The Stranger and the Assassin

The candle lamplight flickered in the breeze, casting an eerie glow over the man who stared at the second-floor open window. His cigarette glowed in the night as he walked toward his destiny. The plan repeated in his mind—open the door, sixteen steps to the second floor, turn right, five steps forward, open the door and kill the child. The child whose words would lead the nightmare of his reality.

Two women passed and nodded at the stranger. He raised his hat and bowed slightly. Their shoes echoed on the cobblestone street. Slowly, he made his way to the front door and collapsed over the home’s low stone wall.

The assassin watched as the women screamed and called for police. She listened with delight as they declared the stranger dead. Her job complete, destiny secured, and freedom for her people. She placed the gun to her head and pulled the trigger.

A small boy rounded the corner, out of breath, and stared at the assassin’s body. He dropped to his knees and wept. “I was too late.”

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