TITLE: Win or Go Home
Bounty hunter Rick Parker has followed a clue that leads him to the Emerald City Detective Agency. He knocks on the door and finds nobody home, so he enters.
Parker walked around behind the desk and tried the door knob. It was locked. He leaned on the desk and looked closely at the legal pad. The borders were filled with elaborate doodles in thick black strokes that depicted not random scribbles but detailed skulls, gallows, guns and bullets. In the center of the paper was a list of phone numbers and dollar amounts. In a few seconds he could tear off the sheet and be out the door. The artist might object, but he had left the room unattended, so what could he expect? Parker's fingers slid under the sheet, ready to tear, when the click of the door opening behind him froze him in place. The next thing he heard was the sound a semi-automatic pistol makes when the slide is racked. Parker let go of the tablet but kept his hands visible on the desk top.
Parker had to decide which door, front or back, presented more danger and had guessed wrong. Now all he could do was wait for the unseen gunman to make a move. He lifted both arms in a gesture of surrender and stood still. The seconds ticked by in his head. He could almost feel the breath of his captor blowing the hairs on the back of his neck. He told himself he would never hear the shot that killed him.
"Find what you need? said a deep voice.