Harold skittered across the open no man's land to the scheduled meet with the new client. Meeting with strangers was always a scary proposition, but that was just one of the difficulties when you made your living as an assassin. There was a whole host of hazards from the people who set traps to the bounty cats who could be waiting around any corner.
Sometimes the media hounds wanted him to explain how he got started as an assassin. None of them wanted to hear the truth--because it wasn't pretty. He had taken up the business of murder for hire because of the money.
Hey! There weren't that many job opportunities for a mouse! And in the bigoted world where women thought the only good mouse was a dead mouse, well, Harold had taken what he could get. He made a steady income that easily supported his extended family so that the little ones didn't have to scramble for cheese and peanut butter. Since he'd taken up the assassin business no one had needed to chance the trap run. No more missing tails. No more gnawed off fingers. He could buy peanut butter and cheese for everyone.
When he drew close to the edge of the table, the waiting cat lifted his head up, staring at Harold in disbelief. "You're the assassin?" he snarled.
"Yep. Who's the target?"
"Prince. He's a German Shepard. Big mean son of a gun. Are you sure you're up to this?"
"A dog, huh. Hmmmm. Well, it'll be tough. Gonna cost you extra."
"Allright. Half now. Half when you do the job."
Harold mulled that over. "Okay. Just remember. If you stiff me for the job, I'll take it out of your hide."
The cat grinned. "No problem."
Harold leaped away, streaking across the table. The cat and his companion watched him with unwinking stares.
"Are ya really gonna pay him, Tiger?"
"Heck no." Tiger snapped at his companion in disgust. "You're such an idiot, Fluffy."
"Well, aren't you afraid? You heard what he said!"
"Why should I be afraid?" Tiger slapped Fluffy's nose. "Have you forgotten? Harold the mouse is my bounty. Besides. In my spare time, I'm an assassin, too."