My crimson dress flared out as I waltzed across the room. My partner's hands held me firmly as he twirled me around the dance floor. He pulled me to his wide, muscular chest covered in a white, silky shirt, which smelt of lavender. Through the massive glass wall behind us I could see the Eiffel Tower, sparkling as if someone had just sprinkled it with stardust. The music was slow, almost lazy, but so beautiful. The other couples were dancing around us talking, laughing and kissing. It was all so amazing, so romantic, so… unreal. Yes… unreal. That is because it wasn't real. I wasn't here to dance or to admire the scenery. My name is Elodie Dubois and I am a trained assassin working for the French government.
But let's start from the beginning. For the eight years in which I worked at the sérvice sécret de securité national, I have never once questioned my orders. Never disobeyed. Until a month ago, when I got filed an order to execute my fiancée and partner, John Gallagher. In any other situation I wouldn't have minded, after all I had just found out the bastard was cheating on me, but there were a couple of details that just didn't seem to match up. First of all the order for his execution came from a certain Marie Baudin, who coincidentally was the one he was cheating on me with. Second of all there was no governmental seal on the order. Thirdly my informant from inside the government knew nothing about this and last but not least there was no trace of this order anywhere on the computer data base even when I hacked into some of the most secret and confidential files of the ministry.
Instead I found records containing fake cases from the last two months. Murders of people who didn't even exist, bodies burned beyond the point of identification from dental records, fake DNA samples. I found letters containing execution requests that were not government-based. Each one of them was backed up with personal motifs of our 20 mission controllers, one of which was Marie Baudin. There were photographs of people brutally murdered, not a single one of which caused any trouble with the government. They were all innocent people. I was horrified. These documents were highly incriminating. If anyone found out I knew about them my days would be numbered. I covered my tracks and deleted evidence of my search. I had no idea what to do. I couldn't tell anyone. No one but the prime minister and a couple of government officials knew about this organisation and they would refuse to believe me or try to cover up the whole affair because "it would look bad". I ran home. I checked John's computer in a last desperate search for anything that might cause the government to want his demise. I checked every possible file, folder, document. I was desperate to believe that I hadn't been lied to by everyone around me. That's when I found an e-mail, dated an hour earlier requesting my execution. He had agreed. Apparently my search wasn't as discreet as I had hoped.
Obviously at first I panicked. I started planning an escape to England. Packing my bags. My world was crumbling around me. I was hysterical. Then I took a deep breath and gathered my wits. I was alone, my documents were locked away back in HQ which was crawling with murderers who's main target was me. My money was kept "safe" by the service. I sat down on the bed. I was going to have to wait for John to make his move first. I grabbed my Glock from my sock drawer and loaded it with brand new bullets. The touch of the cold metal calmed me down. I figured if he came in and started shooting I would need my gun. I expected him to come through the door armed to the teeth, kill me and then burn the house down. Instead the only sound I heard was the phone ringing.
I didn't answer. I knew it was John. I simply grabbed my bag, stuffed my party dress and high-heels inside and raced out. I rented a room in a run-down hotel in Montmartre. I knew where all the traitors were going to be that day, dear Johnny included. While leafing through the top-secret letters I found the invitations to a party in the villa of one of our sponsors. A certain Monsieur Lachance. Henri Lachance and I went way back. I saved his daughter's life during a mission. I shielded her with my body from an explosion. The explosion I set up to kill my target… but he didn't have to know that. He would get me into that party unnoticed and get me anything I required. He was filthy rich and would do anything for his daughter's saviour.
Henri met with me in the Hotel L'Amour in Montmarte. He brought his make-up artist Jean-Baptiste and ordered him to make me unrecognizable. He pulled and tucked and painted until I looked like one of those pretty porcelain dolls my mother had on her piano. My straight mousy-brown hair was transformed into beautiful blond waves. My dull, grey eyes were covered with bright blue contact lenses. My never-tanned skin developed a rosy hue. Jean-Baptiste did such a good job. I didn't recognise myself when I looked in the mirror. That was exactly what I wanted. Then Henri pulled a long red gown out of a bag. It was gorgeous. It had a v-neckline and a tight body, which then flared out at my waist. As I put it on the silky material flowed over my body, caressing my skin.
I was going to be introduced as Henri's niece. Henri had already had his staff install 100 kg of explosives under the ballroom floor. All I had to do was push the button on the remote inside my bag, and the whole place would go straight to hell. Henri snuck me into the house through a side door…
This brings us back to the present. Me dancing with John. Even he couldn't recognize me. These people, these smiling people, cold-heartedly gave orders on behalf of the state to end innocent lives. They knew I had discovered their plot and now it was me or them, and frankly I liked my life. After they had gone I would disappear and Henri would say that we were all killed in the fire caused by a gas leakage. My plan was perfect.
The clock struck ten o'clock. It was time. I looked for the last time at John. He was worse than the rest of them. He was willing to kill his own fiancée without thinking twice. These people had murdered an innocent child for revenge. They were the worst kind of criminals, cruel and heartless. I walked up onto the stage. My long dress flowed out behind me like a long river of blood. I stood in a special booth where politicians and public speakers gave their speeches from. It was isolated from the rest of the room by a wall of missile-proof glass. I turned on the microphone.
"Ladies and gentleman, dearest colleagues" they all stared at me. " My name is Elodie Dubois and I am here to watch you die" I pushed the button.