Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Joy Forever

She was the most beautiful woman I had never met. Her skin had that transparent alabaster paleness women the world over spend far too much money aspiring to. It was, for her, a birthright and not cosmetic alteration. Though I cannot, in all fairness, say with any certainty it was a face that had never known a blemish or bruise. Skin that pristine is such a rarity it, more often than not, detracts rather than compliments the whole. In her, this was not the case.

Her nose had the patrician form the great masters of sculpture spent their lives perfecting the look of in the lasting mediums of marble and bronze. Her cheekbones, in accompaniment with her eyes, lent her an exotic air not attributable to any definitive racial or ethnic heritage. Those eyes…those eyes were pools of ebon wonder, containing the unmistakable sparks of life, bemusement and intellect swirling and ever-changing and yet lending an overall feeling of constancy and permanence to her.

Her smile was a wonder unto itself and its like I had never seen before and, I daresay, may never see again. Straight, dazzling-white teeth framed by full, pouting lips were the medium by which her joy, her humor, her sadness or her stubbornness could in a moment be summoned forth and portrayed in the most captivating of ways.

Her hair? Flowing…silken…falling to the middle of her back and possessed of an effulgence words will never adequately have the power to convey. Worn loose, braided, or beguiled into an exotic style that would draw attention at the most high of society or social gatherings she still, somehow, managed to incorporate it as but another individual aspect intrinsic to a balanced whole.

Of her physical form…the specifics of such…I have naught to say. Such was not a part of our all-too-brief encounter. Her face was the focus of all of my attention…was the entirety of my world for the time necessary to place a single full-metal-jacketed chome molybdenum .308 caliber slug into it. I am a master of my craft and the placement of that shot required an exquisite accuracy that would, not only, satisfy my contractual obligations but that would, also, ensure absolutely no trace of what had once been remained. Such a thing of beauty, if it must, must be destroyed so...entirely…so completely…that simply no trace of what it had once been remains. 

I admit I have no earthly idea why anyone would wish such a woman to be…neutralized and I do not, in any event, really care. The life…the career of a contract killer does not lend itself well to introspection or reflection. The unavoidable fact is that an email is received, details are furnished, a price is negotiated and, in the fullness of time, a contract is fulfilled.


In all fairness, the precision…the skill of a fatal headshot from a distance in excess of 1500 meters is, in and of itself, every bit as much a thing of beauty as she had been. 


This story was written for the weekly Finish That Thought flash fiction challenge phrase prompt: [She] was the most beautiful [woman] I had never met. 

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