Short Story: The Basement (Part 1)

It is one of the most beautiful places on a winters morning, Paddington Station. If you can successfully erase the smokers that brace the freezing, lining up against the walls of the station approach, just far enough out to be on the right side of the law but also close enough to tap into the warmth, then what you would be left with is a travellers relief. After what seemed like years of scaffolding obscuring the view across platforms, the steel curtains once down unveiled the marvellous roof, just translucent enough to allow the clouded light to illuminate the marriage of steel and glass that stretched from corner to corner. The supporting pillars rising from the cold floor and commotion to meet the light above.

As seven o’clock approaches, Carl, standing by the timetables watches the scurry. His train isn’t due to leave for another fifteen minutes. The suit he wears conceals him among the rest of the platoon who like penguins have their eyes glued to the timetable; sipping their coffee’s and rubbing cold hands.  Black gloves held in his right hand, his left hand in his pocket, Carl’s focus isn’t the timetable. He smacks the gloves against his thigh then puts them onto his already warm hands. His eyes move across to the escalators bringing the half asleep droves from the underground. In his periphery he sees two men walk past the flower vendor – who’s slowly setting up. They are tall, bald, dark-skinned, and similarly dressed and seem anxious to get up to the cafe above.

The cafe above!

Immediately he breaks rank and walks toward the escalator, none of the penguins notice – he checks. Slowly up the escalator he ascends, spotting the two men now among a group of others seated in a circle around the small cafe tables: the glass doors for the cafe are still closed but he can see the staff inside prepping. He spots her on the last seats by the stairs leading back down. Her curly dark hair rising from behind a newspaper. His right hand slowly into his coat. Four steps away. This would have to be quick. The pistol is small, dark black, and light. No one notices it as it hangs from his hand, neither do they hear the two shots he quickly discharges as he fiends to stretch while walking past her. One in the stomach, one in the heart. She drops the newspaper and reclines in her seat. Dead!

Calmly, Carl walks down the stairs, taking one last look to ensure it’s done. The train is boarding….


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