Published by Melissa Hayes at Smashwords.
Copyright 2012 Melissa Hayes
Smashwords Edition, License Notes
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Blood has a way of coating hands, clothes, souls. It has a way of lasting, even when not a single drop is visible to the naked eye. He’d long ago learnt to wash every trace of the residue away, to leave no recognizable mark on the flesh and no notable change to the soul. Blood, though, has a way of leaving its own mark upon someone; every drop pulled a person deeper and the assassin had been swimming in it for years.
Candle light flickered, catching the brief shine of wetness on a blade. A blade with a hilt wrapped in simple, stained leather, clenched in a leather covered fist.
The fist of an assassin.
The light flickered again, a flame struggling to survive just as life did when death came to visit. They clawed, and scratched. They screamed, begged and bargained for the single thing that might give them a moment longer in this world that continually stank of death and decay and chaos. They clung so hard to this rat infested cesspool of life, purely out of an inexplicable desire to consume.
Still the assassin didn’t move. Better to be sure the job was done, even when there was no doubt as the stains spread across the wooden floors like ink spilled. Wood didn’t drink it like carpet; the stains remained only in the memory of the grain. Soft soled boots stepped across the old wooden floors, weight not even registering a creak as he moved. Dark clothes drank in the darkness that was the shadows of the rooms surrounding him, so that the elaborate settings of the room might have just been formless shapes of disinterest.