Poisoned - An Underlined End of Summer Contest Entry

By @avalon123

Poisoned - An Underlined End of Summer Contest Entry

By @avalon123

My entry for the Booksplosion End-Of-Summer Writing Contest. A story about poison, blackmail and who to save.

Chapter 1

When most people think of their first job, they think of underpaid hours at a Starbucks or IHOP; serving angry customers at six in the morning. They think of breaking the coffee machine or making a fool out of themselves when they dropped a tray loaded with food. What they would not think of, is being blindfolded, handcuffed and escorted by two armed guards to get their assignment. However, that was my position at the moment. As I approached a door, my handcuffs were removed and set on a shelf then, I was lead to a seat and roughly shoved into it. My blindfold was removed, but that didn’t change the fact that I couldn’t see a thing. The room contained a giant spotlight; that was pointed strait at me, affectively obscuring my view of whoever was behind it. A glass was shoved into my hand and as soon as I took a sip, I realized it was poison. Nevertheless, I continued to drink until I had downed the glass’s entire contents.“So,” I began. “It’s a kill this time, you guys need to start using a poison that I can’t taste. Or better yet-” I was cut off.“Miss. Blackwood, please watch your tone,” came a voice from behind the light. “You are correct, we need someone to be,” he coughed, “disposed of. A man hacked into some of our files, not important ones but it hardly matters. We need to know why; then you may take him out. This should be very easy for you, no?” Even though I’d never seen my boss I could imagine him raising his eyebrows skeptically during that last bit.“Yes, that happens to be immensely easy,” I replied. “So easy that anyone of your little flying monkeys could have done it for you. My question is: why am I the one sitting in your office instead of them?” “Ah yes,” he said. “The reason you are here, is because you seem to be already acquainted with the target. We have tried sending other agents, but he refuses to open his door to someone he doesn’t know. A man by the name of Porter Eastman.”My mind was instantly flooded with every memory I had of Porter: him and I at the playground. Him and I, eating ice cream; me posing for a picture in front of his bed at the hospital when he broke his leg. It took me a few seconds to process my boss repeating my name over and over; trying to get my attention.“Miss. Blackwood. Selina!” He said.“Yes,” I replied trying to mask whatever emotions were playing out on my face.“You had a falling out with Mr. Eastman before you were recruited. Correct?” He said.“Yes,” I repeated.“In that case,” he said, “you should have no problem terminating him; you have 48 hours. Dismissed.” Like this was enough to make me go kill my childhood friend. I got up and allowed myself to be blindfolded before I was lead to the garage.

On the way to Porter’s house I made up my mind. There was poison coursing thru my veins and I only had 48 hours to get the antidote. Porter and I hadn’t come into contact for years. I could get rid of him easily; then I could get back to the compound before I started showing signs of poisoning. But who was I kidding, I couldn’t kill someone I had a past with and my boss must have known that. After a little while, I made up my mind to fake Porter’s death. If it was convincing enough I could keep my job and Porter could keep his life. As I pulled up to his house, I was once again hit with a wave of memories. I walked up to his porch reliving the afternoons I had spent there, an eternity ago. When I arrived at his door, I surveyed it for a second, there was a peep hole in the center which must have been how he knew who was outside. I knocked, and the door opened.“Selina? W…w…” Porter stuttered, “what are you doing here?”“Get inside now.” I said making my voice as commanding as possible.“What?” He said.“Now.” I repeated. Slowly he turned around and walked back into his house, leaving the door open.  “So,” he said. I’d told him my plan to get him out of the city where he could be safe; and could hopefully live his life out in peace “You mean to say, your being forced to kill people against your will, because if you don’t your boss won’t give you the antidote to the poison you ingest every time they want you to kill someone?”“Yes.” I said hoping to divert his inevitable wave of questions until later.“Ok, let’s go.” He said solemnly, then added: “but this better not be a prank!”

I lead him out to my car and looked inside for a water bottle not noticing until now that my throat was painfully dry; as soon as I took a sip, my mouth foamed up and I started choking. “Selina are you ok?” Asked Porter from the other side of the car. When I didn’t reply, his voice became urgent, “Selina! What’s going on?” But I couldn’t respond, my body had gone rigid. Suddenly I heard a voice that made me tense up even more.“Mr. Eastman, please put your hands in the air and move to the front of the vehicle we have you surrounded.” No, I thought how did they know? Then, something clicked in my mind; my boss hadn’t wanted me on this job because I knew Porter. He’d wanted me on this job because I was the one who could get Porter out of his house without a struggle. They probably wanted to recruit, not kill him, but there was nothing I could do for Porter anymore as my vision faded to black.

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