Aphelion Issue 207, Volume 20
June 2016
 
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Contract

by 

Spencer C. Salokar




A veil of clouds wrapped itself around the shining white orb, constricting it until the last bit of light winked out. And then there was only night, a night that was dark enough to hide the most heinous of crimes. A crime to some, justice to others.
   
From the clouds emerged tendrils of black that swirled down and enveloped the sleeping town below. Nothing could be seen moving through the gloom with the exception of a single phantom that seemed to dance through the street. She was a blade in the dark, a lethal shadow that came and went at her own discretion. The woman was adorned in a pitch black coat and breeches. But it was her hair that caught attention, blacker than any night and tied back in a simple ponytail. The air seemed distorted as she made her way to her destination. No eyes, human or animal, could focus on her but instead would pass right by as if there was only empty space.
   
Luna was the name she had chosen. As a rule she changed it every now and then, and had changed it so often that she had forgotten if she ever had a real name. Luna, however, was her favorite. She enjoyed the way it rolled off her tongue, the way it seemed to suit her. Luna Reed. Yes, she would keep it awhile longer.
   
As she halted in front of her destination she ceased to be a distortion and instead evaporated into the embrace of nightís dark cloak. Darting back and forth her eyes quickly surveyed the old granite mansion in front of her, spotting only two guards. The first of the pair stood guard at the main entrance. He was covered from head to toe in a worn suit of light chain mail with a longsword propped up against the wall next to him. He was intimidating at first sight, but only at first sight. At a second glance it was obvious that he was only for show. The guard lacked the discipline of a trained soldier. It showed in the glazed half asleep look in his eyes, and in the unbalanced and clumsy way he leaned up against the wall. However he was much more dangerous than the archer that was keeping watch from the balcony. It was impossible to shoot someone in your sleep after all.
   
She was a crack of thunder in the black abyss. In an instant the placid peace of the night erupted into a moment of chaos. In that fraction of time the wind rushed against her silk skin as she drew a dagger from her belt into each hand and hurled them at her targets. Each blade whistled through the air, finding its fleshy bullseye and staining the dark canvas with splatters of blood. Her contract was only for the death of the man who owned the house and these men were only hired thugs. Killing them wasnít necessary, but she felt deserving of some enjoyment.
   
The door opened and closed without a sound giving way to an inside of cold dark stone. An elegant deep purple carpet decorated the floor of an otherwise plain entry hall and the faint smell of a turkey dinner clung teasingly in air. The assassin knew exactly where her target slept in the peaceful embrace of his dreams; second floor in the room at the end of the east hall. Heavy boots creaked on the stairs as another thug sluggishly trotted down, interrupting her thoughts. They were switching guard shifts earlier than they usually did. This posed no problem. The guard was less than a foot away from Luna before he even noticed that there was anything unusual lurking in the dark. By that time cold steel was already sliding softly across his vulnerable flesh. What would have been a scream turned into only a gurgle as he grasped at his throat trying vainly to cling to his life while his killer silently slid past him and up the stairs.
   
A living nightmare walked into the room of the slumbering lord who reeked of corruption and liquor. Luna pushed the vile smell out of her head and licked her lips in anticipation. His mind was tucked away safely in a world of his own making with his body strewn out over the bed, vulnerable and urging her forward. She approached the bed slowly, savoring the sweet ecstasy of the moment, letting the feeling surge through her now shaking body.

She could no longer restrain herself.

Bloody steel plunged deep into the contractís chest and for a moment he was ripped out of the void and into reality. And for a moment he looked into the piercing blue eyes of death before hands emerged from the darkness to drown him in their inky lake.



THE END

Spencer is a writer and adventurer from Minnesota that enjoys all things literary.

E-mail: Spencer C. Salokar

 

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