Up on the roof

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The roof had an odd pitch to it, making it a challenge but not impossible to walk across. Stan kept his hand on Pauley’s back, claiming he was helping steady her, but really he liked that he could feel the heat of her body through her silk blouse.

He worried that the steep angle would make it difficult to find a suitable shooting vantage point. When they reached the middle of the roof, it flattened out at the spot where they would get their best view of the restaurant entrance. A low wall provided cover, while cut outs for rain runoff were like crenels, the perfect notch for concealing sniper rifle barrels.

Standing back from the edge, out of view from pedestrians at street level, Pauley and Stan still had a clear view of their target. Watching the coming and goings of the restaurant patrons, Pauley worried about collateral damage. The traffic was thick at breakfast time.

The plan was to take out key crew bosses, making it appear the cartel was under seige from within. That may mean innocent people get in the line of fire. That possibility was niggling at Pauley. Despite her chosen profession, she prided herself on being meticulous. Until this job, there was never an unintented victim. That could change, and it troubled her.

Stan, always the pragmatist, recognized sometimes people other than the target could get killed. It made a hit more difficult when shooting into a crowd, but for this job it would also make the biggest impact. They wanted public reaction to be severe. A dead drug lord was ignored, a dead mother was not.

For the next hour, Stan and Pauley changed vantage points, scoping out the best firing line, and testing out escape plans. Once they made their shots, they would have mere seconds to get off the roof and away from the scene. Stan planned to create enough mayhem with the hits, that they could use the panic as some level of cover.

Back at street level, Pauley took Stan to Cafe’ Suplicy, her favorite coffee shop from her first day in Sao Paulo.

Sitting in silence while the server brought their drinks, Pauley broke the spell first.

“I wish I had more time to plan the hit, but we need to act quickly before Vivian tries to do it all on her own,” Pauley blew on her coffee, then took a tentative sip.

A black coffee drinker, Stan didn’t wait for his cup to cool, enjoying the thick aroma from the dark roasted beans.

“I don’t think you could find a better spot if the restaurant is your focal point.” He took another deep drink, waiting for Pauley.

“I don’t like how busy it is, we could get through-and-throughs, hitting other patrons,” she hid behind her cup, knowing what Stan will say. “It’s times like this that I might prefer Vivian’s method. Up close and personal, with little chance of overlap.”

“I get the impression that’s what she likes about it too,” Stan suppressed a shudder. “She wants to see their faces, wants to see that flash of realization from them.”

Pauley didn’t stop herself from shivering at that thought. “We better get back to Vivian’s shop, she and Lenore should have the info they wanted by now.”

Stan didn’t ask Pauley how the other two women planned to get Marco to give up Sampas secrets. Some things even he didn’t want to know.

*Catch up with the adventures of Pauley and Vivian, beginning with “Dead Money.” The second chapter in this week’s installment is, “I’m Not an Angel,” Lance.

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I believe all good fiction includes an element of truth, and all good photography includes an element of fantasy. In this journal I hope to give voice to the stories swirling around in my head, and to capture the images I see through my camera’s lens.

4 thoughts on “Up on the roof

  1. perfect

    we didn’t even sync up our posts this time and yet it seems like we did. We are getting the same brain with our killer women. I like how Stan is figuring out Viv, like Pauley already has. Our readers should love the next 2 chapters! great work


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