Heads & Tails: A Tale of Chance, Faith and Morality - Part 1by@thatchristophergrant
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Heads & Tails: A Tale of Chance, Faith and Morality - Part 1

by Christopher GrantApril 5th, 2024
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In this psychological thriller, a character's fate is determined by a coin toss, leading to a series of chilling decisions and their unsettling outcomes. The story delves into the complexities of morality and human choices in a suspenseful and thought-provoking narrative.
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Heads, I kill him. Tails — well, Tails and he not only understands who wants him dead, he will learn how little he knows of real pain. I’ll teach him, though.

When I’m done, there will be nothing about it beyond his experience and there will come a moment when he breaks and begs me to finish him, prays like a supplicant to me, his Almighty, singular judge of his redemption and sole voice of forgiveness. I’ll play deaf because I’m not paid to listen.

Fuck. Heads again. Goddamn it. Another boring Friday night. Three minutes of focus, three seconds to jab the guy and plunge Father Paul’s secret recipe into his ass, and then what am I supposed to do for the rest of the night? What was all the training for if I can’t make use of it?

“The toss allows God to decide,” the cunning old priest would say. “Rejoice in the blessing endowed on you to be God’s Will enabled.” I don’t get it. These bastards deserved to die in the worst ways possible, but God has never let a Tails spin into my palm.

It’s like He’s fucking with me, like it’s a fucking joke to Him to wind me up and then relish the frustration and disappointment when that fucking coin smiles back at me.

Whatever. I’m here, he’s here and between the crowd and the music, no one will hear him scream. Might as well be in space.

Hoppin’ and boppin’ through the dancers, I could be invisible for all the attention I get. He, on the other hand, exudes so much charisma that even women with partners are half-turned to watch him from the corner of their eyes.

Maybe becoming a serial kidnapper-rapist-murderer wasn’t entirely a matter of choice. Maybe he’s only using the gifts God gave him, just like I’m using mine, but I doubt I’m as happy with my lot as he is — or has been — with his.

No complaints on my part, though. The money’s pretty good, I travel the world in First Class and though my green Vatican City passport may not have quite the get-out-of-jail-free status of the light blue United Nations one, I don’t attract national security bureaus like they do.

The moments between songs allow me to close unnoticed, my syringe ready in its sheath under my left cuff. An instant after the pulsing bass returns, I stab and then pretend to trip, moving bent over to disguise my route.

No need to confirm his death, so sure am I in the evil priest’s alchemical expertise, and then my Friday night boredom is redeemed via text message — double headers are rare enough events that I would exhaust my list with less than five fingers.

My mission window is short and I must first change and dispose of these clothes, so I waste no time waiting for an Uber and flag the first taxi in the rank outside the club.

I have never questioned a target and I don’t now, but I can’t honestly wrap my mind around what a pubescent girl could have done to deserve me. It’s late enough she’s probably in bed, asleep, but that makes no never mind to me.

Five minutes after striding through the hotel’s front entrance, having greeted the doorman and smiled at the night-shift manager, I exit by a side door dressed in running gear, my syringe nestled in my sock.

The taxi ride uptown is quick, and I climb out beside a park. I limber up until the cab is out of sight and then jog without urgency towards the target address. This late, all the neighbourhood businesses I pass are closed — coffee shops, upscale boutiques, salons, even a small insurance office.

Slowing as I arrive ‘home,’ I pause and stretch on the pavement out front, using my movements to gather my tools. With tired purpose, I climb the front stairs.

Two breaths and I’m shutting the front door behind me in practiced silence. My mission demands less illumination, so I turn the lights off as I come to them. Keeping to the shadows, I ignore the ground floor and head upstairs. A small part of me is grateful for the wall-to-wall as I step onto the landing, but a greater part smiles at the sound of pop music emerging from an alcove.

Tossing my coin as instructed, giving God the final word, my breath catches. Tails. What the fuck? Tails again. And a third time.

So. Two things occur to me. I cannot torture her here and I need a way to move her somewhere safe. An image brightens in my head — the sign in the window of the insurance agent listed it was closed all weekend. It will do in a pinch.

I need a suitcase. Back down the stairs, ignoring the main floor once again, because suitcases are stored in the basement. I choose the largest and retrace my steps to the girl’s room.

None of the lights have been turned back on, so there is no call for collateral victims. One final check.

Tails. So be it.

Opening the door enough to slowly reach in and quench the main light, I use her confusion to dart across to where she lies on her stomach lost in her iPad. A rap on her temple with a folded knuckle is enough to steal her awareness, and the suitcase is ample. On a whim, I toss in her iPad.

Here, then, is the riskiest part. A man in running gear does not often haul a large suitcase through the night, but once more pretending purpose suffices to protect me.

Trixie Thorn would otherwise have grown into a great beauty were it not for my orders, but I tie her to the table in the staff kitchen as securely as I always do. I push a piece of torn tea towel into her mouth and secure it with tape. The one thing I don’t do is cut away her pyjamas. Nudity is a great psychological weapon but I just can’t do it.

Even armed with the remaining piece of towel doused with ammonia from under the sink, I hesitate to wake her. I cannot say why. So I study her. It’s pointless, but perhaps her iPad can tell me something.

Lead image by ZSun Fu on Unsplash