I sat down in front of the piano which was hard enough. I could feel my joints grind as I eased myself on the small stool and my lower back felt so very stiff. Still, the worst part was the actual playing. I still had my eyes so reading the sheets were no problem, finding the keys was no problem, but playing the notes was a mountain I could not scale.
I shook like a leaf making every key I did play wobble with uncertainty; it was a sound so cruel to my ears. I massaged my hands and squeezed them till I felt I twinge of pain. There wasn’t much else I could do; I am not a professional. Once more I tried to play a simple tune. I tried slowly, then I tried going faster and faster. Still, the only sound I produced was a disturbing trembling sound.
Eventually I could take no more of my noise and I clenched my hands angrily towards the piano. Calming myself down, I pushed myself off the seat with a grunt and marched off to the kitchen. Within moments I was pulling a cork out of a wine bottle and pouring it into a large wine glass. It was large to make it easier for me, but still, it was painful to watch the way the head of the bottle bob while the wine splashed inside the glass.
I drank it slowly, savoring the taste and looking around the room. The kitchen was modern and expensive. I had a fairly large bank account; it was why I could afford such a place as well as the seclusion of the plot. I was glad money was the least of my worries; I was too old to find a job.
Once I had calmed down enough I decided to tackle something a little less complicated. I wanted to cook myself a meal, a quality meal with many difficult and delicate steps. It was a great challenge, but a lot easier than playing the piano. I puttered around the kitchen gathering ingredients as I read them from the recipe book. Once they were all displayed neatly in front of me I prepared myself mentally.
I knew my way around I knife easy enough, so I chopped carrots, onions and garlic easy enough. The meat wasn’t tender, but I would fix it in a moment with a few sure blows from a wooden mallet. I worked calmly and logically as I went, but soon find myself encountering more difficulties. I tried stirring a mixture in a pot, but I sometimes stirred it too well and the hot water began to splash and lash at my skin. I was beginning to feel a familiar frustration and soon I was backing away from the stove and ingredients to collect myself once more.
Still, by the end of the session I was sitting at my table and eating a finished meal. There were small moments in the meal that made me question what I was eating, but I soon realized it was a raw piece of vegetable or meat. Despite this I allowed myself a small sense of pride and stretched. I felt the slightly painful popping in my bug, but I soon groaned with joy when I felt the oxygen flow through me a little faster. It was a small high of a moment and I decided I would want my night to end on that.
Climbing to my feet I began the routine of circling the house and closing and locking what needed to be. Once the windows were shut and doors were locked I checked my watch. There were three lights on it and unfortunately, one was not lit.
“Hmm, well…” I murmured softly. I rubbed my eyes and did a few more basic stretches to get me a little more flexible before tackling the stairs. “It never fails me…always when I settle in as well…”
As I ascended the stairs softly I could practically feel the movement above me. Carefully I backed up and as I did I narrowly avoided the two bullets that sailed past my nose and hitting the off-white wall. I continued my backpedalling, reaching behind my back and feeling for the knife I was using earlier. Their movement quickened, so mine did as well.
Within a brief moment I saw a hand and a leg as one climbed down the steps. The fool thought since I was so old he could get down the stairs without checking properly. I gripped the side of the blade and with swing the knife flew through the air sinking itself into the assassin’s leg. He crumpled immediately, falling down the stairs into a tumble. It was my chance.
I moved forward, but not as fast as I hoped. I coughed painfully, but continued my assault as the trained soldier got to his feet and pulled the knife from his leg. It was painful to watch, but more painful for him. I reached him before he had time to grab his gun, so he used the knife as his weapon. It was a death sentence being so close to him, I would not get away without a scratch, so I had to end the fight now.
I dodged the slashes where I could, but he was going to stick me eventually, so I had to make sure it was on my own terms. I did not have the speed to catch him off guard without leaving myself wide open for a fatal attack. Finally, a strike did come from him and I raised my forearm, feeling the blade run across it, releasing warm blood from my skin. However, it made clutching his wrist with my left hand easy and violently striking his throat even easier.
Once more the assassin crumpled, his had releasing the blade in order for him to clutch at his collapsing throat. It was a terrible way to go, so I plucked up his fun and finished the job. I looked at the dying man and then at my watch. The two remaining lights went dark as I did. Another set of fools would come and I would deal with them in a similar fashion.
I raised my hands and stared at them strangely. My hands did not shake, despite the blood and aggression. I was wonderfully calm and felt surer of myself than I did at the piano. These old hands were made for one thing and it was time to put them to work.