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Parlor

The wafting smoky air is expected, naturally, and neither am I unfazed by it. The drunk commotion surrounding my informer and I is also a regular occurrence at our location. The Parlor is an excellent place, for there is always a customer at one point or another who knows good bounty.

But really, not being able to see my informer’s face definitely makes me tense. The deep, rich red velvet hat is tilted enough to hide her features except for her brilliant rouge lips and the high cheek bone of the visible cheek.

The woman is dressed in a matching dress with a tightly drawn corset and small, clingy skirt that goes to her feet, with nearly invisible pocket lines. Nobody but someone like us would notice such details. Even more so, if they knew what was in those pockets….

The Parlor is a fascinating club, geared towards the rich, classy people of New York City. The men are dressed in suits and the women in colorful, sparkly flapper dresses and feather plumes decorate their heads. Live Jazz music plays in the background.

I gaze around the room, half interested in the objectives of these shallow, brain-washed people. A waitress walks smoothly towards our table with two drinks on a platter, and sets them down. Keeping my confused feelings inside, I smile at the waitress, and she walks away. I don’t want a drink.

“Marilyn!” a throaty voice says that is so sexy, it makes me wonder how the men can even keep their heads straight around her.

I smile sweetly at my informer, and I wonder how she can even see me. “Keep attention, girl, or I’ll believe you do not care for this job, and I’ll go back to Frank and tell him he can have it.”

“I’m listening,” I reply curtly, and I smooth out my flimsy, knee length yellow dress. Blending in such a crowd as this one is an easy task, but I’d rather wear pants any day over skirts.

“Good. I’d prefer if you didn’t wander during the job,” the raspy voice says.

Next, I reach up at my naturally curly dirty blonde hair, and sweep aside a few locks. “Understood,” I say quietly.

Even more quietly, the woman says, “There’s a package at the postal office the next block over in locker 235. Can you get it after we’re done?”

“The key?” I ask, taking a sip of the drink the informer has ordered for me politely, despite I am not of proper age.

Her perfectly shaped red lips smile, and with an unmarked, pale hand, she takes her drink and sips from it. I immediately understand. My informer has dropped the key into my drink when I wasn’t looking.

I take another sip and let the liquor wash down my throat eagerly. “Of course I can retrieve it when we’re done here.”

“Then you’re set,” the woman says crisply, reaching for her glass again.

I frown. “That is it? Nothing more to tell me?”

The informer leans back into her chair, and the hat tips backwards, just a slight bit and I blink to clear my eyes of the cigar smoke. The liquor is making my surroundings unfocused, but only subtly now. I imagine I’ll have a massive headache later.

“First, your tools are in the usual spot- I have taken the liberty of restocking for you. Second, your cover is in the package. Burn it fast. Third, your target is currently on the move, to Washington D.C. Your ride down there is up to you.”

I nod. “Understandable. But what has the target done?”

The woman shifts in her seat, and raises her head a little, and I catch the tiniest glint in her eyes before she looks back down. “I believe you know already, darling.”

I jerk my head back, and my jaw drops in surprise. “You don’t really mean him, do you?” I ask, trying to keep my voice from cracking. She can’t actually mean....

The woman nods dismissively. “Of course I mean James. You have to stop him before he lets the news get out.”

My informer wants me to kill my father.

I look down at my dress, and take a long moment to recompose myself. The sounds of laughter and clinking glass smear together as I begin to tear up. But quickly, I carefully swipe the drops of liquid away before the woman can notice, and give to job to Frank, that self-absorbed idiot.

When I’m done, I look up confidently at the informer, and say, still debating if I’m lying or not lying, “Of course I’ll do it, mother.”



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