Like A Bad Memory

A short story for action lovers

Jim Woods
Jim Woods
Jan 16 · 5 min read
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

As I look through the window, I see a woman sitting at her desk. She’s got red roses that are taking over her most of the space. She keeps looking back at them. Probably a new relationship or something. That short time when it’s all exciting and new, right before everything goes to shit. Right before you find the asshole screwing a cocktail waitress in your bed.

I flick my eyes to the next floor. Probably a manager of some sort. Huge corner office with big windows. Mid-50s, bald with brown hair on the sides. White shirt, red power tie. He looks like he’s talking on the phone and he’s visibly upset. I move my eyes to the next window and then I see him. He’s not what you’d picture. He’s drinking a cup of coffee and is wearing a dark navy polo. He’s in his early thirties and I can see a picture of a woman holding a baby on his desk. She has red hair and beautiful blue eyes. The baby has the same eyes and a big smile.

I watch him for a moment and he picks up the phone. I wonder if he’s talking to the woman in the photo on the phone. I try to read his lips but he turns his back to the window.

I take a deep breath and steady myself. I remember his file. The photos. The faces. He’s a piece of shit. I exhale. I see the woman in the picture again, and I exhale. It’s time. I keep my sights on him and move my finger to the trigger. I hold my finger there and take another deep breath. I know I should do it, but something inside stops me. I blink my eyes a few times and crack my neck. It’s the woman in the photo. The one with the baby. I can’t do it with her watching me.

I’ve got no problem with the job itself; the bastard has it coming. But it’s the woman in the photo.

Something about her smile, something makes me put down the rifle. I pack it up and go down the stairs to the parking garage and place the rifle back in the trunk of my blue SUV. I flip through the file in the trunk to refresh my memory and I look at the time. 10:35 AM. Shit. I’ve got other things to do and other places to be. Camping out here all day would only slow me down. I decide it’s time to improvise.

I wait for a few more minutes, and then I call him.


“Mike Wallace — this is Emma Johnson down at Cook County Hospital. Your wife, Jenna, was in a car accident.”

“Oh shit — is she okay?”

“She sustained a variety of injuries from the accident, and will likely need surgery.”

“Shit, I’m on my way. I’ll be there as soon as possible.”

I wait by the front of his red BMW for footsteps and take a deep breath while pulling out my 9mm. There they were. The sound of feet scuffling across the concrete. When he got close, I would simply pop up and take him out with a headshot.

There he was. I popped up and aimed the gun at him. It was time. He sees me and opens his mouth to say something. To plead for his life, to tell me he’s a father and a husband, to tell me he’s sorry for all he’s done. I pull the trigger and shoot him in the head. He tumbles to the ground like a bad memory.

I then hear something loud and fall to the ground. I wake up to the sound of tires screeching and see I’m next to the BMW. I see his body in front of me and I realize I’m bleeding. Shit. It’s my neck. I was shot by someone else. I had to of been set up. Can’t worry about that now.

I groan in pain and try to put some pressure on the wound as I try to think. I have to move. Now. My brain feels distant from my body. I close my eyes and open them and look at my watch. I just passed out for 10 minutes. Slowly, I pull myself up with one hand and lean on the car to keep my balance. I see my 9mm on the ground and it takes a long time to just pick it up.

My car. My car. Where the hell is my car? I close my eyes again and immediately open them. I know I’m fading fast. I won’t be able to move in a few more minutes. I’ll be as dead as my mark. I ignore that thought and focus on the next decision. Breathe. Each breath, each passing second that moves by scares me. It becomes harder to breathe. I know I can’t talk. I continue to use the cars to hold me up, leaving a trail of blood behind me. Shit. What the hell happened? I try to think again but nothing comes.

I toss my 9mm in a trashcan and somehow make it to the elevator. I think I just passed out again. No one else is there and I’m glad. I stare at the numbers above the door like they are going to tell me something. Maybe I can make it to my car. Maybe I can… I fall to the floor of the elevator and can’t move. I see the numbers flashing and try to stay awake as I go down.

8. 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1.

Everything goes dark.

Flashing red lights are followed by a bright light blinds me. A light brighter than any light I’ve ever seen. Then I see the most beautiful blue eyes staring down at me.

Jim Woods is a bestselling author, freelance writer, and writing coach. Join the Hit List for more crime stories by clicking here.

The Partnered Pen

MPP friends writing about life, love, and everything else in between together.

Jim Woods

Written by

Jim Woods

Published over 600 articles across 25+ publications. Top Writer. I'm an author, freelance writer, editor, and writing coach. Contact me

The Partnered Pen

MPP friends writing about life, love, and everything else in between together.

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