This is a rewrite of someone's story, using long sentences and pompous commentary (what I thought was Dickens). The pop into present tense, however, was taken from Janet Evanovich; the parallel form is all mine.
CROSSING A LINE
by Emma Sohan
Being strong of body, quick of reflex, lacking in morals, loving of money, and uncannily forgetful of his past sins, Assasin -- for that was how he was called -- was the perfect tool for those desiring the death of another human and willing to pay well for that service.
Assassin and an old man met in a dark alley at night, a good time for those who fear the revealing light of the sun and who are annoyed by its genial warmth; and a good place because this alley had a stench almost strong enough to cover up the stench coming from these men's hearts and minds. The old man, whimsically, gave Assassin a priest's robe to wear while killing a particular priest who, somehow or another, for reasons that did not concern Assassin, had become an obstacle in the path of the old man.
And so it came to pass that a church, late at night, contained two men, dressed alike. The priest, praying, had only God in his mind and no awareness of Assassin; Assassin, stalking, had only death in his mind and no awareness of the love in the priest's heart. The priest's God, as sometimes happens in this curious world, was no protection. There was a moment of surprise, the puff of a silent bullet, blood, a dead priest, and a man escaping from a church into the night.
We cross many lines, sometimes with awareness and sometimes not: We cross from one country to another, a transition none would notice except for a line painted on the road and customs officials cooperating in our delusion that this line is somehow important; we cross into love or old age, on a passage too subtle to understand, passing over a line too subtle to notice, knowing for sure that we have crossed a line only when we stand finally, firmly on the opposite side and can look back. Assassin had unknowingly crossed a line, perhaps because he had finally presented God with an offense that God could not tolerate (despite God's love and endless hope for confession and forgiveness), or perhaps -- just as too many stones thrown into a boat eventually sink the boat, even though the final stone is no different from any other stone -- Assassin had simply killed once too often.
Late that night, instead of seeing his own face in his bathroom mirror, Assassin saw the face of the priest he had just killed, blood running out the bullet hole in the priest's forehead, the priest asking Assassin why he had killed an innocent man of God. Then with even more horror, Assassin saw his previous victim, a businessman, his neck broken, telling the Assassin of the grief of his family and asking how his loved ones would now get through this world without his help. Then, with a horror beyond all imagination, Assassin saw a young girl he had killed, unmarked by her suffocation, telling Assassin of the awful feeling of not being able to breath, gazing at Assassin with a look of surprise that never in her short life had she imagined someone so evil.
He smashed the mirror -- as if an act of man could thwart a determined God -- and each shard, fallen to the floor, became the face and voice of a soul he had murdered; he ran from his bathroom -- as if flight could thwart a determined God -- but the windows and mirrors of every room showed the faces and voices of his victims, tormenting him with their pain, suffering, and loss of their hopes and dreams; he thought to kill himself, yes he firmly resolved to kill himself -- as if the ultimate act of a man could thwart a determined God -- but then he felt only hopeless dismay, as his own death would merely trade this hell for another.