Dr. Ahmet Demir came to an abrupt stop, a faint twanging fading into the dark abyss of the hallway. The echo emanating from his black Christian Louboutin shoes. His ears perked to full alertness, listening intently, frozen in place. His body tensed tightly, the hairs on the back of his neck began to bristle. Heart thudding, a bead of sweat formed on his forehead. His body was suddenly overwhelmed with a foreboding feeling. An animalistic instinct of fight or flee surged through his brain.

Was someone following him? No, of course not; that’s nonsense, he thought. Still, best to take a peek, he reasoned. Working up his nerve, he spun, not knowing what to expect.

A long sigh, his body relaxed, shaking his head staring into empty space. There was no one behind him, nothing sinister lurking in the shadows. The prickled hairs silently fell back into place. “Get a grip, Ahmet,” he whispered, continuing to his office.

It was possibly the least favorite part about his new job, the late-night evenings wandering around the dark hallways of the London Museum. During the day, the place wasn’t so bad; the hustle and bustle of people milling about conversing over the exhibits and whatnots made the building alive. But after the hordes of people departed, the place fell eerily quiet. A little too quiet for his liking.

Though most nights, at least a few of his colleagues were around to liven the desolate halls a bit. However, this was not one of those nights. The place had been emptied out for the weekend, save the few overnight guards.

With the new exhibit that he had been in charge of opening to the public in just a few days, there had still been plenty of work beforehand. So staying late had become a requirement for him lately, tonight being no different. Having already sent home his overachieving staffers, he’d wanted to take another look at the display before leaving for the weekend.

His very reputation and that of the museum’s rested on everything going off without a hitch. So his anal-retentive behavior had drawn him back to the exhibit, once more for that last look. And as suspected, everything had looked great.

Punching in his security code on the panel unlocking his office door. He cut across the dimly lit room, powering down his computer. He gathered his positions; his bag, jacket, phone, and wallet. Doing one last spin around, making sure he had everything, patting himself down, satisfied he was ready to go.

He was in desperate need of a very much-deserved break to recharge. Although something told him that a weekend at the in-laws wasn’t going to be as relaxing as he hoped for.

“Oh no, I am in trouble.” He exclaimed, glancing at his phone. The home screen relayed he had three missed calls and a dozen missed text messages. The last of which was in all caps. His wife’s way of signaling that he was in a heap of trouble.

“Siktir.” Ahmet blurted, a curse in his native Turkish. Realizing the last train out of London to Uxbridge, where his wife’s parent’s lived, would be leaving Barbican station in thirty minutes. And if he missed it, he would have to take a taxi all the way out to the country, meaning he would arrive at their flat in the early morning hours.

Picking up his pace, he saw the exit doors ahead. Almost out blitzing through a set of doors marked with a red ‘employees only’ sign. He tucked his brown leather satchel under his arm, breaking into a light jog.

Blindly rounding the corner, he collided into a white-clad figure, sending both men reeling. Ahmet threw out his arms to catch himself, grabbing ahold of the corner of the wall, losing his grip on the bag. It hit the floor, scattering its contents, but fortunately, he didn’t follow suit.

“Dr. Demir.” Stammered the stunned guard. “I am sorry, are you ok?”

“Yes, yes, I am fine, Steve,” Ahmet answered, unsure if he was, but he didn’t feel anything hurt so. “Oh no. This is going to make me later,” Ahmet exasperated, seeing the mess of papers sprawled on the ground.

“Again, I am so sorry. Here let me help.” Steve reiterated, offering his assistance snatching up a stack. “So, how’s things going with the exhibit, almost ready?” Handing Ahmet his collectings.

“Fine,” Ahmet replied, taking them, jamming them into his satchel along with the others, trying to slide past the older portly guard.

“Good, good. Opening soon. Right?”

“Steve,” Ahmet shrieked, breathing to recollect himself, “I am sorry, but I am running late, and I must be going now.” Squeezing past the shocked man, continuing to the exit, feeling around his suit pockets searching for-

“Oh. Dr. Demir, your badge.” Steve called, picking up the glossy object from the floor. Ahmet returned to the guard, retrieving the badge before plodding back to the exit putting his jacket on. “Have a good weekend, doctor.”

“You too.” Ahmet instinctively shot back, barging out.

Outside, Ahmet raced down Aldersgate Street picking his way through the mass of people gathered listening to a street musician. “Friday nights,” he spat, frustrated working around a couple holding hands blocking most of the narrow sidewalk. Car headlights flashed by in a blinding whirl, a horn blared, forcing Ahmet to snap around to ascertain the reason for all the commotion.

A driver had cut off another, not a surprise given the congestion. Continuing his trudge, his phone rang, which was barely audible over the car horn’s continuous wailing. It was his wife, Azra.

Better answer, he figured.

“Ahmet, where are you? You were supposed to be here already; you’ve missed dinner.” His wife complained. “Are you still in the city? I can hear cars in the background.”

“Yes, I lost track of time. But I am headed for the station right now. I am sorry. Please tell your parents I will make it up to them tomorrow.”

“Again.” She sighed loudly in frustration. Ahmet losing track of time had become a habit for him lately. “That is the third time this month-.”

“Azra,” Ahmet shouted, cutting her off, sensing an argument coming on. She was right, but he didn’t want to get into it right now, on the street while trying to make the last train out. “I have to go, or I’ll miss the train. I will be at your parents’ as soon as I can.” He snapped.

“Please hurry, Ahmet. They are asking me when we will give them grandchildren again.” He could almost hear her eye roll over the phone. They hadn’t decided if they even wanted children yet, let alone when to start trying. It had become a conversation topic with both of their parents that they had found new and inventive ways of avoiding over the years. “I love you. Be safe.” She said.

“Love you too, bye.” Ahmet hung up the phone, putting it away. Breaking into a sprint with the train station in sight. The large clock hanging over the entrance flashed 10:45.

Bounding up the steps reaching the top of the platform, he doubled over, panting, struggling for air. It’d been a while since the last time he’d run anywhere, and he already was feeling the effects. His heart thumping, sweat beads glistening down his forehead in the light. But he’d made it, and with a few minutes to spare judging by the lack of the train car.

Standing arching his back, stretching his arms out to open up his chest cavity for maxim effect. Something he learned in primary school. Slowly breathing in, releasing a vapor cloud with each exhale, he paced, waiting for the train to arrive.

He noticed a young couple across the tracks on the opposite platform. The two, oblivious to the world outside of themselves, had their tongues down each other’s throats groping and squeezing their bodies. Ahmet uncomfortably diverted his eyes away from the overabundance of PDA. Just watching what they were doing in public made him feel dirty. That was something meant for private, not to be done for any and every one to see.

Twisting away, he spotted two men standing in the far corner of his platform; they were in the midst of what appeared to be a casual conversation. A third joined them, having just exited a nearby restroom, a lit cigarette casting an orange glow on his face as he puffed.

Another taller, bald-headed, muscular, dark-skinned man burst onto the platform from the stairs that Ahmet had just come up. He was taken aback slightly by the long scar running from the top of his forehead down across his left eye to his cheek before remembering his manners glancing away. It was impolite to stare at another’s deformity. The man seemed to be searching for someone, scanning his surroundings astutely.

A sparkle of light flashed at the end of the tunnel, a loud tram whistle blew as the light drew closer. Whipping out of the tunnel, the long metallic tube’s brake systems engaged; a deafening squeal pierced the night. The tram slowed to a stop, a hiss as the air brake system released. Arriving just in time, like clockwork, 11 pm sharp. “Great,” Ahmet mumbled, rubbing his hands together. He couldn’t wait to board the heated train.

The doors whooshed open, the warmth from inside flooded out, dozens of passengers began to exit. Ahmet danced patiently, awaiting his turn as the people disembarked passing him by.

Seeing an opportunity, he stepped forward, smacking face-first into the chest of someone. Raising his eyes, settling in on the scar-faced gentleman. Up close, the looming figure was even bigger and more imposing than Ahmet had previously thought. He towered over him by at least a foot.

The man stood saying nothing. Ahmet tried to shift around the muscular man, only for him to slide over, blocking him, still leering down at him. Ahmet gulped. “Can…can I help you, sir?” he asked timidly, unsure what he wanted.

“Dr. Ahmet Demir.” The man asked, his voice a low, raspy grumble.

“Yes. I am. What can I do for you?” A wide grin creased across the man’s face exposing a single shining gold front tooth, miscast amongst the two rows of its pearly white companions. Ahmet waited for an answer. “Can I help you?” he asked again, getting no response. An uneasy feeling began to sink into his stomach, craning his neck up at the imposing figure. The train’s previous passengers were almost done shuffling out and onto the once vacant platform. The noise level rose with conversations. The man, unmoved as a group not watching where they were walking, bumped into him.

“You just did.” He answered through a snarl. “Thank you.” Slapping his massive oversized hand down on Ahmet’s shoulder with such force, his knee buckled under the pressure. The man reached for something behind him.

Ahmet’s eyes caught a glimpse of the object. A long serrated knife sparkled in the light as he unsheathed it. Ahmet swallowed hard, the sight of the knife causing an involuntary shudder up his spine. Realization of what was about to happen set in, and there was nothing he could do to stop it.

“Why?” Ahmet asked, mouth having run dry as the Sahara Desert.

The man’s face contorted into a sadistic grin, with his hand still on Ahmet’s shoulder. “Nothing personal.” He grumbled.

Pulling the Turkish Doctor in toward him, simultaneously driving the sharp metal object straight through Ahmet’s midsection. The blade’s tip punctured through his chest under the rib cage, piercing a lung. The foreign body traveling to the back of his spine. The pressure intense, the pain searing, Ahmet gasping quietly for breath. A sudden release of pressure as his murder mercilessly yanked the blade back out, twisting it.

The giant assassin guided Ahmet backward, gently resting him on the bench behind them. Then carefully took Ahmet’s open jacket, and wrapped it across his chest, concealing the fresh wound. Blood oozed out onto the bench, seeping through the slats pooling into a dark red puddle. The man cocked his head, amused sadistically admiring his handiwork, taking some type of satanic pleasure in watching the life drain out of his prey.

The tram’s passengers did nothing as they continued to filter by the pair, going about their night like nothing had just happened. Like a man hadn’t just been murdered, to Ahmet’s shock. No one so much as giving a cursory look at the murder that had just taken place in front of all of them.

A chilling cold swept over the Turk’s body as he continued to lose blood. Ahmet knew his last breath on earth was coming; he looked up, still confused as to why this was happening. His eyes grew heavier, fighting to keep them open, trying to get anyone’s attention, but no one stopped to help. Gasping, straining for air, Ahmet drew his final breath, and with that, his head slumped over.

Satisfied his target was no longer amongst the living, the assassin slipped into the crowd disappearing into the night. Screams and shouts rang out as he walked away from the platform. Pleased that someone had just found his dirty work.


Professor Agnus Hughes exited the academic building of Cambridge University. Digging into her heavy, oversized Michael Kors purple and white checkered purse, retrieving a purple umbrella from the bottomless pit. She paused before depressing the release button, looking up. The dark rain clouds above that blotted out the sky for most of the day had finally begun to open up.

Slivers of silver moonlight shone through, reflecting off the puddles of water littering the parking lot. Thankfully, just in time, thought Professor Hughes, replacing the umbrella back into her bag. Making her way through the lot, side-stepping puddles along the way to her car. A brisk breeze swept in, chilling her to the bone. Clasping her jacket tighter, tucking her head, flipping up her collar, she pushed through the chill.

England was indeed no stranger to large amounts of precipitation and low temperatures. On average, the country experienced rain at least a hundred and sixty days a year, with an average annual temperature of 56° F. But this was a particularly harsh weather system that had ravaged the area for the last two days.

Managing to safely make it to her car without stepping into any of the small ponds, Agnus climbed into her white BMW 5 series. Hurriedly cranking the heat all the way, blowing into her hands, waiting for the heat to kick in. Her fingers felt like frozen icicles, placing them near the vent to thaw.

Never one to mind the rain, but the cold, that was a different story altogether. If she had been at home sipping on a nice hot cup of Earl Grey tea, in front of a fireplace, with a good book in hand settling in for the evening. That would be just fine, more amenable to her liking. But that would have to wait another hour, or maybe longer given the adverse weather conditions.

Switching on the car radio, she flicked the tuner, the news coming on, ’Special report,’ the newscaster said dramatically. ‘Tonight, the constables are offering a cash reward to anyone, who may have knowledge leading to an arrest stemming from last night’s brutal murder at Barbican Station,’ the news host continued.

Appalled by the report, she turned stations, pulling out of the campus’ parking lot onto the road. “Poor chap.” She sighed, shaking her head. “What an awful thing to befall another person. What kind of barbaric society do we live in these days.” She complained to no one.

The rain returned, water droplets splattering across her windshield trickling down in a harmonious symphony. Turning on the wipers, she rounded onto another street. The main road home was a long stretch of lightless roadway. The cold mixing with the water vapors created a thick mist obscuring her visibility further. With a press of a button, the high beams cut on, slicing through the thickening fog.

The long bleak two-lane straightaway was home to open fields on either side of the road, protected by high dirt embankments that could be seen during the day. On this night, though, there was nothing visible outside of the road that lay a few feet in front of her. With no road lights, the only thing illuminating the way was her headlights and the flickers of moonlight playing peek-a-boo through the clouds, exposing the sleek, wet treacherous road.

A pair of headlights flashed on in her rearview mirror some distance back, but they looked to be gaining pretty quickly. “What a fool.” She mumbled, keeping one eye on the road and the other fixated on the rearview mirror.

The lights were definitely closer. “Prats.” She thought, figuring they were probably some young kids out for a joy ride. A dangerous one.

Watching both the road and the car behind, her muscles tensed, ligaments fighting urges as the vehicle approached even faster. Gripping the steering wheel harder. “Please, please just go around.” She pleaded, looking down at the speedometer.

Already traveling faster than she felt comfortable. Feeling the back end of the BMW begin to slosh. A quick check of the mirror again, the lights had disappeared. Confused but relieved, Professor Hughes eased off the gas pedal.

A throaty engine roared behind her.


Steel and fiberglass bending and breaking as the SUV behind her smashed into the BMW’s rear. Professor Hughes lurched forward, snapping her neck. A stinging pain radiating down her back. “Bloody hell.” She shouted, fighting to keep control of the car.

The sinister roar of a V8 engine growled again, the headlights reappeared, barreling down on her for a second strike like menacing demon eyes.

Flooring the accelerator, the luxury sports sedan jolted forward with the extra added horsepower speeding up. Another glance, expecting to have put a little distance between them, but the SUV roared after her.


A second ram, she could barely hold the two-ton car straight, back end wobbling. Panic rising in her chest. What was this crazy person doing? They were going to get them both killed.

Another violent jolt from behind, followed by a crunching sound, the BMW slewed across the wet pavement, the rear bumper bowing under the force of the impact.

Her fear response turned all the way up; she gripped the wheel tighter. Knuckles turning white, she stamped the accelerator to the floor once more. The car’s engine revved, kicking the RPM gauge into overdrive redlining before the automatic engine could shift gears.

“Wankers.” She screamed as the car accelerated, throwing her back into the seat.


The black-tinted SUV barreled into her again. This time sparks flew into the night. Something clanked off, the SUV swerving to avoid it. The BMW no longer had a rear bumper as it bounded away.

Foot still pressed all the way to the floorboard, the speedometer shooting past a hundred miles-per-hour. Knowing at that speed on the slick surface, she wouldn’t be able to keep the vehicle straight. Feeling the backend starting to fishtail.


Another bump, the professor shot forward, her forehead smashing into the steering wheel. Everything switched to black for a split second. She could feel the car veering sharply to the right.

Raising her head just in time to see a wall of dirt, she cut the wheel to the left.

Too hard. She over-corrected.

The car’s back end whipped out from behind, sending the BMW careening in the opposite direction headlong into the other side. The white sedan crashed into the six-foot-high dirt wall, running up the mound, launching the vehicle several feet into the air.

Floating, weightless in the air for a few seconds, she could feel her backside come off the seat. But the laws of gravity would soon kick back in. Bracing herself for the impact.

The car crashed back to the earth in a thunderous explosion of dirt and grass. The suspension bowed under its own weight, the chassis pinged off the ground. The professor released an earsplitting shriek as the glass around her shattered into millions of pieces.

Her foot still on the accelerator, the vehicle lurched forward with all four wheels back on the ground. Roaring across the field, ripping gouge marks into the earth, headed straight for a large boulder. The Professor stamped both feet onto the brake. But the collision had knocked out her brake lines.

Frightened, clawing at the wheel, she swerved at the last second, trying to avoid the large obstacle. The car crashed into the rock. The driver’s side shot up the front of the smooth flat surface. Now on two wheels, the vehicle tipped over, landing on its passenger side. But her trip wasn’t over yet.

The sedan teetered on the edge of an embankment momentarily before going over.

The car rolled down the hill. The metal frame bent and bowed as it rolled, picking up speed. The roof collapsing further and further down on her head with each revolution, steel bending like rubber. Chunks of safety glass flew in every direction, lacerating the Professor’s forehead, face, and arms as she tried to shield herself.

The car continued to flip a half a dozen times down the hill before coming to a stop, resting upside down on its buckled hood in a dried-up creek bed, wheels spinning.

Professor Hughes slowly came to, finding herself upside down, car alarm blaring, her ears ringing. A snake-like hiss came from the engine, a column of hot steam spewed into the cool night air.

Dazed, she pawed at her waist, searching for the seatbelt latch. Finding it, depressing the red release button. The nylon strip released. It was the only thing holding her in place. With it gone, she was unceremoniously dumped from the seat, folding up like an accordion against the roof of the car. Pain throbbing all over her body. “Wha…what happened.” She said groggily, looking around, lying in a bed of shattered glass. The events of the last few moments returned.

Crawling across the linen roof cover, chunks of glass dug into her bare skin. That was the least of her worries, though; as she crawled, a stinging sensation of hot pain engulfed her leg. “Ow, ow.” She cried, looking down at her right leg. A piece of red-tipped jagged-edged white bone protruded through her blood-soaked pant leg. The sight of the splintered bone made her sick to her stomach, choking back bile-filled vomit. She needed to get out of the car.

Footsteps followed by a faint whistling sound from outside diverted her attention away from the open wound. Someone was out there. “Help. Please help. Someone, anyone.” She cried, hoping it was the properties’ owner and not the insane madman who caused the crash. “Is anyone out there? Please help me. My…my leg is broken.”

A set of black combat boots appeared in her vision. A pair of large oversized hands reached in, clamping around her wrists, making them look pint-sized. The unknown person pulled, her arms burned as she slid out.


Yelping as her leg nicked the steering wheel, sending a shockwave of pain up her entire body. Shards of glass dug into her stomach as her blouse pulled up.

Outside, laying on the grass, the pain subsided just a bit. She looked around, relieved to be out of the car and for her savior. “Thank you. Oh, thank you, mister.” She wined, sobbing in pain. “Please call for help. My leg is broken.

“Professor Agnus Hughes?” Her rescuer asked. A huge dark shadow loomed over her with a bright flashlight beam shining into her eyes.

“Thank you, oh god, thank you again.” She said, shielding her eyes from the light. The fact the man knew her name had not quite registered.

“Are you Professor Agnus Hughes?” the man repeated.

“Yes. Please call for help.” She pleaded, tears streaming down her face. “Wait, how do you know my name?” She asked.

The man knelt down at her side, showing her his face. A long sadistic grin, one gold tooth, a scar running down his face. “That won’t be necessary.” He said, pulling out a knife, showing it to her, glinting in the disappearing moonlight.

“Wait, what…what are you doing. NO!” She screamed as he took hold of her hair, holding her head in place.

Driving the knife’s blade all the way to the hilt into Professor Hughes’ skull. Her body spasmed, tightening for a second before falling lifeless, her foot twitching for an extra few seconds.

Her murder stood wiping the blade off on his pants leg, looking down at his newest body to add to his count.

His phone rang.

“Yes.” The man said, answering it.

“Where are you?” The voice on the other end asked.

“Finishing up in England. Dr. Demir and Professor Hughes will not be a problem.” He said, his satanic-looking smile returning, glancing back down at the body. “I am headed to Australia now to finish the job.”


“What.” The killer demanded angrily.

“You’re needed back in Turkey. Immediately.”

“But-.” He tried to protest but was cut off.

“Dr. James, maybe of use to us. Leave her, For now.” The order enraging the assassin, his growl audible even through the small flip phone receiver. “Joseph, you are to leave her for now. We have other plans for Dr. James. Is that understood?” the voice reiterated. No answer. “Confirm you understand your orders.”

“Understood.” The assassin growled back, slamming the receiver, giving the object a long sneer of disgust. “Don’t worry, doctor, we’ll meet another time.” He mumbled, shoving the phone into his pocket.