As he entered the restaurant Marcus dipped his head. Although lanky, no one noticed him standing just inside the door, surveying the scene. It was one he had seen many times - staff straightening tables, making swans out of napkins and polishing cutlery.
Marcus checked his watch. Ten minutes to opening time.
He made his way to the double hinged door leading to the kitchen and pushed through. At the shuffle of his boots Jonas looked up, cleaver raised above a chopping board on which lay chunks of meat.
‘What the hell are you doing here?’ Jonas demanded.
Marcus’ lip curled.
‘Thought I’d pay a visit.' He sent Jonas a bitter glare from ice blue eyes, 'But really it’s none of your business.’
With a toss of his head he dismissed Jonas and looked across to where Marie was preparing meringue desserts.
At the sound of his voice, she turned, ‘Marc….’ she started to say.
Marcus pulled a gun from his pocket and aimed.
‘No…o…o!’ Jonas shouted, throwing himself at Marie.
Somewhere behind him he heard the shot cut through the air. As he caught Marie he saw her eyes grow wide and shocked. She stumbled back. Together they fell to the tile floor. He lifted himself from her, horror clutching at his heart. Blood was spreading in a jagged circle on the front of Marie’s white smock. Staggering to his feet he ran after Marcus who had turned away, grim.
‘Why?’ Jonas screamed. ‘Why would you do that to your mother?’
Marcus paused, his hand up to push the door. He pointed the gun.
‘Stay clear Jonas. I don’t want to hurt you.’
Marcus left. The doors swung and rasped against each other.
Jonas sucked in a deep breath. It required an enormous effort to keep from running after Marcus. Instead he focused on the devastation around him.
‘Janie, call the ambulance!’ he yelled. ‘And the police!’
The breath-held aftermath broke into a cacophony of banging furniture, shouting and awful sobbing. Numb, Janie stabbed at the telephone numbers.
A shadowy form slipped out the back door and into the night. She had seen it all.
Authors: Suraya Dewing (NZ), Gregg Mattson (US), Raymond Stone (US)