might work it out, but it’d be nothing that would stand up in a court of law. Too many breaks.

Despite his anger, this kill had to look plausible, most especially to her. That was a necessarily dishonest thing but all the lies which would surround it had still to be told. When you tell lies to protect a loved one, you’re the one who’s going to ultimately take the hit. The lies go to the grave with you. They will never know.

She and shithead boyfriend lived six stories up in what was essentially social housing. It was one of those grey emergency quadrangle architecture efforts from the 1950s to patch up the damage the Luftwaffe had done to London and to address the resulting housing shortage. How a woman like her ever ended up somewhere like there with the likes of shithead was beyond him.

He takes the six flight of stairs because he knows everybody else will be taking the lifts, so the chances of him being seen by anyone on the staircase are practically zero. He gets to sixth. There’s a long sort of balcony leading to each apartment on that storey.

Because of patient recon, he knows exactly which one is shithead’s. He puts the forefinger of his right hand over the spy hole embedded in the door, and knocks gently with his left hand. He’d met shithead once or twice but her noticing the way he openly disliked him, had been careful to keep them well apart.

Shithead being a shithead, hadn’t the wit to wonder why something so simple as his spy hole in the door had stopped working, so he opened the door out of pure curiosity. It’s predictability like that which will be his undoing. Manannon hit him with a straight left to the face knocking him onto his back, pushed open the door and walked into the apartment. It had to be a straight punch, because he wanted him conscious for what he was planning. Any blow travelling sideways to the head will move the skull, but the brain inside it can’t cope with such a sudden inertia change. That’s how you produce the magic knockout punch.

He was in, so it was time to get to work on murdering him.


Click here for all currently written chapters of Friends and Anger.

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4 Responses to “Friends and Anger 4”
  1. 1957chev says:

    Will he really do it?


  2. Jim Self says:



  3. spetzer86 says:

    Better put some plastic down, I think this may get a little messy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tina says:

    I had a bit of a giggle at the beginning. We once had two cats that didn’t get along. Dorcas outweighed Baby (we inherited both of them), and Baby never did anything but hiss and spit, but Dorcas was the original Fraidy Cat. Whenever she had to walk near Baby, she would take every step in s l o o o o o w motion, deliberately not looking in Baby’s direction. Sometimes it worked! We called it her “Invisible Walk”.

    So good realism there – even animals use the tactic! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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