“Kill” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Grace Victoria Furfine, International School of Palermo, Italy.
That morning, I was woken up by the neighbor’s cat. It was not very pleasant. But, still I got up, trudged to the bathroom and got ready for the Deception. My cousin was the President of the Deception, so I would never have to participate. I just had to spectate, which I was somewhat thankful of, I was a high ranker, and only the low rankers had to participate, the middle rankers had the choice whether to participate or not, even though most of them chose not to. You see, the world we live in is a dark one hence, the name Deception. The kingdom was divided in two halves, the Hush, a living utopia, the land of the fairies, the mermaids, the unicorns. As stupid as that sounds, yes, unicorns and Pegasuses, pegusi? Oh well, nobody really knows how you actually spell that, but anyway, yes, they do exist. Then there is Deception, my home, Deception is the land of vampires, dragons, witches, werewolves and sirens. Just like the yin and yang, they are complete opposites. Hush is the light and Deception is the dark. White and black. Sweet and Salty.
Here, in the land of Deceptions, werewolves have the ultimate power. I come from a long line of pureblood werewolves, which is why my family is on the throne right now. I can shift into my werewolf whenever I want, and I can talk to others through a mind link when I am in my wolf form.
I’m different though, I’m not a normal werewolf. Not in the sense that I have a royal status, that I’m stronger, blah, blah, blah- No I’m truly special. When in my wolf form, my eyes are the color of icy water. There is a reason for that. My wolf can control ice, water and air. I am rare, a gift from the Moon Goddess.
My name is Raven Ebony Regan, and I was born to kill.
The deception was very boring today, a middle ranker participated, so for him, it was an easy win. Have you ever watched The Hunger Games? Personally, I think the best parts of the movies are when they start killing each other. Just me? Ok. Well, the Deception is sort of like that, just that, well, no, actually, it’s pretty much exactly like that. They pick out 20 names out of the low rankers, and if a middle ranker or a high ranker wants to participate then they can. The last person alive gets boosted up a rank, that only happens if you are a low ranker, middle rankers can’t be boosted up because all high rankers have some sort of royal blood in them. It just wouldn’t work.
Us, werewolves, don’t have ‘mates’ or ‘soulmates’ like in the books. After the hunters killed 60% of the werewolf population, it was becoming extremely rare for a werewolf to find his or her mate, so, we just stopped looking for them.
Tonight is the gala, the annual meeting we have with all the royals. Sure, the royal werewolf family rules, but there are still royal families of vampires, dragons etc. They are high rankers that don’t really have much power. The royals from Hush also attend the gala, so it is a very important meeting.
Personally, I don’t really like the ball, for the simple reason that I don’t like dressing up, so you can only imagine my discomfort when my maid made me wear a corset. A corset! We are in the 30th century for wolves’ sake! After she fitted me in a long snowy gown, which complemented my violet eyes, a royal trait, I slipped on some diamond stilettos, not that they would be visible because of the long length of the dress, and made my way to the royal ballroom.
Just like every other year, there was a ginormous feast with all the royals, a long speech by the President and then everyone danced until their feet could take no more.
After the ball, I was walking towards my private chambers when I was stopped by Elithius, my cousin. “Raven! Just the person I wanted to see,” exclaimed he.
“Very well Raven, I shall just cut straight to the point. I have a new mission for you. You have to track Dylan Black, who has been accused of various murders, including the murder of your mother-,” at that, I froze. My mother was a touchy subject and everyone knew that. All Elithius had to do was mention my mom and I was in, I had promised to avenge my mother, and I would do anything to keep that promise.
“When do I leave,” I said trying to keep that poker face that had been superglued onto my face for years after my mom was murdered.
“Good,” he chuckled and his ever-present smirk widened, “I knew you wouldn’t turn this mission down. You leave tomorrow at dawn, you go alone.”
He gave me a stack of stapled papers which he held in his left hand, while holding his mojito in his right hand and take an occasional sip from. I took the papers and turned around before continuing my walk to my bedroom chamber. When I got into the room, I swiftly packed my suitcase, carrying only the necessities, which consisted mostly of weapons and my beauty-things. Scientists were able to invent clothes that changed appearance on command, sure they were expensive, but I got them free because of my job, so that saved me a lot of baggage. Then, I took a quick shower and went to bed, with the full intent to get at least a couple of hours of sleep before my long and tedious journey.
The next morning, I groggily got up and ready for my long day of travel and work.
As a matter of fact, the day consisted of precisely that, travel, work, travel, work, bathroom break, travel, work, eat, travel- you get the point. I had successfully tracked down Dylan Black, and was currently landing in the Enchanted Forest to stop to refill my jet’s gas tank and let my wolf out to run. I shifted into my white wolf, swiftly discarding my clothes, and set out into the trees. The cool breeze rushed passed through my fur, and the adrenaline rushed through me as I jumped from rock to rock, from one side of the river, to the other, unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and soon it was time for me to head back. The sun was already starting to set, and I was dreading flying at night, but I wanted to get over with this mission as soon as possible, so I reluctantly shifted back into my human form, got dressed and climbed back into the plane and took off into the setting sky.
I had tracked Dylan back to the Village of Tucan, in Africa, it was part of the Deception, so it wasn’t a problem to enter, or to kill. When I landed I was greeted by the captain of the African Guard, Jason, who brought me to Tucan’s finest hotel, honestly, I didn’t really care where I stayed, I just planned to find him, kill him, and go back. But his death would be slow and painful, just like he made my mother’s.
I left the next day, at first light, disguising myself as a merchant, nobody needed to know who I was or why I was here. Many low rankers were against the system, as they were the ones who had to fight to the death, they would not be pleased to know that one of the highest rankers in the system was in their town to kill. Since I had to keep up the image of a merchant, I walked out of the back exit, where all the workers and servants exit. I was immediately greeted by the scorching hot rays of sun which were beating down on my clear skin. I walked to the city center and asked a bartender where the Moongodess Church was, he looked at me skeptically before answering and giving me directions, I guess it was because the church I had asked for was completely abandoned and destroyed from a civil war a couple of years ago. The church was so badly ruined that they decided it wasn’t worth rebuilding. So, they just built a new one.
It took me five minutes to get to the location. When I arrived, I could see why the bartender had been so surprised when I asked for this church, it was completely, utterly, destroyed. I walked into the shadows and changed my clothes into my specially designed black suit. It was designed to withstand my wolf shift, so when I shifted into my wolf and back into my human form, I would still have clothes, the suit was also fire and bullet proof, which camin handy when your job is being an assassin. I shifted into my snowy wolf, as I would not be able to fit through the ruins in my human form. I had a fairly big wolf, my wolf’s eyes were ice blue, the same color as the end of my tail.
I stalked towards the ruins and started climbing up the blocks of fallen marble until I reached the only crevice in the pile of rubble which I could fit through. In the middle of the room, sat a man, well teenager as he couldn’t have been older than 18. His back was facing me so I couldn’t tell if this person was in fact, the ruthless killer, Dylan Black. I jumped and landed where the entrance to the building would have been. I purposely landed with a thud, so he would be alerted of my presence. To my surprise, he didn’t move a muscle, and acted like he was completely at ease in that moment. I shifted back.
“Was he too scared?”
A voice tore into my confusion like a knife. He was speaking to me, I finally realized.
“Elithius. Was he too scared to come and get me himself? So, he sent his precious little cousin to get me,” he said, his voice almost teasing me. I still hadn’t seen his eyes, as a matter of fact, I had only had the pleasure of seeing his back.
“Elithius had better things to do than track down some attention-seeking criminals all the way to Africa.”
“Oh, really? Did he really,” then he turned around on his black leather swivel chair. As my eyes met his I froze. Too many emotions rushed through me that moment. Surprise, hatred, confusion, shock maybe even desire.
“No, no, no, no, it can’t be, this can’t be possible! I have to kill you,” I exclaimed.
He walked towards me. He took a step forward, I took a step backwards, he took one forwards, I took one backwards. He scratched behind his ear.
“Well this is awkward…,” he said.
I finally took a chance to look at him, he had golden skin and hazel hair, and his eyes, he had the most captivating eyes. They were a fiery amber, the color of burning wood.
“I can’t be your mate,” I finally said. He looked confused. “You killed my mother, and just because you are my mate doesn’t mean I will forgive you for that.”
“Why would you think I killed your mother?” he looked even more perplexed.
“Don’t play dumb. The whole kingdom knows you killed my mother.” His eyes softened. In that moment, I could have attacked, he was vulnerable, distracted. I could just picture myself running towards him, shifting midair and ripping his throat out. He wasbeating around the bush, I could tell. He was avoiding the question; his eyes were darting around the room.
“I didn’t kill your mother, Raven,” he said with a trembling voice. “Elithius did.”
I inhaled a sharp breath.
“Elithius would never do that.”
“Well then, my dear Raven, apparently you don’t know your cousin that well,” he walked towards me and took my hand, I felt the tingles and shuddered. The thought that the Moon Goddess would pair me with someone so evil made me uncomfortable. “Come with me Raven, and I will explain everything.”
And he did. He explained everything I ever questioned in my life. I had always found it suspicious that someone had been able to breach the palace walls, Elithius had told all the guards that he was giving them a free day, telling them that they had switched with another guard. He purposely let Dylan in, led him to her mother’s chamber, killed her, and pretended Dylan was the killer. Dylan had come to bring a stolen crown jewel that he had found in Egypt.He also explained that the Moon Goddess had paired us because I possessed the power over ice, water and air, and he possessed the power over fire, earth and the flora and the fauna.
Dylan also did the impossible. He convinced me. I was a hard-headed person, I was used to only follow orders given by the person I now despised the most, Elithius. No one else. Somehow, Dylan convinced me to stay with him, to escape from our corrupted system, to trust him. Trust was hard for me, since forever I was taught to trust nobody but myself, to only rely on myself, but here I was, placing my trust, my life, in the hands of a murderer who just so happened to be my mate. I guess I really can’t accuse him of being an assassin, a murderer, because that is exactly what I am, I am a cold-hearted killer, who doesn’t think twice before slicing someone’s head off with a sword, or ripping someone’sthroat out with my canines. I guess I understand why the Moon Goddess paired us.
And so, the days passed. I and Dylan had been living in a cabin deep in the forest, we built for the past month, and nobody had disturbed us. I had grown fond of Dylan, perhaps I even loved him. Everything was amazing, until that day. The day that ripped the new found happiness in my heart away from me.
It was a sunny afternoon, I and Dylan were in the woods for a run, we were laughing, our wolves were play fighting, rolling around in the mud and bighting each other’s ears. Then, we heard the faint rumble of an engine. A hovercraft engine. Hovercrafts were only owned by the royal guar. Not even I possessed one. They were here for us, that was clear. We exchanged glances and ran to the secret bunker we found that was built back in the 20th century during the nuclear bombing. The family had obviously not made it to the shelter in time as everything was untouched.
We reached the bunker without trouble, but, as soon as we were about to open the hatch, a voice stopped us.
“Cousin! I would say I am surprised to see you here, but I am not,” Elithius’ malicious voice filled the air.
“Leave us Elithius, we will be no trouble to you.”
“Oh, my sweet, stupid, ignorant Raven. You are trouble.”
With that the guards that were hidden in the bushes jumped out, taking us by surprise. Dylan and I took our swords out, our guns ready to be used were resting in our holsters. They attacked Dylan first, 5 guards shifted and pounced on top of Dylan.He swiftly moved out of the way, letting the guards fall on the ground, face forward. I took out my gun and quickly shot them down. I turned around to see that Dylan was already fighting off two new guards, while I was distracted checking on Dylan, a guard had jumped on my and sunk his teeth in my arm, I cried out in pain but quickly reacted. I took my dagger out of my jean belt and stuck the knife in the wolf’s stomach. I then sealed the wound, using my powers. I turned around and as a wolf came running towards me, I flipped into the air over the poor confused animal, swiftly pulling my gun out of my holster and shooting the wolf.
Then I shifted. I ran towards Dylan who was struggling with many guards, I took one down by drowning him in a bubble of water and Dylan burned one by boiling his blood, killing him from the inside. Sure, we might be a little cruel, but where is the fun in just killing someone normally? Also, they were the ones who came to find us, and may I add, probably kill us. Guards kept coming towards us, one after the other. And, at a certain point, mine and Dylan’s powers were completely drained. Elithius took this to his advantage.
Guards cornered me in a cave, I couldn’t see what was happening to Dylan, but I could feel it. I could feel every ounce of pain they inflicted on my mate. And after they were done ripping him to shreds, Elithius came to me and brought me back to the castle, this hell hole of secrets.
Elithius ruined my life.
I shall ruin his.