15 October 2016

The Hunting Wolf - Chapter 3

Chapter 3 

Wolf woke up with a start. He still had dreams of the bombings and killings at times. No matter how many times one had pulled the trigger, it was always mentally taxing on the mind. Every shot taken was more money in the bank but also more blood on his hands. Wolf  got dressed and finished his morning routine off with a black coffee and buttered toast. It was the early hours on a clear cold September morning. The early-risers were dressed in their typical fall clothing, heading out to work. 

Wolf stepped out wearing a grey tracksuit and a beanie to cover his ears. He breathed in the chill air and felt his lungs fill up giving him a refreshing feeling. He started to jog down the side of the road making his way to the central park. He ran a few laps around the park until he felt out of breath and stopped at a large open space where a group of old Asian ladies in track suits were doing Tai Chi. Wolf watched them calmly and began to stretch himself. A few moments later he was off again this time heading towards the subway station and got on the train going towards the Expo. The train was relatively empty at this time in the morning with the majority of the commuters going the other way towards the business district. Wolf got off at the station and went up to ground level. The exit led to an empty carpark with the Expo building about a few hundred metres away. The building seemed abandoned except for the security and maintenance personnel moving within. Wolf turned away from the carpark and saw apartment buildings west of the Expo. He pulled his hood over his head and began jogging towards them. 

He came to an old building painted reddish-brown with cracks running through the cement structure. He walked up to the front door and to his delight there was no security system installed - no key car, nothing required to get in. He opened the door and came to a carpeted landing with post boxes that covered the walls with all the apartment numbers inscribed on them. That would explain the lack of a security system; since the post boxes were inside the building itself, the postman would need to have free access in and out. To his left was a staircase and to the right was a lift door. Wolf walked up to the lift door and pressed the button. Wolf grew slightly impatient as the old lift took ages to come down from the 11th floor. An old lady had now joined him in waiting for the lift to come down. 

The lift doors finally opened and Wolf held the door open and gestured to the old lady to enter first with a seemingly genuine smile. The old lady went in and Wolf followed. She reached up from her hunched back to press the number 6 and smiled at Wolf. Wolf smiled back and pressed the largest number on the panel - 11. Wolf got out at the 11th floor and was greeted by the scream of a cat startled by his footstep on the carpeted floor. Wolf turned towards the only natural light that came from corridor. He walked towards the open window along the corridor slowly and quietly. He heard a the clang of a metal pan followed by the crash of ceramic. Wolf checked to make sure he was not being watched as he looked around for a staircase that could give him access to the roof but to his dismay there was none.

He came to the window and grabbed the ledge tightly while he poked his head out. He squinted under the shining sun high up in the sky and looked up towards the roof. The window head jutted out slightly and the ledge of the room seemed to be just over a foot in height from there. Wolf carefully put his feet up on the window sill while grabbing the head of the window with one hand. His feet now fully on the sill, he turned around to face back into the building. He breathed in deeply and out through his mouth. With a quick movement, Wolf grabbed the ledge and pulled himself up to the roof. The roof was completely flat and barren; the cement discoloured by the weather and the elements. Wolf turned to face the Expo in the distance. 

He lay down on the hot cemented roof on his front while facing the Expo. The glass panels of the building glinted in the sunlight. This would be a problem which meant he could only take the shot at noon with the sun directly above him so that the reflections of the glass panels in the building did not affect the shot. He unzipped his trouser pocket and pulled out a small black spy glass. He looked down the spy glass at the Expo building and slowly adjusted the sight until he could clearly see the inside. His breathing became slower and quieter as a guard walked past the place he was staring at. Wolf knew. He looked around the surrounding buildings before getting back down the and into the window. 

He made his way back to the subway and headed home. On the walk back to his apartment, Wolf's phone rang in his trouser pocket. He pulled it out and answered. 

"There were deposits in some of your accounts this morning. Just wanted to let you know..." a female voice said. 

"Thanks Leah" Wolf replied. 

"Wolf... You sure about this yeah?" Leah asked hesitantly. 

Wolf sighed. "Yes... just stick to what I told you. It'll be fine" said Wolf as he cut the call. 

Wolf unlocked the apartment door and took off his tracksuit jacket. He undressed everything but his trousers and opened his closet. He knelt down and felt around the bottom of the wooden closet until his fingers came to a notch. He pulled the bottom board of the closet which revealed a secret compartment with a rectangular black suitcase within. He pulled the suitcase out and walked back to the living room. He switched on the TV and unlocked the suitcase. The black metal glinted under the light. 

"President Damian is set to make history with the signing of the treaty of solidarity. The first such President to sign such a treaty with any country says it is a step forward for all the countries involved as it seeks to ignore each one's differences and stand together against a common threat." the lady news reporter read out.

Wolf pulled out the barrel from the foam cushioning and the cloth that was within the case. He looked at the barrel and studied it carefully and began to wipe it with the cloth deliberately.

"The leaders of 10 countries will be meeting at the Summit to discuss strategies and to sign the treaty which will be held in a week's time at the Expo." 

Wolf stared at the screen and continued wiping...

8 October 2016

The Hunting Wolf - Chapter 2

Chapter 2

The rain poured down from the dark gloomy sky. A jet black sedan too posh to be in the suburbs pulled into the narrow and lonely alleyway. The driver got out with an umbrella held in his hand, hurried round to the passenger side and opened the door. Todd Cassidy stepped out onto the cold wet gravel road and buttoned his suit. He walked to a rusted metal door decorated with graffiti under the umbrella held by the driver. The sound of a latch being slid came from the other side of the door and the door opened with its hinges creaking. Todd walked in and turned around to face the driver.

“Come back in 2 hours’ time. Your son was sick and I gave you permission to visit and that’s what you were doing”. The driver nodded and went back to the car.

The corridor was dimly lit with writings scrawled all over the wall. A man dressed in a black suit shut the metal door close and bolted it as Todd walked down the corridor. At the end of the corridor to the right was a cemented staircase with cracks running all over it. Todd went up two floors. The smell of boiled cabbage and alcohol seemed to burn the hairs in his nostrils. Todd came to a carpeted floor which had lost its colour and looked dull – stains blotted parts of it. He looked at it in disgust as he walked on down to a door being guarded by another man dressed similar to the one guarding the door on the ground floor. The man nodded and opened the door for Todd.

He was greeted by the strong smell of cigar and a cloud of smoke. The room was rather small with just a small round table with two wooden chairs and a couch with a side table with a lone file on it. The table was set up near the French windows which were open to let the smoke out of the room. A cheaply framed painting of the civil war hung above the tiny fireplace with charcoal and ashes from a fire that died long ago. Major Dima was sat on one of the wooden chairs facing the window and puffed out smoke rings from his cigar. Commissioner Guillam was admiring the painting of the civil war while the Central Bank Governor Chamberlain sat across Dima at the table.

Dima turned around as the door shut behind Cassidy. “About time…” said Dima as he got up from his chair and walked over to the window. The other two men looked at Todd and greeted him with a nod.

“Gentlemen, apologies for the tardiness. Our guest should be arriving shortly; before that I would like to discuss a few things. By now it has been established that all four of us in this room will be the successors, granted everything goes as planned. Each of you will retain your positions in your respective fields with greater power and reward of course. This operation stays within the 4 of us and our guest. I hope that is clear.” Todd explained to the men who agreed with a nod. A long silence followed.

Major Dima took a long drag from his cigar and spoke “Say it all goes to hell… what then?”.
“I have the same question…” the Commissioner intervened with concern.

“Let’s not pretend here shall we? All of us here have something to gain from this. We are all motivated by our own gain ultimately. I have a gun pointed to each of your heads and so do each of you. If it does go to hell, then it’s every man for himself. The plan never happened and we continue on. If anyone plans on ratting out anyone then you know what is coming for you.” Cassidy replied sternly.

There was a knock on the door; the four men looked at the door. “That would be him.” Cassidy announced. Chamberlain got up and went over to the empty couch. The door was opened by the guard outside with one hand on the door knob and the other pressed against his hip holster. A tall man with wide shoulders walked in behind the guard. The wooden floor creaked under his powerful footsteps. He was wearing a khaki trench coat with a fedora which cast a shadow over his bearded face. 
“Ah Mr. Wolf! We have been expecting you!” exclaimed Todd as he walked over and gave him a firm handshake. The guard went back out and closed the door behind him. Wolf looked over the room and the other 3 men without saying a word.

“Please have a seat.” Todd offered the chair left vacant by Chamberlain. Wolf unbuttoned his trench coat and removed his hat which revealed a line running across from his left eyebrow down to his cheek. He walked over and took his seat. Major Dima turned his chair to face the room while putting out his cigar in the ash tray on the table. 

“Commissioner, if you would. Please” Todd gestured to Guillam who walked over to the side table and handed Todd the file which was on it. Todd opened it and laid it out in front of Wolf. His eyes seemed to deceive him as he stared at the picture laid out in front of him. He was astonished at the man these people wanted him to kill. Wolf quickly regained his composure before anyone in the room could see it and looked up at Cassidy.

“I’m sure you recognize the man.” Todd said to a calm Wolf.

“Of course…”

“Do we have a problem?” asked Dima with a scowl on his face trying to measure up Wolf.

“I’m not motivated politically nor patriotically. A high profile target, all I’m expecting is a high monetary reward. I do have some concerns however…” replied Wolf steel-faced.

“He will be at the Summit in two weeks’ time. They’re signing the treaty of solidarity at the Expo. We reckon that’s when it needs to be done.” Todd explained

 “Security will be taken care of by the Commissioner. He will make the necessary arrangements to cause a fault in the security surveillance system. The west wing of the Expo Hall has a wide glass exterior. I’ll leave you to pick the place and so on. Anything you need you go through me.” Todd now had a more assertive tone.

Wolf nodded “The money...?” he questioned.

Todd gestured to Chamberlain who spoke “Half of it before and half after the job is done, as agreed. The money should be there within the week through multiple deposits to your 
offshore accounts. The final pay will be at a safe deposit box at the bank of your choice.”

“Fair enough. If that is all; I shall be leaving now.” said Wolf as he stood up and grabbed the file. 

“Everything else you might need is in the file. You understand the gravity of the task set before you. It needs to be clean.” Todd reiterated.

“I understand” Wolf replied as he folded the file and tucked it away in his trench coat before buttoning it. He shook the hand of each of the men and knocked on the door. The door opened and Wolf proceeded out while wearing his fedora making sure it tilted slightly downwards to cover his face ever so slightly.

Major Dima got up and buttoned his army jacket. “I better get going. Long drive back”

“Very well then gentlemen. I expect your absolute co-ordination in the next few days. Chamberlain I trust you to make the payments as necessary. Commissioner and Major, the security detail and surveillance teams you will personally oversee and make the necessary adjustments. We will take this country by the throat and make it ours!” exclaimed Todd.

Outside, the rain had thinned to a slight drizzle as the clouds started to part leaving a massive hole in the sky. Pedestrians walked the streets with umbrellas of all colours and sizes. Wolf put up his collars to cover his neck from the cold. He passed his fingers over the coat where the file was tucked away and began walking along with the flow of pedestrians. He pulled out his flip phone from his upper coat pocket and dialed a number. 
“Wolf?” the voice of a woman answered the phone. Wolf had walked to a bridge that ran across the river. The water glimmered under the sun. The streets were now packed with people rushing to wherever they had to go.

“I need you to do something for me…” Wolf spoke into the phone as he blended into the crowd.

In the narrow alleyway, a jet black sedan pulled up as the rusted metal door swung open. 

30 September 2016

The Hunting Wolf - Chapter 1

Chapter 1

The crowds’ three syllable chants grew louder. Pickets, banners and posters stuck out from a sea of heads with the words “CHANGE!” painted on them in red and black. The protesters occupied the entire width of the road leading up to the State House. Lights flashed from the cameras of reporters on either side of the road with each reporter describing the current state of the event; creating a chaos of words that blended in with the chanting of “We want change!”. The white-washed walls of the State House seemed to tremble from the voices of the protesters. Within his office, President Damian sat brooding with his fingers crossed and elbows on the table; listening to the crowd. His greying hair was neatly combed to one side parted on the left. His pale, square-jawed face lacked emotion and the wide broad-shoulder body lacked any evidence of a soul. He slowly closed his eyes and seemed to shake himself loose of a great weight from his shoulder and reached over to the telephone beside him. “Get Todd to come in.” he ordered before cutting the call.

The door knob clicked and the door opened. A bald man dressed in a fitting grey suit walked in, his mannerism suggesting a soldier within the shell of a politician. “Mr. President” he acknowledged. “Shhh…” said the President “Listen!”. Both of them listened to the protesters. “I want this gone! The whole country seems to be against me; we need to change something… something radical. We’re less than 10 months from the next election. And I’m not planning on giving up this seat. You and I both know I’m going to run again and we need to win. I need loyalty and that seems like a short supply in this office nowadays…” Damian broke off and was engrossed in deep thought. 

“I’ll begin putting together a list of people we can sway, sir. Skeletons in the closet and what not.” replied Todd.

“That alone won’t do, in order to win the election, we need to win within the House and the voters’ approval…” Damian thought for a few moments in silence as Todd waited.

“Sir, I need not state my loyalty to you. All these years since you’ve been Mayor, I’ve never wavered. You’ve considered me your own son. I serve you and you alone” replied Todd in confidence.

“Oh I have full confidence in you Todd. It’s the rest I am worried about…” Damian was interrupted by the ringing of the phone.

“Mr. President sir, Major Dima is here and he says it’s urgent” said an electronic voice. 

“Send him in” 

A large-framed man walked in with his peak cap held in his left arm. His khaki suit was decorated with multiple coloured bars, medals and pins. His face was square with fat creeping around it due to old age with a scar near the end of his right eyebrow, the silvery hair on his head was cut neatly and swept back. Todd and Dima silently exchanged looks before Dima addressed the President.

“Sir, I need to brief you on the situation in Aleppo. The rest of the staff have already assembled in the Control Room”.

The President got up without saying a word to Todd. The men proceeded out of the room and moved through a corridor lined with paintings that illustrated the country’s history and culture. The elevator was already waiting for them when they arrived, the men got in and went down two floors. The protesters’ voices seemed non-existent now, in the basement. The corridor was darker even though it was well-lit, a heavy silence blanketed the entire floor. The men entered the room on their immediate right; Todd opened the door for both the President and Dima. The staff in the room all stood up as a show of respect to the President. “Please, sit down” said Damian as he took his seat at the head of the large oval table. In front of him was a screen with the satellite image of a map projected on to it.

Outside the State House, the crowd grew larger and angrier. The sidewalks were now scattered with people, young and old taking a break from the constant chanting and standing on their feet. The police riot squad stood lined up with their shields behind the invisible barrier between them and crowd. Men with kerchiefs tied to cover their faces from the nose downwards emerged from behind the protesters. A total of 5 men dressed in similar fashion with a brown beer bottle in each of their hands stood silent among the crowd. They exchanged a look between them and nodded. The cloth at the mouth of the bottles were lit. 

The sound of glass breaking and a loud eruption of flames startled the crowd as screaming and shouting ensued. The policemen began pushing forward with their line while being pelted with stones and pickets and glass. The younger men were now lighting firecrackers to startle the policemen and hurling it onto their shields, ducking for cover in between throws. The older and weaker protesters tried to flee the scene of chaos as they were caught in the cross fire. The loud flash bang from a smoke grenade echoed throughout the avenue as smoke filled the atmosphere and blanketed the air. People coughed and tears streamed down from the faces of those who breathed in the smoke.

 Men and women shouting the names of their loved ones in a desperate attempt to find each other. A lone riot policeman was caught by a gang of five young men as they forced his helmet off his head and began beating him with sticks and pelting him with stones. More policemen were dragged away from their formations as the crowd surrounded them from all sides. When they ran out of sticks and stones to throw, they resorted to punches and kicks. Dust covered the streets as blood trickled down into the metal-grilled drains on the sides of the road.  A child stood in the middle of the chaos covered in blood, crying and in shock. A bald man sat atop an officer with his helmet off grabbed the policeman’s baton and began to beat the man’s face as he screamed in pain; over and over again. For a moment, the attackers’ faces seemed to contort into something not entirely human. The avenue became a jungle and the men became animals where the law was to kill or be killed.

Back inside the State House, an assistant knocked on the door to the Control Room and whispered a few words to the General who had opened the door. He turned around and interrupted Major Dima who was pointing to a place on the map. “I’m sorry to interrupt sir but the situation outside has escalated.”

Re-enforcement arrived in large police trucks; the police now outnumbered the protesters. The crowds began to scatter retreating into the narrow and winding alleyways. Men in blue and black chasing civilians. The loud wailing of the ambulance sirens filled the avenue. The smoke had now cleared and bodies lay scattered on the road. Paramedics began attending to the bodies that still twitched. A lone flag stood fluttering in the wind on the side of the road; shredded and covered in blood. The wind picked up ever so slightly and the flag fell to the ground with a sound that seemed to echo for miles around...

14 July 2016

The Sailor

Dedicated to Vignesh - "Be good to yourself because the whole world will try to put you down" 

How long has it been? I would ask myself; every day of every week for every month that passed.
124 days it had been since I stepped off land and went to sea. And 1 day it had been since I started feeling this way. Lost at sea, not in body but in mind. The world seemed to shrink and crumble down. All that I thought I knew to be true, now, no longer were. All that I believed would happen were now lost and never ever to be found. Along came the 5 stages of Grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Living in denial for weeks - months. The quickness of how it all happened, like a quick stab to the heart - one would not even know until he started bleeding. It left me in disbelief - that all that was happening around me and to me were real. Every day would become a struggle; mentally, physically and emotionally. Draining me of all my energy. Pain would become a friend through the course of this period. The only thing that gave me comfort.

Waking up at 7 am to start the day and working till around 8 pm. The jobs that were more laborious in terms of physical strength would become a favourite because of the physical pain involved. Holding the jet chisel, chipping away rust till your arms were numb or fixing things with your bare hands until something pricked you and cut you. The more cuts and bruises you had the better, And when all of that ended, I would go back to my cabin. The tiny cabin in which you were free to do whatever you wanted - to yourself...
Days with bad weather were welcomed with happiness because it makes you feel absolutely horrible. Constant churning of your innards, dizziness, nausea, lack of appetite. I have now come to accept that I'm a horrible person for doing the things I've done. Intrinsically a bad person who just can't stop fucking things up. It was hard to try and act normal through it all. You could not show that something was wrong to others, they would be concerned and would start asking questions - did not want that. Practiced smiling and laughing in the mirror. Short smile, wide smile, giggle, laughter each suited to various situations. That is how you got through.

You also lose faith in this period. That if there were really a God out there then would he not do something about this? Why would he let a person go through it? Why would he do it to you? Why has he not done something to stop it. God is not real. If he is, he does not care about you and you have no right to be mad at him because you brought this upon yourself. You do not deserve mercy. You do not deserve compassion. You do not deserve happiness.You are the scum of the earth. You do not deserve to be respected as a human being.

Found a rusted cutter while cleaning out a drawer, hid it in my pocket till the day ended. Went back to my cabin that night, stripped myself of all clothes. Stared at my naked body in the mirror; that face that had done so many wrongs. Made small tiny cuts near the left wrist, then the right wrist. Working my way up the forearms - criss-crossing the lines as they went up. Deeper and deeper. This became a routine for every day of every week for 8 months. Having worked all the way up to my shoulders with the cuts and since they had not yet healed; I moved on to my torso and chest. The more the days went by the deeper the cuts became. The more I practiced smiling in the mirror...
I have sneaked out to the deck after work hours during sunset so it is relatively dark so people will not see and stood on the railings; wanting to jump, the hypothermia would get to me within minutes. It would have been a wonderful way to go - nobody would have realized until the next morning. I have screamed into pillows and when that was not enough I have gone down to the engine room with the engine roaring while the engineers slept and screamed and screamed till my lungs gave out and my throat felt like it was going to rip apart.

Somewhere in between, I re-learnt how to splice rope. Had a small 2 foot long rope now in my possession. I have lost track of how many times I have contemplated suicide. I have not done it because of friends and family who still cared. They do not deserve that - to go through something like that. I could be selfish like I have always been or live and possibly make them happy in the future. I no longer cared for myself. So suicide was out of the question but pain and suffering and punishment was not. New year's eve came around and I sat in the dark making a resolution; to die.  Not a quick death but a slow painful, suffering one. I would wrap the rope around my neck and pull on it. Pull on it till it strangled me. Eyes would go red, face would swell up from all the blood unable to flow back to the heart. Breathing becomes heavy, veins pop up and you feel a burning sensation neck up. Pull and hold it till your vision gets blurry near the edges and breathing becomes shallow - till your face is twisted into something unrecognizable then let go of the rope. Catch your breath, let the swelling go down. Repeat.

This was Depression...

I'm very thankful for all the people in my life who have stayed with me and put up with all that I put them through during this period. Thank you very much for everything. If you're reading this and you relate to it; just know that it gets better. It really does. Because you're stronger than you think you are right now. You're more capable in getting through this, I believe in you. No matter how hopeless it seems. Just know that there will always be people to help you back up, who care about you and for you. Take on the entire world.

9 July 2016

The Hunting Wolf - Prologue

The whistling wind blew the snow that had settled on the ground covering pavements and roads from the previous night. It was six o’clock on a cold January morning. The town was still asleep; the streets were quiet with the occasional pedestrian strolling by. There were not many shops this side of the town so the vendors took their time to set up. Somewhere to the east side a dog barked, another responded by howling. On the west side of town stood a white building that was higher as compared to the rest of the buildings surrounding it. Hotel Dumont, a place usually occupied by the people visiting the city on business. There seemed to be activity in the third room on the fifth floor of the hotel. No other room was awake at this hour.
                            The translucent curtains that lined the glass doors to the balcony showed a male in a grey suit pacing up and down in the room, telephone receiver pressed to his ear and gesturing in frustration while holding the base. It did not matter who he was or what he knew. What he did not know however was the fact that he would be dead in a few minutes. Three hundred yards away from the cluster of small buildings, high up in an old bell tower on the cathedral Wolf knelt down beside his brown rectangular case. Rolling the dials to the correct combination on the case with thick gloves on was always difficult; a few tries later the lock clicked open. He decided to keep the gloves on so his fingers would not freeze up later. A cloud of white vapour blew out from his mouth as Wolf exhaled, opening the top of the case revealing an M91 sniper rifle along with various metal fittings.

                            He lifted the rifle from its case and set it on the ledge of the tower and reached for the scope. Hitting targets three hundred yards away was no big deal but the winds today might affect the trajectory. Wolf reached back in to the case and pulled out three bullets; he would not need more than one today but it is always good to have a few extras, just in case. He loaded the three rounds and locked in the bolt. Mounting the scope into place, he crouched down till his right eye was in line with the scope. He exhaled through his nostrils this time making sure it was away from the scope so as to not blur it with fog. Now, Wolf had to wait till he got a clear shot. That however, could take anywhere from minutes to maybe even an hour but Wolf knew that the target had to leave the hotel at 0700 hours so he had an hour’s window to finish the job.
                           No names, no other information; all he knew was how they looked and when and where to find them. The rest did not matter. Being a mercenary, holding any other information would make him a liability to his clientele. The man in the suit seemed to have finished his unpleasant conversation on the telephone. He slammed the receiver and walked further back into the room. The curtains weren’t so transparent enough to show what he was doing inside. Wolf was now only looking through the scope and kept his breathing low.

He slipped off his right hand glove. He opened and closed his hand a couple times to keep blood circulating and placed his index near the trigger. A figure emerged from among the curtains of room 3. The curtains parted and the glass doors slid to either side. The man in the grey suit came outside with one hand patting down his coat and the other holding a pack of cigarettes. He had a look of confusion and anger, mumbling something under his breath. The target as informed was a middle-aged white male with greying hair, sharp features and clean shaven. The man pulled out a stick hastily and put it between his lips. His other hand had found the lighter he had been looking for. He lit the cigarette and leaned over the balcony, looking out into the town. Wolf could take the shot now but there would be a possibility of him falling over the ledge and into the streets below, which would cause a mess and more importantly would raise an alarm. The job had to be clean; as always. Wolf waited as his heart beats got heavier.

                                     The man was about to finish his cigarette, he took one last long breath in as he straightened up. He lifted his index and thumb to grab the cigarette butt from between his lips. Wolf placed his index finger directly on the trigger. The man removed the cigarette from his mouth. The crosshair on the scope was now dead centre on his forehead. Smoke filled the air around the man as he exhaled his last breath. The trigger clicked. A sharp piercing noise followed as the bullet zoomed through the air past the buildings. Wolf did not lift his eyes from the scope, he had to make sure the man was really dead and that the job was clean. The man’s eyes floated upwards as if to look at where he had been shot. His fingers released the cigarette butt and it fell on the ledge. There was now a red dot about two centimetres from the centre of the forehead from which blood trickled down. Wolf smirked; could have been a better shot. The curtains behind him had not moved nor had the glass doors shattered, implying that the bullet had not exited the skull. The body fell as the cigarette butt rolled off the ledge and was carried down by the wind…