The Lady with the Red Umbrella

A red umbrella? Really?

This was the fifth cigarette he had decided to put out against the window sill. There had been no indication of her arrival in the neighborhood, except for the sight of a floating red umbrella in a sea of monochrome people. He leaned back in and patted the dust off of his elbow that had been resting on the sill. He then proceeded to wait at the door to his apartment, anticipating a knock anytime soon.

He glanced at his apartment. It was more like a collection of remnants of ruined woodwork rather than an apartment. It was a hard life. He didn't have many assignments coming his way. The few that did come his way didn't hold the capacity to make him famous. None of his stints paid enough really.


"Hullo! Welcome, er - Missus,"

"Miss Bloom."

"Ms. Bloom, yes, hello. I was expecting you for a while now."

"Yes, sorry, I had to run some errands on the way."

"No problem, of course. Have a seat please."

He pointed at the dilapidated, blue chair he had placed tacitly near the equally destroyed teapoy. She nodded and entered the apartment. She seated herself and tucked a few strands of black hair behind her gold-studded ear in a swift motion.

"I understand that you have been briefed about the setting. Correct?"

There was this airiness in her voice that he felt attracted to.

"Yes, Mr. Clay told me about the deal. I'm to play a minor role, yes?"

"That's right. You'll be playing a man in his mid-30s, a character who is as inconspicuous as possible."

"I pretty much fit all of that already, eh. The script, please?"

"Ah, yes," She reached for the briefcase that she had carried along. "It's very brief though. A very rough sketch of your role."

"No problem," He smiled reassuringly at her. "I'm quite used to this."

He flipped through the pages, noting as many details as he could.

Blah blah blah, minor role of an assassin in an assassination scene of a high-profile politician. Really, all he needed for his character to look as authentic as possible was a small black duffel bag, a black cap, and clothes that were undoubtedly black. And oh wait, mustn't forget his black sniper rifle. Really a minor role. No more than two minutes perhaps. He'd take some time to get into the role though. The audience wouldn't really note him. Unfortunate. But he needed this. He needed the money.

Ms. Bloom had her legs folded, one over the other. Her black skirt had the slightest cut, allowing her to sit in that position with little comfort. His ears noted the slightest tinkle of her gold necklace, snuggled underneath her white chiffon shirt.

"How long have you been acquainted with Mr. Clay, Ms. Bloom?"

"Oh, not very long."

"Any troubles?"

"Why would you ask that?"

"Well, people don't end up at his doorstep normally without any troubles."

He took her silence as a cue to not push any further into the matter.

"When does the shooting commence?" He asked, taking another route into conversation land.

"December 23rd."

"Oh, a short notice indeed."

"Is that troublesome to you?"

"Not at all."

"I'll visit you again after the shooting ends."

He snickered.

"Not necessary. I'll have the job done. I don't miss."

She hoisted herself up from the chair and smoothed out the creases on her skirt.

"So I should expect. Mr. Clay wouldn't have recommended you otherwise."

She picked up her red umbrella placed by the door.

"I hope to never see you again."

A/N: Thanks for reading. Do leave a comment! Constructive criticism welcome.