The girl with the bumble bee tattoo

Submitted into Contest #44 in response to: Write a story that starts with a character-revealing something unusual about themselves.... view prompt

23 comments

General

Here is a secret: I am allergic to bees.

 

I found this out while murdering the high-ranking banker in his private greenhouse on his multi-billion dollar estate. Forgot to load the gun, had to improvise with the shears: they were painfully dull. (For someone stealing so much money, he should have invested in hiring better gardeners.)

 

Apparently he liked bee keeping. And committing fraud.

 

My swollen face prevented me to be commissioned for much kills after, but business never slows down… I guess the only thing you don’t need to worry about when you’re an assassin is job security. (Ha!) But this allowed me to see who they would seek to employ when I was out of the picture.

 

It is sometimes bizarre, being the top of your craft. You have no one to look up to that isn’t already dead (or killed by you) and everyone below is annoyingly sloppy. Disregard the comment about the unloaded gun earlier, the only reason I am so sought-after is my ability to invent and get the job done: every time. Also, I don’t need to hide my murders.

 

They all know it was me.

 

This is why having a weakness, like a bee allergy, is a secret that needs to be protected. It could mean a mysterious, triggered death, relating to allergies.

 

At first, I was offended by the sleek, safe methodology of my replacement. (Of course I tracked the kills - I needed to see who my competition was.) It was safe, boring: A silent bullet from the distance, slipping some poison in a soup. Yawn. Not as flashy as hacking a person’s head in with garden-shears, but I guess it gets the job done.

 

I think I wasn’t the only person snubbed, because the higher-ups must have demanded something else. I guess when you pay someone millions to kill a high profile politician you want the pictures of the murder scene to look movie worthy… there is just something about a disfigured and crumpled body the media finds oh-so seductive. It gives the ones ordering the killings that satisfaction of wiping their hands, and the killers the fulfillment of creative liberty.

 

Or animalistic rage, as that one New York Times reporter called it. (She was very upset about that police officer I strangled… with a metal chain.)

 

What perked my interest were the next few killings: Pushed into a construction ditch, concrete poured on top, coked before police arrived. Extra points for making it look like an accident. The fall of that Mongolian diplomat from the five star hotel roof – looked like a suicide: very clean. What caused my eye-brow raise was the strangling of the banker in her train cubicle. A flesh-eating poisoned shoelace. What a weapon of choice.

 

I would never have admitted this then, but I was impressed.

 

I started to reject the offerings simply to try and get a glimpse of this killer. (Fully recovered, by then.) Their lack of calls meant that clearly they were content with this new person – and I felt an emotion I hadn’t since early childhood… intimidation.

 

I waited in the building opposite: front-view seat, my window open. The intended victim was a foreign contractor arranged for by a mafia boss who wanted another luxury condo, who loose lipped information that he shouldn’t have. (For the record; the various mafia bosses that employ us pay more than the MI6 for their kills, despite them being more trivial – er, personal – in comparison.) Anyways, this foolish contractor of ours was going to town on some cereal on a table, unaware. I waited, binoculars in hand.

And then she entered.

 

I blinked twice in shock, but followed her every move. She was stealthy, wearing all black, which clashed greatly with her honey complexion. She had a single bun wound up so tight it looked painful. Her steps were quick, a hand covered his mouth and the other elbow chocked him. Was she going to strangle him bare handed? I was in awe. He passed out, very much not dead, when she produced the metal chain my breath hitched. She grunted softly once, snapped his neck with the links. The entire time her face was of pure indifference, I felt my heart drumming against my rib-cage.

 

She left the chain on his neck like I had done.

 

Was this out of admiration or a simple copy-cat? My cheeks were red, another something that only happened a very long time ago.

But then she flung herself across the body, grabbed the cereal bowl and turned it on his head, letting it rest there like a wet milky hat, giggling to herself.

 

I released a long, slow breath. She was beautiful. She made her way out as quickly as she came, and just like that she was gone. What was this feeling? I never expected someone to occupy so much of my thoughts, but every blink I would see that face full of glee. The precision of the kill, the flair to make it her own. I had a little protégé who I wanted to take out to dinner. I was getting carried away in my own musings until I heard the tell tale signs of the police – the neighbors must have reported some unusual sounds – and then I left.

 

The next day I was waiting on the black metal staircase of the other building of her next kill. I was very close to the window – too close – but I wanted to see her without binoculars this time. I don’t even remember the specifics of this kill, just that he had a funny mustache. When she entered, the TV was on. She was wearing a single black glove, which could only mean she would do something interesting. Her eyes were almond shaped and quickly scanning the area. She turned to the sofa, where her victim was lounging, and she produced a set of garden shears. My heart soared. A terribly strong hit to the back of his head, he was out. She struggled to pull the shears back out of the skull, though, but she got it. How can someone so tiny have so much strength? Her muscles flexed under her black shirt as she reached out to poke both of his eyes, extending the shears so that a blade could dive in each orb. She only smiled once the blood had trickled to his chin. I watched in baited breath and wonder at the mysterious marvel that was simply, her.

 

The steps creaked as I adjusted my leg, and she whipped around to face me. I saw her then: pink ears and shocked, her pretty brown eyes alight with a craze one only gets after taking a life. She cursed and scampered out of the apartment.

 

Ah, yes. That clause about killing all witnesses, if any.

 

Adrenaline pumped through me immediately and I got up: Fumbling with my thoughts. Should I make my escape through the roof? Pretty eyes. No. Stop, your best bet is down. Agh. Cute hair-bun. I heard a door slamming open below, and that was my cue to start climbing. This was new: the struggle of going upstairs with hitched breaths. Usually I’m the one at the other end of the barrel, but this is the first time I know for a fact the person holding the gun knows how to use it. My heart was pounding with excitement reaching the roof, I watched from the top as she entered to building and then jumped to the roof of the very building she killed in.  

 

I exited through their indoor elevator and out to the next street, my thoughts racing with her, her, her. That beautiful killer, unnamed and short: Quick-tempered, light on her feet and otherworldly.

 

The week after that was hell, because I couldn’t see her. Management must have been directing more kills at me, and I made them quick and clean. She must have been punished monetarily for letting a witness get away. (Her fault for not having a pistol handy. What kind of assassin didn’t keep an emergency gun handy?) I left a packet of cereal at every kill. Brand new, for her. I didn’t need to keep my kills secret, anyone could have linked them.

 

But she should know.

 

When I caught wind of her being back in the game I traced her kills and located her next victim before she could. He had a mansion I intended to bunk in and surprise her, but I happened to bump into the man himself. A bullet through his head, cleaned the gun and left it next to him. Hopefully it will be docked as a suicide. Poured myself some fancy whisky the poor man just had it laying around; waiting for her to arrive, watching him bleed out on the ottoman rug. The bloodstain would add a rather rustic touch.

 

She arrived in the room quick and sharply, she took a short, quick breath in. That is all. I was impressed at her self control. She didn’t smile, and she had that guarded look she always came in with before her kills.

 

“Hi,” I said, regretting it immediately. Is that all? You’ve been waiting so long for this moment, goddamit.

 

She raised a pistol and aimed it at my forehead. (Oh, so now is the time you produce a gun?)

 

“Hah!” I exclaimed in surprise, or false bravado, trying to recover my shaking heart at the sight of her cold, extremely pretty eyes. I wanted her to smile.

 

“Not in the mood for chatting today?”

 

“No,” Her voice was a little deeper, more curt.

 

“Killed him for you. A thank-you would be nice,”

 

“What, no cereal this time?”

 

I blinked in shock, and she smiled.

 

My heart melted.

 

“We will never work out.” Her voice had a hint of regret in it, but she didn’t lower her gun.

 

I frowned at her assumption. But I didn’t argue. She had a tiny little bumblebee tattoo on her finger, and it was simultaneously the most arousing and frightening sight I have every come across.

 

“They’ll order us to kill each other eventually,” She continued.

She was right about that.

 

Her eyes were sad. “I hope I never see you again,” This is the cursed image of her I keep till today, her perfect lips making a regretful smile.

 

She raised her pistol and fired at the chandelier, sending shards of glass raining through the room, alerting the chamber maids around the mansion, and making her escape. I cursed and made a run for the balcony, turning once only to see her winking at me before skidding the corner herself.

 

It would be years until I would see her again.

 

Well, I mean. Do dreams count?

June 05, 2020 22:03

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23 comments

Kathleen March
11:53 Jun 28, 2020

First, a quick comment. I’m not sure you can say to hack in a head. Also, it is with bated breath, not baited. This is a very dark story with bits of humor and tenderness laced throughout. The creepiness is well managed and just allows for a flicker of humanity in the narrator. Hopefully writing this did not give you nightmares.

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Verda H
02:36 Jun 29, 2020

Thank you so much for the corrections! No nightmares here, just binge watching old horror movies this quarantine, haha. Glad you enjoyed the story :)

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Amany Sayed
15:22 Aug 07, 2020

Ahhh, the writing voice of this was almost poetic! I loved it so much! It was so well-written. I have no complaints. Great job Verda.

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Verda H
15:56 Aug 07, 2020

Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed this

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M.Zubair Alam
10:15 Jun 11, 2020

Great, very great. You've adroitly crafted the story. There was so much to learn from it.

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Verda H
11:54 Jun 11, 2020

Thank you so much! I would love it if you checked out some of my other works as well.

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Leya Newi
17:05 Aug 07, 2020

Definitely a great piece. I found parts that were funny and made me smile, while others were tender, or creepy. Great job, Verda!!

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Verda H
17:46 Aug 07, 2020

Thank you so much for taking the time to read, Leya!

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Leya Newi
17:51 Aug 07, 2020

You’re welcome!

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16:05 Jul 09, 2020

Intense and macabre, I really enjoyed it.

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Verda H
01:44 Jul 10, 2020

Thank you so much!

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Laura Clark
06:55 Jul 06, 2020

The first paragraph of this caught me immediately. I love the bumblebee tattoo - such a great little inclusion - and the general tone you use. Great writing!

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Verda H
08:58 Jul 06, 2020

Thank you so much Laura!

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Laura Clark
09:05 Jul 06, 2020

You’re welcome! If you’ve got time and are interested, please feel free to check mine out, too.

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Verda H
06:14 Jul 07, 2020

Sure!

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17:21 Jun 10, 2020

Wow! This rocked! I read your profile...oof. I'm glad you write on reedsy. Keep at it!!

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Verda H
11:55 Jun 11, 2020

Aww, receiving so much love! I'm glad to be here. :)

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Iku Saari
07:21 Jun 07, 2020

I must admit, as I was reading, I fell in love with her. I like this! Witty, exciting, grimly humorous.

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Verda H
17:16 Jun 07, 2020

Awww, thank you so much for reading! Yes, I was trying out a different style, I'm glad you liked it!

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Daryl Gravesande
13:46 Jun 06, 2020

How in the WORLD are you SO underrated? Your stories are SO much better than mine, tbh.

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Verda H
06:22 Jun 07, 2020

No! You're stories are so AMAZING! I think it's because I'm relatively new

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Romneya Quennell
13:41 Aug 07, 2020

This was great. I loved it! Maybe because I like the more morbid tales (Edgar Allan Poe, anyone?) but I really enjoyed reading this. I would gladly read an addendum if you wrote one! Well done. A few grammatical/spelling errors, but the plot was flawless. You really immersed the reader!

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Verda H
13:44 Aug 07, 2020

Thank you so much! Love old Edgar, haha. Again, yes I have a lot to improve on, but hopefully as time goes I will improve! :) Thanks again for reading.

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