Just a little something I wrote a while back. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
----The Weather Man
“Give me a reason,” Trent said, fingers digging deep into Benny’s neck, forcing his head out over the edge of the skyscraper. It was a long way down. “Just give me one good reason not to throw you off right now.”
Benny’s words were lost under a whimper. Trent tightened his grip, forcing his fingers further into Benny’s flesh, cutting off the supply of air and blood as his hand clamped down into his arteries. Benny gave out a weak splutter and Trent relented, giving him room to breathe.
“I... I...” he began, gasping for breath. “I can give you anything, anything you want.”
Trent shook his head. “The big guy upstairs wouldn’t like that. Not one bit.”
Benny’s eyes widened. “Who’s putting you up to this? What are they paying you? I’ll double it. I’ll triple it.”
Trent let out a laugh and relinquished his grip. Stumbling backwards, Benny clung desperately to a rail on the edge of the skyscraper, catching his breath.
Trent stared at him and shook his head, still smiling.
“No can do, Benny,” he said. “You think you’re the first guy to make me this kind of offer? Bartering for your life... that’s the first move you all make. Bo-ring.”
Benny dropped his head, looked down towards the building’s roof, which was covered in rough gravel. “I can give you... anything...”
Laughing again, Trent continued to stare at him. “God, you guys just don’t get it, do you? If I were prone to making this kind of deal, I wouldn’t last very long in this business, would I?”
Trent cast his eyes back and forth quickly, scanning the roof. They were alone, but for the wind’s murmurings above and the city’s vast skyline below.
Benny wrapped his hands tightly around the rail, tucking his head underneath the steel bar. In-between frightened glances up at his captor, he forced his eyes shut firmly, wincing unmistakably, limbs trembling against the steel.
Trent reached inside his coat, forcing his hand in deep; the wind lapped up at the bottom of the black fabric, making it sway gently in the breeze. He withdrew his arm, a handgun fastened securely in his grip. At this height, there was no need for a suppressor.
Benny flung his arms up in desperation. “No, no, please!” he screamed, coming away from the bar, rising to his feet. “Please... we can work something out.”
His eyes were fixed on the handgun; nothing else. Trent stifled yet another laugh, but the smile remained as he lifted the handgun up, aimed it towards Benny’s chest.
“Please!” Benny said, taking another step forward. “I’m begging you!”
Trent’s smile vanished. His tone was severe. Benny grabbed hold of the bar again.
“That’s more like it,” Trent said, and the smile returned instantly. He lowered the gun. “I tell you what, Benny. I like you. This isn’t personal, I’ve got nothing against you. But orders are orders.”
Benny mouthed another ‘please’, but no sound came out.
“But,” Trent said, looking up at the sky, deep in thought. He drew a finger to his lips contemplatively, bouncing it backwards and forwards. “I’m willing to make a deal with you.”
Benny’s eyes lit up. Trent continued to look up at the sky, but always with an eye trained on his prey.
“You think it’s gonna rain, Benny? I do. What do you say?”
Confused, Benny followed his gaze up towards the clouds. The sky was a light grey, no glimpse of the sun, but the air was dry.
Trent stared at him, watched him peer up into the heavens. “Well? What about it, Benny? Yes or no?”
Benny stammered his answer. “N-n-no. I wouldn’t have thought so.”
The smile spread thickly across Trent’s face, more intense than ever.
“Perfect,” he said, running a restless thumb across the back of the gun. “Then it’s settled. If it rains, you’re gonna follow every drop to the ground. If it doesn’t, you get to take the stairs.”
The smile grew wider still as Benny’s hands, still secured to the bar, began to tremble. Trent watched him as he gazed up into the clouds, searching out across the horizon.
“How... how long do we wait?” he said, stuttering once more.
Trent frowned and looked down at his watch nonchalantly, as if it held the answer. “Meh,” he said, tapping against it with the barrel of the handgun. “A few minutes, I guess.”
He looked up again and resumed smiling, watching as a spark of hope lit up in Benny’s eyes. Trent’s gaze was fixed on him confidently, just waiting for the right moment to extinguish it. Benny continued to search the sky for his answer, breathing rapidly.
A single drop hit the crown of his head and Benny snapped his gaze upwards to find it, then dipped his head back down, disguising the movement, as though pretending he hadn’t budged.
“No...” Benny said, standing up again. “That’s not rain... that’s not real rain!”
“Back!” Trent said, holding a hand up firmly. Benny stuttered backwards. Trent looked up once more. “No, you’re right. I’m not going to cheat you of a few precious seconds, Benny. I can wait.”
He didn’t have to wait long. In a matter of seconds, the heavens opened, a rapturous downpour enveloping them in a blistering flood. A sheet of water fell over the two of them, soaking through their clothes in an instant.
“Time’s up, Benny,” Trent said, raising the handgun. “I’m sorry. Better luck next time, huh?”
Benny strode forwards, his foot soaking deep into the gravel as Trent squeezed the trigger twice. The impact sent Benny backwards over the rail. His body flipped over the steel and began sliding through the air, the rain gliding alongside him as they both fell towards the earth.
Trent slipped the gun away inside his damp coat and peered up once more, knowing that somewhere down below, Benny had made a swift acquaintance with the ground. He took a few slow steps across the gravel towards the edge of the building, laying a cautious hand on the rail.
The rain stopped. The shower had passed almost as quickly as it had begun.
“Such a shame,” he said, peering over the edge carefully, trying to make out Benny’s corpse far down in the distance. “Nobody ever gets to take the stairs.”