Too early to set up yet, Ronny lit a cigarette. The target wasn’t due for another forty minutes. Ronny preferred it that way. He liked to relax before each job. It was a time to collect his thoughts and prepare. At twenty-eight, Ronny was still new to the business – just a week shy of his first year anniversary.
Before starting his career as a shooter, Ronny worked at a gas station. The mediocre pay meant he had to share a crummy apartment with two other men. Although he rarely saw them, as they worked equally long hours. Then Ronny decided to put his shooting skills to good use.
Taught to shoot by his father, Ronny joined an outdoor shooting range and saved enough money to buy a used Savage 10FP. He practiced for a full year. At last, on May 12th of 1986, Ronny placed an ad in the paper.
Wednesdays at 6 p.m. Studio 201
The Green Lantern
For two months, Ronny wore his Green Lantern tee-shirt to the gallery every Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. And just as he began to think he’d never be given a chance, Ronny was contacted for his first job.
Nervous and wanting desperately to succeed, Ronny arrived at his first job two hours early. Scoping out the area weeks beforehand, he already had the perfect spot picked out, or so he hoped. During those two hours, Ronny set up his rifle, ate his meal, and smoked a half pack of Players.
The extra time also allowed him to focus solely on the job, and the target. Thus, when his target showed up – on time as always – Ronny was ready. A single shot to the chest and it was over. Ronny breathed a sigh of relief, packed up, and went home.
He hoped the success of that first job would lead to more jobs. And it did. Ronny was able to take the ad out of the paper, providing him with more relief. He was a private man, and the ad had left him feeling exposed. Unfortunately, he knew of no other way.
Almost a year later, Ronny was earning enough money to buy a brand new rifle and anything else he might like. But his 10FP had never missed a target yet, so not wanting to break his winning streak, he kept it. And the new apartment suited his needs for now. He preferred a simple apartment that afforded him privacy to expensive things.
Butting out his third cigarette and dropping it into the container he always brought with him, Ronny set up his rifle. The target would be there in less than ten minutes. Everything was as it should be. The street below remained quiet, with only a few pedestrians enjoying the evening sun. They wouldn’t be interested in him when the shot found its mark.
A 1985 black Buick rounding the corner announced the arrival of his next target. Ronny slowed his breathing. He had learned to ignore his racing pulse. It would slow down after the job. Counting back from one hundred, he watched as the Buick drove up to the restaurant and parked. He’d have seconds to make the shot.
The target ate at the same restaurant every Thursday. Ronny figured that he met up with someone inside. Although he did’t care who the target was or wasn’t meeting. It was none of his concern.
With a clear view of the Buick’s interior, Ronny noticed a blond woman sitting on the passenger side. The target’s wife, maybe? During the weeks leading up to the job, the target had always arrived alone, parking his car in the same area. A man of habit. Ronny liked that. It made his job easier.
Targets’ names and personal details were unknown to Ronnie. Those things didn’t matter. So when meeting with clients, Ronny requested as little detail about a target as possible. Each target was identified by photo only. It wasn’t personal. It was business.
This meant that Ronny had never laid eyes on the blond woman before. She certainly was a beautiful woman. Ronny wished he could spare her the scene about to unfold. He had great respect for women, which is why he didn’t date, visiting Star twice a week instead. He paid her handsomely in return.
The best Ronny could do was spare the woman any blood on herself. As the target approached the passenger door, Ronny pulled the trigger. The woman inside the car screamed, but it was to be expected.
Ronny didn’t wait to see what happened next. He was already disassembling his rifle, returning it to its backpack, and confirming nothing would be left behind.
His car was parked a block away. A 1978 Chevy Monza that cost more in upgrades than it cost to buy. A small price to pay for being invisible.
Ronny took his time walking back to the car. No one even glanced at the young man in faded Levis, Bon Jovi tee-shirt, green baseball hat, and backpack. He was a dime a dozen in a city filled with college students. And Ronny could easily pass for twenty-one.
Back at his car, Ronny shoved his backpack in the trunk, locked it, and went to order a burger and fries. He disliked cooking, which he considered a waste of time. He ordered to go, needing to get home and change before visiting Star.
The thought of Star’s unique talents was enough to make Ronny smile as he drove home. Turning up the radio, he relaxed, ate his meal, and enjoyed the hour drive to his apartment.
Once home, it didn’t take Ronnie long to shower and change into a pair of navy blue dress pants and light grey shirt. He liked to be presentable for Star, who once asked why he didn’t get rid of his old, beat up car. Ronny told her it reminded him of where he came from. Star didn’t ask any other questions. Even though Ronny was a regular, she knew not to stick her nose where it didn’t belong.
The sun had long conceded when Ronny arrived at Star’s apartment, who was waiting for him as usual. She liked Ronny and enjoyed his company. He was a generous man who treated her with respect. And unlike Star’s other clients, Ronny often stayed to hold her in his arms and talk for a few hours.
Tonight, Star asked Ronny if he’d heard about the man who’d been shot. Star’s girlfriend had called earlier to tell her about the shooting outside a restaurant.
“He was seeing a couple of the girls for about ten months, growing increasingly rough with them. Then three months ago, he beat Zoe so bad, that she ended up in the hospital with three broken ribs and a broken jaw. The girls haven’t seen him since. He only started seeing the girls after his wife threatened to kill him if he ever hit her again. If I could thank who shot the bastard, I would.”
If you haven’t taken advantage of my ebook promotion for Finding Their Way Home yet, it’s not too late! The sale ends tomorrow, so don’t miss out on this great offer! Available now for just $0.99!
I’d also like to share the link to a book tour that’s starting in November and running until December. It’s an amazing opportunity for indie authors to connect with readers and grow their readership. The tour will be taking place in the United States, so I’m unable to sign up. But I wanted to share for the indie authors who live close enough to participate. If you’d like to find out more, just click on the link below!
Well, that’s it for this week. Until next time, be kind to yourself. You’re worth it!