This story is by Lisa Arpino and was part of our 2017 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the Spring Writing Contest stories here.
“Lis, you’re ready. I know you are,” the middle-aged man I called my mentor, my teacher, my “father”, Scott, said to me.
“Are you sure about this, Dad? I mean, I’ve only been training as an assassin for like a month now.”
“One month and fifteen days to be exact.”
I rolled my eyes.
“But seriously, Lis. It’s time,” he put his hand on my shoulder, “It’s your time.”
I smiled and nodded.
“Alright, babygirl,” he walked over to his desk and grabbed a folder, “I’m going to give you a small group known as The Crows.”
He walked back over to me and handed me the folder.
I joked, “Don’t you mean a small murder of crows?!”
He looked at me.
“Because a group of crows is called a murder and I’m about to kill them.”
He let out a small chuckle.
Boy! I either need to work on my jokes or he needs to get a sense of humor!
“Anyway, as you can see, hon,” I opened the folder to look through it, “It’s a group of five men. They are around your age, between 25 and 30. They prey on innocent women. They watch them, attack them, sexually assault them, then kill them.”
“And their calling card is poking out the eyes of their victims.”
As I flipped through the folder, studying each photo, my heart sank. These women were just going about their business, trying to live their lives, or provide for their families. Now, because five assholes wanted to have some “fun”, they’re dead.
I grew angry. Scott noticed.
“Try not to make it personal, Lis.”
I snapped out of my trance. “Yeah, I know. Sorry, Dad. So, who’s going to be my back-up? Drew?”
I looked up at him. “You?”
“No one. You’re on your own.”
Baffled, I replied, “I’m sorry, what?”
Confidently, he stated, “I want you to do this on your own. I believe in you. I know you can do it.”
My agitation quickly changed to uneasiness. “But, Dad, what if I fail? What if I disappoint you? What if I die?”
“Honey, remember what I taught you. Whatever thoughts you have, throw them away and focus on your mission.”
I sighed. With uncertainty, I responded, “Yes, of course, Dad.”
“Alright. So, what’s your plan?”
As I continued flipping through their folder, I answered, “Well, their headquarters looks like an old garage. There should be plenty of places for me to hide and sneak around so I can make a surprise attack.”
“Good. What else?”
“Maybe I’ll try to lure them in, one at a time, to kill them?”
“Um…by making some weird…”
“No, I mean how will you kill them?”
“O, with my weapon of choice,” I rubbed my hip, “Of course.”
“Great, Lis! Now, what if you get caught?”
“That’s easy. I just won’t.”
Yeah, that’s easier said than done!
“Like I said, babygirl, I know you’re ready. I trained you to be an assassin to protect this world. I have faith in you. You will kick ass,” we both laughed.
“Go get ‘em, hon!”
We smiled, gave each other a hug and kiss on the cheek, and I was off onto my first mission.
Once I reached their headquarters, I felt I had sweated through my clothes, I couldn’t catch my breath, and my heartbeat was erratic. But it was my time.
I kept repeating to myself, “I can do this! I can do this!”
Stealthily, I entered their hideout. I could see them sitting at a table talking, laughing about their last victim. I found a safe spot to crouch down in and wait for the perfect opportunity to set my plan in motion. However, while waiting, I heard a rifle being cocked right behind me and felt the barrel against my head. “Get up!”
My heart sank. My eyes widened.
Shit! You have got to be kidding me!
I put my hands up and stood up slowly.
I began to walk towards the table. That’s when I noticed there was only four of them and not five.
Crap! I miss counted!
As we walked over, the guy said, “Hey, boys! Look what I found!”
They looked over and immediately stood up smiling from ear to ear. The walked over to me doing cat calls, saying, “Hey, baby,” among other derogatory remarks. They circled me. One of them asked, “So, what can we do for you, sexy?”
“You can die!”
They all laughed.
“And how are you, a weak, pathetic woman, going to do that?”
I just glared at them, trying to look tough; meanwhile, I was scared out of my mind. That’s when one of them said, “Let’s just beat this bitch up,” and they jumped me.
They punched me, kicked me, pulled my hair, touched me inappropriately. After God knows how long, they stopped to tie me to a chair.
One of them came over to me, breathing heavily, and said, “We’ll leave you here for a little while before we have more fun. You made us hungry.”
He grabbed ahold of my hair and pulled my head back so I could look at him. “And I mean very hungry,” he proceeded to lick my face and kiss me.
When he let go of me, I spat in his face. He smacked me; hard. “You’re going to pay for that!”
The second he walked away, I began to cry. All that ran through my mind was, “I can’t believe I got myself into this mess. I told Scott I wouldn’t get caught. If he could see me now, he would be severely disappointed. I just let down a man I look up to like a father.”
I sat their crying, not knowing what to do next. Everything Scott had taught me had slipped my mind. I prayed for someone to come and save me.
But, the more I thought about him, the more I could hear him in my head. “Lis, what happens when you get caught? First, you do not panic!”
Well, too late for that!
“Second, you assess your situation. Where are you? What’s near you that you can use as either a weapon or a place to hide? If you’re tied up, what knot did they use?”
I took in a couple of deep breaths, reminding myself that I am Scott’s pupil. I panned around to see what was near me. I could hear The Crows in the distance, but I acted quickly. I noticed there were cardboard boxes and tires.
Perfect places to hide!
Then I felt the rope to see what type of knot they used.
Is that…a clove hitch? Ha! What idiots! OK, Lis, you got this!
I untied the knot in seconds. I held onto the rope, listening to see what those assholes were doing. They were still far away, talking. As I draped the rope over the back of the chair, I heard one of them say, “I think it’s time to go have some fun with that bitch! Make her my bitch!”
I ran behind one of the tall stacks of cardboard boxes. Moments later, one screamed, “Son of a bitch! Where the hell is she?”
“Well, go look for her!”
I snaked around, trying to get as close to the back wall as possible while they searched for me. As I did, I found a crowbar. I laughed to myself, “Perfect!”
“I think I just heard her!”
Bring it, boys!
After some time, one of them found me, “Hey, guys, over here!”
One-by-one, they surrounded me. With a grin, I said, “Four-on-one? Time for some fun!”
One ran at me. I swung the crowbar like a baseball bat and, almost, took his head off. He hit the ground, dead. I looked up at the others.
They came running. I took them out with my new best friend. I broke their arms and legs with it. I stuck it in their stomachs. I ripped their throats out with it. When I was down to the last one, he opened his mouth to say something, but I stuck the crowbar right down his gullet.
“That’s it, baby! Take it all in!”
Breathing heavily, I walked back toward the only one left (who I started to think was the leader); he was the one who licked and kissed me. He stood by the chair I was tied to. He yelled, “Show yourself, bitch!”
I stepped out of the shadows. His buddies blood splattered all over me.
He was horrified. “Who the hell are you?”
“I’m part of a group of assassins known as The Fraternity. We have found you guilty of raping and murdering innocent women. Now, it’s your turn!”
He laughed. “And how the hell are you going to do that? Are you going to hit me with those weak, defenseless arms?!”
I, seductively, slid my hands up my thighs, and lifted my shirt up a bit. He watched me, salivating. Then I whipped out my two swords. “I’m going to use these. I saved these bad boys for you.”
His eyes widened. “How…how did we miss those?”
“Men are so unobservant when they’re horny.”
He became livid. “Fine! Bring it, bitch!”
From there we went back and forth with the hits. He fought valiantly. He did get a couple of good punches and kicks in, but I kept getting back up. He then made a bad move. I dominated by driving one of my swords into his groin. “That’s for all the innocent women you took advantage of!”
Then, I pointed my other sword right under his chin. “And this…is for me!”
I shoved it right into his head. He was dead immediately. His blood spattered across my face. I pulled them both out and he fell to the ground. I felt so relieved. I fulfilled my mission and ended The Crows. I started to tear up, being so proud of myself.
I can’t wait to tell Scott.
As I limped outside, I noticed a figure standing a few feet away. I squinted, “Dad?”
I went over to him. “What are you doing here?”
I thought for a second.
“Wait, were you here the entire time?”
With a smile, he nodded.
I was a little perturbed. “And you didn’t help when I was getting my ass handed to me?”
“Because I knew you could do it. You have become like a daughter to me and I know you’re strong and smart and would’ve figured a way out. But most of all, because I taught you.”
The both of us had tears welling up in our eyes. I smiled. “O, Dad,” and we hugged each other.
“I’m waiting for the ‘I told you so’.”
He laughed. “Nah, you did a great job.”
Once we let go, I asked, “So, can I do my favorite part now?”
“Light it up?”
I felt like such a little kid. If I wasn’t in so much pain, I would’ve skipped along, pouring the gasoline all over their bodies and around their headquarters. I went back outside to stand next to my “father”. He handed me a book of matches. I struck one of them, lit the rest, and let it fall to the ground. The gasoline lit up and travelled quicker than a cheetah running after its meal. We stood, arms around each other, watching the place burn.
After some time, we turned, walking away with his one arm around my shoulders and my one arm around his waist. I inquired, “So, Dad, when can I take on that big job you were talking about?”
“The Skullhead Clan?”
“Well, let’s do a couple of other small groups, first. Let you get comfortable, hone in on your skills. Then it’s all yours.”
We both laughed.
I guess father knows best!