[Short Story] The Appointment
She stood up, brushed her long hair with both her hand. The hair-end looked a bit brittle, need to book an appointment for a Brazilian blow dry, she made a mental note. She loaded a new clip in her gun and cocked the hammer, well let's see, where is this big bad wolfie?
She climbed up the stairs of the dance bar. Three girls were curled up in the corner huddling together. They wore skimpy clothes with a bright coloured blouse and matching churidar. Their dresses were laden with shiny beads and piece of glass. The girls were shivering in the massive Mumbai heat, stuck between the cross-fire. Trisha rubbed the barrel on the gun on her brow-
“Oh get a life,” she told the girl who was looking at her, "If you want to doll yourself up and dance for these assholes, at least, kill some of them," she handed her spare pistol to the one, "This will help you liberate yourself. Now tell me, where is the big asshole?"
Still shivering, the girl pointed to the door, eyeing the barrel of the gun. "If you are thinking about shooting me, you better pray you can get your aim right," Trisha exclaimed, "Because if you miss, I am going to turn around." The girl did not take the gun and Trisha shrugged, "Pussy."
For anyone who saw Trisha for the first time would mistake her for the underwear supermodel. Long straight hair with beautifully done eyelashes. Manicured hands and legs. With a perfect hourglass figure that would put many actresses to shame, no one would believe that she packed a solid .55 magnum pistol underneath the dress she wore every day. Trisha Das was a gun for hire, a sharpshooter with an itch to kill. She was available for hire to anyone who could afford her services, which were very premium. Very very premium.
As she walked on the warm streets of Mumbai, her iPhone buzzed to life, ‘Beauty appointment in 30 mins,’ it displayed. 30 mins, dammit, she exclaimed. Today was the appointment for the Turkish Bath, she was looking forward to this one since she had heard about it. But now with one person missing in her kill, she will have to miss her appointment.
Not if she could find and slay this missing man in the next 30 minutes.
The man she was looking for was called Janardhan on the streets. A small time hustler wanted for many robberies and few unreported rapes. Janardhan was also the leader of a local illegal moral police called ‘The Moral army’. A small outfit who wanted to get into big politics and ended up disrupting parties that ran over midnight.
Her phone buzzed to life again, this time, it flashed an ‘Unknown Number Calling’ on the screen. She adjusted her hair and put the phone to her ears.
“What have I ever done to you?” the voice on the phone was coarse. The person who was speaking was very scared. She could hear the voice shaking a bit but then he would recover, summon all the strength and connect the next word.
“That depends on who you are,” she asked honestly, she was used to these phone calls. She could think of at least seven men who would want to know what they had ever done to her.
“You know who I am,” Janardhan’s voice was now clearer, “You just offed many of my men since morning.”
“Oh, that. Hello,” she said, “I have no personal grudge against you Janardhan, I simply love to off few people like you once in a week.”
“Listen, bitch, go away, go away from here if you know what is good for you,” Janardhan said summoning all his strength he could. She guessed he found the gun he was looking for, “You don’t know the trouble you are in. Go settle with some man and make him happy by making babies for him.”
“Thanks for the suggestion, why are you running scared from a woman?” she provoked.
There was a pause and a click on the phone. Trisha was familiar with the click she heard. Her years of training made her an expert in the sound. It was the sound of loading a sniper. With an agility of an animal, she moved from her location as a bullet breezed past her long hair. Rolling on the ground, she looked at the direction of the bullet. There were three buildings behind her and anyone of them could be the vantage point for the shot. And then she saw it, the flash of the sun shining through the lens of the sniper rifle. Amateur, Trisha sniggered.
“Peek a boo,” she spoke on the phone, “Ready or not, here I come.”
Standing on the unfinished terrace of an under construction building, Janardhan tried to locate the girl from the crosshair. Janardhan was a mountain of a man. With strong square jaws and twice the muscles of any average man, he was born to become the rowdy of the area. With the ambition to become a successful politician like his uncle in the future, Janardhan was collecting as much money as he could to pay the way. One of the expensive things he purchased was this M24 Amercian Sniper rifle. It was a handy tool to keep an eye on his opponent and enemies, plus the view from the crosshair gave him the confidence he always needed. Janardhan was known to observe ordinary people through the crosshairs from this building, he had fired this weapon for the first time. He did not know the wind would divert the bullet slightly and he missed the shot.
Where the fuck did she escape? he wondered. Just a moment ago, he had her. The bullet was fired but she escaped. That was inhuman, the way she moved. He admired her ability for a moment. But where is she? She had to die, he thought, women should not wield the gun, they should cook and clean, leave the mess to men.
His phone buzzed and he turned to look at the screen, it was Trisha. Not in the mood to chat with you lady, he disconnected the call hard and continued to look for her from the crosshairs.
"Where is she?" he asked, aloud, stomping the feet on the ground in frustration.
“Here,” whispered Trisha in his left ear. She was standing just behind him but her pistol pointed at his knee. One bang took a major chunk of the right knee bone and flesh. He collapsed on the ground and the rifle got pushed away from him. Holding the open wound, Janardhan cursed loudly.
“So where were we? Yes,” Trisha started, “I have no problem with you but people like you try to force your crooked ideology on others. I hate that,” another bang took one more major chunk of the left knee.
“What is your problem with me?” asked Janardhan, agonising in tremendous pain, he was almost screaming, “I have a political career to maintain.”
Trisha crouched near his leg and pushed her finger on the wound. He screamed more loudly.
“God, you men never listen. Do you? I have no problem with you,” she said pushing the finger on the wound even harder, “No seriously, you are a fool. But you have committed a crime, and you kinda deserve this shit. I am just cleaning the country you know. It's a good think to clean the country, didn't you hear the prime minister? Cheer up, you are going down for a good cause.”
“I don't deserve this, please,” pleaded Janardhan and folded his arms, "What have I ever done to you?" He first looked at his broken knee caps and then at the blood spread on the floor.
"This building belongs to your uncle right, the one who works for that big loser party?" she wondered loudly, "You and your loser boys raped a girl in this building a fortnight ago, remember?" she pushed her finger deep into the wounded knee, Janardhan screamed loudly, "What had she ever done to you dude?"
Janardhan looked at his assailant in horror and realized, “Her family hired you? I can give you money, lots more, please," he wallowed in pain.
“No, her family no,” Trisha said scratching her chin with the barrel of her gun. She got high with the smell coming from the barrel, “I just read that in the newspaper, you boasted some shit about she deserved it because she was out at night with her boyfriend. I was bored today so I though I'll take a walk.”
“Please...,” Janardhan was losing blood and energy at the same time. His eyes were desperate to close but he was determined to survive this. "Let's make this festive. What say?" she smiled and fondled in his pocket.
She found what she was looking for, a quarter bottle of whiskey, "100% fucking right," she exclaimed loudly, "I knew it."
She poured the whiskey all over him, “What are you doing?"
Trisha pulled out her iPhone and turned on the video filming. Pointing the camera on the exhausted look of her victim, she spoke to the camera.
“Start respecting women, or I am coming for you.”
She pulled her cigarette lighter and set the wounded Janardhan on fire. He struggled and shivered for a moment as the flames engulfed him completely. At each burn, a chip of his flesh was burned into oblivion. Finally, he stopped struggling. And instead, of a strong, hunky build man were the charred remains of flesh and bone.
Trisha jerked her neck and lighted a cigarette. Putting the gun back in the holster, she checked her iPhone. She still had six minutes to make the appointment.
Yay, she exclaimed and walked down the isolated building, she was going to get scrubbed clean. How exciting. she said.