Silence prevailed that night, only to be broken a minute later by the flight of a bullet.
A young girl, perhaps only 15, dressed in all black, looked upon her victim. She had always hated idiots like him, who looted the poor and killed innocents by the thousand. She slipped the gun into the back pocket of her jeans and slunk into the shadows. She walked out of the alleyway and into the neighborhood. Midnight ventures like this weren’t uncommon.
Her pale skin began to glow in the moonlight. Tonight, she was one of the most wanted criminals in the precinct. Tomorrow she would be an ordinary high school girl. No one knew that she was the assassin that the underworld feared. Her grace and elegance were most visible when she carried out an assassination. She kept walking towards the forest, pulling down her hood she let her long honey locks feel the night air. Her light blue eyes sparkled, as she spotted the snow-tipped mountains on the outskirts of town.
She began to sprint her way into the centre of the forest. it was dark and she could hear the crunch of snow beneath her feet. Amid that dark forest, her trained eye made out a wooden door hidden amongst the thick oak. She opened the door and walked in.
“Dad! I’m home!” Enter a young man in his mid-thirties. He had crystal blue eyes and dark ebony hair and a strong jawline. Cayden White looked way too young to be a father.
“Melody! how was the mission?”
“It was great. No one saw me.”
“Well done, Mel!” exclaimed Cayden, pulling her in for a hug. Melody craved for affection. She loved to feel useful. To feel needed.
“Go to bed now Mel! You’ve got school tomorrow.”
“But dad!" she protested “I need to train.”
“For what," he questioned, raising an eyebrow at her " you are the best assassin out there."
Melody hung her head, " I-I just want to be useful, dad."
Cayden smiled softly, he bent his knees and attempted to look her in the eyes "Hey, look at me,"
“I took you in as my daughter Mel, not a servant. I love you and I always will," and giving her a loving pat on the head "Now go get some rest, don’t tire yourself out."
"Yes dad," came the ready reply.
Cayden rose to his full height and watched as Melody sprinted towards her room.
How she had transformed from that tiny little girl he saved all those years ago.
10 years ago
It was another hectic day; dealing with his snobbish clients was no easy feat.
"Always so full of themselves." He mumbled as he made his way to the next house.
He was a paid assassin, young but the best at his craft. He had a near-perfect record; he was never caught.
He stopped in front of a large mansion and rang the bell.
He had to wait a bit before the butler came to receive him and brought him into the house. He was quietly ushered into an inner study where 'the high and mighty' Lord Simon sat.
"Cayden White, my lordship." announced the butler and walked away.
"Thy lordship is in the need of my services?" Cayden knew that any sign of disrespect on his part would have him thrown out.
"Ah yes. Take a seat and we shall go over the formalities.” said the lordship seated at his desk.
"What do you need me to do? " asked Cayden.
His lordship looked up from his papers and began the monologue,
"I need you to kill...."
The rest drowned out. Cayden had long perfected the art of looking dutiful and interested. He didn't need to listen. As protocol, he would receive a card with all the essential information at the end of the meeting.
Cayden's eyes began to wander, he examined the paintings in the room and then that is when he saw her for the first time. Behind the lordship there was a doorway that opened up into a long corridor. At the doorway, stood a small frail girl with long brown hair and big frightened blue eyes. She wore a long white dressing gown and clutched a purple teddy bear to her chest. Cayden flashed her a smile. She looked startled but after a minute returned the smile. She wouldn’t have been more than 4 or 5.
"I believe you have understood, Mr. White,"
"Of course, my lord," came the ready reply, he had gotten way to use to this.
"Here is the paper with the details, I want him dead in a week."
"Of course, my lord."
"My servant shall show you the way out." within minutes Cayden found himself at the gate. The servant left and Cayden was left on his own. He noticed a little white figure at the front door. Cayden was amused. He knelt and beckoned her over to him.
The little girl looked over her shoulder, making sure no one else saw her and then ran towards Cayden.
She looked even cuter up-close, but something was wrong. She was thin, very thin. Her ribs seemed to jut out. He frowned. The little girl attempted to ruffle his hair but even when kneeling, he was too tall for her.
He chuckled and bent his head.
“What your name, little one?"
" Me-Melody. " came the timid reply
"That's a pretty name."
"It is?” She looked astonished. "Aunt and uncle said that it was a bad name"
“So, she isn’t their daughter,” he thought.
"What’s his name?” He asked gesturing to the bear in her arms
"Oh!" And for the first time her eyes lit up. "Her name is Ellie!"
“What your name, mister?” she asked
“My name is Cayden”
“MELODY!!!!” came a shout from inside.
Melody clutched at the bear even closer
“I should go, aunt’s cross"
Cayden watched as she ran back to the house. She waved. Cayden got up and waved back. He then began to make his way back home.
In a week, he was back. This time, he entered the house without any intermediary.
He entered the drawing-room.
"My lordship,"said Cayden bowing to the lord who was seated in the armchair. "I have completed the mission." The lady of the house stood behind the lord.
Cayden almost took a step back. On the sofa beside the armchair, sat Melody. She looked tinier than the last time. She had bloodshot eyes, puffy eyelids and her face was red and blotchy. Her teddy lay unnoticed by her side.
In horror he realized that she had been crying.
"Ah yes, your payment shall be brought in a moment." said the lordship and noticing Cayden glance towards Melody. "Do not mind my niece. She is quite unruly and deserves no attention."
Hearing this, Cayden felt a surge of rage flow through his veins.
A servant came rushing into the room and whispered something in the ears of both master and mistress. His lordship stood up and turning to Cayden, " Excuse us, we have a bit of an issue to resolve. Please make yourself comfortable" and casting Melody a cold glance, "Don’t let her bother you."
And saying this they both left the room.
Cayden sat opposite to Melody and watched her. She sat stock-still for a moment. Then she jumped off the sofa and ran towards the fireplace. She slipped her hand into the woodpile beside the fireplace and brought out a little penny bank. She then looked at Cayden and gestured for him to come to her.
"What is she up to?" He thought. He then made his way to her and then he knelt in front of her.
The determination in her eyes surprised him
"Here," she said, thrusting the bank into his arms. Cayden was shocked, he looked down at the bank and then at Melody
“I know it is not much,” she began “I’ll pay you more I promise.”
“Can you kill my aunt and uncle?”
For a minute only the crackling of the flames could be heard.
At this Melody began to sob
"They - they are monsters! they hurt me and barely feed me. I have bruises all over and I’m not allowed do anything" she then broke down completely
Cayden felt sorry for her. Pulling her into a hug he comforted her, just as a father would.
She wiped her tears and the determined face reappeared.
“So, will you do it’
“Sure, in about half an hour. What do you say?”
It comforted him to see the glow in her face
“Yes, really and here,” handing the bank back to her.
“There is only one thing I need you to do”
“I’ll do anything”
Cayden picked her up into his arms and then placed her on the sofa
“Listen carefully Mel.” He said looking straight into her eyes.
Her eyes glowed as he narrated what she had to do
“Then go!” he urged her
He watched her disappear down the corridor
"My lord would like you to join us for dinner, late as it is,” said the lady of the house
“With pleasure my lady,”
“Could this be any more perfect?” he thought to himself.
The living room was fancy and regal, adorned in gold and red. “Show offs,” Cayden thought to himself
At the head of the table sat the lordship and the lady sat on his right.
“Let us begin,” announced the lord
A servant arrived to pour him some drink. Seeing the lord and lady engaged in a conversation, Cayden stopped the servant.
“What's your name?” He asked in a low voice.
“Do you and the rest of the household like the master?”
“Do you like the little girl?”
“We pity her sir,”
“I need you to do something,”
“I need you and the rest of the household to gather up your belongings. All of you must leave the house and stay in the front porch. Take the girl with you. Understood, “
“Why sir?” then noticing the sword sheath by Cayden’s side, “Are you going to kill them!” gesturing to the master and mistress.
Cayden sighed, “Yes, do you have any objection?”
“So, will you go along with my plan?”
“Then go,” Mark hurried away, beaming.
Cayden resumed eating. After a while the lord snapped his fingers, Mark appeared with a purse and handed it over to the lord.
"Here you go," said his lordship handing over the purse to Cayden.
"Thank you, my lord,"
“I shall resume my dinner then. You may leave,”
“Good night sir, sweet dreams.”
Cayden made his way to the front porch. There he saw the household waiting for him. Mark was holding Melody’s hand. As soon as she saw Cayden, she let go and hugged him
Cayden picked her up and took her knapsack from Mark. He turned to look at the rest of the household.
“I need you all to now return to your homes. Due to the shortage of quality servants, finding jobs won’t be hard. And here take this,” handing the purse over to Mark, “There is about £10000.Distribute it among yourselves and do as you please.”
Cayden then continued, “High chance the police will come to see you all and ask what you did today. Say that you were given a holiday as the master and mistress were to go on vacation tomorrow. Say that you all left at around noon and don’t know anything else. Don’t mention the money I have given you. Questions will be asked. The police will help you find jobs or with the money I have given you, you can start a business of your own. There is more than enough for all of you. Good night. Take care.”
They were astonished. One by one they thanked him. In a few minutes, it was only him and Melody.
Cayden turned to face her and asked “Are you afraid of fire?”
“Then watch this,”
They stepped out the gate and stood facing the house. Cayden still held her in his arms.
His blue eyes then turned flame red and then right in front of them the house burst into flames.
“Whoa,” she exclaimed in wonder.
“Mel, now I need you to play along with me.”
“Okay? But with what”
“You'll see” and then he made a call.
“Hello? APD. A house on May lane is on fire.”
Within minutes they were seated in the living room of an officer who lived close by. In the background, the sirens were loud and clear. Tomorrow, the fire would make headlines.
“What happened?” asked the officer.
“I was taking my evening walk when I heard this little girl scream. I ran and found her in front of the burning house with a knapsack. Then I straight away called the police” Replied Cayden, he was a master when it came to faking an alibi.
“You are free to go then. We will send the girl to an orphanage”
“No, wait” said Cayden then casting a look at Melody. “I’ll adopt her.”
Melody looked up at Cayden in surprise.
“Alright then,” replied the smiling officer.
“Just come to the station tomorrow to complete the official procedures.”
The officer then walked them to the door and the now father and daughter walked out.
Cayden picked her up and slung her knapsack over his shoulder.
“Let’s go home.”
Let’s Go Home- Story by Reyna Mary John
Silence prevailed that night, only to be broken a minute later by the flight of a bullet.