Grit: Breather 2

He knew that some of the people that he dealt with would laugh if they saw him out here, but he had to ask himself how they maintained their calm. How did these people achieve moments of peace in their lives, or were they always at war? Did they only thrive on conflict? He was a workaholic and he liked killing the scum that he killed but there was more to him than that. He wasn’t some low-rent psychopath – he had always used his violence as a tool. To  be able to use anything as a tool you had to operate from a clear-minded place that on the surface might appear to have nothing to do with the task that you were performing.

Who were the best killers? Not the ones who went beserk and charged in and started hacking limbs off left right and centre – well, sure they might take out a load of civilians easy enough and even in a business environment where they were faced with other professionals they might take a few out by sheer force, but your experienced killer wasn’t just going to rush at a target like that – they would wait and they would prepare.

He knew that dealing with so many different crews and so many different brands of bullshit that sometimes it didn’t sift right in his mind and he might misconnect two unrelated groups: that was dangerous. You had to know who was who and where their loyalties lay or you might find yourself seriously fucking up. He had to be careful anyway because he was a freelancer who did what he did for money and nothing else – he had never killed anyone on a blood oath, for honour, or any of that kind of bullshit. People trusted him purely because he delivered on what his contracts asked him to deliver on, but working with a hitman you knew that you might have him on your tail a week after you’d paid him to off someone else.

Grit looked up and saw a grey squirrel leaping between branches. He looked down and he saw a Tree-creeper going up the trunk of an Oak. Was that the distant sound of a Bittern? Yeah, this was a definite palate cleanser.

Grit: Breather 1

Grit smiled. A fucking rest – just what he needed after all this time spent chasing numb nuts around and putting bullets in the back of their heads. He had the easel set up and he had some jazz playing – Mingus, he felt, was perfect for the painting of watercolours. This landscape was something that he had loved since his childhood and he had been trying to capture its essence since those first times when he had picked up a pencil and sketched the grass and the trees, drawn out the cloud formations.

He wished that it were possible for him to consider retiring but it wasn’t. When you got into a profession like this one you went out of it in the same way that you entered it: through violence. There were no hitmen living comfortable lives; well, ok, there weren’t many. His downtime was sorted out pretty well but that was primarily because the people that wanted to kill him were still scared of him: that wouldn’t always be the case. At some point he was just going to be a old dog that needed putting down.

Did he regret what he had done in his life? No. Did it bother him the number of people that he had sent to early graves? Not in the least. If you let one of those fuckers bother you then you were going to be haunted day and night by the ghosts of your victims. Business was business and everyone that he had ever killed knew exactly what they were letting themselves in for. When you entered this world the signs on the door were plain enough – you had to make a conscious decision to ignore them.

Ah, sweep this shit out of his head – he was here to relax. No need to concentrate on the bullshit day-job. He took a lungful of the fresh country air. Smiled again.