She crept up the stairs, taking care to step over the one on the third landing that had squeaked for generations. She brushed her hand against the wall, felt the rough texture of the wall paper ad the almost inaudible scrape of her touch, then stopped to listen. She opened her mouth to ease up her hearing acuity, and swiveled her head like a turret, seeking evidence of movement. Nothing, almost, except the of her own blood gurgling in her veins, the soft huh of her breathing, the bass rumble of peristalsis, and the insectile whine of her tinnitis. A faint scratching noise startled her; she tensed, then relaxed. It was only the family of mice that had taken up residence in her grandmother(s administration and had been living in the walls ever since, warm, dry and comfortable, keeping the ghosts entertained, the electrical system shorting, and the fat cats fed. Now they were the only residents in the house, and they were getting sloppy. Danger for them meant someone didn’t return to the nest; this was the way the cycle of life turned and turned. We all have to pay our way, she reminded herself. Ass, gas or grass, or loved ones disemboweled, nobody rides for free.
The day had arrived- her 50th birthday and she would be spending it in a very unusual way. Well, not particularly unusual for her but unusual to most people. She would be spending her 50th birthday looking through the scope of a sniper rifle and watching herself kill someone. She was a contract killer and one of the best. Yes, 50 year-old female assassins are not common but there was good reason that her clients continued to depend on her services. She had a 25-year track record of getting her man. It usually was a man, occasionally a woman, and once a dog. The dog was the prized pet of a man who was an enemy of her client. That job has always bothered her but it was a rare request and it had paid very well. Besides her experience her hand was as steady as ever and 25 years of killing meant hours of practice, planning, execution, and almost as important as carrying out the kill, years of not getting caught. A middle-aged woman is a great disguise for an assassin. Often the hardest part of the job is the exit.
Love it. Interesting character, a middle-aged hitwoman. Especially the detail about the dog -- good way to show she has psychopathic issues. Why haven't there been more hitpersons knocking off pets? (except for the Godfather of course)