1 comment

Crime Fiction Urban Fantasy

I always wear a mask to hide my face.

I know that's a kind of normal reason for someone to wear a mask, but there's a special reason for me to obscure my appearance.

My mask hides not only my identity, but my actions.

There was once a person I was, a girl named Kimberly Adams. She was your stereotypical Rosewooden young lady, perfect and poised to become the next Lady Rosewood.

But I realised what my parents, Lord and Lady Rosewood, were actually doing.

They were tearing our province down, one bit at a time. Stealing all our resources, squandering money like the nobles in Glen Orchard.

So I left that life and began my transition to the life of an outlaw, an assassin, if you will.

I reminisce about my past, perched in a comfortable armchair by a blazing-hot fire, feeling pleased with my life choices.

Yes, an outlaw isn't necessarily the best career path, but I'm happy about it. Assassinations are what I enjoy doing, so I'm damn well going to keep doing it.

As a matter of fact, I am currently residing in the Sunflower keep, closest to the city of my work.

The marvelous metropolis of Marigold Mountains is waiting at my beck and call, even if the great capital of Rosewood doesn't yet know it.

My mask is lying on the chair across from me, the amethysts in it reflecting the firelight temptingly.

I'm itching to go on a dangerous, thrilling mission, but I must stay put and wait for further orders.

In the past two years I've been away from my parents, I have struck a bargain with a guild of assassins.

I paid them a healthy amount of money to train me, teach me the ways of the assassin. The others taught me to pick pockets, pull off heists, and other essentials to being an outlaw.

The payment, naturally, was stolen property from the Rosewood vaults. My parting gift from my parents, which I may or may not have taken for personal gain.

In return, I was inducted into the Sunflower Guild, as the group of assassins called themselves. They are part of a larger organisation christened the Freedom Flowers, which makes the guild sound innocent. Really, it's not.

That's why I wanted to come here instead of some fancy place in the rich subdivisions. No, the slums is the place to be.

So much danger gives me thrills, and there's always a chance of there being an axe-murderer lurking in a dark alley.

But I am comforted by that thought.

I know that no axe-murderer will ever best me.

I know that I am the biggest bully on the playground, that no one will ever butt heads with me. Or else suffer my wrath.

The heels of my tall leather boots tap softly on the polished marble floor as I stride through the winding hallways of the keep, the only noise in the silent corridors.

In the keep, I can be as loud as I want. It's safe here, and no one wishes to hurt me. I have established trust with each and every assassin in the Freedom Flowers, and besides, my parents will order their personal assassin to visit wrath on the man who murders their estranged daughter.

No matter how much they despise me at the moment, family always sticks together. And Lord and Lady Rosewood know that better than most.

My sleek black bodysuit chafes against my bare skin. It does not fit as well as it did a month ago, thanks to my residing in the Sunflower.

In the past month, I have been kicking up my feet and doing nothing, lounging in luxury in my staterooms. Whenever I visit the keep, my rooms are always ready, the bed made up and fire roaring.

I suppose, being the second-most important person in the Sunflower Guild, that my contentedness is a large factor in the jobs of my colleagues.

Because, really, they aren't my colleagues in the slightest. I am their superior in every way, shape and form. 

The most important person in the guild is, of course, Johannes Quinton. The man who runs the whole show, the man behind the scenes to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.

That’s the man every self-respecting Rosewooden is afraid of. And I can bend him to my will. 

Only, of course, if I see fit. After all, he is at my command, not the other way around. 

I simply choose to follow his instructions, to show goodwill. To keep seeming like I trust him and listen to him.

In reality, I trust no one. I do not have that luxury, the luxury of having a low guard. I’ve never relied on anyone, always been on my own. 

But that’s okay. I prefer to be alone. It lets me think.

I see a hooded figure sweeping down the hallway, their dark cloak brushing the polished floor as they stride nearer to me.

I can’t tell who they are under the wide hood, but that doesn’t bother me. I raise a hand in greeting just the same, but continue on my way. This person doesn’t deserve my time, just like every worthless assassin in this keep.

Because, really, this is all a game to me. What I really want is to see my parents fall to their knees and beg for forgiveness, beg for mercy.

I might show them that I am kind, thoughtful even. Or I might just slit their throats in front of the entire Rosewooden population. Depends on my mood.

But for now I must be content with sitting in the shadows, plotting my next move in order to check the king. 

For I am the bishop hiding behind the scenes, the secret weapon. I will be the key to bringing down my parents. And they will surrender under fire, being as selfish and self-concerned as they are.

They don’t care if their people suffer, but if their high lifestyle is threatened...well, they’ll notice problems then. But pretty much only then. Otherwise they’re ‘clueless’, or so they say. Lord and Lady Rosewood act shocked and surprised when they hear about rebellion in the south, but they know more than they let on. They orchestrated the attack that brought rebels to Rosewood.

When they are assassinated by the rebels, I won’t bat an eye. In fact, I’ll cheer them on. The lord and lady deserve to die after what they’ve done. They’re no parents of mine.

Besides, I am superior in their own realm, their traitorous, deserter daughter. Unsurprisingly, many of the townsfolk are on my side, cheering for the end of their tyrannous rulers.

And one day I will make Lord and Lady Rosewood pay for their crimes against their people.

I swear it.

December 05, 2021 20:21

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

1 comment

Beautiful story. I absolutely loved it!


Show 0 replies

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.