The Marble

He kept a marble in his pocket for good luck. Also because it could kill people.

It wasn’t a special marble. In fact, he replaced it several times a year—sometimes it was agate, sometimes matte blue, sometimes tiger eye—but it was always with him, in his right pocket, waiting.

The pants he wore were tight enough that the marble’s outline could be seen. 

It was beautiful artistry the way he took a man’s life. However, the only witnesses of his craft were his victims. He worked alone.

Like a magician, he added flair to his act. He told stories and used clever slights of hand to disorient and mystify. He was a true villain.

The routine lasted no more than a few minutes, but it felt like much longer. I tried to savor it, knowing it was the last entertainment I’d ever enjoy.