The Killer



A short comedy about being assassinated. 8 min read.

A man walks into his apartment to find another man sitting in his armchair, holding a gun.

KILLER: I’ve been waiting for you.

The man says nothing.

KILLER: I’ve been really, really waiting for you. Seriously. Where have you been?

MAN: What?

KILLER: Where have you been? I’ve been waiting for hours. Your routine is: you finish work at five, you walk to the bus stop, three minutes, you take the number six bus, a seventeen-minute ride, then a five-minute walk and you’re home at twenty-five minutes past five, give or take a few minutes. It’s past nine o’clock. I’ve been waiting over four hours. Where the hell have you been?

MAN: Uh, it was Janine’s birthday.


MAN: Uh . . . Janine . . . somebody I work with. It was her birthday, so we all went out for drinks.

KILLER: Jesus, don’t talk to me about drinks. Four hours I’ve been sitting here waiting for you to come home. I’ve missed my son’s bedtime. I’m starving. And most of all, I really, really need to pee.

MAN: I’m sorry.

KILLER: Sorry? Sorry doesn’t empty my bladder.

MAN: Why didn’t you pee before I came home?

KILLER: Christ, you know nothing about the assassin trade, do you?

The man looks at him blankly, then shakes his head.

KILLER: What if you came home while I was in the bathroom? What would I do then? You can’t just stop mid-stream, you know. Have you ever tried it? It’s really bad for your health. So no, I couldn’t just go pee, because I was expecting you home any minute now for the last four hours. I’ve been sitting here, right here in this chair, with my gun pointed at the door, bored out of my skull, by the way, just sitting here feeling my bladder growing and growing. And now here you are.

MAN: You could go now.

KILLER: And what are you going to do while I’m peeing? It’s been five hours since I last emptied my bladder, so that means probably at least two minutes of non-stop peeing. Are you going to just stand there patiently while I do that? I don’t think so.

MAN: You could pee after you kill me.

KILLER: Now that makes more sense, but I still can’t. You see, I don’t have a silencer and the moment I shoot you, your neighbors are going to call the cops, and I have to run out of here.

MAN: Why don’t you have a silencer?

KILLER: It’s been a difficult month. Money’s a bit tight right now. I couldn’t afford one.

MAN: I thought you guys got paid a fortune for killing people.

KILLER: Here we go. Yeah, you all think we’re super-rich, that we live the jet-setting lifestyle, going around popping off celebrities and politicians. Sure, there are some like that, your Carlos The Jackal types, the one percenters, but the rest of us . . . we’re just trying to scrape out a living like everybody else. I’ve got a son and I’m trying to raise him right, you know, which means I can’t be working all the time. I’ve got to save time for him. I don’t want to be an absent father.

MAN: But still, a silencer. Isn’t that, like, a basic requirement for an assassin?

KILLER: Now you’re an assassin expert, huh? I’ve got a lot of expenses. For one thing, I have to burn my outfit after every hit. I go through more outfits than Victoria Beckham. I also can’t use my own car, so I need to hire a car and pay in cash, which means I need a false identity, which costs money. All these things add up.

MAN: What about your wife?

KILLER: My wife?

MAN: Can’t she help out? I mean, financially.

KILLER: You think I tell my wife that this is how I make money? Jesus! No wonder your longest relationship was two months.

MAN: How did you know that?

KILLER: I’m a professional. I do my research. Let me tell you a little something about women. They’re not so keen on guys who murder. Aside from the moral ambiguity of it, it’s not a very stable job, and when you want to raise a family, stability is the most important thing.

MAN: So why don’t you change jobs?

KILLER: It’s not that easy. Come on, you know yourself what it’s like. Unless you’re rich, you live from paycheck to paycheck, and neither of us is rich, are we?

MAN: But if you really wanted to–

KILLER: What about you? You really wanted to travel. When was the last time you went anywhere?

MAN: That’s different. Travel is expensive.

KILLER: But if you really wanted to do it, if it was your dream, you’d find a way to make it happen, right?

The man shrugs.

KILLER: Anyway, none of this is helping my bladder any. Uh, I don’t think I’m going to make it to the car. I definitely can’t run.

MAN: So what are you going to do?

KILLER: I don’t know. I’m hoping that with this hit I can save a bit of money. I want to be a life coach, but the training is expensive.

MAN: I mean about your peeing?

KILLER: Ah, yes. I don’t know. Why couldn’t you have just come back home when you were supposed to? I’d have shot you, gone home, had dinner and read my son a story before bed. Bedtime is one of the most important times for a parent and child, and I’ve missed it because you had to go out for birthday drinks with Jemima.

MAN: Janine. She’s really nice.

KILLER: Oh yeah? Is there more to this story?

MAN: No . . . I mean . . . maybe . . . I don’t know. She’s nice, just. We get along well. And she likes traveling too.

KILLER: Does she have a boyfriend?

MAN: No.

KILLER: So why don’t you ask her out?

MAN: Uh . . . because you’re about to kill me.

KILLER: Oh yeah. Sorry about that. But why didn’t you ask her out before?

MAN: I don’t know. Too scared, I guess. Worried she might say no. I guess it doesn’t matter anymore.

KILLER: You know, it took me months before I had the courage to ask out my wife. And now we have a child together and I’ve never been happier.

MAN: What was it that finally got you to ask her out?

KILLER: I started murdering people. You wouldn’t think it, but murder is a real confidence booster. Plus, seeing all those people begging and crying and confessing all the things they regretted never doing . . . it made me realize that life is fleeting. One day you think your doing just fine, the next some guy’s standing in your apartment like the angel of death, and you realize that you’re never going to get a chance to do all those things you wanted to do. Life is so random, you know?

MAN: Well, it’s not that random. You came specifically for those people. And to be fair, you were the reason they all made that realization.

The killer shrugs his shoulders and nods his head.

KILLER: Okay, seriously, pal, I can’t do this. I can’t pee before I shoot you, and I can’t shoot you and make it to a bathroom without peeing my pants. Can I come back and kill you tomorrow?

MAN: Sure, if that’s what you want. Or you could just not kill me.

KILLER: No way. I’m a professional. I’ve been paid to do a job and I’m damn well going to do it. What kind of life coach would I be if I didn’t follow through with things?

MAN: I guess that’s fair.

KILLER: Do you have any plans for tomorrow evening?

The man shakes his head.

KILLER: Great. So how about straight after work? I’ll be here about four-thirty, so just come home at five-twenty-five, like you were supposed to today.

MAN: Okay, that works for me.

KILLER: Fantastic. Now out of my way, I’m about to explode here!

The killer rushes to the bathroom and shortly after we hear a steady stream of urine and a lot of very loud, satisfied groans.

KILLER: (from the bathroom) You know, I think you’ll find that tomorrow is going to be a really good day.

MAN: How’s that? I’m going to die.

KILLER: Didn’t you ever play the game where you imagine that tomorrow would be the last day of your life? Well, for you it will be. So what are you going to do?

MAN: Hmm . . . I suppose you’re right.

He thinks for a moment.

MAN: I can’t think of anything I’d really like to do. I guess I’ll just go to work.

The killer rushes out of the bathroom.

KILLER: Hey, hey! What kind of way is that to talk? Tomorrow’s your last day on earth! What about Jemima?

MAN: Janine.

KILLER: Ask her out.

MAN: But I already have plans for tomorrow evening.

KILLER: Yeah, but what about the day after–? Oh yeah, never mind. But you know what? It’s not about the actual date, or the relationship or anything like that. It’s about you. It’s about feeling good about yourself and your decisions. About your ability to make decisions. Let’s face it, you haven’t really made many good decisions in your life, have you? My being here is testament to that, right?

MAN: True.

KILLER: So give yourself the respect you deserve and ask her out. So what if she says no? So what if she says yes and you’re dead and you can’t follow through with the actual date? None of that’s important.

MAN: You know what? You’re right. Okay, I’ll do it! I’m going to ask her out tomorrow.

KILLER: And what if she says no?

MAN: It doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that I ask her out.

KILLER: What if she says yes?

MAN: Still doesn’t matter. My mind’s made up. I’m doing it and nobody can talk me out of it. You could even kill me now and it won’t change how I feel.

KILLER: That’s great! I’m real proud of you. You’re finally taking control of your own life.

MAN: Wow, you’re going to make a really good life coach.

KILLER: Aw, thanks. That’s very kind of you. In fact, I’m trying to collect some testimonials for my work as a life coach. Do you think . . . would you maybe . . . ? You know what, forget it.

MAN: No, tell me. What is it?

KILLER: Well, I was kind of wondering if you’d be willing to sign a form saying that I improved the quality of your life.

MAN: Of course. I’d be happy to. Give it here.

The killer takes out a sheet of paper from a bag and hands it to him.

KILLER: This is really kind of you. I don’t know how to thank you.

MAN: It’s nothing. Got a pen?

The killer gives him a pen. The man signs the sheet and hands it back.

MAN: Here you go.

KILLER: Thanks again. This is such a great help to me.

MAN: You’re welcome.

KILLER: So, could I really kill you now and you’d be perfectly happy?

MAN: Yep, absolutely.

KILLER: Fantastic!

The killer shoots the man three times and he falls dead to the floor. Somebody screams in another apartment and there is some general commotion.

KILLER: What a nice man!

The killer smiles at the body for a few moments and then suddenly seems aware of his situation.

KILLER: Uh oh, better go!


Copyright©2017 Bohemian Breakdancer

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Published by William Alan McNeice

I have been writing for most of my life. I write novels, plays, screenplays, and short stories, usually with a strong element of humor or satire. Go to for more. I live in Madrid, Spain, and work as a copy editor, editing fiction, academic texts in the humanities, and computer programming texts. I am a fan of the Oxford comma. I have lived in Northern Ireland, South Africa, Germany, Poland, and now Spain, and my wife and I intend to settle down somewhere, someday. In my spare time, I like to set myself ridiculous challenges. For 2017, I am spending the entire year offline (except for work), which means that I have absolutely no idea what is going on in the world today. It is very relaxing.

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