As soon as I took a sip, I realized it was poison.
To be honest, I realized it was poison the second it was offered to me. I mean, come on. When you’re oh-so-mysteriously invited to your enemy’s mansion because “there’s a beautiful Monet you just have to see” (spoiler alert: there isn’t), you sort of expect to be poisoned at some point.
I know what you’re thinking.
Why did I follow Edgar Wellington, the most notorious and dangerous conman in the country, to his hidden and underground chamber?
I was sent on a secret mission by the Unnamed, James Bond’s biggest fangirls who just couldn’t come up with a better name for our organization.
And well, I was kinda hoping the Monet part would be real.
Having been trained by the Unnamed, I could recognize upon first glance and smell any sort of poison and was equipped with several antidotes that would save me from the most common kinds.
I knew the glass Edgar offered me contained something, but refusing a kind offering from my host could have appeared disconcerting so, sitting down on a comfortable armchair in the golden chamber, I brought the glass to my lips and took a small sip.
As I swirled the liquid in my mouth, I classified the poison for the instant and dramatic collapse to the ground that leaves your arms in a flailing-like position, your mouth open and your eyes rolled back in your head. Someone had a taste for drama.
My enemies probably expected the theatrical fall from me, but before all of that could happen I spat out the poison (you know, the way people on tv do when someone says something really funny) and sprang into action: I leapt out of my chair and went straight for Edgar’s guard, leaving the woman closest to me screaming from the poison in her eyes. The guard retrieved a dagger from the inside of his sleeve and threw it towards my chest for a quick kill, but I dodged the weapon by inches and ducked down. I decided I was no match for the guy and had to find a cleverer way to knock him out: I flipped the glass table in front of me to stall him and looked for Edgar, who had sprung out of his chair the second he realized I was onto his plan. He was at the other end of the golden room, fumbling with the lock of a narrow door.
I focused all my attention on the guard in front of me and ran through my resources: I had an extendable knife tucked into my bun, a whip disguised as my boot’s laces and-
The man landed a punch in my stomach and I double over with nausea, almost blacking out from the pain, but he didn’t stop there. He kicked my back and pushed me down to the almost freezing floor.
“Thought you could make a run for it, eh?”. His breath was hot in my ear, tears and sweat were stinging my eyes, but I couldn’t give up so quickly. “Stupid, naïve”.
That, mister guard, hurt.
“Please get the bloody hell off of me” I forced myself out of his grip, momentarily crushing my own ribs, “and eat a mint, will you?”.
I used all of my strength to land a classy kick in his groin and hoisted myself up. I fumbled with my right boot to retrieve my metal whip and looked upwards, to the magnificent chandelier, which I of course slashed and let fall to the ground, right on top of Edgar’s guard.
Sprinting across the room and into the hallway Edgar had disappeared through, I should have looked like some badass assassin, with my long silver whip and my black attire, but in reality I was rocking, with my sweaty face and disheveled hair, more of a “struggling through the second lap during P.E.” type of look. Let this be a lesson to all you aspiring undercover spies: boys and girls, you might want to accept that you’re more likely to resemble Shrek than whomever it is you idolize. Unless, of course, you’re idol is Shrek.
It only took me a few seconds to reach the open door at the end; I stepped inside, readying my whip, and scanned the room ahead of me: unlike the previous chamber, this one looked like it had been dripped in liquid emerald. Knowing Edgar’s obsession with precious stones and metals, it probably had. Everything from the bedding to the armoire was green and shiny, which is why the whole thing reminded me of Oz.
I was about to proceed to the next room, when a groan sounded from behind and Edgar pushed me to the ground, using his weight as best as he could to make up for his lack of strength.
He lifted his right arm to reach for something in his pocket and pulled out a luminous green gun.
“I see we’re trying to fit the aesthetic. Do you or do you not have a gun in that pocket for each of the colored rooms in this house?”
He pointed the gun to my head, making me start to worry my mission, as well as my dream of living beyond my 16 years, would fail.
That’s when I knew that it was time to make use of my last weapon.
I inhaled dramatically and-
Sneezed all over him, recovering time to extract, from the inside of my jacket, a fuzzy pink feather boa.
I chuckled at the confusion in his eyes as I put the feather boa to his nose, making him feint.
No, it didn’t smell like dirty socks or Swiss cheese, but it was adorned with an artificial numbing gas.
I jumped to my feet and searched Wellington’s coat pockets and whatnot, but found what I was looking for hanging around his neck on a black chain.
The beautiful, dazzling and wrongfully his emerald ring.