Rex Miles pulled the trigger back on his Remington 870 shotgun, and fired eight rounds into a shabby green and white mobile home. He reloaded the rifle and fired eight more rounds into the trailer. He walked slowly to the door, throwing the Remington over his shoulder, and pulled out a nine-millimeter Beretta out of his black wool coat. He kicked in the small wooden door, and found his target.

A man crawling on his stomach towards the phone. Blood flowed out of two gaping wounds. One in the leg, and another in his lower back. Rex stepped over him quickly and yanked the phone cord out of the wall. Rex looked down at the man and asked, “Joseph Banks?”

The dark-haired man stopped and rolled over. He gazed up at Rex, who wore all black. Joseph wheezed, “Maybe?” Blood oozed from his lips.

Rex Miles tilted his head to one side. “I know it’s you, Mr. Banks,” he said. “I’m a hired gun, and I do my homework on all of my victims.”

“Assassin?” Joseph gasped, eyes blinking wildly. “But who’d want to kill me?”

“I’m not at liberty to say,” Rex started. “I just collect my money. Pull a trigger. And don’t ask any questions. Because if you ask questions… then it gets personal.”

“Then why didn’t you just kill me quickly?” Joseph uttered, coughing. “Like in the movies.”

“I could have,” Rex said, raising an eyebrow. “But business has been slow, and I wanted to try out my new gun.” He turned the Beretta slowly, so that Joseph could examine it. “You should feel privileged, Mr. Banks. You’ll be the first one I kill with it.”

“Wait,” Joseph yelled, breathing uneasily. “Wait. I’ve got money.” A pause. “Ten thousand dollars in cold hard cash.” another pause, swallowing hard. “Is that enough to let me live?”

“No,” Rex began, shaking his head. This is why you kill them with one quick shot, he thought. So you don’t have to listen to them beg. “It’s called the assassin’s creed. A job’s a job. And begging won’t get you anywhere.” Rex knelt down, pulled the hammer back on the Beretta and put the steel barrel to Joseph’s sweating forehead.

“Wait! Wait!” Joseph yelped. “What about a job? If I tell you where the money is… then will you kill…” he swallowed and drew a deep breath. “Whoever paid you to kill me?”

Rex pondered the thought. This is a first, and business has been slow. “I suppose,” Rex said, shrugging his broad shoulders. “Where’s the money?”

Joseph pointed to the hallway and coughed, “Under my bed. In an old shoebox.”

“Okay,” Rex said and pulled the trigger. He walked to the bedroom, and found the shoebox. Opened it to find ten thousand dollars in one-hundred-dollar bills.

Rex left the wreckage of the mobile home. Climbed into his black Tahoe, and looked into the mirror. “I guess Mrs. Banks will be my next assignment.” Along the way home Rex Miles paid a visit to Mrs. Banks. “A job’s a job,” he told her moments before he killed her.

He returned home at three in the morning. Checked his answering machine. No new messages. He checked the phone for a dial tone. “It’s working,” Rex grumbled with great disappointment.

He sat down at the kitchen table and cleaned his gun. He looked around his empty house. No television. No radio. No reading material. Just an old wall phone (that wasn’t ringing).

“Someone must need my service,” he said to the Beretta. He cleaned the rest of his guns. When he was done he took a shower. Looked into the mirror and huffed, “I hate getting the shotgun blues.”

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