Damon Young


Call me Kingston. Killing is my vocation. It comes naturally to me, so, like the best prodigies, I decided to make a career of it. Some people would say that makes me a sociopath. That’s why I try not to take too much pleasure in my work.

Of all the men I’d killed, I enjoyed Seamus the most, much to my regret. But, to be completely fair, the S.O.B. had it coming.

Ours is supposed to be a quiet profession, done secretly. Anonymously. Discreetly. But professionalism, anonymity, and discretion were qualities that, apparently, were all well beyond Seamus. He reveled in the notoriety and the mass panic that came with a big, bloody, public massacre. Seamus had become an embarrassment and liability to our mutual employers, so when the contract came with his name on it, I tried not to crack too much of a smile. After all, this was a job.

Seamus was a disgrace. But he was also very good. Despite his sloppy methods, he somehow never managed to get caught, and he always got his man, along with anyone else within the blast radius. I needed to make sure he didn’t wiggle his way out of this one.

I’d planned a clean hit: no collateral damage, no witnesses, no reason for anyone to think anything other than that the dumb bastard had finally doped himself to death. But most important of all, I wouldn’t even have to be in the room to see his big snaggletoothed grin before he shuffled off of this mortal coil. All I had to do was sit back across the street and wait for the ambulance to show up to pronounce him. Sit back. Relax. Watch Seamus’ neighbor give her girlfriend a sponge bath.

A nice clean hit.

Until I heard the gunshot. And my name, screamed from Seamus’ mouth. He came bursting out onto the balcony of his apartment, frothing at the mouth, waiving a Glock with the tainted needle still hanging from his arm.

“Kingston!!! I know it’s you, Kingston!!”

With a gunshot for every exclamation point.

Luckily, I came prepared. I leaned over to the other side of my balcony, looked through the scope of the rifle that was already positioned and trained on Seamus’s apartment, and put a bullet through his forehead.

Dirty, but, sadly, necessary.

“Is that all you’ve got, Kingston!?” With a bullet in his forehead, Seamus turned in the direction of my shot and just started blasting. I ducked down to dodge the hail of bullets and unloaded on him. This had broken down far too quickly. I needed to finish him off before the sirens arrived. But even laying on my side and aiming through a balcony railing, I’m a damn good shot. I hit Seamus three more times, square in the chest.

“There you are, Kingston! I’ve got you now!”

Riddled with bullets, Seamus jumped from his balcony to the fire escape and started climbing down to the street. The SOB just wouldn’t die.

Clearly the rifle didn’t have the stopping power I needed. If anything, Seamus was thick. I rolled into the empty apartment, flipped open my case, and grabbed the Desert Eagle. The time for finesse had passed.

I ran back to the balcony, hoping to get a quick one off into the top of Seamus’ skull. But he was gone from the fire escape and out of sight. I looked around the ground floor of Seamus’ building, hoping maybe I’d lucked out and he’d slipped and finally cracked his skull on the pavement. I leaned over the balcony to see the whole street. No such luck.

Then a hand grabbed my ankle through the railing.


And there he was, with that big stupid gap-toothed grin, face glistening with blood in the moonlight. Seamus, climbing up the balconies to get to me. It was ridiculous. It was almost funny.

“Now I’ve got you!”

I aimed for his mouth. He knocked the Desert Eagle to the street. He pulled my leg through the railing, tripping me and knocking me down to the ground. He climbed over the railing, drooling blood onto my slacks. I kicked him in the face. He lost a tooth, but kept grinning. I tried to pull back into the apartment. Seamus tumbled onto me like a giggling sack of potatoes.

“Get back here, Kingston! We’re not finished!”

He took the needle from his arm and stabbed me with it in the gut before filling me with the poisoned heroin. I’m not a screamer like Seamus, but sometimes, your pain gets the best of your dignity.

“I knew if I caused a big enough scene, they’d eventually send you, pretty boy. Always looking down on me, like you’re something special.”

I pulled my rifle & bashed him in the head. When would I learn? Hitting him in the head was clearly a waste of time as he bled all over my nice new Zegna suit, clawing for my face.

I bit down hard and took two of his fingers with me. I spat them back in his face. Seamus cackled through the pain.

“Look at you, Kingston! You’re not special! You’re just like me!”

He was blabbering right in my face. Finally close enough where I could knee him in the one head that really counted on the dumb bastard. Seamus cackled as he rolled over, clutching his family jewels with his eight remaining fingers.

I got to all-fours just as Seamus pulled a Saturday Night Special from his ankle holster. He got off two quick shots — one through my shoulder, the other through my earlobe — before I smashed his arm against the rail and broke his wrist.

Staggering, I was light-headed when I slumped over him and pulled out my knife.

“Got a secret, Kingston! It’s a big surprise!”

With his bad hand, he starts perforating my stomach with the needle. I stabbed his arm and nailed it to the ground, just to make him stop. I ripped off what’s left of his shirt, just to make sure the dumb bastard’s not wearing Kevlar or something before I fillet him.

Seamus spat out another tooth as he laughed.

Even through the bullet wounds and blood, I saw that his whole chest is covered with tattoos: a black goat’s head with flaming eyes in a circle and surrounded by writing in some language I didn’t understand.


Big fucking deal. He had an ugly tattoo. Definitely didn’t see that coming. Yawn.

I stabbed him right in the goat’s forehead.

And black blood came out.

Black. It looked like steaming hot crude oil spurting in a gusher around my knife. But I know the smell of blood, even when it’s rotted and spoiled like this.

Seamus was gagging. But still grinning.

“I’ll see you in Hell, Kingston.”

I had to admit: I didn’t see that coming.


I stabbed him again. And again. But the bastard would not just shut up. So I finally just held down his forehead and sawed until I cut his head off.

And THEN he was dead. Finally.

It was a real horror show. I was covered in my blood and whatever the Hell else was coursing through Seamus’ veins. A slug in the shoulder. Missing a piece of my ear. Gushing blood like a spigot from all the needle holes in my gut. I looked at Seamus, and I couldn’t help but laugh, thinking “You should see the other guy.”

I couldn’t stop laughing. Most of the contracts I’d done in the last 10 or 15 years were all whisper jobs: nobody even knows it’s a hit, it’s so clean and blameless. I was still a kid the last time I had to really mix it up like the old days. Most of the time, if someone wants to go toe-to-toe with me, they’re really better off just lying down and taking the poison. Otherwise, they bring out the part of me that Seamus got to that night.

The part of me that likes it when my hands are sticky.

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