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The Assassin's Remnant

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Bai Long was preparing to leave the Forbidden City. After five years on the Red Army, he had been bestowed with an honorable job – to punish those that threatened the Chairman's power. Today would be his first mission. Someone had been stirring trouble in the Guantong district and it was up to him to vanquish it. He tucked the pistol away where the civilians wouldn't be able to see it. Sure, it was a dirty job. But if he knew anything at all, it was that he valued the Party and his leader more than anything else in the world. It was the best he could do since the party members nursed him to health after his horrible head trauma.

"Don't forget," whispered his companion. "Don't have any mercy on the bourgeois."

He nodded. He folded the map into his lapel and began his journey.

It didn't take long for Bai Long to arrive at his destination. Anyone could tell that it reeked of bourgeois corruption; large houses, vivid gardens, and outward displays of wealth. He sneered as he shuffled past the surprised people, searching for the house.

Just as he came close to the right address number, he thought he heard a voice call out his name. He turned around defensively, but it was only a young woman standing by her house.

"Hello, Bai Long," she said, with a smile.

The man stared at her dumbly. There was something strange about the way she was looking at him. His eyes darted around and he felt confused, forgetting his objection. Who was this woman? He could have sworn he had seen her before…

"How do you know my name?" he asked.

The woman smiled. "Why don't you come inside? I've been waiting for you for a while."

Confused, Bai Long followed her inside her house. There was the smell of sweet incense and orange blossoms in the kitchen.

He closed his eyes and suddenly, an image of him planting an orange tree came to his head. He racked his head. But how could that be? He had never planted an orange tree…

Dazed, he glanced off to the side, where the garden was. There was a tall orange tree right in the yard, springing with blossoms. He jumped up, surprised. Was it just a coincidence?

The woman looked at him sadly. "Do you remember anything about your past life at all?"

Bai Long said nothing, only staring at her dumbly.

The woman sighed, and moved across the room. "I think we should start from the beginning."

She entered a new room, and Bai Long followed her.

"Do you remember this?" she asked, pointing to a map of a foreign country.

Something suddenly clicked in Bai Long's head and he started mouthing words that he didn't know. "New…New…"

"New York," she said. "You talked about going there for a long time." She looked wistful. "We were going to go there together, with your best friend, Dr. Hung. Do you remember Dr. Hung?"

Bai Long's head was spinning and he only stared at the map in confusion. Surely this couldn't be real. He didn't remember a Dr. Hung but for some reason the outline of the land traced on the map looked so familiar.

The woman walked across the room and picked up a long sword. "Here," she said. "Do you remember this? We used to practice Tai Chi together at the Huang He Park. We learned all the formations at the class where we met."

She unsheathed the sword and gave it to Bai Long. Then, she arched her back and spread out her arms. Instinctively, he raised the sword and did the same.

She looked delighted. "You still remember the forms! You haven't forgotten everything after all!"

"I'm so confused," mumbled Bai Long, as he gave her back the sword. His head was spinning in circles. "What's going on? Why do I know all this? Who…are you?"

The woman smiled sadly. "I think you know, Bai Long." A dark look crossed her face. "You just need to remember. The Party made you forget. You need to fight against what they told you."

Bai Long looked at her in anger and surprise. "How dare you, the Party has given me everything I have now! I'm indebted to them!"

"No," she said softly. "Try to remember. They took you away from me. I used to work for the Party, five years ago. Then you spoke out against them, saying that they were wrong to criticize me. So the Party attacked you and they took you away to be reformed." Tears gathered in her eyes.

"No, that's impossible," murmured Bai Long, stepping back. "The Party saved me…they…saved my life. You're lying!" he blurted out. "You're against the Party!"

"Please, Bai Long," said the woman, moving closer. "We can go back to the way things were. We can leave this place, go to New York where Dr. Han is and start over there. I know you don't want to be with the party anymore. They've changed you. Please Bai Long, try to understand."

"I think I do understand now," whispered Bai Long, his heart pumping.

"Really?" said the woman happily.

"Yes," he murmured. "I'm supposed to kill you." He placed the gun to the woman's head and pulled the trigger.

Instantly, in a blast of sound and fire, she crumpled to the ground.

He lowered the pistol and watched silently as the blood from her head mixed in with the red of her carpet. His face was transfixed, and for a moment he almost felt like putting the gun to his own head. What had he just done?

He couldn't understand why, but he felt like something was ripping apart inside him. A tear slid down his cheek and he hastily wiped it away, not understanding where it came from. Bai Long slowly made his way back to the capital, more confused and hurt than before.

Just before he returned, a strange notion entered his head. It was a horrible one, and he refused to believe it, but at the same time, it would haunt him for the rest of his life - that the woman he killed was once actually his wife.



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

enternalhope777 said...
Jan. 18, 2012 at 7:56 am:
Amazing, Amazung, Amazing.
 
AmyFanRetaken This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 18, 2012 at 9:15 pm :
Thanks! Do you know how to get rid of the quotation marks thingies though? They always show up on my story and kind of bother me...
 
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