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Vapor - Chapter One
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Vapor - Chapter One
This chapter opens on the protagonist finishing a "job".
[1,082 words]
C A Porter
Non fiction writer's first attempt at writing fiction. I've been developing this story for several years, so be gentle. Comments/criticisms appreciated.
[June 2006]
Vapor - Chapter Two (Novels) The past haunts our main character.. [1,387 words]
Vapor - Chapter One
C A Porter

CHAPTER ONE � Day in the life

The rain trickles across the pane in crooked streams like legs of
transparent spiders, whipping about and changing direction as the
wind makes them dance in an ever-changing symphony of watery tendrils.
Some have beliefs that these sheets of moisture are supposed to be a
sort of rebirth, a spirit of cleansing, so to speak. I see it as just
another rainy goddamned day. These natural droplets of moisture are
efficiently doing their duty, just like me. The rain brings new
precipitation to a region fortunate enough to be shrouded by cumulus
cloud cover on this particular day, thus supplying the terrain with a
well needed bump to the average rainfall percentage, so meteorologists
can endlessly drone about it on the evening news. At its core, the
simplicity is refreshing in a world rife with ever-increasing complexity.
Oh fuck it. It's hot and humid in this concrete box up on the 32nd floor,
and I�m frigging uncomfortable. It is literally sweltering; it feels
like being in the middle of some god-forsaken jungle in this overpriced
hellhole. Management seems overly apologetic however, assuring guests
that they are working diligently to have the power restored. In the
meantime, I�m starting to sweat, and my facial prosthetics are beginning
to feel sticky. Almost time to go.

When judging the merits of a five-star lodging facility, most experts in
the travel industry apparently do not factor in the absence of basic
necessities like electricity when offering their wisdom to consumers,
especially when providing hotel recommendations. Two minutes, and one snap
of the prick travel agent's neck you entrusted to reserve this room might
have avoided this inconvenience, but I work with the hand I�m dealt. The
breakthrough invention of central air is not a relaxing thought when relating
to our current situation.

I can just make out your glassy, lifeless stare in the reflection in the
glass. Your mouth is agape in a frozen look of both terror and surprise,
just like all the rest. Poor soul. I know you never saw me coming, but at
least you never felt any pain. You can thank me for that - it's my specialty.

Oh my.... that last thunderclap felt like it was just a few feet above the roof
of the building. I felt the impact in my chest, and saw slight ripples in the
surface of the tiny amount of scotch left in the overturned glass near your
right hand. I must confess, you have exquisitely well manicured fingernails. The
jewelry and custom suit illustrate great wealth and style. You certainly would
have made quite a stirring entrance at the highbrow dinner in your honor this
evening in the grand ballroom downstairs. That is, if it wasn't for the little
problem of that ice pick I shoved into your skull.

As I slip the murder weapon into the pocket of my blazer, and take off my latex
gloves, I briefly allow myself to ponder: will this be the last one? Yet I know
deep in my psyche that the unrelenting obsession always seems to ultimately take
hold, and a new list of names and photos will eventually make its way to my stoop,
just as yours did.

How rude of me to fail to introduce myself. You may call me Joe, but it isn't my
real name. I'm a catalyst that alters perception by manipulating situations as ends
to solve �problems� for certain interested parties. In short, I take great pride in
my craft of shuffling people from the mortal coil. It's certainly nice to make your
acquaintance, and I sincerely hope you don't take my killing you too personally.

I'll be making one final sweep before I leave you and this room in silence, casually
strolling down the empty hallway, casting slight glances at each camera to make sure
they are all still offline. Once I reach the floor's common bathroom, I will remove
the latex from my face, flush it as well as the gloves, and make the call to restore
auxiliary power back to 32. You see, I possess a reputation for exiting each job
exactly as I came: quickly, quietly, and always most unexpectedly. From an outsider's
point of view, it will be as if I were never there at all. This is why, in my industry,
they call me Vapor. With that in mind, I must bid you good day.

Oops! How silly of me. In your current state, I guess you won't be pondering anything
at all anymore....

The long trek downward in the empty stairwell gives me ample time to reflect the specifics
on the setup of my next job. The rifle has been freshly cleaned and disassembled within
the hard case under my sub floor. My newest silencer will be next to it. I have the room
across from the mark reserved under one of an endless supply of false identities I possess
at my disposal. This imaginary persona was created in the digital imagination of cyberspace,
and comes complete with passport, birth certificate, drivers license, credit cards, and the
like. Technology is a wondrous thing indeed.

As I get to the lobby, the slow, practically extinct traffic of patrons gives way to a bustling
sea of umbrellas concealing guests exiting taxicabs for the explicit purpose of checking in to
witness this evenings festivities. I glide across the marbled floor, taking in the gorgeous
high ceilings adorned with tasteful artwork. Giant crystal and gold chandeliers act as
centerpieces in a room that exudes luxury, accented in acres of polished brass and mahogany. I
respectfully decline the bellman's offer for a cab with a sincere smile as I step into the balmy
afternoon, and make my way up to the parking garage located 2 blocks north of the building.

Once the engine rumbles to life, and the air conditioning blows across my glistening face, the
tension seems to slowly ooze from my neck and shoulders as I ease the shifter knob in my understated
black sedan into drive. After exiting the gate, I drive past the hotel to take a final glance up
towards the 32nd floor, where the body of one soon-to-be-discovered Senator rests. The traffic
signal turns green, and in a few hours, I will return to my normal, less surreal kind of reality.

I make a point of stopping on the way to pick up some groceries, a banana smoothie, and of course,
tossing a freshly wiped silver ice pick into a nearby dumpster.


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© 2006 C A Porter
June 2006

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