Thin, whispy clouds patched the deep navy sky above Emanuel Avenue in the London suburbs. Streetlamps lined the pavement, piercing the darkness with their warm orange glow… but the blackness where light could not reach was asphyxiating. The low rumble of passing traffic on a busy road was audible in the distance. The Avenue was relatively silent however, perhaps apart from the odd car cruising through into the night. It was a street like any other; boxy houses sandwiched together in a row on either side, well-manicured front gardens with trim hedges and walls bordering each unit.

A shady figure crouched low against the pavement behind a viridian Ford Fiesta. The pale moon dimly traced the contours of her slender leather-clad frame as she hid, tense and still. A lengthy rifle was clutched in her feminine hands. She was aiming low at one of the houses across the street, the windows lit with the same orange glow as the streetlights. The silhouette of the bent form of an old woman ambled about behind tatty net curtains; the assassin’s target was busy, it seemed. The assassin’s narrowed, wicked eyes lacked regard for her victim’s demise, fixated attentively upon the shadow in the window.

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Her icy lips were motionless with concentration as her slender digit tensed against the trigger of her rifle. She was prepared to shoot. But instead, she lowered her weapon. She had decided that a moving target from such a distance was too much of a risk – any missed shots would reveal her presence and leave evidence. It was time to attempt a venture through the back door. The back door was open a crack. The assassin wondered what kind of con-artist would leave their doors unlocked. She shrugged and proceeded to slip into the house, rifle suspended from her shoulder by a leather strap.

It clanked gently against her side as she moved. Surveying the room, her eyes darted from one side of the room to the other. She was in the kitchen. A disarray of dirty pots and pans resided upon the counter, and the floor was covered in wet newspaper for a reason that was unapparent. The old woman’s voice could be heard from the other room– “Eight hundred. Nine hundred… Woo, I really got ’em this time. Thirty-six grand. Who ever said that crime didn’t pay? ” A menacing cackle and the click of a closing briefcase followed. Anger welled up inside the assassin.

Hearing this made her livid; she would make sure that the old bag got what she deserved. The door slammed shut behind her. Dogs began to growl and bark in the other room, approaching the kitchen in which she stood panic-stricken. She was frozen. They burst through the door, where they stopped and yapped at her relentlessly. One was a greyhound, lean and agile, thin head hosting sharp, pointed teeth. Strands of saliva escaped its maw with each time it opened. The other seemed to be considerably older, with ebony fur, short floppy ears and dirtied white paws.

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