He stood alone in the darkness. Hidden in the shadows of the alleyway, out of the beams of the street-lights from the main road. Bringing the cigarette to his lips his features were briefly illuminated as the lighter caught the paper and tobacco, lighting it. His skin was pale and clammy. Sickly almost. His cheeks and eye sockets, sunken, added to the sickly appearance. The lighter disappeared into a shadow. He filled his lungs with the poisoning fumes, delighting in the feeling they engulfed him in. The habit, originating in his youth, was one he had harboured for three decades now.
Three drags and the cigarette was down to its butt. It was swiftly pressed between the pavement and the sole of his shoe, and he told himself that he did not need another one. Thirty years had turned him into a chain smoker and it was hard to resist lighting up another.
Just as he was beginning to think he could not resist the urge after all, a car pulled up. Walking over to the passenger-side window as it slid down the panel, he stopped and bent over to see the driver.
“Boss says it’s on. We take him out,” came the instruction. “Get in.”
Smirking almost imperceptibly, he opened the door and got into the car. It was going to be a good night.