Friday, September 9, 2011

The Hitman strikes tomorrow. Are you prepared?

'Hitman's Creed'

Arrives tomorrow, September 10th, from Silver Publishing 

Two men:
Glenn Tanner, a thirty-four year old hitman who wants to disappear and start a new life.
Joey Fairburn, a twenty-one year old Criminal Justice student studying to become a cop.

One problem in common:
Joey's father, an escaped killer, is on his way to the small town where Joey and his mother live, and where Glenn has finally settled down. Only time will tell if Glenn and Joey, so disparate in both age and backgrounds, will be able to find a common bond to unite them in an attempt to stop the killer from murdering Joey's mother, and in the process perhaps find love.



There comes a point in everyone's life when they wonder if they've made the right choices. Glenn was at that point as he rested his hands on the railing of the catwalk high above the stage. He had everything planned down to the nth degree, as always. The AR-7 rested between his legs, scope attached. He could make his way from where he stood to the exit he needed even in the dark. He knew this because he'd practiced it several times over the last two days. One of the advantages of being on the backstage crew was the freedom of movement it gave him. Freedom to roam the theater at will.

While he watched the show in progress, waiting for the moment when it was time to put his plan into action, part of his mind was lamenting the fact that, as always, he would be on a plane heading off to nowhere as soon as he was finished. Such was his life, one anonymous hotel room after another, no place to call home, no one to go home to even if he had one.

"Maybe it's time to find a new profession," he murmured under his breath.

The sound of laughter from the audience broke his train of thought, bringing him back to the present. He brushed his hand through his hair, which was at the moment dark, the natural gray streaks at his temples invisible thanks to his expertise at dying it to suit whatever role he was playing while on the job. Then instinctively he ran a finger over his upper lip to smooth his mustache. It was no longer there, gone to make him look younger than his thirty-four plus years. 'I'm getting too old for the game,' he thought yet again as he had too often recently.

He heard the actress speak the lines which told him it was almost time and picked up the rifle. A fast check around him told him what he already knew. He was alone on the catwalk.

He knelt, resting the rifle against one of the railing bars. A flash of movement caught his attention momentarily; a young actress was pacing nervously in the wings, awaiting her cue to enter. Ignoring her he calmly stared through the scope to sight in on his target. He had no idea why the woman he was looking at needed eliminating, or in this particular place. That was none of his business. It was his job to do it successfully, and in his own self-interests not to be caught afterwards.

The actress stood facing the actor playing her husband as they spoke their lines, her hands resting on his shoulders, the only two on stage at the moment. Glenn knew he had only a minute before she moved. He focused in on the top of her head and slowly pulled the trigger, once and then again. When the bullets tore through her skull there was a moment of dead silence and then the screams began as she fell to the stage floor.

Even as people rushed to his victim's side a few of the stagehands paused to look up into the fly space trying to locate him. By then Glenn was disassembling the rifle. He put the parts into the bag at his feet, picked it up, and raced down the dark catwalk. When he reached the end, he paused just long enough to strip off the black jumpsuit he'd been wearing, stuffing it into the bag as well. Now he was in the dark jeans and a navy turtleneck he'd worn when he came to work earlier that evening.

Slinging the bag over his shoulder, Glenn made his way up the ladder at the end of the catwalk to the grid at the top of the theater's fly space, his crepe-soled shoes making no sounds on the metal rungs. He knew he was virtually invisible from below but was taking no chances, especially when he heard the sound of feet coming up a ladder from the backstage area to the lighting grid. Obviously at least one crew member was willing to take the chance that they could find him before he got away.

Just ahead of him now, at the top of a final short ladder, was the emergency exit he needed. He'd already disabled the alarm so there would be no worry it would go off and alert anyone as to his exact whereabouts. He pushed the trapdoor open and leapt onto the slanted roof. It was still slick from an earlier rain shower so Glenn was doubly careful as he made his way to the edge and then over it to the fire escape. Before he started down he checked to make certain the alley was vacant of any observers, including transients who might have sought shelter in one of the doorways. With no one in sight he sped down, jumping silently the last few feet to the pavement.

Then he strolled casually toward the street, stopping long enough to light a cigarette, the brief glow of the lighter reflecting off his deadly serious hazel eyes. When Glenn reached the end of the alley he smiled tightly when he heard the blare of sirens then saw two patrol cars come to a screeching stop in front of the theater. He turned in the opposite direction and was soon just another pedestrian out for a night on the town.