No, that wasn’t hatred; that was just weakness.
No, true hatred, that was something to be nurtured and savoured over the course of years. If one truly hated somebody, the way that the Baron hated the Earl, then one took one’s time with things, planned one’s move ever so carefully.
The first thing one needed to do, was observe them. One needed to watch them in their environment, make a note of their daily routine, their habits and behaviours. Watch the way they interacted with others, get to know them from a safe distance.
Then one needed to befriend them, yes, befriend them! Gain their confidence, get closer to them, make sure that they trusted one implicitly – first as not being any kind of threat, secondly as a pleasant acquaintance, then as a friend, then like a member of the family; as a brother.
Lastly, one needed to plan how they would die.
On a hunt one stalked one’s prey; one sat very still, downwind of one’s prey, camouflaged in the undergrowth unless one had the advantage of higher ground. When one could get close enough, while one’s prey was still totally oblivious to one’s presence, then one let loose one’s killer instinct and felled them where they stood. One could kill them quickly, or if one was feeling particularly mischievous, then one might play with them a while; let them go a bit, catch them again, let them go a bit, catch them again…kill them when one got bored.
Assassinations were different from hunting, there were more elements in play, many more variables to consider. For a start, the whole thing had to look like an accident; there could be no possibility that any part of the blame could be apportioned to oneself. For the others around one to know what one was truly capable of…that would be disastrous, especially for one’s long term master plans; no, they could suspect nothing.
The Baron had been forced by circumstance to share his lodgings with the Earl, and so it was that the Baron spent years watching the uncouth and rambunctious fellow – tolerating his obsequiousness with those he regarded as his betters, and his truculence with strangers and even those he ought to have regarded as his peers. The eating habits of the Earl were truly disgusting, he would eat just about anything that was put in front of him, covering himself with the slop he ate, and did he clean himself up afterwards? No. He just licked his chops and went about his business, probably to go and take a piss on a wall down some alleyway somewhere…no class whatsoever.
The Earl had to go.
One day, the servants were cleaning out the manor the Baron shared with the Earl and had left the front door wide open. The Earl often went out for walks accompanied by the servants, but today he ventured into the street by himself, something he very rarely did, if ever. Now was the time!
The Baron buried his excitement deep inside of himself, and slowly sauntered up to the Earl with a smile on his face. The Earl was looking up and down the street, his eyes wide and alert, no doubt baffled and intrigued by the comings and goings of those around him.
“I say old chap” said the Baron as he slinked up alongside him, “what say you and I have a wager?”
“A wager?! ” replied the Earl, glancing down at the Baron, his ears perking up, “capital idea! What do you suggest? A race perhaps?”
“Yes! Yes! Exactly; a race. Yes, we will run as fast as we can up this street, and round the block, and the first one back is the winner.”
“Right! You’re on!” agreed the Earl eagerly.
“On your marks…” started the Baron as the Earl hunched down, ready to bolt, “get set…go!”
The Earl and the Baron pelted hell for leather up the street and hurtled round the corner, just as the Baron had planned. Passers by whooped and exclaimed their surprise as they were obliged to jump back out of the way of the pair, which caused the Earl no end of amusement. Before long, the Earl was taking the lead and sprinting across a little side street…but little did he know, the Baron had also been observing the routines and habits of others in the general vicinity.
The Baron knew, for instance, that around this time of the day Mr Wainwright would be driving down that side street in his sports coupé, and that being a rambunctious fellow himself he would be driving far too quickly to avoid the Earl…
“Wait!” the Baron cried weakly as the Earl’s body was hit by the vehicle and went under the tires.
Oh dear, too late, so tragic.
The servants were beside themselves with grief, the Earl had been like a child to them. They picked up the mutt’s body and took it back to the house, no doubt intending to clean him up before they buried him.
The Baron sat on a wall, smiling. All was right with the world.
Purring, he licked his paws clean and sauntered off to do a bit of hunting.