May 19, 2007

What Would You Like?

[This has been posted previously on the Flash Fiction site Flash Forward]

Arsenic? cyanide? please! those are so late Renaissance, we've made advances in poisons since that are not to be believed (and needless to say---since you come recommended---not to be spoken of outside the trade). Fast acting, slow acting, we like to leave that up to the client. The key feature we pride ourselves on is undetectability. (We're helped somewhat by the general indiscriminate mixing of toxins into our food, water and air. I remember a film years ago where police tracked a murder victim's movements in the 48 hours before her death by area-specific pollutants in her body. They'd have a harder time doing that now, what with generalization and overlap of toxic fields.Still forensic science is a wonderful thing. Keeps us on our toes, staying that extra little step or two ahead.)

None of my business whether it's business or personal, but those two categories embrace most of our clientele. People think the chief means of advancement in the corporate jungle are backbiting, infighting, verbal undercutting and snide insinuation. All have their place as does, if you're discreet about it, a small dose in a main rival's coffee or third martini at lunch. Tell us what you're putting it in--we can often match flavours between poison and comestible.

My own marriage is happy, three lovely children, discreet mis-tress for when the wife's too tired, but not everyone's so fortunateand I think you'll agree with me, the divorce rate's a scandal and a shame.

Something more . . . general? ahh! I receive your drift, wel lif you're going that way I'd recommend chemical nerve agents and such, we do keep biological agents but don't recommend their use unless you have a well-grounded strategy for containment. Well . . . if you insist, we do have this brochure outlining our selection in viruses and bacilli. The black plague? really sir, if you don't mind my saying,that's so 1348. This is the 21st century.

C 2005 Martin Heavisides

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