Ice

    It had been a warm May in London when he had left. In Reykjavik, although the sun was shining, it was cold. His thin jacket provided scant protection from the wind as he huddled though the streets towards the café.
    The cold made him nervous. It was a new experience. He couldn’t remember feeling nervous before. Excited, yes. Expectant, sometimes. Even, on occasion, disturbed. But he had never felt this before. He rubbed at his left arm.
    It was the error that had done it. He should have known what the temperature was like here. He should have brought a thicker jacket. That was the kind of thing he had done on every previous job. It wasn’t a good sign. Was he slipping?
    The map he had memorised was, at least, accurate. He found the café with no problem and slipped into a booth towards the back. He ordered coffee and a cake which looked nice in the case, but turned out to be too sticky and too full of coconut.
    His nerves grew worse.
    The sky grew dark earlier than he expected, but he kept his vigil. Periodically he pulled his gun from its holster, checked the safety catch was off, checked there was a round in the chamber, and slid it away again.
    Valsson did not come in.
    He ate dinner and waited
    The coffee was giving him the jitters, but that was something he was used to. His nerves did not leave him
    When the lights dimmed he pulled the gun and looked around in animated distress, but there was no attack. It was a sign that the late evening trade was starting. Looking out from the booth, he realised that he had failed to notice the clearing aside of tables and the arrival of several new customers. As he watched more arrived and within minutes the café had become a bustling bar.
    The music rose in volume. This was now more his place. The dark and the noise gave him cover. He had been assured Valsson would be here at some point. He just needed to hold it together and wait.
    When the bar closed at four, they found him still in the booth, his gun clutched in his hand. No wounds or injuries were found.