Tough time of year, Christmas. For the kill. The fastest roads to your destination are all clogged, there are no quiet corners in public places and sometimes there is even snow.
As a kid I loved a clean bed of pure white snow, untouched and shining with possibility. As a man I dread it, knowing that I will leave tracks no matter how careful I try to be. Still you won’t last long in this line of work if you just hold on to your anxieties. So today I take back control.
I wear size 14 boots. My feet are size 9 but, with two layers of thick cotton socks, they fit just fine. Not only are these boots huge, they have two-prong toes. That and the wide curved heel make my tracks look almost hoof-like. Think of a reindeer but the biggest bastard you ever saw. I swear the authorities will look at the tracks from my target’s house and think: Don’t wanna mess with that. Don’t wanna even pursue that. And they’d do right.
Still I feel awful silly, stretching my legs out as I move. If I lose my balance even once, I’ll give the game away; an undeniable snow angel flailing to get back up. Even so I stomp like a heavy four-legged beast all the way downhill.
It’s morning but you can’t tell from the sky, thick angry grey slowly lightening to a stiff white. This snow must have fallen only hours ago: it’s crisp and not even the real country critters have been on it yet. As I search for tiny paw prints to dwarf with my own, I take in a deep lungful of frosty air. Goes straight to my goddamn head. My jaw begins to feel like it’s freezing up and there’s a wetness to the tip of my nose.
I should feel lousy but I’m actually kinda great. I have a clean kill behind me and I’ve handled an issue in a damn smart way. In fact, I feel better than great. You can get complacent in the death business, take your skill for granted, get lazy. But not anymore. Now I’m back to enjoying my work.
I let out this roar, primal. Stupid of me, in fact: I might wake the neighbours from their rustic little cottages, alert them to my slow lumbering presence. Still it feels good, you know? Right.
Glancing down, I see cracks running back behind my left boot heel. They progress beyond it, spreading some distance behind. I take one look at that damage and think ‘abominable’. Ain’t a word I use lightly. Ain’t a word I normally use at all.
Still it’s right there in my mind. Abominable, like the Snowman. Perhaps that’s how the story started; a tall man in the cold, dragging heavy feet along, tearing up the snow.
Even so this Abominable Snowman isn’t far from his car. He has chains to put on his tyres before he disappears into the next flurry. A snowflake touches my nose, tickling it. I slip and crack the snow again. I didn’t know my own strength. I should know by now.
Still, let it creep them out, I say. Let them believe it was a monster, not a man. Yessir, if there ever was an Abominable Snowman, I’ll be him.