Author's Notes: Another short story I had an idea of. It's for a school project. The idea itself is crude, I guess and infeasible. Anyway, I've a few more apocalyptic plots up my sleeves. It's not the end of this series yet.
The Assassin / Twenty Two Grand
I knew the answers to the meaning of our existence. Love, life, passion, friendship, humanity, progress … These answers … they were given to me, readily. As if they were a set of medicine prescribed since the beginning of time for a certain group of people ( I was aware that I am part of this group ) who lacked the common sense to figure it out themselves.
I was told that it was common sense.
We live for the sake of those, don't we?
I didn't think so, or at least I didn't truly comprehend what those around me who had the common sense easily did.
In fact, I thought otherwise. The only possible sole purpose of our existence, if it could even be considered one, was to die. Really, wasn't that what we lived for? The very moment life was instilled into us while we were still embryos, death had already begun to work its way into our hearts.
Every second we live, death draws a second closer.
What meaning is there in living, if it all goes to waste upon death? Would it matter much for your name to be engraved in history, only to be forgotten generations later?
Entropy was to me, a fact not just a theory. When all the stars in the universe had burnt out and the universe itself had ceased to expand, what else could humanity tap on for energy? It does sound impossible but it is. When each and every sun in the universe had expended all of their hydrogen, and one by one, they are snuffed out … humanity would have no choice but to die starving in the coldness.
That is, if humanity does survive long enough to see to the world's end. Humanity is bound to end one way or another. If it doesn't destroy itself, the end of the world would personally see to the end of humanity.
Millennia of culture and development discarded down the drain mercilessly …
Work? Why work when any sort of progress would be rendered useless? Why work when we are cursed to die in a matter of a few decades?
I stepped into the agency, quiet as it was, the wind chimes tinkling as I entered.
The clerk looked up from behind the counter and pushed her thick frames of glasses up the bridge of her nose. She had been reading. And if I was not wrong, something romantic, if not erotic. I could tell that from her flushed cheeks despite the coolness of the air-conditioned room.
"Good afternoon sir, what would you want?"
I lifted my briefcase and placed it carefully onto the counter. From within the leather briefcase, I withdrew a neatly-trimmed newspaper clip.
"I took this from last week's newspapers."
The clerk read the tiny print on the advertisement and then looked to me through the thick lenses.
"You want someone assassinated?"
I smiled shyly and shook my head slowly.
"You prefer to keep it confidential then? Very well … hold on for a minute or two …" The clerk swiveled her chair to the laptop where she typed a request for my consultation.
I didn't tell her that I hated her humming.
"Here's the ticket. Room 17. It's the fifth room down the right path. Have a nice day." The clerk motioned with her frail bony fingers for me to hurry and quickly returned to her book.
"You wish for me to kill …"
"Your advertisement stated that it could anyone ... anything … anywhere …"
"Yes. That's our slogan, our motto."
"Have you decided to disclose who you wish to kill? Your words will not be heard out of this room."
"The world … kill it all …"
I expected the assassin to boot me out of his consultation room. I wouldn't mind it at all. I was just another one of the lunatics that patronizes him.
"I will pay a beginning sum of sixteen grand and another six grand when it is completed."
"You are desperate."
"Yes. You are not going to back out of this, are you?"
"No. We have honor."
"Your words tell me it can be done."
"I am willing to part with my money."
"Excuse me from this room for a few moments. I will be right back."
A pair of gloved hands reached through the countless eons to the beginning of time, and amidst the infinite drifting mass of matter, snuffed out the spark of ignition.
The Assassin re-entered the room.
"How? I will need proof that it has been accomplished …. Why am I still here?"
The Assassin lifted two fingers to his lips and hushed me in silence. He then circled my arm with his and brought me to the balcony of his office. With one swift motion, the Assassin tore away the drapes and revealed to me the night sky.
Out in the darkness, one by one, the stars were vanishing, their twinkling sparks snuffed out individually.
"That would be twenty-two grand."