Short story : « Poison in his veins »

🇫🇷 Cette histoire n’est disponible qu’en anglais.
This story is only available in English

It was almost dawn. The rain was pouring down on his face, and he had wanted to wait for it to stop. But he had no choice. He had to go in.

Python Sliknip was bad shape. There was poison running in his veins, and he knew it. His head was spinning. The nausea was awful.

But he had no other recourse. If he didn’t enter the building right now it would be too late. The clock was ticking.

He could do it. He knew he could do it! For Jack. For Hal. For the sergeant. He could see their faces if he closed his eyes. They would want him to go through with this, and to save it all.

He took a deep breath, and focused.

He had the advantage. He had with him a vital element: the keys to the place. With them, he could enter it without having to break a window, which might have triggered alarms. He still needed to make a choice, though: Front door or back door?

The front door should have been an easy choice, with the keys. But he knew the place. He had thoroughly studied it, and he knew that that front door was in itself a trap. Unlocking it would be a noisy business and its hinges were terribly creaky. There was no way he was going to be able to enter without getting noticed, especially since one of the guards was probably in a room directly above it.

Back door, then.

He moved silently through the night, crossing the street, looking around himself as he did so. No one in sight. Good.

Going around the building was easy business. To avoid detection though, Python went through the garden of the neighboring house, and nimbly jumped over the fence separating the two houses… or so was the plan, but the drugs in his system meant his body didn’t work exactly as he intended it to, and as he jumped, part of his sleeve got caught in the metallic upper part of the fence. It ripped as he went down, and he muttered a muffled curse, as the fence made a metallic noise.

Python quickly flattened himself against the hay, heart beating. A rookie mistake. He was a war veteran, had successfully infiltrated multiple complexes alone, and even saved the world. Twice! How could he have made such a rookie mistake?

Thankfully, no one was coming, and no searchlights were lit.

Focus, Python, focus. Steady your breathing. Sharpen your senses. You can do this! You can beat this!

He felt like the spinning in his head was calming down a bit.

Okay. Here we—

There was a sudden pressure on his groin. It took every ounce of courage and self-control he had to prevent him from jumping in surprise. He lowered his eyes to see what was happening…

A dog, a big dog, was pressing its muzzle against him.

Of course. He had forgotten about it. That’s was it. He was dead.

Any second now, the hound was going bark.

It was all over…

A second passed. Then another one. Three, Five, Ten.

The dog was not doing anything.

This is my chance!

He had to think quickly. He was ready for this! Yes, his mind had frozen because of the suddenness of the dog’s appearance, but he had countermeasures!

Slowly now… Don’t panic… Channel your inner tamer… Just like in training… I can do this…

— You’re a good boy, right? He whispered, trying to put all the gentleness and persuasion he could into his voice. A very good boy! I’m just passing by, all right? Go back to your doghouse!

The dog stayed in place.

Python slowly advanced his hand… And pet the hound. It actually seemed to like it!

He slowly brought his second hand around the dog’s neck…

I can do this!

He kept petting the dog… And when he had finished what he had to do, the dog was lying on the ground.

He didn’t feel any remorse. He had something important to do, and it was time for him to move on.

Good. Now to go inside.

In a few nimble steps, he was at the back door. He pressed his ear against it, but heard nothing. There was no light to be seen from the outside. All was calm.

He used his key, slowly inserting the metal into the lock so it would not make any noise. He started turning it, and was reassured to see that it turned almost noiselessly. When he felt resistance, he used his left hand to steady the right one, and turned more the key, almost degree by degree. The sound he heard as the lock finally clicked was extremely muffled, and he was quite sure no one could have heard him. Yet, he still pulled away from the door and waited a few more seconds before moving in.

Nothing. It was okay to move in.

He opened the door, slowly, putting his weight into each move so that no sound would be emitted. It was fine.

He closed it behind him, and was feeling good with himself, when the lights came on.


There was a couch, and he jumped and crouched behind it.

The light was bright and a bit painful to his eyes.

The movement detector! Of course! He could see it, he knew about it, but the fight against the poison in his veins had been so hard that he had forgotten to think about countermeasures for that! Another rookie mistake! Quickly, he removed his coat and threw it over the detector. His experts hands didn’t miss the target, and the small detector was covered with the soaked fabric. Good. Now, he just had to shut the lights down. There had been no noise when the lights lit up, which meant that no one was awake. Perfect.

He grabbed his phone. He had just the thing he needed to enter the network and shut down the lights… Yes! As soon as he pushed the buttons, darkness returned to the room. He waited a few seconds for his eyes to get used again to it, then got up.

He had removed his shoes and socks while waiting behind the couch. He’d make less noise walking barefooted.

Okay… Focus, Python. This is it.

He slowly reached for the stairs. He knew from previous visits to this place that the steps were very creaky… But he also knew how to avoid most of the noise.

The first move was the biggest hurdle: He had to directly get on step three. But to do that, he couldn’t use the ramp to stabilize himself! No, the ramp was a trap. It looked wooden and massive, but it was actually almost as creaky as the staircase. What he needed was to prop himself up against the wall, then three, two, one…

There was a tiny creak, but surely, it was okay. The rest of the way was pretty simple : Go slowly, keep using the wall as support, move his weight slowly, and go up two steps at a time.

He was proceeding at a good speed. Finally, he came at the top of the stairs! He had been afraid he would lose his balance because of his spinning head, but not even the dark poison running in his blood could beat the unyielding spirit of Python Sliknip!

His goods spirits, however, dampened, as he finally sighted his objective.

The door.

The final door.

Luck was on his side! It was slightly opened!

He breathed out, then in.

Here we go.

He slowly opened the door, being very careful not to open it too much. He knew that if he opened it completely, the door would squeak. And the door squeaking would surely mean that she would wake up.

He saw her, in the dim shadows of the room. He stopped all movement when he saw her, and observed the movement her body was making. In. Out. In. Out. Slowly, softly, regularly.

She was still asleep.

Just one thing to do, then, and he would have completed his objective.

He got closer and closer, then stopped himself, and slowly, ever so slowly, put his weight on the bed…

And darkness took him.


— David! David! David!

He awoke instantly. The yelling was angry, and loud.

A figure entered the room.

— You wake up this instant you stupid fool! What the hell is wrong with you?

She was yelling. It echoed within his head. It hurt.

She was pretty. She looked enraged.

— Hi, Meryl! I’m—

— Don’t you hi Meryl me you… What the fuck David? You told me you were going to be home early yesterday, and I waited for you but you never came home! And what the hell did you do with our living room? There is mud everywhere one the ground! And even some on the couch! And…

She frowned, looking disgusted.

— And you stink! You stink like alcohol! I can smell it from here! You were supposed to stop this stupid shit! That’s it David! That’s it! There is no saving this marriage! We’re getting a divorce! I want to divorce you! I can’t take your stupid shit anymore! And what have you done to my dog?

Python Slipnik sighed and started to massage his temples as his raging wife kept yelling at him. His mission had failed. He was just going to have to pay the consequences. This was the price one had to pay, when one fought for love, justice and…

— And don’t you start ignoring me, you drunk son of a bitch!