This story is by David Elderton and was part of our 2019 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
Jessi Pyke stood tall, proud and naked, while four men, all armed, stared at her lithe body.
Meanwhile, she evaluated them…to determine the kill sequence.
Earlier that morning, after her seven-mile run of the property perimeter, she fixed breakfast, saw Steve off to work, then began home schooling their two young girls.
The kids were feverish, so she gave them medication and put them back to bed. They’d sleep for hours. She’d stay close and check on them.
Wow, a day to relax? Woo hoo!
She changed into one of Steve’s button-down shirts and her favorite pair of cut-offs.
Jessi was beautiful, young and fit. She didn’t flaunt her beauty, but, like most women, knew how to beguile a man. She measured 5’5”, weighed 126 pounds and exuded a poised confidence.
They moved to South America so Steve could pursue a lucrative opportunity that had just concluded. A similar opportunity awaited them in the United States, but they hadn’t decided to take it yet.
Jessi nestled into the over-stuffed leather couch to read a new book. She squinted when she saw Steve’s cordless drill laying on the wooden coffee table. A 2” spade-bit was installed that looked like a canoe paddle with a sharp point. Seriously? He’s charging it on my new coffee table?! She miffed.
Jessi leapt to her feet when the front door erupted into splinters as a huge muscular black man came crashing through. He was followed by a slender white man, then a shirtless man, covered in tattoos.
A portly, unshaven Hispanic man sauntered in last, smoking a fat cigar. He wore a stained, under-sized wife-beater t-shirt that exposed his potbelly. He puffed out a large cloud of pungent cigar smoke into the room to demonstrate his dominance.
He grinned at her, revealing a gold tooth and announced, “This is my house…Puta.”
Jessi cocked an eyebrow.
If Jessi had her tactical shotgun, or any gun, this would be over. But her firearms were inaccessible because the government had confiscated all civilian owned guns. Since then, crime soared as marauders victimized the defenseless citizens without fear or consequence.
“Everything here,” he swept his arms open wide, “belongs to me.” He winked at her as he snapped cigar ashes onto the couch.
“I like pretty things, Puta. Like you!” He flickered his tongue at her.
Unruffled, Jessi said, “Take what you want, but my husband -”
“Won’t be back for hours, Puta. What shall we do, eh? I know! Let’s get your girls! They’re young, yes? Pretty, yes? Worth top dollar!” He snickered.
A cold wave of realization crashed over her. This wasn’t a random home invasion; this was a targeted abduction. They’d kidnap her daughters and sell them to sex traffickers, unless…she stopped them.
Jessi drew in a slow, deep breath. She had to kill them.
All of them.
She eased the breath out.
The men were oblivious to the dynamic role reversal; they had just become the prey.
“Cabron,” the tattooed man asked, “can one of us go first this time?”
The Hispanic man glared at him. “You can decide who goes first…after me!”
He leered at Jessi. “Now, Puta, strip for us!”
She allowed the men to encircle her.
“Can you help me get started, boys?” she requested.
She handed them the shirt-tails. They yanked hard and buttons shot off like popcorn as the shirt ripped apart, came off and exposed her bare torso.
The oversized shirt had concealed her feminine curves. They were stunned to see Jessi’s remarkable body hidden underneath it.
All four men froze in place as their lizard brains attempted to process her beauty.
Jessi thrust back her shoulders to maximize her attributes and the visual impact her female form had on the men. She wanted them to look, to be distracted…beguiled.
It was like time stopped and she was the only one aware of the seconds ticking by.
Jessi created this moment to evaluate them, to determine the kill sequence.
First, the white man. No visible weapon, but he must have one. He’s last.
The tattooed man carried a folding knife in a snap-pouch on his belt. Slow to deploy. He’s third.
The muscled black man held a machete. Strong, not smart. Maybe a diversion…
Then she contemplated Cabron and spied a pearl handled revolver poking out of his waistband. Well, hello…
A machete held in the hand posed a deadlier threat than a pistol stashed in a belt. The machete was ready to go, while the gun may not even be loaded plus the draw time. The threat assessment ranked Cabron second in the kill sequence. It went against her training, but she wanted to kill Cabron first. I just don’t like the guy.
Then the black man.
Cabron’s cigar ash broke off and landed on his exposed potbelly. He startled out of his daze.
“Search the house! Roberto, check upstairs,” he barked, jostling the others out of their trance. “Me and the lady have…business.”
He patted the couch. “Come here, Puta! Oh, before we start, I have to give you a message from the Agency.”
Damn. They found me.
“They paid me to tell you, ‘White Tiger.’”
Now it made sense. The Agency sent them.
‘White Tiger’ meant the Agency wanted to meet with her, but first she had to ‘kill the messenger,’ these local thugs, to verify her current lethality level. Usually, this ‘kill test’ consisted of one adversary.
I’m flattered they sent four…
If she survived, Jessi must contact the Agency, or they’d send a professional Hit Team. She’d already decided to kill them, but now that she knew the Agency sent them as a ‘kill test,’ she could enjoy it more.
Synapses, long dormant, began firing until the corners of her mouth involuntarily curled up into a slight smirk of anticipation.
Oh, how I’ve missed this…
“Boys,” Jessi called out sharply, then switched to a velvet voice, “Don’t you want to watch? Take your turn?”
Roberto halted short of the stairs. The other men turned and looked. Then, as Jessi slowly unfastened her cut-offs, they lumbered towards her and arranged themselves in their settled hierarchy.
Jessi turned away from the men, arched out her butt then gradually peeled the cut-offs down and shimmied out of them. When they dropped to the floor, she turned and launched them with her foot to the black man. He dropped the machete catching them. He picked it up by the handle, blade pointing down, still holding the shorts.
Jessi strutted, as if on a catwalk, to the couch near Cabron. She beckoned him with a sultry head nod, bent over, spread her feet and placed her hands on the coffee table.
Cabron, like an anxious, rabid dog, scurried up behind her and unzipped his pants.
The instant Jessi heard the zipper, she spun around in a blink with the cordless drill. With his hands occupied, he couldn’t block her thrust as she drove the spade-bit deep into his throat. She pulled the trigger on the fully charged drill, boring a 2” hole in his neck. Arterial blood spurted as Cabron collapsed in a silent scream.
As he fell, Jessi grabbed the nickel-plated revolver out of his waistband. She recognized it as a six-shot Colt .38 Special.
She shot the huge black man twice before he could re-grip the machete, hampered by her cut-offs. He toppled like a California redwood.
The tattooed man franticly clawed at his sheathed knife as Jessi double tapped him center mass. He crumpled in a heap.
She aimed at the white man’s face.
Cabron only had four live cartridges in the gun.
I’ll break his neck, then.
A sudden, sharp pain struck her. The white man threw his hidden knife and impaled it into Jessi’s left shoulder.
Without hesitation, she yanked it out, maneuvered onto the man’s back, clung to him like a spider monkey, wrapped her arm around his forehead and tilted it back to expose his neck. In one practiced fluid motion, she plunged the long blade deep into his throat, under his Adam’s apple. She twisted the knife and dissected his shriek into a stifled yelp. He melted mutely into the floor.
Jessi stepped back and surveyed the carnage as rivulets of blood from all four men mingled with her own as it streamed down her body. Seven seconds had elapsed.
She let out a long breath.
Jessi tilted up her face, closed her eyes and let the victorious rush of adrenaline engulf her.
She heard a muffled gurgling sound. She looked down and saw Cabron, clutching his throat, frothy bubbles of blood covered his neck. He looked at her, eyes filled with terror and bewilderment.
She knew that look. Mere seconds of life remained.
Moments before, this cockroach was a pompous murderer, rapist and kidnapper.
Jessi locked eyes with him and scoffed. She extended her arm towards his face, wagged her index finger and said,
“This is my house…Puta.”