Edith Cavell
The silence before the killing became the most fascinating part of assassination. Sliding the round into the chamber became, in some way, akin to sliding pawns around a chess board. The slow progression of the pieces, minute, interlocking elements of his larger strategy, building to the inevitable release with the squeezing of the trigger, snapping the jaws of the trap with the slap of the bullet, seeing it tumbling through the rapidly emptying skull of his target. So satisfying, the sound of splattering brain matter, the cascade of arterial blood: a haematoid Jackson Pollack. So inevitable, the clean up, the artistry of murder.
But something felt different this time. This time, as he let his greedy eyes gorge on the evolving scene through his scope, when he took in her gaze it seemed to pierce his mind through the scope and she almost seemed to peer directly into his vacuous interior. This ultimately caused his hesitation. He pondered his very meaning in that moment. She seemed to be cornering him into a complete re-evaluation of his ethics.
And that re-evaluation was deep, like peering through layers of water moving through a stream, pulling the silt, touching it, dragging into patterns that sometimes clouded, sometimes cleared. It masked something at the bottom, something that glittered, ephemeral. Was it his soul?
He couldn't help it. Automatically his warms hands split the cool spring waters, searching through the grit and gravel, birthing new clouds of sandy particles. The cold numbed his hands, paralysed his sense, but there it was, still, within the waters, smooth, rounded, chamfered, culminating in a pointed tip, pointed and precise, like his soul, his meaning, and of course, his purpose.
As automatically as his self-evaluating motion grabbing for his bullet-shaped essence, he chambered the round, aimed and forever destroyed her piercing questioning to make her his newest masterpiece.

Carlos the Jackal, Venezuelan terrorist and murderer, was born today in 1949.

Edith Cavell, British nurse, who saves the lives of over 200 soldier during World War I, was executed on this day in 1915.

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