Sought After Shadows
By Syris Nileus
I was a weapon. I never meant for it to end this way but they’d manipulated me into doing their dirty work. At this point following their instructions was the only way to ensure my survival. I was trapped in the vicious killing cycle. Innocent blood on my hands. And for what? Money? Power? Safety? Was any of it really worth the cost I paid? Was losing my conscience worth it? I’m still not quite so sure…
Let’s backtrack about ten years. I was fifteen and desperate. My father left when I was three. Apparently his other family was more important to him. And my mother was sick. I mean really sick. Doctors said she had three years left, at most. At fifteen I became the provider for myself and my mother. I did little jobs for years but now I needed a real job. I was walking back from my seventh job interview through the dirty streets of Brooklyn when a masked man pulled me off the street into a dark alley. He covered my mouth and carried me far back into the alley as I struggled against his strong grip. I kicked my legs helplessly and tried to scream through his hand. My heart was pounding and the only thing running through my head was,
“I’m gonna die. I’m gonna die. I’m gonna die. And no one will find me.”
Finally I found my sense. I opened my mouth wide under his large hand and bit down as hard as I could. He cried out and released my head. I jerked my leg back into his gut and at the same time flung my elbow back into his face. I heard a crack as my elbow collided with his nose. Then I ran. As fast as I could.
“Don’t look back. Don’t look back,” I told myself.
But I looked back. And the second I looked back I ran smack into another man in black. He picked me up and threw me into an open truck. As soon as my head hit the floor, I blacked out.
The next thing I knew I was sitting in a small office chair. Across from me sat huge, a bald man with a sharp jaw and a scar across his eye. I shuddered at his icy glare and looked around confused and terrified.
“You’ve shown promising potential,” he said in a deep, gruffy voice.
“W- What?” I stuttered.
“We’ve been watching you. And tonight was the final test,” he said, his gaze unwavering.
I glanced around, “Me? You’ve been watching me?”
He gave a slight nod and gestured to the large bodyguards standing next to the doors.
“They were the ones who collected you for me tonight.”
“We need someone young. Someone unexpected. We need you. And quite frankly, you need us.”
He let that sink in before continuing, “I mean with your mother being so ill..”
“How do you know about my mother?” I blurt out.
“Oh we know your mother very well. She was just like you. Alone. Scared. Desperate.”
I shook my head, “That doesn’t make sense.”
“She worked for me. And I’m offering you the same position.”
“You’re- offering me a job?”
“Yes,” he replied, retrieving a packet of papers from his desk.
“What’s the job?” I asked, sitting up straighter, hope filling my chest.
“We need you to complete some small jobs for us… we would train you, of course, and supply you with everything you need. It would pay extremely well. Starting at $1,000 a job.”
My jaw literally dropped. $1,000?! I could already imagine the life I could live with that money. The medicine I could afford. The home I could rent for me and my mother.
“I’ll do it,” I said without another thought, “Anything. I’ll do anything.”
“Perfect,” he said with a dark smile, pointing to a line where I was to sign.
Little did I know. I had just signed away my childhood. My innocence. My conscience. In exchange for money. Useless money, which has no true value. My life was over. I was officially theirs.
The next day I began “training”. And no I didn’t train in an office or under a manager. I trained with weapons. I trained to become a weapon. They taught me how to shoot, stab, kill. And worst of all.
They taught me how to get away with it.
I could slip in and out of a highly confidential meeting without anyone noticing. I was invisible and I was the perfect weapon for a high class killer.
My first target was the CEO of a rival organization. I visited his office one day. He was dead the next day.
My second target was the Senator of a small European nation. He was found shot in his office. No gun or bullet was found.
My third target was the owner of a nuclear factory. He was discovered unconscious in his home. A knife wound, but no knife or killer was ever identified.
Target after target after target after target…..
With each “job” I lost a part of myself. I lost who I was. I became the cold-blooded killer they trained me to be. I was so exhausted. So tired of running. Running from myself. I was scared of who I had become. I was done being their weapon. I was ready to self-destruct. And bring them all down with me.
And that’s exactly what I did.
Newspapers flooded with news of the closed cases. Who killed them? How was the killer discovered?
She turned herself in.
I turned myself in.
And I brought the whole organization down with me.
It was over.
Their weapon had turned on them.
I was arrested as I expected. Along with the hundreds of other assassins that had worked to bring one greedy man all the power he desired. But I felt better than ever before.
Killing comes at a cost. One I was no longer willing to pay.
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