Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. A story, about three very powerful men, begins after the photo by Alatair Forbes.
Permit No Evil
Igulutu had never met a white man like Stewart Beurlein before. The Peace Corps worker had fought against corruption and the “way of doing business” in South Africa to provide clean drinking water and electric power to the Bilisi tribe where all had failed before. The man was fearless when it came fighting the powers that be to do what’s right.
When it came to scorpions, that fearlessness of Stewart would tun to abject, quivering terror. This didn’t matter to Igulutu. He’d lived so long as the sorcerer and protector of the Bilisis he’d didn’t know how old he was anymore. With such age he wasn’t easily impressed by anything any longer, but he was impressed by Stewart.
That’s why Igulutu placed a Meerkat charm beside Stewart’s door.
Igulutu knew things…
…Before they happened.
The sorcerer was no more than a shadow, hiding in the trees in the night beside Stewart’s hut. He could feel the man’s heart as the assassin approached Stewart’s hut, could feel the carapces of tiny bodies released beneath the door. Igulutu didn’t move. He didn’t have to. The charm did it’s work, and soon Igulutu felt the padded feet of many little scorpion eaters feasting upon the horde of would-be killers.
He closed his eyes and leaned against a branch. Stewart was safe, but that left one item of business remaining.
Rupert Van Haupt set down a glass of Scotch, so expensive it would feed a family of Bilisis for a year. He opened the package upon his $10,000 desk. Inside the box he found the head of the assassin he’d hired. Rupert shrugged. He’d been threatened before by the tribes. He’d just hire another assassin to remove the problem. Then he saw something new beside the head.
A tiny figurine.
He held it and smirked when it made a sound…exactly like a lion…
…In the office.