Jimmy's last mark gives trouble. Winner of SCREAMS!!! January 31 20221.
|Jimmy’s Last Job
Jimmy the Blade was in the bathroom again, the fifth time since he’d got home. He was trying to wash the blood off his hands.
It had seemed an ordinary job when he’d received it. The usual envelope with brief address and a description inside. This one even had a photograph, a bit grainy and in black and white, but clear enough to ensure that no mistake be made. The only aspect that was unusual was that the client had added that the mark was an alien, one of the “offies” that were being seen in greater numbers these days. “Offies” was short for “off planet,” a term that was useful for describing creatures that were so like humans that otherwise they would have blended invisibly with the locals.
This one’s name was Ebert Humfong, not that it mattered to Jimmy. He had been easy enough to track down and then to tail until an opportunity presented itself to get the job done. The street had been empty when Humfong passed a dark alley, allowing Jimmy to grab him quickly from behind and drag him into the shadows. Once there, it had been the work of a moment to produce the knife and stab the offie several times, letting him slip to the ground when he went limp.
Jimmy had been surprised at how easy it had been, Humfong putting up little resistance and collapsing very quickly after the first two blows. It was the Blade’s first offie, so the ease of dispatch was new to him. He made a mental note to take more offie jobs if they were this easy to do.
It seemed they had an abnormal amount of blood, however. It was the usual colour but the offie had produced so much that Jimmy had been absolutely drenched in the stuff. He’d had to throw away a nearly new overcoat that was stiff with coagulating blood and the rest of his clothes were still churning away in the washer down in the basement. The cost of replacement meant that Jimmy would have to ask for more money and he hated doing that.
Right now, however, it was the blood on his hands that was worrying him. Not only would it not come off, but it seemed to be spreading up his arms. With the water set as hot as he could bear it and scrubbing away with a nail brush he’d found, Jimmy was making no impression on the red stain at all.
He turned on the shower, stepped into the steaming water and continued scrubbing. The stain reached his shoulders and began to spread out over his body.
The police found him three days later, after the landlord had let them in with his key. Jimmy was lying dead in the bathroom, skin stripped from every inch of his body and the nail brush still in his hand. The room was red with blood, both Jimmy’s and the offie’s.
Word Count: 495
For SCREAMS!!! January 31 2021
Prompt: It wouldn’t go away.