Julien’s Special Day
Juice was pouring out of the juicing machine and flowing across the counter. Quite a bit of juice actually. The curious mix of Avocado, Raspberry and Kale splashing onto the face of Julien who lay on the floor. The door to the kitchen was ajar. He’d been meaning to do renovations and remove the doorway, open things up a bit. Now he was lying on his back on the floor and he wouldn’t be worrying about the renovations any more.
He lived alone in this little house at 27 Court St. in the cities west end. The end that embraced the sun as it found its weary way to sleep. Pretty working-class this end, in a bit of a lull waiting for the wrecking balls of the Gentrifiers. At the moment they were all busy to the south and east. Julien was an early adopter. He worked as a middle manager keeping track of the efforts of a small and dedicated crew who sorted and distributed the mail, such as it was these days what with all the e-mailing, texting and tweeting.
The juice continued to spill out of a bullet hole in the juicer. Some of it was mixing with the blood leaking from Julien’s head creating interesting textures on the grey slate floor in the kitchen. A book of philosophy was open on the kitchen table beside the plate carefully laid out with egg, toast and bacon. The silverware placed ever so precisely like sentinels on guard. En Garde the famous cry before attacking in Rapiers. But the silver couldn’t help Julien on this day. This special day, the day when he was due to get a pay rise and a commendation for many consecutive days without a sick day at the company where he so carefully tracked and counted the dwindling influx of mail.
He usually phoned his mother most mornings. She was getting on in years but still kept her own apartment, not far away, a little further west. She wouldn’t get a call today, but having received one yesterday this wouldn’t be out of the ordinary, it would take at least one more full day before Julien’s mother would start to wonder and would phone Julien’s sister who also lived nearby. There were others whom she would phone and they would phone still many more. The discovery of Julien’s death would wait.
The traffic was going by his house in a rumble and a blur and looking across the street from the park, his house stood quiet and sedate, just as peaceful as all the other houses along the street. A street filled with beautiful leafy trees dark green from all the June rain. Julien had gotten a bit bored with fiction and had begun to dig out his old philosophy books and this particular one by Nietzsche had really caught his eye. He was enthralled by the idea of the Über Mensch. Julien felt that he shared some kind of affinity with Nietzsche. Julien had been very ill growing up and as a consequence had been tended by his mother and sister. Julien’s father had spurned him during this time in favour of his two older and healthier brothers.
Nietzsche had been sickly though much of his adult life and was tended by his sister. There are some who believe that Nietzsche and his sister had some kind of untoward intimacy for each other. Julien’s illness riddled childhood had stunted his growth and he ended up quite diminutive. His intelligence was not affected however and he did quite well in school. Excelling in the most esoteric disciplines such as philosophy. When he got out of university he had been recruited by CSIS and had spent time overseas as a spy. Julien would always shrug off such talk of the cloak and dagger, spies and the like, he would demur and turn the topic to something else. However his resume did have several gaps in it, filled with vague references to import and export of goods unknown.
Julien had participated in a particularly dirty bit of business in the nineties. His subject had died while in custody and had to be buried late at night down an old lane, but not before he had given over the detailed directions to a cache of gold hidden in the hills of a unnamed southern country. Julien personally took care of the burial but not before extracting the subjects gold teeth. Well the dead gentleman wasn’t going to need them where he was going was he? Julien’s mission had concluded successfully, having located and collected the gold. Julien couldn’t help it that some of the cache had gone astray. Who was keeping accounts? The agency had gotten more than enough, he reckoned.
He had temporarily ‘borrowed’ a truck during the escapade. What he didn’t realize was he had been seen at one point and someone made a vow of revenge. Finally after some other jobs, some very close calls in Northern Africa, guns drawn and muzzle flashes in the night, in alleys intermittently obscured by moody steam, he decided to pack it in.
Not however before one last job, unsanctioned by the agency. He had begun his planning well in advance, as this was going to be a solo effort. He felt too vulnerable involving anyone else. Even his regular partners would be left in the dark on this one. But ones adversaries can have the longest memories and revenge can take its own sweet time catching up to one such as he. It often comes out of the blue when you least expect it. Some bright sunny day while getting ready for work, a gold-toothed Berber might roll up on you soft and silent like.
Howard Beye 2014