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A glass in between shots

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After deserting from the army and spending years working as a hitman, Minka Harlow has finally build a live for themselves, far away from death and intriegues, and is now running a bar in Montana. However, the past won't let go and soon, a shadow from their former life threatens to destroy everything they build up, forcing Minka to take up their deadly carft one again. Features a non-binary protagonist, a cute dog and a lot of deaths.

Thriller / Drama
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

The wind howled around the water tower and rusty metal groaned as Minka stepped on the platform. Laying flat on their stomach, Minka readied a rifle, taking off the scope cover and feeding a round into the bolt-action mechanism with reassuring click. Looking through the scope, Minka could see the target approaching: a red sports car on a deserted country road. Carefully, Minka moved their aim, until the crosshair matched the position of the driver’s forehead. Minka held their breath and slowly bend their index finger, until the firing pin sprang forward and ignited the bullet. The rifle jolted and pushed against Minka’s shoulder while the bang whistled through the emptiness of the valley. They got up, slinging the rifle on their back. Minka didn’t have to confirm this shot, as the faint sound of a crash echoed around them. Minka picked up the cartridge case, slid it in their pocket and climbed down the ladder. They jumped on the dusty road and proceeded to run to the crashed car. As they approached the wreckage, Minka drew their pistol. Slowly stepping closer, looking for any movement, Minka opened the driver side door, holding their gun ready. After pulling the door open, they were greeted by the limp body of the target. Minka’s shot had perfectly pierced his brain, killing him instantly. After confirming that there wasn’t anyone else in the car, alive or dead, Minka pulled out a cheap cell phone. They typed “Blue Star: Target eliminated. Cleaning up.” And sent the message. Minka saw that the bullet had pierced the headrest, so the projectile had to be stuck in the back seat. To remove it, Minka put the rifle on the ground and climbed in the back of the car. They pulled out a small knife and slit open the expensive looking upholstery until they found the bullet. Then, Minka filed away chassis number, took the targets’ passport, driver’s license and everything else that could identify the victim. Finally, Minka poured gas over the wreck and, after picking up their rifle and moving to a safe distance, lit the fuel. The flames rising up from the destroyed car greeted the evening sun as they grew larger and flickered to the sky.

The piercing sound of the alarm clock ripped Minka from their sleep. Like every day, Minka opened a drawer next to the bed and took out a small handgun. Silently, they moved through the flat, nervously aiming in every corner. After sweeping the apartment and making sure that all windows and doors were still locked, Minka put on a pair of Jeans, a dark green hoodie and sneakers. They unlocked the door to the flat and carefully went down the stairs to the ground floor into the bar they owned. Here, Minka repeated the procedure and after finding nobody, took a breather as the nervousness fell off. Their Labrador jumped up and greeted their face with his wet tounge. “Easy buddy, I’m on it.” Minka laughed and filled the bowl labeled “Rufus” with dog food. Minka continued their morning routine by going to the bathroom, brushing their teeth and reading the news on their smartphone while drinking a cup of coffee. Apparently, nothing important happened, not in Montana, not in the States and not in the rest of the world. Minka went for a walk with Rufus. Outside, it was still dark. Minka took the usual route through their neighborhood until they arrived at the Pioneer Park. There, Minka unclipped Rufus leash and let him go. The dog ran around the park for some time. Minka yawned and stretched their arms, keeping a close eye on everyone in the park. A homeless man was sleeping on a bench, a few teenagers were hanging around a dying boombox under the watchful eyes of two nearby police officers, a girl was walking four dogs at once and barely managed to keep them under control. So far, so unremarkable. Minka settled down on a bench and enjoyed the peacefull scenery. But then, Minka saw something. A man in a gray fleece coat. He was standing next to the pond and looked in Minka’s direction. His hands were in his pockets. Something about the man’s face echoed in Minka’s mind, they had seen this face before. Minka got goosebumps, called Rufus, who instantly ran over to them and put on his leash. Minka got up and started walking away from the man, taking a gravel path towards the city church. The man followed. Minka felt their heart accelerating. Taking a sudden left turn, Minka was now walking towards the Billings Senior High School. The path was flanked by tall trees and scrubs. Rufus felt that something was wrong and nudged Minka’s leg with his snout. Minka looked over their shoulder. The man was still there and Minka saw a bulge in his coat. Images of all the different weapons that could hide within his pockets flickered through Minka’s mind. Minka clipped Rufus’ leash to their Jeans and reached for their phone. With one hand, they selected a contact and pressed “call”, while their other hand disappeared under the shirt, reached for their bra. Over the phone, the familiar voice of Jamie answered. “Hey babe, whuzzup?” he said, tired but joyful. “I’m at Pioneer Park. Someone is following me. Meet me at the Pizza place on Virginia lane.” “Uh, you all right?” Jamie asked confused but Minka had already hung up. Suddenly, Minka heard the crunch of loose gravel from behind, Rufus let out a growl and bared his teeth. Minka whirled around and in one fluid motion, pulled a small handgun from their bra and slapped it across the man’s face. Instinctively, Minka jumped back, planted their feed firmly on the ground and yelled “Stay the fuck down!“, aiming the gun at the man, ready to pull the trigger should he make any wrong move. What Minka saw, almost blew their mind. The man was laying on the ground, holding his head. His coat was open and under it, he was completely naked and sporting a considerable erection. The rush of adrenalin clouded Minka’s mind and before they realized what happened, a shout blew over the scene. “Police, on your knees!” Minka looked up and saw the two cops approaching from the distance, weapons drawn. Minka raised their arms in the air, slowly put the gun on the ground before taking a step back and kneeling down. One of the officers held Minka at gunpoint, while the other put on handcuffs. Rufus barked angrily. “Get that dog under control or I’ll have to shoot him!” the officer yelled. “Rufus, sit!” Minka commanded and Rufus relaxed, laying down next to Minka and liking their hand. “Good boy.” Minka said with a trembling voice. The officer behind Minka, a young woman, pulled them up and asked “You got any other weapons on you?” Minka denied this. The women frisked Minka and, after finding nothing but a cell phone and wallet, notably cooled down. Meanwhile, her colleague searched the bleeding man. The women called for an ambulance and secured Minka’s gun. “Okay, what happened here?” Minka explained while the cop took care of the naked man. “He followed me. I heard him behind me, got scared and hit him with my gun.” Minka said. “You got a license for this?” the women asked. Minka nodded. “In the wallet.” The cop took the wallet and pulled out Minka’s ID and Permit. Then, Minka’s phone started ringing. The officer looked at the display and read “Jamie Lewis.” “That’s my fiancée, I called him when that creep started following me. Can I talk to him, so he doesn’t worry?” The officer nodded and put the phone on speaker mode. “Hey Jamie,” Minka answered but Jamie spoke faster. “Oh, thank goodness, you alright? I’m at the Pizza place and...” Minka tried, unsuccessfully to calm him down, sighed and the officer took over. A firm “Mr. Lewis,” interrupted Jamie’s babbling. After some back and forth, Jamie calmed down and Minka explained what happened. The police took the naked man into custody and let Minka go after explaining that Minka would have to come by the station tomorrow to make a statement. They wrote down Minka’s information and went their way, keeping the handgun as evidence.

Some time later, Minka and Jamie sat down in Minka’s bar and ate breakfast. “So, uh, you wanna talk about what happened?” Jamie asked. Minka, who was chewing on a mouthful of cereal, shook their head, before answering “Why? That perv chased me, so I hit him and now he is going to jail. Simple as that.” Jamie sighed. “C’mon, don’t play it down like that. You don’t have to put up a brave face for me.” Between two sips of coffee, Minka answered “I ain’t.” Jamie rubbed his forehead. “Honey,” he pressed on, “c’mon, talk to me. You can’t just brush it off.” “I told you,” Minka responded annoyed “it’s okay, thank you.” Now, Jamie was getting angry. “Minka, you could’ve been hurt,” “I wasn’t” Minka replied. “Or worse, you could’ve killed that guy.” Jamie continued. Minka looked up from their breakfast and into Jamie’s eyes. “Wait, that’s what you are worried about? That might have shot this perv?” “No, it’s just,” Jamie was at a loss for words. “I mean, let’s be honest, we both know that you got a bit of a, a trigger finger.” “What kind of person are you?” Minka asked angrily and leaned on the table. “You’re more concerned about your fiancée maybe shooting someone in self-defense than what that guy could’ve done to me?” Jamie tried to calm Minka down. “Babe, I know you can defend yourself. That’s not the point. I’m worried that, sometimes, you got a bit, uh, overboard.” “OVERBOARD?!?” Minka screamed. “OVERBOARD! Oh yea, I forgot, cause I’m always going around, shooting people randomly. Oh, better take this spoon away from me before I go on a rampage, and stab your eye out, cause apparently, that’s what I do all the time.” “Honey, that’s not what I...” Jamie tried to say but Minka interrupted him. “Don’t fucking call me honey!” Now Jamie was angry too. “C’mon ya gotta admit it, you’re jumpy! We got two bullet holes in the bathroom, cause you though someone was hiding behind the shower curtain!” Minka was silent for a moment and Jamie used the opportunity. “Do you know how scary it is to wake up and find you running around the room?” Jamie asked, his voice full of concern and sorrow. “Nervously aiming a gun at everything that moves?” Jamie had tears in his eyes. “Knowing, that all it takes is one small sound to make you go nuts. It’s like I’m seeing a completely different person. That’s not you, waving that thing around, mumbling these weird things. It’s someone else. And it scares me, what that one might make you do.” Jamie was sobbing now and Minka was stunned. “Ask yourself if the cops hadn’t arrived, what would you have done?” In a moment of brutal honesty, Minka said “I don’t know.” “See? And this it what scares me. That one day, you won’t be able to hold back. I don’t wanna have to see you in prison cause you make a wrong decision.” After a pause, Jamie added “I don’t want to lose you. No over a perv or a shadow on the w all.”

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