I don’t wish for us to cross paths, but if you continue, our meeting is imminent.
Before she left the house, Khailani found the note stuck between the two panes of the window. Annice didn’t know nor needed to know about it. The captain anticipated the consequences of partaking in today’s mission. Any more notes hinting to Khailani’s fated encounter with the White Rabbit altered no plans. Despite the recent attack at the warehouse, the team intended to rendezvous there.
Annice and Khailani were wary. Talia promised the attackers wouldn’t return, but Dean’s bright smile and assurance that he’d run if he sensed anything wrong whilst waiting for the delivery truck was what placed them at ease.
Khailani quietly hoped Annice called off the raid even as she took her position in an empty office room several blocks from the targeted drug gang. She removed the crumpled threat letter from her back pocket and studied it.
The letter was handwritten. No “white rabbit” moniker at the end of the message. Compared to the others on white printer paper, this one was torn from the page of a celebrity magazine. The letters were traced over multiple times to stand out from the printed text.
Talk about tacky.
With a defiant yell, she shredded the paper and allowed the little bits to fall to the concrete floor or drift lazily out the open window.
White Rabbit was in some forensics room or morgue. He was dead. That’s what she concluded early this morning.
She scoped out possible targets to aid in Talia’s mission when she spotted him. Her bravado shattered.
No. It’s fine. The masked man was guarding the entrance. He only happened to be wearing a white rabbit mask.
Oh God. He looked at her. He stared at her. How did he spot her from that far away?
Khailani knew better than ignore her gut instinct. Breathing out to relax her trembling hands, she took aim.
“You’d be killing the wrong guy if you pull the trigger,” a gruff yet familiar voice said behind her.
She spun around and took the shot at the masked man.
He deftly avoided the bullet.
Exchanging the rifle for the hand gun, she fired.
He shot. The bullet nicked her shoulder, and she dropped her gun.
“If you need to kill someone…” Pocketing his revolver and kicking away her handgun, White Rabbit picked up her discarded rifle. “…Make sure you have the right mark.”
As she held her shoulder, he fired three shots.
He didn’t wait for the dust to settle before telling her, “This is a nice rifle. A little heavy, but it’s solidly built. The color on it is pretty, and it’s not even painted.”
Who knew White Rabbit had a fascination with gun aesthetics? Too scared to breathe, Khailani watched him remove the clip. He was smaller than she remembered or maybe it was the clothes that were too big?
“Interesting. It’s like Russian roulette with the bullets. Don’t know which one you get unless you fire.” He popped the clip back in and held the gun out towards her. “I won’t ask where you got it, but you might as well return it. You won’t need it anymore.”
Unsure if the man was going to end her, she watched for any aggressive movement. The intensity of his gaze sent shivers down her spine. Her heart raced. He didn’t move until she reclaimed the rifle. He was so still like the world was on pause.
“Unluckily for me, they don’t accept returns,” she whispered, afraid to speak any louder. “How are you certain I won’t use it again?”
She stiffened when he aimed the revolver at her once more. The hostility rolling off him was near palatable.
He hissed, “Razor city doesn’t need a vigilante group, and I have a monopoly over the hitman jobs. If someone needs a person dead, they go through me.”
“And what if someone wants you dead?”
“Then they acquire permission from Boss.”
Khailani noticed he smiled behind the mask from the way it lifted and how his eyes twinkled in the darkness. White Rabbit lowered his weapon.
“This is your final warning. You have a fire that burns for justice, but this isn’t the way. Walk away from all this.”
“And if I don’t stop?”
White Rabbit laughed. “For a person whose life was spared, you have a lot of hypotheticals.”
“I like to consider all my options,” Khailani retorted. She failed to read this man. Annoyed? Playful? Professional? Cold-hearted?
White Rabbit brushed a finger across the trigger. “I’ll be in your shadow, and you’ll be out like a light. Now excuse me. I have to clean up a few things before I head home.”
He walked forwards to the open window and jumped. With a gasp, she lifted herself up against the window sill. They were seventeen stories up!
White Rabbit dropped into a roll when he hit the roof of the adjoining building and continued his sprint. With another leap, he was out of view.
Khailani waited a few moments expecting him to pop up on the street. He didn’t reappear again.
Checking her shoulder for blood, Khailani noted that there wasn’t much and picked up the sniper rifle. She aimed it towards the factory to unearth the chaos White Rabbit created.
© 2021: Operation: UGAWTS || The Cat in Rabbit's Fur || Short Story ||