F3 - Cycle 13 - Unexpected, despite it all

Greetings everyone,

I'd like to welcome any and all new readers, via the F3 site. This is my first entry of the year, after taking up some FFF challenges on Cormac Brown's now (sadly) defunct site in 2010.

The starting sentence for this one was : It's just the natural order of things. My word count is right around 800.

Read on, hope you enjoy. As usual, all comments are welcome.



* * *

Unexpected, despite it all, by Seb Duper

It’s just the natural order of things. You win some, you lose some. Survival of the fittest.
Pick your cliché. You’ve heard them all before, ad nauseam.
None of which you’re thinking about as you dress, shrugging into your very particular uniform. A black, designer three-piece suit. Tight, hugging your toned torso, bulky arms. Crisp, white shirt over a Kevlar vest. Power tie. You tightly buckle your D&G leather belt around your waist, trap a Glock in the small of your back. A smaller piece goes against your right ankle.
It’s nothing which will set you apart, as a thousand other men your age and size will look the same. But that’s the plan, Stan. Just what the doctor ordered.
The mirror throws back this image you’ve spent years in the gym to obtain. You look fine, old boy.
Blow a kiss and wink, time to go.
Last but not least, you grab a duffel, not the gray one, which contains the few possessions you don’t care to leave behind. You’ll come back for it once this job is done. This last job, no matter how sceptic you may be, because you’re not getting any younger, and you need to find yourself a place to reap what you’ve sown. Maybe find yourself a little someone to enjoy it alongside, too.
The black one, with the rest of your artillery, is the one you want.
And you’re out the door and on the street.
Amongst all these people walking by, minding their own business, carefree, not paying you one bit of attention.
And you smile to yourself, thinking, If they only knew. You chuckle loudly.
They still don’t care.
The subway is right on time. Nice.
There’s a place for you to sit. Nicer.
The seat is almost clean. Perfect.
You get off a few minutes later, and the station is busy, as it always is. You blend in with the crowd. The adrenaline kicks in and you feel good, the blood is running through your veins. You feel so good, even the smelly at the top of the stairs gets a buck.
The sun shines on the busy downtown street, blinding you as you stare off in the distance.
There it is. A sitting duck unlike any other you’ve ever seen.
A quick scan tells you there’s nothing to worry about, all is as it should be.
Your wristwatch chimes. It’s time.
There’s a bounce in your step as you cross the street, whistling as you approach.
Your hand is dry and stable as you push the door open and let yourself in. No looking back, because you’re just another working man coming to cash your paycheck, or to check on your investments, right?
Shouts, cries and wails fly as you introduce yourself and your loaded friends to everyone, customers and employees alike. Your new friends don’t listen to you at first, but a stern warning fired from one of your friends tells them this isn’t a game. Faces meet floor, and you get down to business.
All you need is two minutes, and you’re done.
And rich.
One last look at the scene, this masterpiece of art you’ve just created, your very own Sistine Chapel. This is when you catch a cute little number looking up at you with terrified eyes. Wink, wink, babe, maybe in a different life, you tell her.
Just like that, you’re out the door.
You’ve barely made it five feet out the piggy bank, when it jumps up and grabs you.
You don’t look at the gun. It doesn’t have a face, just one big black hole staring you down.
But the guy holding you, he’s got a face. And two eyes, green, and they are filled with hatred.
This is a face you know well. Very well.
Once upon a time, him and you, you ran together. You made it rain. Banks, armored trucks, cons, gun runs. Partners for life, it was.
Until you got stupid and double-crossed the mand who had never treated you like anything but his very own brother.
He’s smiling now, watching you drop your guns and handing him the bag, because you know you don’t stand the ghost of a chance here.
Now, he cocks the gun, trains it on the middle of your forehead, which is burning like you were taking a hot iron to it.
People are watching as the man speaks.
“Hope she was worth it.”
You can’t hear the screams now, all the watchers screaming as the shot is fired.
The bullet tears a hole in your forehead, sends you to the ground like a vulgar sack of potatoes.
Lights out.
It’s just the natural order of things. You win some, you lose some. Survival of the fittest.



  1. The subway on time, the seat, almost clean -- priceless. The other line that really grabbed me was "You don’t look at the gun. It doesn’t have a face, just one big black hole staring you down. But the guy holding you, he’s got a face. And two eyes, green, and they are filled with hatred." Great stuff.

    Loved the pace of the story. Look forward to more

  2. We don't often get stories in 2nd Person. Nice. It really pulled me through and I almost didn't realize I was the hitman/victim. Good job.

  3. This is amazing. When I reached the parts with the vest and the Glock, I knew something was up, but I had no idea where it was going. Then you see where it's going. Well, actually not because the end hits you like a brick. This is written in such an icy cold, matter-of-fact tone, which is why you know just how dangerous this individual is. Never saw that ending coming. In spite of his 'occupation', I was kind of hoping he'd make it out. Who knew what a small world it is... Love this!

  4. This didn't go where I was expecting *at all*! I really enjoyed the pace and the ending, which caught me by surprise.

  5. Thanks to all for the comments! Glad you enjoyed.

    Chad - As a daily subway rider for the last decade, morning and night, it always amazes my how the cars can be so dirty, even first thing in the morning! Seems like they're not even getting cleaned overnight!!

    Ron - I didn't think twice about writing in second person. Don't do it often, but I enjoyed it somewhat.

    Joyce - You have to be icy cold to rob banks nowadays. My educated guess, don't get the wrong idea!

    B - Surprise endings are fun, sometimes!

    Check back soon for more.

    Cheers to all!