The Assassin

By
She enters the room nervously, her small hands clasp tightly together over her lavender skirts. Her young face is pale and doll-like, framed by long, blonde ringlet curls that cascade gently to her waist. Her innocent blue are open wide with fright and confusion. So many people, so many faces; she looks lost.

He stands firmly on the other side of the room, mouth set in a grim line, hard grey eyes constantly scanning the room. He sits there like statue behind the king, the toned muscles of his body accustomed to long hours standing silent, watching. His plain clothes blend into the background, most of the guests not even pausing to give him a first look, much less a second. The thin plates of protective metal sheets invisible in the folds of his clothes, his many concealed knives laying cool against his skin.

A polite young gentleman in the first to notice the lost girl. He approaches the child, offering his arm with a smile. She nods shyly and grabs his hand instead of his arm, her head barely reaching his elbow. She quietly asks him to walk her across the ballroom, toward her mother. He gladly obliges, his good deed of the day. He winks, the tension in her young body lessening slightly as they walk.

The guard catches sight of the pair, his body stiffening. Something is off. For some reason, the pair unnerves him. He begins to analyze the young man more closely, trained eyes searching the gentleman’s frame for the bulge of a concealed weapon. The drunken king a few feet in front of the guard explodes into boisterous laughter as the nobles beside him raise their mugs in a toast. “To your health, lord king!”

The girl is slightly more relaxed now; she trusts the gentleman, his kindness eases her apparent fear. They reach the opposite end of the room and part ways, the gentleman towards the food, the girl towards the king.

His eyes narrow slightly as the guard watches the gentleman. Maybe his instincts are off; maybe he shouldn’t have sampled the brew. Closing his eyes, the guard rubs his temples lightly and shakes his head, trying to jar the foreboding feeling from his brain. Of all the days to be off his game, it just had to be today. Alert; think alert and focused. You can’t let the king down. A loud crash resounds through the room, instantly pulling the guard from his mental pep-talk. He quickly identifies the source of the noise. One of the legs supporting the long table laden with festival food had given way, splattering broken dishes and ruined food all over the floor. He steps forward, putting his hand on the king’s shoulder, frantically searching the room for that mysterious young man.

The king’s body slumps forward under the weight of the protective hand of his most trusted guard. A small but deep cut is apparent on the kings throat, slicing through his windpipe , spilling blood all over the marble floor. His face is frozen in a look of surprised horror, unseeing eyes staring with disbelief into space. The king is dead.

The girl, looking so fragile that an angry glance might shatter her frame, slips quietly out the back door of the ballroom. Her icy blue eyes stare cold and expressionless into the night, a vicious smile playing on her lips. Hidden under her lavender skirts, small delicate fingers are closed tightly around a sharp, bloody knife.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Fireflie said...
Feb. 28, 2010 at 4:54 pm
i liked this alot. But i agree, theres a few things that needed fixing, just to make things become absolutely clear. good work!
 
Danamiede said...
Apr. 26, 2009 at 9:47 pm
You do very well building up atmosphere, however, there is the little question in my mind of how the girl gets close enough to cut the king's throat, and why blood doesn't spray onto her. It's a clever piece, but little screws need tightening; perhaps by lengthening the work, you can make things make complete sense and get to the ending so the reader is completely aware of what is going on.
 
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