Prologue to Impeccable Lies
The explosive roar and blinding flash of two 12-gauge shotguns filled the room. Instantly the man on the bed is still. The woman wilts, lifeless. The shooters move to opposite sides of the bed, the man is struck twice more at close range, the woman nearly torn in half with a shot from the other side.
The two black clad shadows survey the room and are satisfied. The kaleidoscopic patterns of blood and masticated flesh paint the walls like a sun catcher would. Overhead, the slow moving fan gently fills the air with a bitter perfume of cordite and new death. A small stream of blood trickles down the side of the bed covers.
Their job complete, the intruders begin the task of gathering all signs of their work. The larger of the two removes a small vacuum from his black overalls and meticulously rakes the killing field.
All that is left is a tomb-like bedroom and a telltale odor. The fan continues to turn; the mantle clock faithfully strikes the hour. The chime slowly fades to silence.
The phone call is a single German word, “Zwei.” He cradles the receiver, ending the call with his left index finger. A relaxed smile changes his face. He has ended so many lives with that finger, another ending, another fee. He lifts the finger and punches the top speed dial button. This time the conversation is two words: “Zwei” answered by “Danke.”
The south Florida evening is seductive with its cool breeze and the sun sinking slowly into the ocean. Sitting on a bar stool with one heel hooked on the brace rail, Martin Hale looks beyond the bikini-clad woman to relish the view of the pier. Gazing over golden sand and multi-colored umbrellas painted by the setting sun, he sees the pavilion at the end of the pier. The blue-green waves accost the pilings, split, and then rejoin as the tide begins to change. The sawgrass rustles in answer to a puff of sea breeze. Hale checks his watch, “Guess I’ll finish this project in the comfort and solitude of home.” Walking through the bar, he sees couples enjoying the evening and singles trying to become couples. “It still beats New York, at least it doesn’t snow,” he thinks as he opens his car door.