Evening Mass

Bolu cursed his fortune as he held up an envelope and brought out the card in it. He read the message on it, ‘Vitellus Street. You’ll know when you see them.’ read the card.

Toba took his beverage as both waited for the mark, whoever the person was. There was no picture, no description. They were basically about to kill someone at their own discretion.

Bolu returned the card into the envelope and dropped it by the gear box of the hatchback. He took a look at the area, nothing unusual was happening in the highbrow environment.

Toba watched on from where he was camped, on a higher ground, some way off, on a tall tree’s branch. He’d been there from two in the morning with two flasks of his beverage and a bag full of sandwich.

Bolu was wondering where Toba was travelling to with the bags from the night before, when a bell went off from the nearby church. It was time for evening mass there.

Jade stood from a bench on the street and joined the procession of people walking towards the church. She made to adjust her veil to cover her hairline – “why bother?” – before stopping herself, instead zipping up the beige turtleneck she wore on turquoise denim pants.

Toba drank from a flask and dropped it in a bag suspended on the branch above him. He then moved over to a pronged branch where his rifle was, steadying its scope’s focus and taking note of the faces going into the church.

No particular face made an impression on Bolu as he made his way into the church as well, choosing to sit at the first pew on the right from the entrance.

Toba marked Bolu, a couple hand-in-hand walking with a child, a woman in a beige turtleneck, a crew of teenagers, a woman in a revealing long white gown and a short male spotting a hooded grey top.

Jade had gone to the balcony, picking the pew on the right of the choir stand. The choristers trooped in with haste while one, already robed shook her head as each chorister went past her, gushing muffled apologies.

A bearded young man in a grey hoodie excused himself past Bolu and sat beside him, taking down the hood as he did and exchanging pleasantries with Bolu.

The already robed one made for the front of the choir stand. ‘Choirmistress’ Jade thought as she let the zip of her turtleneck down a bit. “Can’t be her” she thought again, all the while with her gaze on the altar below.

A hymn rendered in vocal fry drifted through the Church as the altar boys, lector and officiating priest emerged at the entrance and made their way through the aisle to the altar.

“Your hair’s in the spirit?” Bolu asked the young man as both stood along with the rest of the congregation while the officiating priest performed the opening rites. The young man only chuckled back, nodded, did a sign of the cross and sat down.

Toba fart as he took a bite off an umpteenth sandwich, subconsciously humming along to the proceedings of the Mass as he waited for it to happen.

“Errm… sorry… you come here often?” asked the young man as the priest finished with the day’s sermon. “No. My first time here.” Bolu replied. “Thought so. Welcome.” said the young man and Bolu nodded back.

The young man focused his gaze on the pulpit. “I’ll be back” Bolu said as he excused himself to make a call outside the Church. The young man acknowledged absentmindedly.

Toba, still watching with his rifle’s scope, held his phone out on seeing Bolu step out of the Church to make a call. “Well hello… ” Toba answered before the first ring began.

“… err… where are you?” asked a flustered Bolu. “Doing my job, as should you.” replied Toba before ending the call. Toba quickly looked back into the scope at Bolu and smiled after catching him say “… rious bastard!” as he returned into the Church.

“The Lord be with you… ” said the priest, arms raised. A muzzle took aim from within the pulpit as the congregation responded “… and with your spirit.”

Jade let the zip down a bit more, looking around for a sign. She caught the Choirmistress’ countenance, it was serious, it was cold blooded and it wasn’t aimed at the altar where the priest was.

Bolu thought he saw something at the pulpit. “You’re not Catholic, are you?” asked the young man. Bolu’s eye shut momentarily as he stopped himself from looking at the young man before responsing.

A shrill cry tore through the Church from the balcony. Jade was transfixed as choristers made a circle. The congregation below rushed forward towards the altar to have a look.

Bolu dipped his left hand into the inside pocket of his trench. The young man’s left hand had a dagger going for Bolu’s side.

Toba was now watching the sidewalk to the Church through the scope, waiting for a face to tell him who the mark was when he or she showed up.

The dagger went into Bolu’s right arm, a bit below the elbow. A bullet tore through his trench coat just then, and the young man staggered back before sitting down heavily, right hand clutching the left side of his chest.

Toba saw Bolu walk out of the Church, right hand in his coat and a trail of blood after him. Bolu was at the sidewalk when a woman in a black tank top emerged from a hole at the side of the Church.

Jade was on her way down, three knives in hands when she saw a female in a black tank top through a window, heading for the sidewalk.

The woman took aim of Bolu, who was walking gingerly towards the hatchback. Toba took a shot, “damn shoulder!” he cussed as the bullet missed the woman by a whisker.

The woman felt a bullet pass by her neck from the left. She glanced right, then left, only to register there was a woman in a turtleneck top when she glanced right.

She made to change her aim from Bolu to the new threat when two knives pierced her neck and right lung. She was on the ground, losing consciousness when Jade bent over, removed the knives without hesitation and waved the approaching hatchback down.

Toba answered his mobile. “What was that?” asked Jade on the line, in a tone of controlled anger. “Shoulder apparently hasn’t healed well enough.”

“Not good enough!” Jade blurted, ending the call before Toba could respond. ‘Would’ve had her with the second shot.’ he thought as he reached for his flask.

“Let’s get you cleaned up.” Jade said as she drove off in the hatchback, with Bolu now in the passenger seat, sweating and wincing with his right hand clutched to his body and head resting on the wound up window.

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