by Molly & Hanna
I turn the shower off and wrap a towel around myself. As I dry off, I look over my skin, noticing the many scars that cover it. Probably the most noticeable scar I have is the burn mark on my upper left arm. The day I got it had started out as any regular day for me, at least as normal as it can get for an assassin.
“Macy, get your butt over here!” My main ‘trainer’, Chris had yelled that day. Not a very pleasant man. I slowly got up and went to find him.
“What?!” I hollered.
Chris was sitting on the couch in the living room, Venom and Ivan, two of my other ‘trainers’ were sitting in chairs near him. “We need to talk.”
“Yah, I don’t feel like talking right now.” I snapped my fingers, “Too bad.”
“Sit down. Right now.” Chris pointed to the seat directly across from him. I looked at the three of them and hesitantly sat down.
“We need to discuss your behaviour.” Chris paused to poke the embers still burning in the fireplace.
“What?” I repeated, saving the sarcasm for once.
“It’s awful. You’re a piece of-” Ivan stopped his rant when Chris glared at him, choosing to take a swig from his beer bottle instead.
“He’s right. You’ve been terrible at keeping up with your lessons and participating in activities.”
I shrugged, “I don’t want to be here.”
“That’s not an excuse. I’m wasting my resources on you. And I don’t like wasting my resources.”
“Can we please just kill her now? She’s a waste of time too.” Venom growled.
“How about you just let me go live a regular, happy life?” The sarcasm was back in full force.
“Oh Darling, do you really think that’s possible at this point?” Ivan took another drink and I was becoming increasingly concerned for my wellbeing.
“Ivan, be quiet. Macy- we need to discuss a punishment. I’ve spent a great deal of time and money on you and I’m not going to let you throw that away.” Chris said in a chillingly calm voice as he poked the embers once more.
I shook my head and stood up, “I’m not listening to this.”
“I really think you should. There are serious consequences for your irresponsible actions.” I shook my head again and turned to leave. “Macy!” Chris raised his voice. As I turned around I felt a sharp pain as Chris grabbed my arm. I tried to pull away but he held me tight.
“Let go,” I snapped at him.
“You’ve burned through my money and my patience, I think it’s time you learn what it feels like!” Chris used his free hand to pick up the iron rod he had been using to poke the embers of the fire. Then he pressed the hot metal against the skin of my arm. I screamed. That’s the main thing I remember. The screaming and the pain. He held it there for what felt like minutes but was probably only seconds. He let me go and I fell, to my knees; cradling my arm and still screaming.
“Don’t you ever disobey me again.” I remember nodding before running, more like stumbling, back to my room. I hadn’t looked at my arm yet but I knew it was bad and I was right. Most of it was second degree with a few areas being third degree. My skin never recovered- a patch of blistered, scarred skin still remains. Just further down that same arm is another scar, this one from a much different incident. The long white scar starts at my wrist and ends halfway up to my elbow; only this one was self-inflicted.
I’d been free from my old life for only a short time when it happened, and I was still dealing with the trauma. Not well though. Danny, my once work partner and now life partner, had gone out for something or other and I was left alone. In a moment of desperation, I took the knife to my wrist, dragging the knife up, along my veins and arteries. There’s a saying, albeit a stupid one: cut horizontal for attention and vertical for death. While no one cuts themselves in a bid for attention, vertical cuts are much more serious than horizontal.
“Macy?” Danny had called when he got back. He searched around when I didn’t answer, getting closer and finally finding me in the bedroom, sitting on the floor leaning against the bed cradling my arm that I was bleeding out from.
“Wha- Macy?!” He ran to my side and kneeled down, “What happened?”
“I don’t know…” I lied. It was so easy.
“What happened?” He asked again. “Just-just wait a second.” He stumbled to his feet and came back with a first aid kit.
“It’s just a cut…”
“A deep cut. Macy, it’s not like this is an accident. Who did this to you?” He pulled out some bandages and started wrapping my arm. I shook my head, not willing to answer. “Answer me Macy.”
“Me.” I replied, giving in to him.
“Why Macy?” He continued wrapping my arm but kept eye contact with me. I remember how he looked sad, not angry as I would have thought.
“I’ve killed so many people…”
“That wasn’t your choice.” I remember him telling me.
“Why won’t I die?” I asked him.
He tucked a piece of hair behind my ear and calmly said: “Because you aren’t finished here yet, Princess.” But I nearly did slip away a few years earlier.
I was on a mission to assassinate a high value target who was running an illegal marijuana grow op. I could see the target walking through the crop inspecting the plants from where I laid on a hill, preparing to do the job. He stopped moving when a worker came up to him and started talking, blocking my shot. I sighed and waited for him to move.
When the worker bent over for a second I made the most of the opportunity. As my finger slowly tightened on the trigger, ensuring an accurate shot, another worker ran up and spoke rapidly to the target, pointing in my direction. I swore under my breath; this was supposed to be an easy job. An alarm began blaring and the rest of the workers began to react. I started packing up my gun but wasn’t quick enough, when I looked up one of the workers was standing over me, a gun pointing down.
“Get on the ground!” I threw the gun away and sat on my knees.
“Umm…” He hesitated, keeping the gun trained on me. He lifted his free wrist to his mouth, “Now what?” He whispered. I sprung up from the ground, making a last second effort to take control of the situation. He didn’t relinquish hold of the gun and kicked me in the side, hard. I sank back to the ground, short of breath and already sore.
“I could really use some help!” He yelled into his wrist again. A few more workers came running over and one zip tied my hands behind my back.
“Don’t touch me,” I hissed as they conversed in a language I didn’t understand and as a bag was placed over my head. Someone’s hands wrapped around my waist and carried me awkwardly. When they set me down and took the bag off, I found myself sitting on the ground beside a shed near one of the fields.
“Who are you?” The man I was supposed to kill stepped in front of me.
“Who are you?”
He nodded at one of his men and the worker punched me in the face. “I’ll ask you one last time, who are you?”
“A woman who’s lost.”
“A woman with a gun?” He held up my weapon.
“I didn’t think anyone was here.”
“Why do you have a gun?”
“I was practicing shooting.”
“Pretty powerful weapon for such an amateur.”
“I want to join the army.”
“So if you didn’t know anyone was here, why were you aiming at my face?”
“I was looking at you.”
Our rapid exchange of words ended when he grabbed one of his workers’ handguns, “See this? This is the safety. You want to keep it on,” he turned it off, “Never point your gun at someone,” he pointed the gun at my leg, “And also, don’t be a lying prick.” He pulled the trigger.
People say that scars show how strong we are. Mine aren’t just a reminder that I got hurt, but a reminder that my heart was torn, my brain tormented all the while my body was broken. I hate that- every time I see my scars it’s just another reminder of how awful humans can be to one another. Scars aren’t beautiful, they’re just ugly memories of our ugly world.