Narrative–Murder, Mystery and Mayhem

Music blared loudly from the speakers, accosting my eardrums. I watched silently from above as people swirled and danced in a confused, frenzied mass. Shifting on the broad rafter, I refocused on her. She was dancing, jumping up and down amid the mass of bodies, moving along with the music. The notes slowed and faded before the DJ announced the final song. I sighed in relief at this revelation, standing and walking lightly along the rafter, my balance perfect on the wooden beam. As the last song began, I hauled myself out of the small skylight and onto the function hall's roof. From there it was an easy matter to swing down the huge eucalypt next to me. The music was still playing as I landed on the worn footpath seconds later. Perfect. I hadn't lost sight of her for more than twenty seconds. Waiting by the open doors, I fixed my eyes on her. The music faded to silence for the last time that night. Chatter started up amongst the teens as they began to exit the building, breaking off into groups that wandered into the darkness in search of parents' cars or the bus stop down the street. She came out, accompanied by a short, stocky guy with blonde hair and slightly muscled arms. I shifted, suddenly painfully aware of how tall and slender I was for a guy my age.

"Ariele," I murmured as she passed.

She spun, her eyes picking me out from the shadows. "Alex!" her surprise was evident in her voice. "You stayed? You didn't have to."

"Yes I did."

She glared at me venomously before tugging on her companion's shirt, bringing him forwards. "Alex, this is Zach. Zach, meet my twin brother, Alex."

The youth stared at me with mud-brown eyes, raising a fair eyebrow, no doubt mentally comparing me to Ariele. My pale skin, messy, dead-straight raven hair and indigo-blue eyes were in no way similar to my tanned sister, with her strawberry-blonde curls cascading down her back, and her laughing sky-blue eyes. His eyes lingered on my floor-length cloak, blending me with the shadows, making it impossible to tell where my figure ended and the night began.

"Nice, dude. But you know, it's not Halloween."

Now it was my turn to raise a dark eyebrow, but unlike Ariele's boyfriend, I refrained from commenting. After a moment, Zach began to fidget. Ariele let me stare him down until he flinched and dropped his eyes.

"Come on Zach, we have to go. Bye, Alex."

"Wait." My voice was soft, but they still heard me.

"What?" Ariele demanded, turning back to face me again, annoyance clear in her movements.

My reply was even quieter, dry leaves rustling in the wind nearly drowning out my message. "Father said to be home by dawn, or he will send me after you."

"You can't do anything come sunrise!"

Zach strained to hear me as I spoke next. Ariele, however, heard me perfectly. "Ariele. We all have our limitations, you included." I shifted uncomfortably, glancing at Zach, unused to speaking in front of strangers. Or at least living ones. I wasn't afraid, simply uncomfortable.

Ariele sighed, noticing my discomfort. "Alright. Just don't follow me! I can take care of myself, and you have work to do!" She turned and stomped off, dragging Zach by the wrist. I chucked dryly, amused by her behaviour.

A girl from one of the nearby groups spoke up, startling me. "She wasn't very nice to you just then. I don't get it; Ari's the nicest person I know."

I turned to face them, speaking barely loud enough for them to hear my faint voice. "Yes. Ariele is very kind."

"Even to you?"

I shifted uncomfortably. "Yes, but not when I am working."

"And you're working now?"

"Yes. Or at least, I am meant to be."

"Well, I won't keep you busy." She smiled and turned back to her friends.

I turned and melted into the shadows of the manicured garden, scaling the tree and crouching on the roof of the building. My phone vibrated, alerting me to the arrival of an order. I read the small script on the glowing screen, studying the details. Satisfied, I slipped the phone back into my pocket. It was not what had been expected, but it would have to do. Straightening up, I sprang from the roof to another building, making my way across the street. After several minutes of this mode of travel, I came to the designated area. My blade killed the target immediately; they didn't even have time to cry out before their lifeless body crumpled to the pavement and turned to dust.

My phone vibrated again, but instead of an order, I got a call from my father. "Alex Orin Rain, did you remember to relay that message to your sister?"

I flinched at his use of my full name. "Yes, I did."

"Good. Hunter or not, you are to clean your room when you arrive home, do we understand each other?"

"Yes, Father."

He hung up without saying another word. I allowed myself the luxury of a small sigh before vaulting into one of the trees, and from there onto a power line, balancing in the slight breeze, awaiting my next order.

EN001C Alanna Broome 10_1