Coombs washed his leather-clad hands in the small wash basin by
the bedroom window. He did so until the water ran clear and all
of the blood had gone. He then wiped clean the length of piano
wire he had used as a garrotte. This he winded into a coil and
slid inside a transparent bag he had produced from his coat
Coombs always came fully prepared. He had been a hitman for twenty-three years now, and he had developed specific routines. He considered what he did as an art form. He didn't agree with shoddy workmanship. With carelessness came a greater risk of being caught, and he was too old to get caught.
He placed the bag of piano wire into his satchel. From a side pocket he then removed a wooden box, roughly the size of a shoebox. It was decorated with ornate carvings.
'Coombs you're one sick fuck.' He said to himself.
Coombs popped the small clip that fastened the box shut. He then opened the lid and removed a rather tarnished and old cattle syringe. Underneath this lay a four-inch needle. Coombs removed that as well, and screwed it into position.
Inside the syringe was a lethal mixture of acids and poisons. Coombs had developed it himself, and now that he believed it was effective enough, he used it as his calling card.
Coombs sat next to the fresh corpse that lay face up on the bed. He moved the head of his victim so that it hung off of the edge of the mattress. The lifeless eyes stared up at the ceiling.
Coombs looked at the intricately engraved gold bracelet that hung around the dead mans wrist.
'You won't be needing this anymore.' He removed the bracelet and put it on.
Coombs then placed the point of the needle on the soft flesh under the chin. He pushed hard, sending the needle its full four inches through the mans throat and into the base of the brain. He then squeezed the end of the syringe, forcing the small amount of acidic concoction into the fat like blubber of the now inactive brain. This was Coombs' favourite bit. He stood up and moved away from the bed, positioning himself so as to have a good view of the victim, but well out of splatter range.
Some called Coombs gruesome in his methods. Some called him a monster. He had found though that many would gladly pay well over the usual rate for his services, based upon his reputation.
The acid concoction was extremely volatile and corrosive. It immediately began eating away at the brain tissue, turning it into a fizzy pulp. It then ate as hungrily at the skull, holding a small amount of resistance before burning through the bone and causing the scalp to bubble and pop. With that it released the fizzy pulp of brain and bone onto the floor, like a drunk being violently sick upon the pavement.
As the contents of the head emptied, the eyeballs slowly dropped into the head cavity and then followed the bloody spew onto the floor. Pure art, Coombs thought, and he was the artist.
Coombs removed a packet of cigarettes from his coat pocket, shook out a fag and put it in his mouth. He lit it and leaned back upon the dresser. After a couple of deep intakes he blew a large cloud of smoke into the room.
Suddenly the door buzzer went. Coombs went still, listening intently. The unexpected visitor then knocked on the door. Remaining silent he watched the door, then to his relief there was silence.
The hitman crossed through the bedroom to the front door of the apartment. He ensured not to make a noise. He quietly peered through the doors peephole. There was no sign of anyone. Coombs sighed with relief and took a step back from the door.
Suddenly with immense force the door came crashing open, knocking Coombs to the floor.
Coombs was dazed, but caught a glimpse of a figure rush into the room, closing the door shut behind him and then disappearing somewhere into the apartment.
Wheezing from the blow, Coombs got to his feet. Backing towards the front door, he grabbed hold of a candlestick that sat on a sideboard.
'Who's there!' Coombs shouted.
There was no reply.
Coombs had initially thought of getting out of there, but he soon remembered the headless body in the bedroom. He couldn't leave someone who could connect him with the murder. Holding up the candlestick ready to swing it, he slowly began to walk down the corridor in the direction he saw the man run.
'Dr, Hicks?' The voice came from the kitchen.
Coombs' attention immediately focused upon the kitchen door.
'Who wants to know?' Coombs replied.
A smash of glass moved Coombs attention to the dining room, then suddenly he was rushed by the figure and hit squarely around the head. The impact sent Coombs straight to the ground. Before he could have time to react, Coombs could feel the tight restriction of a wire garrotte cutting into his throat. The assailant was behind him and was quickly tightening the wire.
Coombs began frantically flailing and kicking in desperation. He clawed desperately to get his fingers under the wire, but it was in vain.
With a final burst of energy Coombs forced himself back onto his attacker. Both the man and Coombs fell back into the bedroom. It was too late for Coombs though, as he forced his last gasping breath he lay facing the full-length mirror that stood next to the bed.
What Coombs saw froze his blood. Three seconds later he was dead.
The man dragged the dead body from off the floor and placed it on the bed. The killer washed his hands at the small wash basin by the bedroom window, before removing a small ornately decorated wooden box from his satchel.
'Coombs you're one sick fuck'. He said to himself as he removed a tarnished cattle syringe.