In The Arms of A Stranger
By: Ford Farmer
As Frank Hotchkiss neared the Samsonite Inn, he felt a chilled sense of foreboding. As he looked at the cracked windows, he could swear he could see
pleading faces, but he said nothing, suppressed his feelings and entered the Inn.
His Glock 23 stirred nervously under his waistband, & He welcomed the cool wind from the AC in the building. The lobby was a sad little room with a
reception desk, and a table full of dusty brochures.
As he approached the counter, he could hear the faint sound of sex through the very thin walls. He had to suppress a laugh when he saw the man
working the front desk. The man had huge rimmed glasses, tucked in shirt, and a horrible smelling cigar in his mouth. He was hunched over in a way,
that reminded me of a pissed off assisted living patient.
He looked at me in a way that also made me pity the man. He had his hand clutched on a small gun under the counter. I asked him, if he could point me
in the direction of room 717, he pointed down the hallway to my left, and asked, “ Are you waitin’ for three big guys?”
I said yes, but then I told him to get his kids out of there. As I neared the room, I could hear the muffled chatter, through the old door. They were
telling each other to shut up, because they thought they heard something.
I knew immediately what happened. I was sent there by my boss to wait there for him, and he would be there at 9:30 PM. It was 7:30 PM. I pulled the
automatic from my waist and, and cocked it.
I kicked open the door, and saw all three men. I immediately fired once at the largest man’s heart. He made a gurgling sound and went down. I
looked at the other two men, and told them to drop the guns, if they wanted to live.
They did as I told them, one had a suppressed Colt 1911 .45 handgun. The other had a suppressed Walther P5. I told one of them to run, and the other
to stay. I made him spill his beans quick; a .40 caliber pistol does that well.
He said that they were to give the boss’s information to me. I read the letter and pocketed it. I then apologized and dropped a handful of money
from my wallet onto the corpse of the would be messenger.
As I left the Samsonite Inn I could see the old man trembling at the front desk, with the gun drawn. I left without further action. The hot Georgia
sun was hell on this cloudless day.
I returned to my home, and read the envelope i.e. read:
I apologize for my absence Instead of being there I have directed three of my most trusted men to be there for you. If you are reading this message, I
trust you got there safely and you met Sergio. Your next assignment is to go to Amsterdam, and watch over a young woman for me. She is being pursued
by hit men all over the world. I beg of you, please do not let them take her from me. You payment will be a total of 1.3 million dollars. I know
that’s pricey of me, but that money will also cover your traveling expenses. Inclosed are two checks for six hundred and fifty thousand dollars. One
you can cash now, but one is in an account where no money can be withdrawn unless my signature is on it.
Please protect her, if you don’t I will take the money that you put into the bank out of your head.
I almost became frightened when I thought of the things The boss would do to me, when he found out that I had just killed Sergio. But there were
other things to worry about. Also in the envelope was a picture of a strikingly beautiful young Italian woman getting out of a car. You could clearly
see the print of the gun she carried in her purse.
The caption under the photograph said, ”she’s feisty, but I love her so. Meet her at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel at three Am on the rooftop.”
On the reverse side of the photo, it had an address. I then quickly packed my bags, and headed for the airport.
The traffic on the way to the airport was horrific, as usual. When I arrived, I then realized that I had left the .40 caliber Glock in its holster,
on my hip. I slowly got out of line, and went to the bathroom.
To dispose of the gun, I placed it inside of the Toilet’s tank. I took out the bullets, and wrapped them in Toilet paper; and put them down the
pipe. I then returned to the back of the annoyingly long security line.
I passed security, and purchased my ticket. The cost was 1299.99 dollars, for a first class seat. My ears pressurized as I boarded the plane, and a
flight attendant gave me a glass of champagne.
We arrived technically three hours before I left, God I hate the concept of timezones. I arrived at the Hilton hotel at 9:00PM unpacked my things,
and went to scope out the rooftop. When I returned, I set my alarm for 2:00 AM so I would awake on time.
2:00 AM came early that morning. I dressed, and made my way to the rooftop. The ride on the elevator seemed to take hours. Time was going slow, and
the cheesy elevator music wasn’t helping.
The rooftop’s temp. Must have been at least thirty degrees, I was out there in nothing but a sport coat, shirt, and pants. A woman stood standing
near the edge of the roof. She was wearing a handmade fur coat, and had a large pistol on a hip holster.
She turned. We locked eyes. We fell in love. Nothing else mattered at that moment, except the feelings we mutually shared; though we haven’t said a
word. Her gorgeous long hair flew limitlessly in the wind, & I was speechless.
She was the first to speak, her voice sounded winded like she had just ran a mile, but it was as sweet as honey, and as right as rain. I imagine she
was winded for the same reason I was. When I saw her I gasped, I guess she felt the same way.
I came closer, and without any argument, we kissed. “My name is Frank Hotchkiss, and I’ll be your guardian this evening.” “My name is
Gabriella portkey, and I’ll be the guarded this evening.”
We went back to her room, opened a bottle of scotch, and talked the rest of the day until about 3:35PM. It was beautiful, but still it felt like I
was just meeting her, she was still a stranger.
We went out for an early dinner that night. She had given me a custom revolver that she said had belonged to her deceased father. The gun felt good
in my hands, the only problem was the caliber. It was chambered for .454casul rounds, which are so massive people have complained about weight when
At dinner she told tales of her father, she made it sound like he should get the Nobel piece prize. She told me tales, about her profession. The
Italian Government forced her to work as an assassin. But no matter how much we talked or chatted, it felt like was falling in love with a
So we decided to go to an Ice cream parlor for desert. Gabriella and I talked even more about past experiences, mainly work tales, and politics.
I had almost finished my Sundae, when suddenly the room was filled with gunfire. The men from the hotel room, were standing in the doorway, and had
MP5Ks they saw Gabriella, and I and opened fire. I grabbed her arm, and pushed her over behind the counter. I was hit in the side doing so. I then
went for the .454.
The gun’s sound was deafening, when the bullet hit one of the men, it knocked him back. I then put one more in his chest and another in his head.
Each time I fired It made my wrist hurt. When I had emptied the gun, I saw that almost everyone in the ice cream place had gone down. Gabriella was
Gabriella and I made our way back to the hotel. She was starting to become more alert. When we arrived to her room, she went to work immediately on
sizing up my wounds. The wound was only superficial, but she still made me go to the hospital. Although we had been together now for a while, she
still felt like a stranger I was just meeting.
When we arrived a Pseudointellectual bed-pan-handler treated my wounds. He was rather asshole-ish and treated me poorly. Gabriella and I talked about
him for nearly an hour.
We got back to the hotel at about 1:00AM we were to exhausted to so anything else, so we just snuggled together until we both fell asleep. As close
as we had come in those past couple of days, She still was a stranger in my eyes. The most peculiar, beautiful stranger in the world.
At about 3:00PM the next day, the sun being filtered in through the blind woke us both up. We felt so snug together, but it was if we hadn’t even
scratched the surface of each other. We made love that morning, and ordered fresh orange juice, and champaign.
Apart from the marvelous morning, That day would turn out to be the worst day of my life. Gabriella and I decided to go sightseeing. We called a cab,
and it came swiftly. Little did we know, that the cabby would be our one way ticket to hell.
The man driving the cab was named Leon Malkovich and he worked for the KGB. He asked where we were headed, and then pulled over, and pulled a gun on
The whole operation must have been planed, because it went off without a hitch. Three cars pulled up along each side of us, and boxed us onto the
curb. Four men exited the car to the right of us and tried to drag Gabriella and I out.
I went for the revolver, but Leon shot me in the shoulder, sending blood all over the seat of the car, and on Gabriella. I stoped resisting. But
gabriella had one more trick up her sleve. In her purse she had a Micro Uzi. As two men came around to her side of the car, she opened fire on Leon.
She shot about three times, one hitting.
The bullet only grazed Leon, but it took out his left eye. He screamed, and fired blindly. Gabriella shot the approaching two men in a hail of
gunfire. She emptied the rest of the magazine, on the car behind them.
I quickly grabbed my revolver, and Leon’s gun. I dual wielded two ticket vendors for hell. I covered Gabriella while she reloaded the little
cannon. It looked like a scene from Mr. And Mrs. Smith. I could feel bullets hitting my chest killing me slowly.
Gabriella took care of the car behind us, and I took out the cars in front of, and beside us. I could feel warm blood runnign down my leg, and I
could hear Gabriella crying. I then fell to the ground.
Gabriella was crying over my semi-concious body, when wounded Leon Malkovich came over, and shot me once in the head, ending my tale. But at least I
ended it next to the perfect stranger.
Gabriella looked at Leon, and spit in his face. She brought up the Uzi and fired, click. She worked the action, and fired again, click. She grasped
the revolver from Frank’s hand and pulled the trigger six times, click, click, click, click, click, boom.
The bullet tore through Leon’s throat.
Blood flowed freely from Leon, and he gurgled. Before he could fall to the ground he fired once at Gabriella hittling her in the heart.
Leon was dead before he hit the gorund, and Gabriella got the satisfaction she needed by killing the killer. She slowly placed he head on Frank’s
lifeless body, wrapped his arms around her and died.
Gabriella died seconds later wrapped in the arms of her lover, Dead in the arms of her stranger.