Just a few hours earlier, Sandy and I were at the market looking for our target. The image we received from Interpol was distinct and the character depicted had obvious, easily recognizable features. So I thought. However, once in Town Square all the snake charmers looked the same and Sandy, the expert at face recognition, could not pick him out?
“If you had just given me a little more time I would have made the ID, and we wouldn’t be in this mess.”
“Some expert you turned out to be.”
“If you would have waited a little longer … ” I cut her off.
“I’m here to keep you safe, when we were made I chose to get us out of there and back here to safety.”
“This is safe?”
“They were prepared for us. Must have been a set-up. Just hurry.”
I could hear footsteps approaching from down the hall. Two men. Safety off. Sandy jumped at the sound of the semi-silent pop. The door flying half way across the room shattered the mirror on top of the bureau.
The snake charmer entered the room first. I should have put a bullet in him. I kept the pistol pointed squarely at his forehead. The lines on his face were dizzying. His accomplice had a short-barreled shotgun fixed on Sandy as she knelt on the carpet next to me, choking back tears trying to be brave.
Who was this man of mystery? His face told a long and miserable story. Time stood still in that moment and I was transfixed on his dead eyes. Those eyes were trying to penetrate my soul. I felt a sudden loosening of my grip. I re-gripped and held tight to the steel of my nine-millimeter. What was this force invading my soul? More pressure to let go crept in and suddenly; somehow, my pistol lay on the carpet in front of me.