Crashes of thunder echoed, lightning streaked the sky and the city below was hit with volley after volley of rain. It was as if the gods had conspired to strike this metropolitan centre with the elements of their wrath. The outside world was hell, the inside, far from heaven, was more appealing on a night such as this.
Stretching from the ground into the heights of the sky the modern day ziggurat, symbol of mankind's wealth, finances and political power loomed over the city, its gray face seen from far distances. No signs of the weather outside would reach the building's interior with the exception of beating rain against the window pains.
Inside the lobby, in the corner left of the entrance sat two doorway security guards. Obese, middle aged and balding, one of them sat at a laptop computer regurgitating fragments of a discussion forum to an older, slimmer, co-worker who's disinterest in the conversation was obvious.
""...gentle flip flopping of sandals as her body curvaceously shuffled from side to side." Jesus, Frank, who the hell writes this stuff?" the fat man finished saying, then took a sip of his coffee and let out a deep, obnoxious laugh. He looked as if he wished to continue, but the lobby doors slid open, preventing him from continuing with his tangent.
The fat man closed his laptop and looked in the direction of the late night intruder. It wasn't out of the ordinary to get shelterless riff-raff bumming around for a place to keep dry. This character didn't look like the average destitute scrub. (edit: 2.7.06)
Far better dressed then the local homeless, he wore: a black coat, hood obscuring his face, and gray suit-pants, well-crafted black shoes; all of which were soaking wet. Definitely hadn't driven here, this man looked as if he had walked for hours in the storm. Drenched from head to foot, you could hear from the weight in his steps the swish of waterlogged shoes.
Moving like an apparition, he took no notice of his spectators and continued to move without hesitation, with a certain stagger of exhaustion, towards the door into the offices; all the while whispering something under his breath.
He got to the door and the older security guard spoke up, "Excuse me, sir. This building is closed. If you work here then you need to sign in and have someone escort you to your destination."
There was an uncomfortable pause. The stranger appeared to give no recognition to the duo. In a hoarse voice, barely above a whisper he said, "I left something here earlier today. I'll only be a minute."
"Well, if you have your security card and don't mind having one of us bring you up there, then I can let you in. Otherwise I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to leave."
"Yeah...I have my security card. It's in my jacket." His left hand reached into his coat and pulled something out of the inner right pocket. The object was obscured from the guards view, and the man stopped and examined it for a moment.
He turned his head towards the guards for the first time. He looked in his early thirties, five o clock shadow crept across his face; eyes visibly stained red, either from hours of crying or drug abuse or a sad combination of the two.
"I'm sorry. It appears that I left it in my other jacket." he said.
The man's left arm extended quickly pointing at the standing guard with the object that he held clenched in his hand. His motions were poetic; a stanza of macabre punctuated by gunshots. (Edit: 2.7.06) Two vessels of flesh in contrasting size fell to the floor with a sudden thud. The killer opened the door and entered the buildings inner hallways.
The wraith walked as if driven in a trance towards the stairwell continuing to whisper things to himself as he drew deep breaths.
"She's left me... never again... She never wants to see my face again. She'll see my face again. She never wants to hear my name again. She'll hear my name again. She's left me..."
Like a shattered mirror, his thoughts ran in shards of varying length and accuracy; each sliver of reflective glass distorting each shape and colour to a writhing conviction. Everything that he'd experienced with her, good and bad, was falling into place; he organized each thought and emotion in an order that allowed for logic to justify his motive. (edit: 2.7.06.)
She hurt him. He would hurt her.
Tears had filled his eyes again. The sheer emotion was what was driving him. He'd walked here, to this, her place of employment, in the rain, and then climbed flight after flight of stairs. It was enough to drain anyone, but if such a convincing force as pain was pushing behind him, he would do it again. He kept going. He wouldn't stop.
On his way up the stairs a man wearing a suit was walking down with a briefcase. The man looked at him with a look of unsure recognition on his face, and he noticed he was crying.
"Are you okay?" the man with the briefcase said, concerned.
"I'm fine." was the reply.
"Are you sure?"
The decision was made that this was no time for discussion of one's feelings. Besides, he was being nosy -- overstepping personal boundaries. The man with the briefcase collapsed where he stood and rolled down the flight of stairs onto the landing below. Like a zombie the survivor continued on his ascent of the building.
"She's left me... never again... She never wants to see my face again. She'll see my face again. She never wants to hear my name again. She'll hear my name again. She's left me..." he whispered again, this time said with more of a burning vengeance in his voice.
He pressed on for about another moment when he heard many footsteps, heavy footsteps of boots, they came from both above and below him. He heard voices and radio accompanied with the footsteps. The police. It was to be expected. By this point he'd killed three people. He was certain the police had been notified after the first gunshot.
"Freeze!" came a shout from the next landing up. "We have you surrounded! Put down your weapon and surrender peacefully!"
He paid no heed to the officers warning. He made another motion, contracted his muscles and moved his leg up another step.
"Don't move! Drop your weapon!"
He extended his arm.
"Drop your God damn weapon!" again came the shout.
He'd failed what he came here to do. He'd failed. She'd left him. There was nothing more to it. He continued to move his gun upwards towards the officers, and the copÂs shouts became more frantic.
One of them fired. He kept coming. Another fired. It didn't change anything. All of them fired. The bullets came down in a volley of searing heat and sound and ripped through his body, his organs, and his heart.
"Brayer prosecutor shot dead!
Keith Broderick, 49, prosecution lawyer carrying the case against alleged crime-lord Albert Brayer was shot and killed this morning in the Evermont business sky scraper.
The police believe that he was targeted for his involvement in the case.
Joseph Jger, 31, the lone gunman in the shooting. Jger was killed in a shoot-out with the police. He's responsible for the shootings of two security guards and Keith Broderick.
So far no evidence linking Brayer to Jger has been found, but an investigation will continue."
He'd made the front page. The news hurt her. He had succeeded.
Underneath the facade of carnage, violence, lies and brutality was the shadow of something much simpler. Something more human than what the papers will display it as, something that isn't going to enter the history books, something that the locals won't discuss around the water cooler. Beyond everything else lies the silhouette of a broken heart.