The woman turns a corner onto a small side street and sighs. She is so close to the end she can see it, and the tiny burden of the package, hard and compact in the palm of her hand, will soon be gone.
She had waited months for the package to arrive, and she was uncharacteristically nervous when it did. Of course she knew the moment she put on both her boots that the weight was uneven, and she eventually found the package after cutting through the sole of the left one. They hadn’t been her favorite boots anyway.
It took time to find and hack into the tracking device in order to discover the final destination, then even more time to fly halfway across the world to get there. She has finally made it.
The stones of the cobbled street crunch and grind under every step of her stiletto heels. Unconcerned, she moves at a swift, fluid pace even as her shoes catch in the cracks and knock the stones out of place. Her slim ankles are mostly smothered by the ends of a pair of pinstriped pants and she wears a heavy, buttoned fur coat that stretches almost to her knees. It is not particularly cold here, although the air is sharp and caked with the scent of copper and old dirt. The coat is mainly for peace of mind, owed to the fact that it is entirely too easy to hide things in. The collar and sleeves are edged with downy white fur, obscuring the woman’s hands and most of her neck.
Her plain face is impassive while she walks, and practicality alone dictates her hairstyle: a tidy bun wound tight at the base of her neck.
The street is narrow, with houses crowding in on either side, so close together you would be hard-pressed to slide a knife between them. Their windows punch gaping holes through the walls, blanketed by curtains of pea-soup green and lurid purple – the only colorful things about the houses. Both their walls and their roofs are a drab brownish gray that fades entirely into the background, and the matching blank patch of sky above the houses only morphs into a gelatinous blue-green around the orange setting sun.
The woman walks a few more paces and stops outside a house on the right side of the street, indistinguishable from the rest, save for the fact that the curtains are a scorching neon pink. Glancing furtively around her, she bends to slide the small, flat package through the letter slot, her sleeve sliding back to reveal a chalk white hand with thin pink scars crisscrossing it. She pulls back abruptly, having cut her hand once again on the knife-like metal of the letter slot, and it slams shut with a loud, metallic clang.
She continues down the street, her pace quicker now, and as the sky begins to darken she breaks into a lopsided run. She nears the end of the street and is about to turn the corner when a sleek black car rolls in front of her and comes to a stop, effectively blocking her path. She stops and does not struggle at all when two black-clad figures grab her by the arms and lift her into the car. The door closes silently and the figures disappear back into the car, the one on the driver’s side starting the engine silently. Glancing back through the gray-tinted window as the car pulls away, the woman wipes the blood off her hands and smiles. Mission accomplished.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.