The Thing You Become

Submitted into Contest #168 in response to: Start your story with someone looking out a train window.... view prompt

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Fantasy Crime Teens & Young Adult

With the city sprawled before her, she tried her best not to let the tears fall. She was finally here, the capital city, but it was never how she had imagined. How did it turn out like this? Her dream of living in the capital with her family was ruined in an instant. She knew she couldn’t think like this. She had to be positive she had to live on for them. The train was pulling up to the station, so she wiped away the last of her tears and captured a screenshot of the city out the window before heading for the platform. She had never seen anywhere so busy before. People ran around this way and that and she was jostled so much that she could barely get to the exit she needed. She found her sky pod quickly and punched in the coordinates. She was on her way in seconds, and she got a second look at the beautiful city she had only seen in pictures. She thought of her younger sister and how excitedly they had both talked about seeing the city lights together. Thankfully the sky pod landed about then, so she had no time to think. She was greeted by a plump man with a weird smile and a woman who was just as plump and not smiling at all.

“Julie, thank god you have arrived safely, we were so worried when we heard about your family”

He grabbed her things and led her inside with her aunt trailing behind them not even hiding the contempt in her stare.

“Oh ah, yeah thanks,”

She couldn’t believe this was the only option she had left. She was now sitting in a lounge room. An atrocious one at that. If you could imagine a country bar where someone threw up pink lace and bow ties, you would have a sense of sitting in the lounge room of her aunt and uncle. She looked up to see perfect green eyes staring back at her. Her whole family had the same colour eyes it was one of the distinguishing features of their name title. Her included. It was eery to see her dad’s eyes stare back at her from a face that honestly looked like it had been sat on once or twice.

“Was your journey okay my dear?”

“Yes, thank you, Aunt Mary”

“We are very sorry to hear of your loss and we hope you can have a nice time here with us”

Have a nice time. Seriously? My whole family had been murdered and she hoped I had a nice time.

“Thank you, is there somewhere I can put my things? I am very tired.”

“Oh yes, of course, follow me”

My uncle was up and off to the staircase. I ran to keep up with him and quickly realized my aunt had decided to stay in the living room. We walked past many rooms before he finally stopped at a closed door.

“Here you are my dear, please let us know if you need anything”

“Thank you, I will”

I open the door as quickly as possible without looking rude and throw my bags onto the bed. My uncle stays for a moment before heading back downstairs. I lay down on the bed and close my eyes. Trying to breathe and not let my thoughts wander to my parents. My parents had always been there for me no matter what. Sure, they had been super dorky and awkward sometimes, but they loved me so much that it was almost always embarrassing. I try not to think of my older sister whom I would have murdered myself sometimes, but she always gave me an extra piece of cake for dessert. my younger sister had always been the funny one. Cracking jokes that had the whole family laughing all times of the day. I knew that I would never see the light in my sister’s eyes light up as she thought of a new joke or my dad trying his best to make their mum smile after he had bought something dumb home again. my older sister was rarely ever home but, on the days, when she was, she would let me go into her room and braid her hair.

Hot tears rolled down her face and she held in sobs. She cried for hours before she finally must have fallen asleep. As she was asleep, she had the nightmare again. Of that night. Of people dying. Of screaming. Of her family’s final moments. Of her world ending as she knew it.

She had slept all the way through till morning. Her stomach woke her up with a vengeance, angry that she hadn’t had any food since lunch yesterday. As she wandered down to the kitchen the sounds of whispered conversation reached her ears.

“What are we supposed to do now?”

“Mary dear, why do you always blame me?”

“Of course, this is your fault. If you hadn’t decided to go the nice route we wouldn’t be in this predicament”

“If I hadn’t decided? Ha. As if you weren’t the one who wanted things done silently and neatly. Instead of just getting someone to go in there with blasters and get it over with.”

“Well, who could have predicted that the idiots you sent wouldn’t understand that we had told them that there were 3 children? I mean they didn’t even check. Idiots.”

“My dear, despite the inconvenience this may work out better. If we can’t get her to bend to our will, we can simply kill her and make it look like an accident”

“But now that she is here with us, the suspicion will fall on us”

“Perhaps, but before any of this we may be able to get her over to our side”

“Do you think she will?”

“After losing her family the way she did, the poor girl will need people to lean on, we can use that to help her see us as her kind relatives looking out for her”

I had suspected as much but to hear it firsthand my heart dropped into my stomach, and I took a moment to gather my thoughts. This was the reason I had agreed to come to stay with these vile people in the first place. I hadn’t expected to know the truth this soon, but it didn’t change my plans. I was going to ruin them even if I had to go down with them.

“Good morning”

They at least had the decency to look mildly scared before both setting their faces to what I’m sure they thought was welcoming and kind.  The malice laced within turned their smiles into something almost comical. I set about getting myself some breakfast and hoped they would at least let me drink some coffee before trying to engage me in conversation.

“Julie, my dear, is there anything you like for breakfast, we can have Mildred make it”

A woman I hadn’t noticed before smiles kindly and waits for my answer.

“I’m okay, I’ll just have coffee today, not sure I could stomach more than this”

As I head back to my bedroom, my uncle calls out that if I need anything I can just let them know. The idea of asking them for more than a coffee makes me feel ill and I know that I won’t even be able to drink the coffee which does smell delicious to be fair. I grab my bag and start to find all the documents I had collected before I left. Dad had been suspicious for a while and so he had a mountain of documents with various dealings that proved my uncle and aunt were vying to get rid of the current prince. He was not as corruptible as the previous king, and this caused problems for many of the elite businessmen my uncle included. At first, they had put up with it, but I knew they had started to lose significant amounts of money from the raids the prince kept conducting on the black-market trades. Apparently, this money was worth more than my family’s lives. I feel the hot tears come and I want to be able to punch their stupid smug faces. It takes me a while before I can calm down and think. When I was on the train here, I had decided I would take it slow and bid my time but after the conversation, I heard they had it coming to them tenfold, and I was going to start tonight.

Through the documents on shady dealings, it had been very easy for me to find some people willing to do anything for the right price. Shady dealings were definitely not my thing but when I thought of those smug faces’ dead, I could do anything. I was meeting a man in a pub to tell him the details and give him half of the money now. It was exactly as you might imagine these things, he wore a hood, and it was a very sketchy pub and I stuck out, but I didn’t really care. I was so focused on my mission that honestly these things were trivial. At first, he had told me it would take a week to get prepared, I told him he had two days and that was my final offer. He smiled as we departed, and I hurried home to the murderers. They had been increasingly on my case, very much trying to act the part of caring relatives. As I walked in the door my uncle was waiting for me telling me to be careful in the city at night, that I didn’t know the streets very well and I would be better off coming home before dark. I smiled at his suggestion and thanked him as I headed to bed. The idea that anyone out there could be worse than the monsters I already lived with was hilarious.

The next two days went by in a blur and the night of my plan approached quickly. That night I said good night to my aunt and uncle and made my way quickly upstairs. We had agreed the man would come in at 11 pm and shoot them as they slept. The easiest and quickest way to do this. As the time drew nearer, I listened out for any movement or noise. But the house stayed silent, and the night moved forward. I wake up with a start and see it is 3 am. I quickly jump out of bed and make my way to my uncle's and aunts’ bedroom. There they are sleeping or so it seems at first glance until you notice the pools of blood. As I stare at their lifeless lumps, I compare this moment to when I saw my lifeless parents on the floor of our house. The two images blur and I am momentarily lost and lean against the wall. I take a screenshot of this moment and quickly store it in my hidden folder. I had thought I would flee for my life tonight and disappear. Instead, I leave to pay the shady man the last of his money and then I return to the house to play the innocent victim in the morning.

Mildreds' scream wakes me up and I rush to see the lumps of wasted life in bed. I barely contain my smile as the police and coroners are called and I think I hear a whisper that the prince may make an appearance. I find it very easy to play the part of a distraught niece. I am so shocked and horrified that no one expects me to speak much. As I sit on the couch the prince is announced to be coming to pay his condolences and start an investigation into this awful event.

“The prince has arrived”

As we all stand to welcome the royal, I lower my eyes and wish for this to be over quickly so I can decide my next move and figure out exactly what it is I want to do. The prince is going around as if he is on a tour and not visiting the site of a murder. As it comes for him to greet me, I look up and must hold in a gasp. The prince smiles lightly and shakes my hand tightly. How can this man be here, shaking my hand demanding we get answers? Asking how this could happen in his kingdom. The prince winks at me and goes on to address the crowd before him about the tragedy that has occurred this day. I stand and look on with fear and admiration. I didn’t think I could be surprised anymore. As everything sinks in, I realize I have found an ally and I am very glad I didn’t run. We will clean out the rest of those like my aunt and uncle. Me, the girl with nothing and her princely assassin. 

October 22, 2022 03:47

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