Years have passed and they are becoming bolder. Doubtful that they’ve realized it yet, but I’ve noticed them. A passing glance. A long stare. They’ve underestimated me… well, all of us. Why they have chosen to follow me? I have some educated guesses, but I do not want to make any conclusion without evidence.
My story does not matter. How I grew up is irrelevant. What matters is the present, the now. At least, that’s what I believe. I flew threw the ranks of my brethren because of my mentality. Hundreds, no… thousands of contracts completed by my hands. Dozens of new bloods, trained by my sweat. My initiates are the elite, nothing less. But through my skill, I have alarmed the enemy. Not just the victims of contracts, you see… but the ultimate enemy. The Reformers.
I shudder at the name. Fear? No, it isn’t fear. It’s the chill of excitement. The very same spine-tingling feeling that scatters up my back before the plunge. They have attempted to end us for a century, at least. But we have persevered and become stronger. Secret wars are fought behind the everyday humdrum that the general public seems so intoxicated by. Monotony is not in our nature as assassins, and they are definitely not in the nature of the Reformers.
Understand, we are the silent justice that keeps the tethers of society from fraying. Mysterious circumstances surrounding a death? Us. A famous criminal goes missing? Us. We are like a shadow, existing in the space between reality and fantasy.
But unlike a hundred or so years ago, when my ancestors created this force, there was little stopping them from achieving their tasks. DNA testing was non-existent. Social Media was not even a concept. The only thing that went ‘viral’ was actual viruses. They could kill with discretion and ease. Now, we must be more calculated, more careful, and more intelligent about our contracts. To me, those who are a part of the revolution now are much more skilled than those who came before us.
It was only natural for The Reformers to target us. Only because I am such a high-ranking member of my kin that I am their first prey. I have been underestimated all of my life, why stop now? I laugh at the thought of their plans, continuously foiled by my skill. Bodies discovered months after they dare to delve too close to me. Some, I let be. But when they risk contact with me, I must finish the job. Each one is the same, dumb and slow. It is not even fun anymore.
I admire the one who has been following me for the last seven days, three hours, and twenty seven minutes. Much bolder than the others, but louder than most. I’m toying with him, you see. I’m interested to see what he does. How does he go about killing his target? Perhaps I could learn a thing or two about their secret society.
This man is my age, but half the skill. And that is being generous. It was on my drive to work today that I finally met the boy. His hands shook, as he tried to conceal it. I notice everything. I always have and always will.
He sat up from the back seat, no telling how long he had been laying there. I could hear him breathing – mouth breather. Noted.
“If you want my opinion.” Pretty sure the poor boy jumped out of his skin when I spoke. “You should not enter my car until right before I close the door. That way you aren’t waiting all night.”
“I-I-I’m here to-” he stammered.
“Kill me,” I laughed. “Good luck with that. I doubt you’d be more successful than the ones before you. I’m sure you know about them?”
“Oh boy,” I sighed. “They’re withholding information from you. What a shame… You were dead before you stepped in here. I see you don’t even have a weapon. Must’ve forgotten it, have you?”
He stopped, patted his pockets frantically, and then his face drained of all color. I tisked him.
“Not a very good Reformer, are you? Not that it matters. No one knows your name.”
We were at our destination by that point. The boy believed that I was going somewhere else, but I wanted to show him something. Bumpy, gravel roads were waiting us. The pasture smelled of death. I pulled out my handgun and pointed to the door and instructed him to get out. Know that my gun is only for show – I like to be much more… personal, but he didn’t know that.
“Where are we?” he gasped as the fog cleared somewhat and the bodies came into view.
“A recent site of our war,” I explained. “The war that has been for nothing. Only death pervades the years. Still, we fight.”
“I don’t understand -”
“Look kid,” I said. “I don’t want to kill you. You have done nothing wrong except choose the wrong side. History never remembers the losers.”
“How do you know we won’t win?”
“Because I know the skill of the Reformers, and the skill of my own people. They feed you lies about us and then expect you to be able to take one of us down. How do you hunt without knowing your prey?”
Again, he could not find an answer. I just nodded. My thoughts of murder started to arise. Adding him to the pile of bodies was one option, but turning him against The Reformers seemed more provocative.
“I’m going to do something that I have never before done.” I could see the lump in his throat when he swallowed. “I’m going to give you a choice.”