So I woke up at four this morning with the idea for a very short story in my head. it didn't go away when I finally got up, so here it is. Probably not very original, but fun to get down.
The spectre of Death drifted, unnoticed, down the High Street of a
busy market town. It had visited a bungalow on the outskirts in the
early hours of the morning but was now back to regular territory.
For the third time this week the shadow wafted through the window
display and staked out a corner behind a dusty display. Being
present at every death since the dawn of time lent a certain
familiarity to the proceedings, this was not an uncommon event after
all, but somehow the shade was already feeling a sense of
anticipation, even wondering if it would be here again tomorrow.
A few minutes after twelve, the assassin walked into the shop. He
did not pay attention to the bright colours of the window display,
the smiling assistant behind the till or the stacks of merchandise
dotted on tables between the rows of shelves. Instead he headed with
grim purpose towards the corner where Death lurked. He did not know
that the ultimate darkness was waiting for him, merely that this was
where he should find his victim. Scanning his immediate vicinity,
the assassin chose his target swiftly and with the knowledge gained
in his previous two visits. Secure in his nook, he reached out with
one hand and silently grasped his intended. The other hand came in
to play and with one swift movement the assassin cracked his victim's
spine. There was the tiniest of snapping noises and for a moment the
shop seemed to darken as Death, mission accomplished, fled through
the ceiling and off to its next port of call.
Later, after the lunchtime rush had died down, the shop assistant
took a few minutes to tidy up the inevitable mess the customers had
left behind. She worked towards the back of the store, returning
items to the rightful homes, rearranging the order of things on the
shelves and straightening the piles on the tables. Then she saw the
assassin's victim, lying splayed and broken on the last table. She
regarded the limp and wilted tome for a few seconds then sighed,
gathered it in her arms and turned to the shelves in the corner.
From these she removed all the other copies of the book and brought
them with her back to the front of the store. This one was going
under the counter from now on – three damaged in one week was