Soon after I had abandoned my life of guaranteed happiness and safety, I met the girl I've come to know as Virtue. By then, the police had labelled my name as the murderer of 20 innocent kindergarten-aged children and one ill-suspecting, middle-aged teacher. I was hated by decent society. Search parties covered every square mile in the city's perimeter, all looking for one sadistic, possibly mad, six year old girl. I hid wherever I possibly could, in warehouses, sheds, and the occasional foreclosed house. I was a lucky one, always sensing the police's presence and sneaking away just in time for the police to ransack my temporary living quarters. It was Virtue's presence that I did not sense, however. She crawled into the shed that I had been striving in for two days or so, unnoticed until she spoke a word behind me.
"Nicole Youngblood," She said, unafraid even in her seven-year old state, "Fancy seeing you here." I spun around to see the little girl, hair as black as a raven's feather, sweeping eyelashes over her emerald green eyes. I studied her before speaking my first words.
"Are you going to turn me in?" I muttered, trying to act confident in my actions and keep my shaking to a minimum.
"Maybe," She replied with a glint in her cat-like eyes, "Not unless you don't follow my every command." I cringed. What kind of sick kid was she to be blackmailing me? I would have her head on a platter if I wished. However, I was surrounded by her with no weapon to speak of, much less a plan.
"What are your commands?" I decided to play along. She was just another naïve kid, right? What harm could she do?
"Follow me," She said, thrusting her black jacket into my arms. I quickly put it on and followed her through the small crevice the girl climbed into to encounter the fateful meeting in the first place.
We stopped walking when we were in front of a large house, almost mansion-like, yet more modern looking. As i peered through the golden gate that closed it off from the rest of the world, I noticed it was painted a deep mauve and had a roof of forest green. The lawn was decorated with beautifully decorated gardens and white peacocks strutting proudly around the perfectly cared for grass. The lot was also specked with smaller, but equally impressive matching sub-houses and stretched for as far as my eyes could see. The aura wreaked of wealth. Of course, even my juvenile mind was in awe.
"Where are we?" I asked, still marveling at the house.
"My place," She casually replied, opening the gate just as casually. I followed her through the gate and into the main house. Of course, the inside was as decorated as the outside, if not more.
"Mother," The girl addressed as she turned a corner into a room.
"Yes, darling?" A sophisticated voice responded. As I turned the same corner, I found that it belonged to a woman in her late-thirties. Her face was sharp and with deep blue eye shadow, pink blush and red lipstick, her makeup taste did not match her taste of interior design.
"I found her," The girl who's name I did not yet know stated in an orderly fashion to her mother, gesturing to me. Her mother let out a gasp of surprised delight as she set eyes upon me for the first time.
"Welcome, Nicole," She cheerfully smiled at me after that. Why was this woman accepting a wanted child murderer into her home? The whole scene confused me to a point of being speechless. I merely shuffled my feet as a response, avoiding eye contact.
"I suppose you're wondering why you were brought here," Virtue's mother continued, "I want to hire you."
"A-Wha..?" I looked up at her, baffled. Was she a lunatic?
"As a hit man," She carried on, taking into account my speechless state, "Of course, I'll pay off any living expenses. Virtue, be a dear and show our new guest where she'll be staying?" She turned back to her daughter. The girl called Virtue nodded, took my hand and dashed out of the room and onto the yard.
"What's going on?" I asked briskly, making up for my lack of arrogance.
"My family hires people to do their dirty work," The small girl responded, not bothering to turn around, "I guess we're some big-shot in the underground criminal world." I nodded. Her story somewhat made sense.
"Oh yeah, and to keep loyalty, we offer roofs over our employee's heads," She added, sure I, someone of her own age, would keep a secret. She let go of my hand when we reached a small -nevertheless extravagant- shack on the edge of the lot, nearly a half-mile from the main house. "This is where you'll be staying," Virtue gestured to it with a grin.
Nine years later, I still lived in that shack. Of course, it was overgrown with weeds and smelled of rust by then, as I let no one, not even the gardener, enter my living quarters. Not that any of the newbie's would have the guts to enter anyway. Every day, they all witnessed me dragging myself out at dawn and back in at dusk, drenched in the foul-smelling blood of my victims, mostly petty criminals or enemies of Virtue's mother. I had been deemed an outcast by the jealous occupants of the other small shacks on that sinful lot, but that didn't matter with me. I was the first person the head of the house turned to when she needed something done. I was a favorite, maybe even favorited above the daughter of the house herself. I was showered in money and food, lest yet another list of poor souls soon to be slaughtered came my way. Perhaps that's the roots of my life's fateful tragedy. I didn't question my actions, as I had been jaded as I was many years before. I just did my work as it was a normal office job, being careful enough to cover up all evidence. Sneaky enough to slip away from any situation. Exact enough to relieve a person of their life in one swish of my dagger.
Until one night, when my body grew more exhausted than usual. My last kill for the night was more messy than usual. He actually dared to let out a few long screams before I could shut him up by slashing his throat. Cleaning up the evidence was equally messy, I had left fingerprints everywhere. There was too much blood to speak of. And the time of death would be relevant with any 911 call from an overhearing neighbor. Too little time. In a moments notice, the dead's now vacant house was surrounded by local police cars. The first of the police knocked on the door. I didn't answer. I planned to lure him into the house, so I flicked a switch in the front room, triggering the lights. There's no question someone's home, they must've been thinking. Sure enough, the police turned the knob and opened the door ever so slowly.
"Hello?" He yelled into the house. By then, I was hiding on the wall behind the door, locating every weapon on him. A taser on his left side attached to the belt of his uniform. A standard hand gun two slots away from it. Also, a handheld radio beside the taser. I made a mental note to rid him of that as well. Possibly his whole belt. He stepped into the room, making sure not to close the door behind him.
"I know someone's here, if you don't step out, there'll be charges," He announced, wiping his forehead in early frustration. He took another step into the room to take a look around. This was my chance. I quietly leapt from my hiding place and closed the door, locking it without the policeman's notice. That's when he turned around to face me. He was quite young, maybe in his early twenties. His face looked prickly with the unshaven start of a beard and his eyes drooped childishly at the sides. His short hair looked auburn and sported a police cap.
"Hello ma'am," He smiled naively at me, "Some neighbors reported some screaming here about twenty minutes ago." He eyed me, questioning my closing the door on him.
Without hesitation, I leapt at him, dagger ready. He let out no cry, but simply allowed my dagger to slip into his right side while grabbing for his radio. An unclean spot, if you ask me, but perfect for distraction. Unfortunately for him, his belt was already across the room, as I had thrown it there the second after I had unsecured it from his waist. He looked up at me, eyes showing pain.
"Who are you?" He asked, clinging to his wound.
"Just some murderer," I smiled sadistically down at him, proud of my quick wit. I raised my dagger again, aiming the point for his neck.
"If you kill me, there'll just be more evidence. More police will show up if I don't return," He said quickly. Damn, I had to admit he was right. I couldn't kill him knowing that. I simply stood back up and fled the scene.
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Book / Mystery and Crime
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