Will was nearly the best at his trade. Not that you would have heard of him, as his trade was normally not the sort of thing noticed at breakfast.
Unless it was practiced on you, but then you would not be the one doing the noticing. Not at all.
Being nearly the best is also a kind of trap, since Will’s sudden disappearance would provide one path to advancement for someone.
He was always careful when he was in public, for he could never quite be sure that someone hadn’t set him up to find a car bomb, or a bus bomb, or perhaps even a bus bench bomb. Or even worse, a bomb somewhere truly novel and unexpected. But he also had to be careful not to let the public know what he was concerned about. Because that would lead to awkward questions. And too much time anywhere near the spotlight.
He often used a mirror on a stick to peek under his car, but quietly and discretely. He avoided public spaces where he could, and where he couldn’t he either inspected them carefully, or he picked benches that were either solid blocks or completely meshed and open. In restaurants he would usually reject the first table offered. But restaurants were full of ways to kill him with a lot less fuss than a bomb, so he tended to not worry so much about the table. As long as it had a view of all the easy approaches in any case.
Today was no different.
He was expected to meet a new client in the afternoon, so he arranged to scout the location in the morning. As he expected, he was just in time to catch the advance team from his client engaged in the same activity. Although they refused to acknowledge each other’s presence, he had to assume they knew he was there. In that way, the scouting mission served its purpose. They knew he was not lax.
And he knew that the day he was too complacent was the day he was likely to find out first hand what was up in the afterlife.
He was in no hurry.
And yet, as he contemplated his life as he waited for them to decide they were fashionably late enough, he was getting bored. He was living on the edge by accepting the basket of bread offered by the waiter, and even further out by buttering a particularly good looking twice baked sourdough with all intent of eating it.
So when the sniper’s round found its mark a moment later, the roll was the first casualty.
And finally, Will was freed from the cage his life had become.