The Snake Charmer

“Listen darling, we’ve got to pack in a hurry; if they find us, and he recognizes us, we’ll never get out!”

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.

“Take them Borloff.” — Robert Mullins
Copyright 2012 Robert Mullins
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