HIS fingers tapped on the chair rest. His feet, shuffled and shook. Nervously he sat. Brown eyes shifted behind the distinguished glasses looking out the grand balcony window at sugar puff clouds. This, was his big day. While his speech writer sat working over the fine details across the grand office, two secretaries yakked intently on phones. Decades had led to this moment of time in which he was to shine, something that great-great-great-great grandchildren would be told about. Every great man should leave a mark and dammit this was it. Today. 5th June 2018.
“Kenneth! Leave it alone!”
The speech writer looked up, pen in hand, panda eyed. “It needs… to be perfect.”
Becoming animated, David leapt up and marched over to Kenneth and grabbed two sheets of paper from the desk and one from a white knuckled hand.
“Can’t you see? This is perfect!” He gesticulated all around and spun waving at the splendour of the occasion. Raising his voice he continued, “THIS IS PERFECT!” And with that he ripped the sheets into pieces which seemingly fell in slow motion. Words tumbled eagerly to the green carpet.
Secretaries momentarily stopped talking before resuming the yak, wide eyed.
Kenneth slumped on his desk, exhausted, unable to even say anything in reply. As far as he was concerned what had just happened was akin to a sculptor having his statue battered to smithereens with a sledge hammer, by someone he loved and respected. For an enemy to do so was understandable, a friend? unforgivable!
Clock hands spun as they are apt to do and soon the balcony doors would open. Out David would step to deliver a speech from the heart, from him, to the people. Kenneth of course, would be by his side. This vision of David’s was happening now. Anticipation rose from many thousands down below. Banners waved in the easy afternoon sun.
Step by step, David and Kenneth slowly walked the red carpet as warm air washed over them encouraging nervous sweats. From an inside pocket Kenneth produced the speech that he had reprinted with corrections.
A crack rang out before they reached the edge of the balcony. And with it, an eerie silence that seemed to bend time was finally broached by total panic.
Most of Kenneth’s head was plastered over David light blue suit and the black of the bodyguards jackets. Two paper sheets were soaked with blood spatter, soggily stuck to the carpet while the other flew away, snatched by a gust of wind.
Through a high definition scope, a man on a roof top watched as failed bodyguards dragged David and the dead but bleeding Kenneth, by the scruff of the neck, half of his head dangling doll-like. Then the doors closed. Page 4.
Soon sirens would blare, filling the pristine afternoon with wailing urgency.
“You killed the wrong guy! You stupid, stupid fuckwit. Fucking imbecile!”
Dennis didn’t quite believe what he was hearing, but he didn’t need to. Before it sunk in, a bullet did, a lead stranger among neurons.
“Just because he’s holding the notes, doesn’t mean he’s the target!” The final words from Dennis’ boss were spat out as he stood over the dying corpse. He liked to think that he wasn’t quite brain dead yet, that somewhere beyond the glazed eyes Dennis could hear him and understand the significance of his error.