He paused for a breath. He had been running for so long. He could only hear the slow almost non-existent wind in the barren wasteland. Why did he have to choose the wrong side to run towards? Immediately the first shot was fired. He knew it had been a set up. There had been another sniper on the opposite rooftop. They had paid him all that money just to get him out in the open.  He tried to lick his lips but his tongue felt like sandpaper on tanned leather. He checked for his side pistol. At least he had managed to scramble off with that.

This was not his best day yet. It had been off since morning as he left the house. He almost forgot his silencer. And then his back pack strap came off just as he boarded the cab. The cling and clatter of the black metal had to be hurriedly explained to the cabbie as plumbing tools. His blue overall sold the story. But now standing under the scorching sun, he cursed his outfit of the day. #ootd, he smiled a bit as he remembered how he figured out that meaning alone the first time he saw it on the cursed Instagram. The same application they had used to point out the target. Some hungry looking birds flew overhead. Not even as much a Tweet but just observing how exhausted his Face looked. They were flying lower and lower.  And slowly they invaded his Space.

He had been working in this profession for 7 years now. He had started at 20. The first job was to clean up after another assassin and he almost got shot in the process. 2 years later he had his longest assignment yet. He had to learn all about the target before the better assassin was sent in. He studied her faithfully, followed every one movement. He had his heart and soul all in only to find out at the end of the second year that he was the chosen cleaner. He had grown fond of the target. 2 years of following her through her daily activities had established a connection. It was no wonder the bullet went through her arm without causing any permanent damage. He had missed his target on his first kill. Oh shit!

He ran away. He feared that his employers would come for his head. But he was relieved to find out that the target was too important and only he had the information on how to track her. She had gone underground after the attempt on her life. It did not take long for him to find but getting her out in the open was a hard feat to achieve. She was cautious and paranoid. She had learnt her lesson and no one was going to convince her otherwise. But the life in the shadows was too much. And one day she brought her head out for some air and sun. But he was ready; he was there with the scope aimed at her heart. As he pulled the trigger, a tear streamed down his cheek and landed on his feet just as she hit the ground.

He had become the man to his peers. He had brought down the most evasive target ever. But he would never be proud of this first kill. He had got too sucked in the assassin to target (ATT) relationship. He would ask for information from others from now on and just be the trigger man.

1 month later. He had his next assignment. He had all the information. He was ready. All his equipment was well packed. He had long suspected that the target had recognized him once at the bar. It seemed he had been sent to kill a retired cleaner. So he decided to investigate. She was not so retired after all. She had all her old stuff still hidden in a compartment in her dresser. Now he was sure she knew who he was. And so decided he would hit her that night. He waited in the dark living room when it was time for her to come home. He could hear her keys jingling at the door. Just then, his pager beeped and he saw the luminous words: “OPERATION TERMINATED”. He felt a tinge of annoyance as he slunk back in the shadows and leaped off the fire exit. For once, a target he was ready for was the one who was cancelled.

Now he was here, after years of successful work. He was now at the top of the food, hood and loot chain. He had finally accepted another job that required reconnaissance. But this would be for only a year so he was prepared and he had experience before not to fall for the target. But he had barely cleared his recon when the order to off the target came in. And so he was on that tower last night. Waiting for the target but just as her car pulled up, a moth flapped his wings by his right ear and as he moved his head to the right, a bullet whizzed past his right ear. And then the night became lit up my gun fire from sub machine guns aimed at him. He had no choice but to drop his belongings and run. By now they would have his prints. The Law was already after him. He was spent and thirsty. His career as well as his life would be done now.

He looked up, it was growing dark again. He heard the baying of dogs coming closer. He pulled out his hand gun. The night was serene and the moon was bright that night. He took in the Divine scenery. He cocked his gun as he heard shouting come closer. He looked down from the sand dune. They were too many. There was an army of about 20 men and 10 dogs looking for him. He put the gun in his mouth. He closed his eyes. As his finger pulled on the trigger, he knew what he had always known. He would die a Bandit.

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