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A Job is a Job

By Sskyann All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Horror

Chapter 1

The harsh wind ran through Meredith's hair, thrashing it across her face, painfully stinging her frost bitten features. She blew out a long breath into her gloved hands as she pushed forward, into the wind. It wasn't ideal weather to travel in, but when you have to get a job done, you have to get it done. And get it done on time. Markus Clark was a nasty boss. The job was even nastier.
It wasn't as if Meredith cared. But sometimes, just ever so slightly, her heart pounded a bit faster when she worked. She always was afraid her beating heart would give her away. That wasn't the sort of thing she would go around telling people though. In fact, if she even hinted to people what her job was, that would be more threatening to her than her drum roll of a heart.
She rounded a corner, nearly running over a small boy, who was no older than 10. She quietly, quickly apologized and continued on her way. She was going to be late. Her pace quickened as she glanced at her watch. It would be embarrassing to be late. Meredith didn't even consider what would happen if she missed her meeting all together. She hiked up her backpack and tightened her scarf. Again, she glanced at her watch. Eight minutes. She wasn't sure she could make it without drawing attention to herself.
Walking as fast as she could without the appearance of running, Meredith climbed the steps and opened the well oiled doors. She passed through the metal detector without drawing attention to herself and then took a breath to calm herself. A rush of warm air hit her frosted cheeks and she was grateful she was meeting inside. She hurried to the meeting room. She sat close to the end of a large, well polished table that seated over twelve. Half the seats were full, excluding the head chair. Meredith smiled at the woman across from her and simultaneously ran her gloved fingers through her hair. The lady did the same.
Her watch reveal to her she was on time, minutes early in fact. So she waited. Meredith chatted with the man next to her, where she quickly found out he was happily married, with three kids and a dog. What a shame, Meredith thought, he has such a nice life. She made up a back story when the man asked. Told a nice story about her recent marriage and her young daughter. Not that they really existed, but that didn't matter.
The chair at the head of the table was filled, and the man there called the meeting to order. Meredith glanced at her watch. She had been listening to this man drone on for over forty-five minutes, and he has just announced there would be a short half-time break. Then, with a wave of his hand, the young boy she had ran into earlier waltzed into the room. He carried a small teddy bear.
The boy sat on the man's lap and Meredith could only assume he was the man's son.
It was then the lady across from Meredith ran her hand through her hair. Meredith repeated the gesture and slowly got up and innocently walking to the back of the room to get a cup of coffee. She offered everyone else in the room a drink, and half a dozen people accepted. She dropped a small pill in each glass but her own. The lady across from her was now digging in her purse. She pulled out a small pill container. Two of the people with coffee started violently coughing, one of them splitting up hot blood as well. Meredith ran to the door, as if to get help and then clicked the lock in place and quickly jammed the door. The woman by now had opened the pill container and a light green smoke was filling the room. Over four people were spitting up blood now, and three had dropped from the gas. Meredith poured her coffee on her scarf and covered her mouth and nose. She sat in silence as each and every person in the room dropped to the ground. Some were unscathed, and other looked as if they had been hacked to death, there was so much blood. The other woman, also with a scarf over her nose, was the only one left standing. Meredith un-jammed the door and opened it for the woman who nodded sharply as she left. Meredith glanced around the room and her eyes fell on the young boy who was now clutching his teddy, and was curled in a ball, with a splatter of his father's blood on his arms. Her heart was was beating louder and stronger as she looked around the room. She hesitated a moment too long, looking at each individual as a hot knife of guilt sliced through her windpipe. She sharply inhaled once, and pulled the door closed behind her as she left the room.
Another breath. Another second. Her days work was done. She would have another task tomorrow, but she wasn't going to worry about that now. For now, she was going to cover her tracks, and go an collect her pay. That's all it was, a days work. Meredith just didn't care anymore. At least that's what she told herself.

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