This was how his target spent much of his night hours, when sleep would not come, which was most every night. It was useful information about the internal disposition, the assassin supposed, but that was not what concerned him. Rather, it revealed valuable behavioral information. The assassin stopped behind a honeysuckle bush as it occurred to him that he might be watched. But no, he assured himself: the yard was massive and filled with bushes and plants, with no security to speak of. He was not expected, he never was. On most jobs, he'd never be able to do this, but like he had reminded, this was easy.
The irises that followed the bush were of different color, large and deep red, the leaves slightly ruffled. A slight smile crossed the assassin's stony features, a rare thing for him. But then, he never had been given a job that involved strolling through flowers on a summer's evening. Such surroundings were foreign to him, and he felt like a fallen man in the garden of Eden. Slipping a hand inside his right pocket he felt the handle of his revolver. It was his connection with his own world, lost amid the entrancing beauty that surrounded him. Should he move faster? Nah, he had some time. His target would not yet be in bed, much less feeling an urge to visit his gardens. he could wander slowly through the beds of irises. The red had thinned out, and were intermingled with white of the same type. Blue would have formed a patriotic scheme, but it was not present. Unable to help himself, he leaned over, smelling the gentle fragrances.
Flowers were not an uncommon thing to see, but up close, grouped together like this, they were. And the evening was intoxicating, the darkness wrapping around like a gentle blanket. That was another thing he had not experienced in a long time, the gentle feeling of a summer evening. Was it by choice or by force? the assassin decided it was by both. How long had it been since he had noticed the beauties of such thing? He again touched the gun in his pocket, but the grip was no longer a calm, instead it raised questions, questions mingled with memories, questions rising from memories.
The assassin walked on, but the flowers were no longer in his notice, as black and orange replaced red and white. Their influence permeated him though, and he felt pensive, not driven and practical like he had even since he had become what he was.
Don't go there, his mind warned, almost desperately. He snapped down to earth in time to stop himself from throwing the gun aside, in time to make himself stay upright and walking instead of lying on the cool, damp grass. The memories that had flowed through his mind slowed, and he began seeing individuals among the blur. The dull concrete walls of his room, or his cell as it truly was. The off white walls of the training center. The weapons that lined the walls, the ranges, the obstacle courses. It had been his whole life for as long as he could remember. His childhood was a vague blur to him, the events of his teenage and adult years long blurring them into oblivion.
There had been no flowers in what he recalled of his life. There had been no true beauty. Some might have said that it could have been seen in the girls that had trained alongside him, but such beauty was not comparable to the pure, calming glory of this evening.
There was life here, among the flowers and the grass, life not ended by gunshot or knife, not ended by any means the assassin had even employed.
Dusk was turning into night, and the assassin forced himself to walk a little faster. He had a job to do, he could not be delayed like this.
There had never been beauty or peace in his life, but there had been discipline, and it was that discipline that made him tear away from the nature surrounding him, even though it was worse than any punishment he had ever received, many and varied as those had been. Again he felt the gun in his pocket, and the weapon was no longer a calm, no longer a bringer of memories but a driving whip.
The house was visible to him, not too large, but not small either. But on the open porch at its back was his target, and the assassin quickly, out of long habit, ducked behind a bush. His target was wearing a bathrobe, his hair tussled from sleep. But as he descended from the porch, the assassin could tell by his shoes that he had not came out at random, but for his usual walk. Sedately his target walked, stopping at times to admire a plant or to smell a flower. The assassin moved like a lithe robot, his legs drawing him silently towards his target, the entrancing night's power beating against him, but now without effect.
He was heard now, and his target turned to face him, eyebrows raised in some startlement at his visitor. The assassin almost halted, but the feel of the gun in his pocket drove him on, overpowering the night he had so longingly observed. He was silent, not answering his target's greetings. Unease showed clearly on his target's features, even as he began to back away. The assassin's heart seemed to tear at itself within him, the placidity of before fighting again, even as the gun forced him to draw it. His target had no time to run, although he tried. The sound of the shot was hampered by a silencer, and the assassin silently watched as his target collapsed. But the assassin stood there silently, his very substance rooted by what he saw. For the dead care not where their bodies fall, and the corpse of his target crumpled into a bed of small white irises; clearly did the assassin see the flowers, their pure petals stained with blood. The summer night's appeal was shattered and desecrated, replaced by a cold, sickening feeling in the assassin's gut. His heart was freezing, and he felt like vomiting. He glanced at his gun, and the dark shape in that hour seemed more evil than anything he had ever seen, even in the most filthy of his missions.
Almost against his will, the assassin placed the gun back into his pocket, and its chains fastened once more about his soul.
His reflections were over, his reflections were shattered. The beauty was gone, the beauty was no more.
The assassin walked silently away, his face once more like a stone. But his soul was as black as the night he was part of: the last spark of light, fanned by the summer evening, now gone forever.
Edited by Zarayna: The Quiet Light, May 22 2012 - 01:58 PM.