The drabble challenge is a weekly challenge hosted by Aheila on her blog: http://thewriteaholicblog.wordpress.com
I've missed out on 5 drabble prompts and have decided to incorporate all 5 into one post, as a mini-story.
The 5 prompts are – RIBBON, ACCIDENT, ROOKIE, SICK, VISIT.
* * * * * * * *
He raised his champagne flute.
"Yes, to us…"
The glasses clinked gently.
"…a formidable team… once again…" it was a calculated after-thought. "I have something for you."
A silver box rested on the piano, complete with red ribbon and bow.
"Have you forgotten our arrangement? No sentiments… no attachments… no links…"
"I wouldn't have it any other way, and you know it." The curt response was enough.
"So what is this?" It was certainly not the familiar scenario: assignment completed, have fun, move on.
"Why the hundred-and-one questions? Open it."
She tugged at the ribbon.
There was no turning back…
It was a short, detailed recording.
She compiled a mental list of all the tools required.
After disposing of the disc, the next stop was the local hardware store.
This was followed by an hour long session of deep meditation – an integral part of her pre-operational strategy.
Time was all-important. She had six hours from the receipt of the recording until the completion of the assignment.
The "accident" involving a high-profile diplomat was inserted on the second page, bottom left-hand corner of the morning newspaper.
The only witness, a twenty-two year old male, had been rushed to the local hospital.
"What happened?!" The Head Of Ops could barely contain his outrage.
"I don't know! Everything was on track. I checked it out myself – a hundred times!"
"So how on earth do you explain the witness lying in the local hospital?"
"I just don't know! The coast WAS clear! I promise you! The target was alone and in the designated place at the designated time! Everything was running like clockwork!"
"Not this time. And you know what's the worst of it?"
She waited for the bombshell…
"… our witness is a rookie! Third month on the police force!"
Something didn't quite add up…
An idea implanted itself in her mind.
It was risky. She felt sick to the stomach.
Placing the tray on the table, she watched as he poured a generous amount of whiskey.
"What – no champagne?"
His face was strange. Deadpan.
"No hidden gifts waiting to be unwrapped?" It was a lame attempt to inject lightheartedness into the conversation.
"You messed up. Badly."
"I'll sort it out. No sweat."
"There's no room for error. YOU should know that!"
He stiffened, grimaced, clutched at his stomach, doubled over and fell to the floor.
Yes, she thought, there was definitely no room for error!
The old lady hobbled along the corridor and in the direction of ward 2B.
Nobody paid any attention to her. She paused to watch an orderly wheel a patient into the nearby X-Ray room.
A doctor hurried by clutching a chart in one hand and shouted some instructions to a nurse who sped off in the opposite direction.
The visit lasted just under three minutes.
She was the consummate professional… after all.
The young rookie woke up. He reached for the silver box at the bottom of his bed.
The last thing he remembered was the matching red ribbon and bow.