When the color red flashes through my mind, there is only one thing that I can think of to describe it. Blood. The dark red blood that I have seen many times, again and again. Blood is all I have ever known my entire life. I have watched blood spill out of countless people's bodies. People I don't know. People that I have only heard about or, in certain cases, read about. In my eighteen years of life, I have seen more people die than fingers and toes on my body. I have watched in delight as their faces, full of terror, stop moving and turn cold as they utter their last breath.
Although most of the deaths I have witnessed have been exhilarating, some have been the exact opposite of that. Some blood that has been spilled will never be erased from my memory. Like the blood of my father as it seeped out of his body when he was murdered. Or rather, assassinated. But that's the life that he chose. It's the life that he wanted. It's the life he blessed, or some people would say cursed, his family with. The life of assassins.
Being an assassin is all I have ever dreamed about my entire life. Some people think that that is wrong. Some people would be disgusted by me. As for me, though, it's all that I desire. I have never wanted anything more in my entire life than to be an assassin. To move with stealth. To carry that one special dagger that ends the lives of many people. Some people would call it sick, I call it admirable.
I have yet to earn my special dagger. My mother says I am not ready for that dagger yet. Part of me thinks she just doesn't want me to follow in her footsteps, however, the other part of me knows better. Mother is only doing what is right. My mother is the greatest assassin that walks this earth. What she says is what is obeyed. No one has as much knowledge or as much experience as my mother does in the world of assassinations. That is why she is the leader of the Sanctuary that we live in. Everyone here respects her and wouldn't dare to disobey her. If they did disobey her…well, let's just say their souls are sucked into the dark void of no return.
I'm not sure when the day will be when my mother finally grants me my special dagger, but I believe that that day is close. I can feel it in my body. My hand aches to encircle around the hilt of the dagger. Being the youngest person in my coven, I am the only person without my special dagger. And believe me, no one lets me live that down. Being that everyone living in the Sanctuary are assassins, they are all obnoxious and conceited. I mean, what kind of assassin would you be if you were quiet and sweet? "One that would never make it in the assassin world and quickly be killed, that's what kind. No one wants a soft assassin."
Those are the words of the one and only Granger. Granger is one of my favorite assassins that lives among us. He is the biggest smartass that you will ever meet. He has dirty blonde hair that is to about his shoulders that is always a huge mess. He constantly is messing with his hair to get it out of his face. He has just a small rectangle of a beard that hangs down off of his chin. He also has the biggest muscles in the Sanctuary, and no one hears the end of that. As for his age, age isn't kept track of when you're an assassin. The only thing that matters is whether or not you can still kill. And Granger can definitely still kill.
Along with Granger, there is also Mitchell, Isabelle, Violet, Benjamin, and Slater living within our sanctuary. Oh, and of course there is my mother. Her name is Noelle. Besides me being the youngest, Granger, Mitchell, and Isabelle are all among the same age group. Violet and Benjamin are just a bit older than them, and Slater is the oldest of us all. My mother lies somewhere between Violet and Slater.
Without even thinking about it, I knew whose voice that was. I walked through the sanctuary towards the giant opening that was where we all worked out at. I smirked as I saw Granger holding his hand with a dirty look on his face. Isabelle had her arms crossed with a triumphant look across her face. Isabelle was a very small girl with choppy light brown hair that came just passed her shoulders. She was an extremely mobile girl. It certainly helped that she was extremely flexible so she could do crazy flips and what not. Granger was always challenging her to a brawl and he always managed to punch the wall because just when he thinks he has her cornered, she maneuvers away just as he is throwing the winning punch.
"You'd think one of these days you would finally learn…" Mitchell said as he shook his head. He was casually leaning against the far wall, probably watching the entire thing. Mitchell has dark red hair that falls down his back that he keeps in a half of a ponytail. When I first saw him, I thought he looked very girly with half of a ponytail, but now that I know him, that ponytail fits him perfectly. Mitchell is very smart. A very wise assassin. Having his hair pulled up like that suits the wisdom that is held beneath that head.
"Oh yeah? You think you're so tough, why don't you take her on?" Granger growled through his teeth.
I watched as the challenge passed through Mitchell's eyes. He paused for just a moment before saying, "No, that's ok." Isabelle slightly puckered her lip in disappointment. Mitchell walked towards Isabelle and slid his hand down her arm. "I know when it is the right time to back down from a challenge." He then walked out of the practice room towards, what I assumed, the library. Mitchell loved spending time in the library and reading up on anything and everything. It was because of him that there even was a library in here. Of course, after Mitchell suggested a library, my mother fell in love with the idea. A place for me to continue to study my proper course work…
Granger let out a very loud and obnoxious breath. "A true assassin never backs down!" He muttered, not intending for Mitchell to even hear it. He looked up at me. "Oh, hey you! How about you? Why don't you take on Isabelle! You're one of the few in here that have a chance at taking her down! Plus…" he eyed both of us with a mischievous look in his eyes. "You never pass up an opportunity to watch two girls brawl…"
In a split second I had crossed the room and shoved Granger into the wall. "Hey, hey, hey! I was only teasing! Take a-"
Before he could say another word, the buzzer started going off. The buzzer was this loud, obnoxious sound that sounded whenever my mother needed everyone to report to her office, immediately, no excuses. When that buzzer went off, we all stopped whatever we were doing and went to her. When that buzzer went off, it was time to kill.
"So here's where we stand," my mother said as she showed us a picture. It was a picture of a very young girl with curly brown hair. She had her hair pulled up on the top of her head in a pink bow and her eyes were huge in the picture as she stared at the camera that had taken her picture. She had on a pink dress and her hands were behind her back. She couldn't have been older than eight. She was the perfect picture of innocence.
"That's who we have to kill? Easy done. She's practically dead with me just staring at her," Granger said with a wave of his hand. Everyone looked at Granger then back at my mother. No one wanted to think of assassinating such an innocent little girl. They wanted to protest and smack Granger for even thinking of it. The problem lied within the word of my mother, though. Everyone's eyes slid back to my mother. Although no one, except for Granger, wanted to assassinate this little girl, if my mother gave the word then there was no exceptions.
The side of my mother's lip lifted slightly. It wasn't often that she smiled in a situation like this. "Don't worry, you can all relax. This little girl is not the one we need to kill." I could practically feel the tension in the room lessen as everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Although assassinating people is what we are all used to, there is like an invisible line when it comes to young kids. Those kids still carry innocence that we shouldn't interfere with.
"Dang. I was already plotting how I was going to kill her," Granger whined in true disappointment. "I was going to simply sneak into her room while she was sleeping and snap her little…"
This time someone did smack Granger. And that someone was me.
"OW!" Granger said as he held his head where I had smacked him. "What? I was just…"
"Enough," my mother said, silencing any other commotion. She gave me a stern look. "As I was saying, this little girl is not who it is that we need to kill. Everyone remembers our last assassination, right?"
Everyone nodded. "Yes. His name was Adrian Hemmington," Mitchell stated.
"Yes. Getting to him wasn't easy. Benjamin was the one that laid the final blow." I looked up at Benjamin. Benjamin has short brown hair and a square shaped jaw. He is the shortest of all the guys, but don't' let his shortness full you. As everyone acknowledged his great accomplishment once again, his face remained completely emotionless. That was what was so amazing about Benjamin. Benjamin has single handedly killed the most people in our entire sanctuary, yet you will never hear him brag about it. He is a very quiet kind of person that doesn't float around in his own glory. He takes his business very seriously, mainly due to what had happened to his family.
"Adrian was a very hard catch. All of us had been flanked out around the city trying to catch this guy. While I was out searching for him, I happened to notice this little girl. She is only eight years old, yet she caught my attention. What caught my attention was that she was staring right at me. The second I caught her staring at me, she pointed her finger. When I looked in the direction of her finger, that was the exact moment that Benjamin was laying the blow on Adrian." She paused as she stared at each of us. "Now, this may not seem like anything. It could be a complete coincidence that she pointed in the direction of the assassination right at the moment it had happened. But I don't think it is. That little girl…she knew."
"What do you mean she knew?" I asked her. "How is that possible?"
"I'm not sure on that quite yet. But it's kind of like how each of us contains a special trait that helps us in our assassinations. Like you, Isabelle, you can get out of any situation, no matter how unlikely it is." I looked at Isabelle. A special trait? I thought she could just get out of situations because she was extremely flexible.
"And you, Benjamin, no matter how irritated and impatient anyone else would get, you control your emotions with ease. It's just like that. This little girl knows." My mother emphasized her point by holding up the girl's picture once more. "Now this girl, I have done research on her, but her files are very difficult to find because she was adopted. She is eight years old now and she was adopted when she was only three months old. Past that, I can't find anything. So, this call isn't a call to assassinate. This is a call to sit and observe. Figure out who this little girl is. Gather as much information as you can. You all have three days to obtain the information. In three days, we will all meet again and see if we can figure out if this little girl really is as special as I suspect that she is."
"What will become of the little girl if she really does 'know' as you say she does?" Every time I hear Slater's voice, it sends shivers down my back. He doesn't choose to speak often. He only speaks when he has something important to say or ask.
"I suppose we will figure that out when and if the time comes." Slater nodded his head in agreement. He looked as if he had more he wanted to say. Like maybe he knew something more, but he chose not to speak. His long gray hair hung down his back past his waist and he had a long beard in which was braided and hung half way down his upper self. His skin was becoming wrinkly, showing his old age, but he could still kill. Therefore, his age did not matter. Slater is respected for his knowledge. Whereas Benjamin studies and knows all sorts of different things, Slater can speak with experience. He was definitely been around for a long time and has seen a lot of things, so he always has the wisest of outlooks on things.
"Alright," my mother said as she gave us all one last lookover. "You may begin. The little girl's name is Patricia Rose Thail. She goes by Rose. Be wary of coming into contact with the girl for I don't know how dangerous her knowledge may or may not be. Be careful and may you all travel in the grace of Demola."
"And may she guide our every move," we all repeated in unison. Those two phrases were always our parting way sayings. Demola plays a huge role in the assassin world. She is the whole reason that assassins exist today. Although we didn't choose to worship Demola as a Goddess of sorts, we just followed in the traditions that she set. She was the first official assassin that walked this earth many, many years ago and her ways of killing are still practiced in the exact manner that she did it this very day.
As everyone trickled out of the room, I approached my mother. "What is it, my daughter?"
"Am I allowed to proceed with this mission?" Typically when my mother set out missions, I was allowed to observe but not to do anything. So observing is something that I have been very skilled at. "There isn't any threat, it's just observing. So it's not like I would be in danger. Observing is what you always have me do anyway."
I stared at my mother as she pressed her lips together and contemplated how to answer. Her long, deep red hair was twisted into a braid and hung over her shoulder. Her skin was just as pale as mine was, and her dark eyes were squinted as she debated. People say that I am the spitting image of my mother. I have the same red hair as hers and most of our facial features are the same. The only difference in our hair is my hair contains that natural wave that you could see in my father's hair whenever he had let it grow out a little too much. My hair was just as long as my mother's, running about halfway down my back.
"Well, I suppose you can do this mission." I began to smile, but she gave me a stern look so my smile fell off of my face. "But you absolutely may not come into any sort of contact with Rose. I'm not sure yet if she is dangerous…her case is a very odd case. Not something that anyone has ever heard of before. Not even Slater."
"If she really is special, she could help us couldn't she? Perhaps she sees where the person is going to be assassinated and she can help us pinpoint that spot?"
"Perhaps. Or maybe she simply knows when it's going to happen so nothing will be sped up because it will still be in the same time frame. Or maybe she didn't point at the assassination at all…" She stopped talking as her brow furrowed.
"You don't believe that, though, do you? You think she is special."
My mother examined me as she spoke her next words. "Yes. I do think she is special. But what if she is? I already don't like having you training as an assassin because you are so young. This little girl is eight years old…She hasn't even lived her life yet. It's not something that I am willing to put that girl through."
"But if she can help us…"
"Enough, Jenessa. I need time to think this through. That's why I have given you all three days. Now, do you want to start this mission or not?" She raised her eyebrows at me. "Now go."
I sighed as I turned and walked away from her. I hated upsetting my mother. It showed how immature that I still could be. Maybe this mission could be what it takes to prove to my mom that I am ready. If I take on this mission and provide the best information, maybe my mother would finally realize that I am ready. That I am ready to become the assassin that I am destined to become. With a smile, I headed out of the sanctuary and onto the streets. Yes, that's exactly what I'm going to do. I was going to find this little girl first and prove that I, Jenessa Marie Vincence, have what it takes to finally earn my special dagger.