Drop #38: Bag

It was her fourth time staking out the place, having come every third day to reduce suspicion. She was parked fifteen yards down the street with an unobstructed view. No one knew she was there or what for. She’d hatched the plan a few days after seeing the bag advertised in the window with price listed, and returned a week later with the will to go through with it.

She didn’t stare, but followed everything going on inside. The car was positioned to serve this purpose. She’d had perfect vision all her life (she could read a newspaper headline thirty feet away) so it wasn’t difficult.

The previous times, she’d done two two-hour shifts split by a long lunch break. She was on her third straight hour today, having opted not to leave after the second. Shoppers, mainly thirty-something women, tried on dresses, watches, sunglasses and other bags, but as on the other days, no-one asked about that one. Perhaps people had common sense after all.

Waiting didn’t tire her out. Watching came easily to her, as it does to some, and she did it in a way that drew no attention, even though she wasn’t a professional. (She was a dietitian.) It had something to do with how you held your body and being able to keep it up.

After three hours she took off. It would have been suspicious to stay in the same spot indefinitely. She drove to a nearby mall where the food was decent and the parking ready. After eating some sashimi and drinking some tea, and strolling around, stopping to watch people skate at the tiny ice rink, she returned to her car and drove back to the shop. She parked on the opposite side now, still with an unblemished view, and subtly leaned back into her seat.

She had thought herself entirely prepared, but immediately seeing someone with the bag in his hands caught her off guard. He wore simple clothes but was well put together and seemed to have the means to make the bag his.

She felt late to the show. It had all happened on her lunch break, but not the coup de grâce. She reminded herself that no transaction had taken place, and nothing would change until it had. For a while there was some confusion as the man toyed with buying other items, but eventually, returned to the bag, clearly ready to do business. And that meant she was in business too.

She paid close attention because she had to be sure. It was, after all, a matter of vital importance. She watched them fetch a new model from the back, take it out of the clear plastic wrapping, and have it meet his approval. In the end there was little ceremony. He casually produced a credit card, held between two rigid fingers, and they impassively snatched it from him.

She watched him bring his purchase out, whistling, place it on the passenger seat beside him and drive off in his Jeep. She followed, of course. She followed in the same stealthy way she’d watched him: from a distance but near enough to tally the score. He drove slowly and carefully through the outskirts of town and into the suburbs. He stopped at every light and slowed near the school, and she did the same. After twenty minutes he turned down a back alley. She was wary of getting trapped but followed him in, some ways behind. No other human was around. He parked, grabbing the bag cheerfully as he stepped outside and waited for the garage door to slowly rise. He didn’t notice the petite stranger approaching from the right.

She shot him in the back, then once in the head where he lay, with a silenced revolver. Both shots offered only a whisper. She left immediately, walking briskly to her car. She got in and drove slowly but surely away, back through the quiet suburbs and into the city. Half and hour later she was home. She parked her car and went inside.

Sitting on her couch, she considered her position and quickly confirmed that no cameras or people had seen her. She had no connection to the man—she didn’t even know his name—and no externally obvious motive. Had he bought it for a wife or a mistress? she wondered. Didn’t matter. Nobody—and that meant nobody—should buy a $30,000 handbag and get to live.

By E.M. Vireo

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About EM Vireo
flooding the world with fiction

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