October - 2077
Evita Grey was dead. Now I had to be her.
She was the love interest of the infamous serial killer Ides Randall, a killer that haunted the streets of New York with the skin of a chameleon, a killer so sly and cunning not even a fox could match him.
Grey betrayed Randall by calling the police at five minutes to midnight on the fifteenth day of the fifth month this year. Randall heard the news and vengefully killed five people in broad daylight the next day. It was said Evita then sent him a lock of her hair, cut her finger, dripped a spot of blood on the envelope and caught the next train to the eastern states. It was said she died. I remembered the newspaper headlines. I remembered seeing the funeral procession for the victims that solemnly traipsed through the gloomy streets. I remembered staying inside when the mark of Ides Randall - a laughing harlequin - was projected onto the full moon. He would strike again.
Now I had to be Evita. It was my job to kill him, not the police. This was a criminal mind they could not look inside of.
Not only did I look like Evita, I had to be her. The Detective Sergeant gave me her case file and recordings of her voice. Even her personality I had to mimic. The only difference we shared were my grey eyes. She had green.
But I did not want to be someone else. I had no choice. After this, I was forced to take on the identity is Evita. My old self was to be announced dead, killed by the notorious Randall.
At exactly eighteen hours I had to switch the bathroom light of my apartment on and assemble myself for the night. Black jumpsuit, blue leather boots and blue trench coat. A gun was to be placed in the breast pocket.
At nineteen hours I was to be dropped off at the Remidious Casino, a place notorious for the criminals who resided in the late hours of night. The Remidous fountain, which inspired the name of the casino, shot luminescent rays of water up into the air. But I had to wait by the green roulette table next to the bar and order the finest Cosmopolitan cocktail the bartender could provide, then pay extra and tell him to keep the change. Next, I had to demand a bottle of the finest scotch for my date. Then I had to wait.
Instead, I started to panic. What if Randall never came? What if I could not kill him? And what if he succeeded in killing me, the doppelganger of the deceased? I would die an unfair death.
As time slipped by I replayed recordings of Evita's voice in my head over and over, whispering her tone of voice to myself. Her voice is vital, Detective Sergeant had said. Mess it up, he will suspect the latter.
I saw my reflection in the cocktail. A ruby fire of hair, thundercloud-grey eyes, hollow cheeks. And fear.
Through my blind spot, I sensed a figure was walking towards me. I fought the urge to turn. Evita's case file said she never reacted to the mysterious too quickly. But I was not Evita. I turned.
A man with a dapper double-breasted suit strode to the empty roulette table, his chilling blue eyes observing the whirring slot machines and gambling tables. "Evita?"
My pulse was racing but I forced a smile. "Ides, I thought you would be here tonight,"
He was staring at me incredulously. "It was you turned me in. I caught you that night. You're lucky you escaped with your life. Why have you returned?"
I sipped my cocktail. "I wanted to apologise for what I did. What coward would run from their deed?"
He did not seem to be buying it so he sat down in the seat across from mine. "An apology," he mused. "You know me better than that, Evita. Why are you actually here? "
I was lost for words so I looked him in the eye. "I don't know."
He smirked. "Thirty people have been sent to Death because of me. I myself could be the Devil's right hand." He reached for the bottle of scotch and poured it into the glass. I watched as the bubble rose to the surface, then stole a glance at the fountain.
He led me to the fountain. "You changed. There is something about you which I don't want to trust anymore. You're not the woman I used to know, and it's haunting me."
"Everyone changes," I said. Strike now! my mind screamed.
But everyone could see us. If I killed him right here, right now, I would truly become Evita Grey.
Instead, I looked at my watch. Five minutes into a new day. "I must be going, Ides. I'll see you around." I gave him a smile which he coldly returned.
Hurrying out of the casino, I drew the handgun from my pocket. Nervous, I waited at the entrance, thinking about my decision. Should I run or should stay? Either way I would lose my true identity. But if he truly loved Evita he would have to say goodbye.
He did come out and I hastily dropped the gun back into my pocket, my finger curled around the trigger. He took my hand with and pressed something into my palm. "Come here, this time tomorrow. I've missed you terribly."
I began to draw the gun back out with my free hand. I nodded. "Of course," I admitted in my normal voice - my true voice - not the voice I was forced to facade.
Horrified, my heart beat frantically and a strangled expression crossed his face. "You're not Evita,"
"No," I whispered. "No, I'm not."
Thinking quickly, I drew the gun out completely and aimed it at his heart. Blood spilled out, some spattering onto my outstretched hand. Ides Randall collapsed to the ground, dead.
I gasped and turned around, away from the glowing lights of the casino and into the lonely darkness of the night. I pressed my hand over my mouth, my throat beginning to seize up. Only when I had the courage to turn back around and face Ides' dead body, the metallic smell of his blood wafted to my nostrils, tainting the air.
Dropping the gun on the group with a heavy clatter I ran off into the night. Then my vision was flooded into a sea of red.
Glancing up at the starry sky, the moon was no longer ethereal in white, but a dangerous shade of vermillion, a grinning, laughing harlequin staring down at me.