I: A Job Opportunity
The winter had just finished blowing its latest blizzard through Canyon Falls. I was no longer in Angel City, and I was totally alright with it. The days haven't been kind to me lately. The guilt and torment still plagues me. Every day I wake up in a cold sweat and every day I'm reminded by the constant itch deep within my new scars.
There was something about it that I didn't quite understand. Why though? Why me? Why us? Why do bad things happen to bad people? As I sit outside my small home, in my isolated property, with the snow forming a thin layer around my body, I pondered these questions; I pondered them so often, I would forget to eat sometimes. The drags of my cigarettes are what keep me going, that a small cup of coffee that kept me company aromatically. Connie would sometimes come by and bring me dinner, but she knew I was in pain. She knew I hated myself for what happened to Carry.
There was a certain beauty to this suffering. There was a quiet sense of mourning that kept me alive, a blade that drove me to the living, cutting deeply; the pain felt so right. When I come to think of it, it's not some sort of masochistic fantasy, it's something much deeper. If I'm being up front with you, I'm happy that this happened to me. I'm glad that I could feel the way that I feel. Yes…I am sad, but that's because what I had…truly made me happy. The only reason I'm feeling this is because my happiness got taken away, so I know what makes me happy. I have to take the bad with the good.
Life, to put it simply, is a series of ups and downs, a rollercoaster ride in the deepest regards, where the ups try and prepare you for the downs, and if you're not ready for the downs, you'll more than likely fall. It's that falling that allows us to get back up and keep going. No one is going to hit you harder than life. Life is one of the strangest things that could possibly exist. I would make a joke about how life got complicated when we decided to develop civilization, but that's not really that appropriate for the matter right now.
The drags of my cigarette had just run dry when I heard there were footsteps coming up from behind me. I was sitting facing towards the woods, where the road was to my right. That's when the footsteps stopped, right behind me. I took my last drag on my cigarette, and braced myself. That's when I felt a slight bump on the back of my head. I was about to spring up
"You always leave yourself wide open like that," Carl's voice came from behind. I heard him grab up and chair and place it himself down right next to me.
"Nope, just today, I guess," I replied. I pressed my cigarette bud into the snow just next to my foot.
"Don't you tell me you're thinking you'd be ok with dying, boy," Carl's voice was stern. "If there's one thing that I've noticed about you is that you've always got that look in your eyes. Death…it's depressing if you ask me." Carl lit up a cigarette.
"Yeah, you got that right," I pulled out another one and lit up.
There was a silence that brushed on over us for the next few seconds. The accommodations of birds and the whispering wind flew on by next to us. "Better keep your eyes open, Adam. It might not be me next time," Carl joked to break the silence.
I looked at him with a grin on my face. "Don't worry about it, no one's going to sneak on me."
"That's not what the stories I hear about you say," Carl rebutted.
"What stories," I laughed.
"That you, my boy, are the Silver Serpent," Carl patted my back and held the back of my neck.
"Oh yeah, and I suggest you're the Hooded Man if that was true," I laughed a little more. "It's all a ghost story now," I reassured me.
"Adam if there's one thing you don't know is that I'm sure as hell not as dumb as you think. I know when someone's been Marked when I see 'em." Carl's grip lightened and his hand fell. 'Marked?' my thoughts wondered. 'What does he mean by that?'
"What are you talking about?" I asked, dragging. "That's just some ghost story you tell to the kids to get them to sleep at night." I remember when my mother gave me the lecture about getting "Marked". It was one of those cheesy ghost stories about how demons will come and take your soul if you misbehaved or something along those lines. Word on the street has it that if you're marked you'll be able to see demons or some fairy tale like that.
"Boy, you got death written all over you, you know that right?" Carl looked at me. His face was serious, stern, and rough. "I knew the first time you rolled into town, I thought we were going to have some murder spree on our hands." Carl took a drag of his cigarette again.
"You're joking, right?" I asked, drag.
"Nope, I'm being honest with you."
"So let me ask you something."
"Did you really kill Andrew Garcia and his little crew?"
"Why? What it to you?" That question struck me hard.
"What's it to me is that you're dating my daughter, punk." That word…don't call me that.
I looked him dead in the eye. "Yes. I did, so what?"
Carl had a sinister grin on his face. "I fucking knew it. You son of a bitch!" He slapped my back. "Good, taking justice into your own hands. I know you'll take care of my daughter. Does Connie know?"
"Honestly, I don't even know."
"You going to tell her?"
"No. I don't think she'd like that."
"Alright. We'll just keep it between us. Just do me a favor, would you?"
"Take care of my daughter. Next time you kidnap her, I'm coming after you, boy."
I couldn't help, but laugh. It's been a while since I've got threatened. "Sure, I'll make sure she's taken care of, you've got nothing to worry about."
Carl snickered as well. "Good, that's what I like to hear."
The night came in a little later. Carl had gone home and I was left alone at my home. I was just setting up dinner when the knocking came. I placed down the pan I was working with and headed to the door. I checked through the little monitor to see who it was. Connie was standing there. I immediately opened the door and let her in.
"Hey, how are you?" I asked with a smile on my face.
"Great, great, just freezing, love," she greeted me and gave me a small kiss.
"Here let me take your coat," I assisted her with her coat and placed it on the coat rack. "How was the drive?"
"Horrible," Connie responded. "Dad gave me one of his 'you better not get pregnant' lectures again."
I smiled. "Yeah, dinner tends to get young ladies pregnant, doesn't it?"
"Oh, shut up, you're such an ass," Connie chuckled and smacked me lightly.
We walked into the kitchen and served ourselves some food. On today's menu, I've decided to cook something simple: over-baked chicken, with some mashed potatoes, and gravy.
Our forks and spoons were scraping away at our plates when I said. "You know, I've been thinking of going back to school."
"Wait, you haven't finished?" Connie nearly dropped her spoon.
"No," I admitted. I scooped up some mashed potatoes and shoved them in my mouth. "After all that jazz that happened with Andy Garcia, I just bailed."
Connie was silent for a while. "Well, if that's what you want do, then do it, Hun."
"I think I'll do the work online. I really don't want to be surrounded by people." I really didn't. I think I just needed a break from it all, people I mean.
"There's a good online school program for your GED." Connie took a sip from her cup. She was having some water today. Not sure why if there was some good wine in the fridge.
"Really now? What's it –" the phone interrupted my response. The ringer was loud cut through the small house. I picked up the phone from the table and looked at the number: "+1-235-813-2134" I've never seen that number before.
"Who is it?" Connie asked. "Who could be calling you this late?" She was right. It was around 11 in the evening. Ryan and Drea were asleep by now since I'm a couple of time zones away. Carry isn't going to call me. She hates me.
"I don't know." I pressed talk and brought it up to my ear. "Hello?"
"Yes, am I speaking to Adam James Carter?" the voice. I haven't heard that voice before. It sounded older, from an older woman who smokes a lot. It was raspy and coarse if I was being honest, but there was a hint of subtlety that would have implied her voice once flowed like water.
"Yes, ma'am who's speaking," I asked. My eyebrows knitted.
"Who is it," Connie voiced.
"Hello there, I'm looking to purchase your services and the word on the street is that you're the best in your field," the voice continued.
"Um, ma'am I believe you've got the wrong number," I responded. I was about to hang up the phone when she said something rather interesting. "I'm currently not being hired out to whatever service you're referring to."
"Yes, they told me you'd say that," the woman responded. "However, there are a few things that you need to take care of, and I believe I might be the person who can sponsor you, if you're willing to pull your part of the deal."
"Deal?" My sat back. "I'm not selling any services." Honestly, if I didn't know any better, I'd say this is one of Ryan's old tricks. This one time, he got older woman to call me and ask me for sex. It was a humiliating semester. I'm just going to leave it at that.
"That blade of yours, Carter," the woman was sterner this time. "I need you to dig it up from the grave and use it again."
"Who are you?" That statement. Who is she? How did she know about that?"
"Let's just say I'm very well acquainted with an old friend of yours, and I need a favor returned for my services." Who in the hell could this be? The only ones that knew I had that blade were my close friends. "Tell you what, darling, I'll cut you a deal. You come to the Hard Rock Café at 10:00 P.M. on Friday and I'll answer any questions that you want."
"The hell if I'm going lady!"
"Well, they told me about your temper too. All I'm going to say is that, your friend promised me a favor to save your life, however, she hasn't met her due date, and word on the street is, you're rather good at your trade."
"What the hell are you talking about woman?" I was getting fed up with this person. I didn't want anything to do with her, yet I sitting her, still listening.
"Watch your tone, boy, you wouldn't want to get on my bad side. Meet me at the Hard Rock Café in Angel City at 10:00 P.M. on Friday. I'll be waiting." The phone went silent.
I was left there speechless. I didn't know how to react. What did she mean by a friend of mine owes her a favor to save my life? My hand fell to the table with my phone in hand. Who could she possibly be talking about?
"Everything OK?" Connie asked, placing her hand on mine.
I stayed silent. My thoughts were racing back and forth, who this new person could possibly be. I looked up to her and stared into her eyes. "I need to go back to Angel City."
I was packing my things into the back of my new car, a simple 2012 Nissan Altima. It didn't have the horse power of my Mustang, but it was way better on the gas. I wasn't quite sure how long the money my mother left me would last. I carried to bags with me, one for some clothes, the other for my laptop and hard drives. I had a feeling that I might need them.
The car was just about packed, and I was about to go inside to get the rest of my stuff, when something caught my eye. It was a black swan. It waddled around the house, cooing and heading towards the road. Its eyes were a dark emerald green that glowed gently and contrasted in the snow. I couldn't understand why this bird would even be this far north during the winter.
"Hey, Adam, do you have your cellphone?" Connie shouted from the door.
I snapped away from the black swan and turned towards Connie. "Yeah, I got it!" I called back to her. I turned back to the swan, but…it wasn't there. How could it just disappear without making a noise? I looked around to see if it was in the lawn, or in the sky, but it was nowhere to be seen. Honestly, it reminded me about the time that I was being chased by Andy and his idiot friends right before the summer. I had tripped and swan these two swans, one black and one white, circling in the lake in front of me. It was quite the interesting scene now that I remember it.
I remembered how Carry picked me up from the gas station. A chuckle escaped my mouth. Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure that I looked stupid covered in dirt and blood. Carry…oh how I miss you. I stared off into the forest as the thoughts began sweeping my mind. 'You've been too good to me,' I thought. 'If only I could help you.'
The memory of my exodus from the hospital was painful at best. Mister Red and some other agent, his name Mister Blue (really original with the names by the way), came up to me and had informed me about something terrible.
"She can't have children, Adam," Mister Red's voice echoed through my mind.
"What do you mean!? Ryan's told me and now you? What the hell's going on with her?" I demanded, more echoes.
"Franco tortured her," Mister Blue informed me.
My mind went blank when he said that. "What do you mean!?"
"We found her in the adjacent from you. She was nearly dead. We got evidence that he was going to show you a tape that he filmed." Mister Blue's voice was firm, but sympathetic.
Tears were boiling in my eyes. Fist clenched, I demanded. "Who else was involved?"
"So far, we've managed to capture at least five other accomplices, but the others didn't go down without a fight." Mister Red was the next to speak. "All I can tell you is that these people are dead. Just know that it's not your fault what happened to your friend. Franco was a sick man, and you're lucky to be alive. Please get some rest. Time will cure all things."
That was the last I saw of them. I haven't heard from them at all, nor have I heard anything from anyone in Angel City. I watched as the whispers of the wind caressed my ears when the voice came to me. "Adam, you ready, darling?" I turned back and found Connie standing behind me. "Everything ok?" was what she followed with as she met my eyes.
"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine," I unlocked the car and walked towards the driver's seat. I didn't realize that Connie had followed me and grabbed my hands.
"Look, sweetheart, if something's wrong you've got to tell me. I don't want you bottling up everything."
"I don't bottle up anything," I tried to reassure her.
Connie's eyebrow raised. "Your friends let me know on your little secrets, Adam James Carter. I know how you like to isolate yourself." Oh, good. I'm glad she didn't mentioned the murders… 'Does she know,' the voice hissed.
My face immediately knotted. What the hell is going on?!
"Adam?" I opened my eyes and saw Connie's face. She frowned, her eyes brows down, and a look of concern stitched itself unto her face. Her grip around my hands tightened. "Are you ok?"
"Yeah-yeah, I'm fine," I reassured her. "There's just a lot on my mind."
"Not just that."
"Well, alright, let's get going we need to get there soon. It's already Wednesday."
The drive was calm this time. I hadn't spoken much. There were too many things on my mind. The night's clouds had been thriving by the time that we arrived at around 2:00 A. M. The wind swept over us as we exited the car and took our bags to our newly purchased room. Tomorrow was a big day. Oh time will tell what will happen. Things are moving by so fast. It was only last week I was in Angel City, and now I'm back in it again. It's like the down doesn't want me to leave.
I sat on the desk and reread the text message that I had just received. "Don't bring anyone, just yourself and the blade." Why? I'm not sure. Who sent it to me? Probably that one woman I have to meet up? I'm not sure, but one thing was for sure. I needed to go see this woman and get everything taken care of.
Winds pass me and cradled my body. My long black hair whipped through back and forth, guided by the strength of the wind. Over me, hovered the sign of the "Hard Rock Café", swinging back and forth. I could smell the moisture in the air that was brought by the large dark clouds. A storm was coming and I knew that all I could do is face my fate.
What if this person has the power to murder me in broad daylight and not get caught? What if this person's influence is so great, she could manipulate the very foundation of my beliefs? I guess you can say I was scared. Who wouldn't? Why? There was only one reason. The parking lot was empty. Inside there was no one either, only three people: an older woman, and two large men in suits with their faces hidden under a dark black mask.
I took a deep breath and did what any other person would do when they had no other options….I opened the door and walked in.
The place was completely empty. The only light was above the lady and her strange surrounding friends. I walked up to them, my boots making my footsteps echo louder than usual. Step…step…step…step. I finally reached the table. I finally reached the table.
Each of the men were sitting there in suits with their hands held at ease in front of them. If I didn't know any better, I'd say they were military. The one on the right was scared and had rough features. His short hair was combed to the side and gleamed his dark brown with the help of the lights from above. His buddy, on the left, had long black hair that was pulled into a pony tail. Front what it seems like it, the ponytail was dyed green.
The lady had silver long flowing hair, her eyes cold as steel looked back at me. She had her fingertips together, and her elbows placed on the table. There was something about this woman that seemed odd. It felt like she was aware of everything, every movement, every breath that I took, she was aware of it all. Her grin was wickedly wide across her face. She was dressed in a red elegant dress that was complimented by a white pearl necklace. This woman was the text book definition of "fancy". Her hands were covered in white, elbow length gloves. The woman was beautiful, if I were being completely honest. Her lips, full, her eyes, filled with emotion, and her wits…unmatched. "Please sit down," that familiar voice of water filled my ears.
I pulled out a chair, and sat down.
"Well, well, well," the woman's grin only got wider. "So you're the legendary Silver."
"That's what they call me," I replied.
"Of course," The woman chuckled. "You made it pretty clear that's what you wanted to be called." The woman reached down and pulled out a vanilla folder that was labeled in big bold letters "SILVER". She reached in tossed me a little white rectangle card.
I looked down and flipped it over. It was my "calling card". The familiar silver cobra was embossed on the card, accented with the white background. That's all it was. "Yeah, I suppose so," I responded, flipping the card in my hand, and placing it back down face down on the table. "So who are you?"
"Well, I'm more than sure that you can figure that out on your own," The older lady replied. "I'm the one who wanted to see you."
"Ok, then," I responded. My patience was thin by this point. I hadn't even been there two minutes, and she was already starting to irritate me by giving me vague responses.
The woman must've picked up on my thoughts or something because she replied. "You really, haven't figured it out, yet have you, boy?" There was a slight silence before she responded.
'Dude, who the hell is this woman? And why does she talking like she's in a damn movie?!' I pondered this hard. "Would you just tell me already?"
Her face became stern. The woman frowned at me, and her eyebrows knitted together. "You young ones and your instant gratification," she began. "Well, I suppose we're on a business inquiry, so might as well get down to business."
I sat there, hands in pocket, my fingers wrapping themselves around the flute's bladed part. I had hidden it under my jacket in the interior pockets. "Yes, a forced business inquiry."
The woman laughed. "I didn't hold a gun to your head, boy. You came here out of your own free will." She laughed some more. "You really want to know who I am, don't you?"
"If I'm doing business with someone, I can't make a decision to a ghost."
"Well, now since you're so excited to know," the woman's hands knotted themselves. Her tone began for firm as she muttered the next few words. "I am Cider."
III: The Silver Serpent
What did she just say?! I couldn't believe the words that just came out of her mouth. Cider…the woman who helped Andy, pushed him into insanity, and kill my mother?! That Cider?! No…This can't be. She's fucking with me.
"Are you ok, Adam," the woman asked innocently.
I looked up from the table, eyes meeting hers. "No," I muttered. Suddenly, found myself reaching into my pocket, and springing up immediately. I pulled out "the Kid's" handgun aimed it right at Cider. Just as I was about to pull the trigger, I suddenly found myself with my face to table. The gun was stripped from my hand, and the back of my neck was met with cold, stainless steel.
"So you do know," Cider said muttered to herself.
"You stupid bitch, I'll kill you!" I screamed at her.
"I don't think so. Not in the position you're in." Cider adjusted herself.
"Why did you do it? Why did you help that monster?!" I growled at her.
"Oh, Adam, I just needed for you to express the beauty of your power," Her hand found itself caressing the left side of my jaw. "You just needed a little push."
WHAT THE FUCK WAS SHE TALKING ABOUT!?
"Thank you, love, you can let him go now." Cider sat back.
The two men that held me down, picked me up and sat me back down on the chair. My blood was racing; it burned through my veins, coursing its wait rapidly throughout my body. I wanted this bitch dead! 'YES,' the voice in my head screamed. 'Let the hatred flow within you. Slid the bitch's throat in two!'
"This one's faster than the others," the man on the right commented. "Are you sure he's the one?" His accent was thick. He sounded like something out of a spy movie where the bad guy was Russian.
"Yes, Adrik, he is the one."
"I didn't want it to have to come to this, Adam," Cider began. "But it looks like I have no choice." She sat up as she was brought some food by a waiter. "Thank you, darling." The waiter placed the small dish in front of her. You know, come to think of it, I would've burst out laughing if it was spaghetti. The good news is that was a light salad. "Would you like something to eat?" Cider offered me. I had just pointed a gun at her. How could she be so calm?
"No," I responded, blood filling my fingers with twitches.
"Alright, moving on then." Cider began organizing her salad. "Have you been hearing voices, Adam?"
How could she possibly know that? "Yes, I have. Why does it concern you?"
"So it is true," Cider stuck some food in her mouth. After a few seconds of chewing, she finally swallowed and responded. "That flute of yours is a lot more important than you think."
"Have you heard of a Shimmer?"
A shimmer? Another ghost story. Why were these people so interesting if I know about ghost stories? "Yes, of course," I replied. "What does a ghost story have to do with anything?"
Cider laughed again. "My boy, they are everything. You've experienced one haven't you?"
"There are no shimmers," I responded firmly. "They're just ghost stories that parents tell their children to get them to behave at night."
"Oh, my child, you have so much to learn, but in time." She had picked up her wine glass and swished the dark red liquid around. Cider took a sip of her wine.
The small talk was getting old really fast. "So what do you want from me?"
"Well, like I've mentioned over the phone, I wanted to hire someone of your particular talents." Cider patted her mouth with the napkin. "Let's just say, your friend owes me a lot of money."
"She calls herself Senseiz online." Cider reached below the table and pulled out another vanilla folder and tossed it to me. It slide across the table and revealed a picture.
"Drea," I whispered.
"Yes, Andrea, to be precise. Did you really think that she has the ability to get information on any person? I was pulling the strings behind that operation," Cider rolled her eyes and continued eating.
"Why does she owe you money?"
"Resources are expensive to maintain, and investments must generate profits, do they not?" Cider began before she sat up and placed her fingertips together. "There has been no profit margin for this investment, Adam. Do you see where I'm going with this?"
"Crystal. So what do you want from me?"
Cider sighed. "Like I've stated before, I need you to do a job for me."
"You want me kill Drea!?" My voice raised again. I sat forward, hands placed firmly on the table. "Are you fucking mad!?"
"Frankly, no," Cider's position shifted slightly. "If fact, your little friend will be helping you out on this case. I actually need someone else taken out."
"What?" That took me by surprise.
"Yes, let's just say a business partner hasn't quite taken care of his side of the deal." Cider pulled out a vanilla folder, and pulled out a picture of a man with pale skin and dark black hair. I've never seen this man before. He's eyes were sharp and his frown was cold. "He goes by the name Blacklist. His real name is Gregory Cortez. All you have to know is that he owes me a lot of money." Cider pulled out a report that claimed that this Blacklist guy owes her about "5,003,626 USD", and have a detailed list on the things that he had used, everything from food, room and board, to weapons, etc. His job was listed at the bottom of the report. Apparently, this man was supposed to break into a bank via hacking, and transfer the large sums of money via cryptocurrency.
"And if I don't agree to this?"
"Well, you already know the answer to that, but just in case your little brain can't keep up." Cider looked directly at me. Her tone was stern. "If you don't agree, the price is your life, or the lives of your friends and family, whatever family you've got left. Am I clear?"
"Crystal." That was all I could say.
"It's your choice, Adam. What are you going to do?"
What could I do, either I get killed or my friend's get killed. There was nothing that I could do at this point. "I'll do it, but I'll need help."
"Good, and naturally. Here's my card," Cinder handed me a white card with her name and phone number. "I'll give you a call when things are set up. I suggest you go to spend some time with your family. You're going to be gone for a while." She reached out and offered and hang shake.
I reluctantly reached out and shook it. "Don't worry, Silver, I'll pay you handsomely, when this is all over." Cider's grin was wicked again. There was no hiding from it anymore. She was in charge, and she knew it.
I didn't want to go after this guy, but I had no choice.
IV: The End
So this is it? Just fly over seas and get everything taken care of, huh? It would've been easy, but there were things that needed to be done before I could've just went in guns blazing. I sat there thinking about the decision that I had made. I didn't want things to come to this, but I assume that it would be better than being in prison. I couldn't help, but smile, as I drove back down to Ryan's home just outside of Angel City. It was only ten minutes ago that I was a high school dropout and now I'm an assassin. What's even more interesting is that I didn't know anything about the people who hired me. I didn't know who they were, what they were capable of doing to me, but if I were to guess, I'd say that they were some fancy organization that wants to take over the world or something obscene like that, straight out of a James Bond movie, but my guess is as good as yours.
I arrived at Ryan's home not to long after that comment. They were waiting outside for me. Connie was the first to greet me at the door in open arms. Ryan came next, then Lisa, but Drea was nowhere to be seen. "Where's Drea?" I asked.
"She's upstairs, sleeping." Ryan responded. "Come on inside, the wind's picking up."
We all were around the table when I had told them what had happened. Of course, no one took it as lightly as I had sarcastically hoped for. "WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU MEAN YOU'RE GOING AFTER SOMEONE!?" Ryan was the one who was screaming by this point. "YOU GOT TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME!"
"I'm sorry, but I'm not," I replied.
"Does she know!?" Ryan shouted back, pointing at Connie. "Does she know how you barely made it out clear the last time?"
"Do I know what?" Connie held unto my arm. She sounded confused. "What is he talking about?"
I looked away. "So she doesn't know," Ryan signed under his breath. "Well, tell her." Ryan's arm gestured towards Connie.
"Connie," I started. "Remember when I told you that I've done some pretty bad things, and that's why I was in Canyon Falls."
"Yes," Connie sounded uneasy, her arms fell down from holding me. Connie's hand had fallen into mine. "What are you getting at?" Her eyes were widening, and her lower lip, trembling.
I was silent. I didn't know how to tell her. "I killed a lot of people." That's all I was able to say.
Connie's eyes widen even more. Tears fell from them. All she was able to mutter was one simple word. "What?"
It was sharp, this stabbing pain that was entering my body now. It rode from my heart, and branched out through my veins. I didn't want her to know. "I've killed a lot of people."
Connie's hand fell out of mine. The warmth that was holding me together was now gone, all that remained was the darkness that wrapped itself around me. It was a sinking sensation pulling me further into an abyss.
I didn't say anything. "They murdered my mother."
Connie stayed silent. Her eyes were tearing. She wrapped her arms around me. Her silence was killing me, but I knew if I pushed it, it wouldn't end so well.
"Right." Ryan broke the silence. "Adam, I love you, but you do the stupidest shit, you know that? Why did you accept that job?"
I kept my eyes at the corner of the table. "Because if I didn't, you'd all be dead."
"The fuck!?" Ryan nearly screamed.
I didn't want to tell him that Drea was involved. All that he knows is that they forced me to help them out, and I planned to keep it like that.
Connie and I had gone back to the hotel later that night. Everything was moving so fast that I didn't know how to handle it. I remembered the way that Cider worked. The way her eyes were so vicious when she knew she got what she wanted. She made me sign a document before I left. There was something about that was too straight forth. The document was a simple piece of paper that described the name of the job. "Take out Blacklist" was on the top line. It said at the bottom that I would be payed a sum amount of money. Any advancements that I need could be used and monitored through a debit card that I would receive soon. It was strange gig, but I guess, I'll get paid for my dirty work. As soon as I signed the paper, that vicious grin on Ciders face would be scarred into the back of my eyelids for all my life.
I was eating some dinner with Connie when the phone call came in. A man was on the line this time. "Hello, have a reached Silver?"
"This is him." I responded. I walked outside and asked. "Is it ready?"
"Yes. You'll be on the plane tomorrow morning at 5:45 A.M. Be there early. Don't bring a bag. We'll take care of you."
"Ok, I'll be there."
"Leave the flute your car in the parking lot of we'll take it of it from there."
"Cider has instructed that you don't bring any firearm as well. Failure to follow these rules will result in your death. Are we clear?"
The phone call ended as fast as it came. I didn't want to linger too much on it, but the instructions were so vague. Just show up to the airport tomorrow? Strange.
"Adam," Connie's voice came from behind. I turned to see her. All she had on was my jacket. She was still in her shorts and boots. She looked so frail. "You coming?"
"Yeah. I just finished the phone call." I walked up to her and was about to go in, but Connie didn't move. She just stood there. Her eyes focused on the ground. Her sorrow was clear. "Hey, what's wrong?"
"Why didn't you tell me before?" Connie said. Her hair covering her eyes. "Why didn't you tell me you killed people?"
That stopped me in my tracks. "I don't," I replied.
"Adam, I'm going to be with you, I need to know the truth!" Connie raised her voice. I'm glad I was out on the balcony and not in the hallway. I didn't want people to hear.
"Several months ago, this person who used to bully me in high school snapped and tried to kill me."
"Twice," I said. "He got caught the first time, and then he broke out of jail to come after me. Ryan, Lisa, Carry and I were at the lake when he showed up with my mother and killed her in cold blood."
Connie was still looking down the floor. "You said a lot of people. How many?"
"HOW MANY FUCKING PEOPLE!?" Her voice squeaked, and her fists flinched.
"Ten…" I whispered. The wind blowing along my body, making me shivering.
"WHAT?" Connie nearly blew. "TEN PEOPLE!?" She looked up to me, her eyes red from all the crying she'd been doing. "What is wrong with you?!"
Connie was walking back inside when I caught her hand. "I had too…they were trying to kill me."
"Why would anyone want to kill you?"
"Tell me, Adam," Connie squeezed my hands. "Tell me the truth."
"Because I killed the Andy's brother when we were kids." My head fell down. I didn't ever want to admit myself, but the truth was out there.
Connie didn't say anything. She was silent. What must've been minutes of silence felt like an eternity until she spoke again: "Why?"
"It's a stupid reason."
"He tried to take my lunch, so I pushed him off the slide."
Connie and I just stood there, looking at each other. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know what to think.
'She will be your downfall,' the voice whispered behind me.
The plane was not what I was expecting at all. I thought I was going to end up on some regular plane, but I ended up getting boarded unto a private jet. I was sitting there in the seat on the right side of the plane. I've never flown on these before, so it was kind of weird being able to have an entire plane all to myself. Of course, there was the pilot, and the flight attendant that would get me the things I needed when I asked.
It must've been 4 hours into the flight when a flight attendant came up to me. "Here you are, sir," the flight attendant handed me a bunch of clothes. "Ms. Cider requires that you get ready for the meeting when you arrive in Madrid."
"Meeting? What meeting?" I asked taking the clothes.
"You'll find out when you get there, sir. Would you like something to eat?" The flight attendant didn't answer my question.
"Yes, ma'am, I'll have whatever you recommend." I responded. I wasn't that hungry, but I didn't want to be rude either. I've never been to Madrid, and if memory serves me right, that should be in Spain, so I was kind of excited, but there was that under lying sense of fear that was in the back of my mind.
If there's one thing that I've learned throughout the last year is that life is stranger than fiction. I have never been able to explain it, but there was something about the whole ordeal that just didn't seem to add up. When I'd want to give up, I still managed to pull through, and now that I feel that I've become much stronger as person. I honestly realize everything that I've missed throughout the years of my suffering, but I'm ok with that, because if that didn't happen that I wouldn't be the person I am today.
I sat there and pulled out my laptop from my backpack. I opened up a word document. I wanted to document everything that's happened. I wanted to make sure that if anything went wrong, then the person who would read it, would know the truth. So in this word document I began with a simple sentence:
"I was inside my car one day, sitting in the back, waiting for the day to pass, so the night, cool and soothing, would come about decently."