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The Master

By Ashka

age 13

    

“The Master said that you will complete the assignment he gave you by Sunday evening, 9 p.m.  You have two days.  He wants it done cleanly and efficiently.  Have no excuse for being suspected or otherwise.”  The messenger of our boss, the ‘Master’ as we called him, was speaking quickly and quietly in case of eavesdroppers in the cold, public parking garage.  I knew, that if the task was not completed to the Master’s full and final expectations, I would be done for.  I quickly nodded my head and as stealthily as I could, ducked back into the cover of the black car, and out of there we sped as quick as lightning.

              The car was speeding along the dull highway when I sighed deeply thinking of the enormity of the task that awaited me.  I could not slack off on this assignment, Oh No.  The Master had already given me one chance, and that was more than he was willing to give.  How I got into this life of crime I do not remember, but I know that it was definitely not intentional.  The task ahead was not an easy one indeed.  I had to kidnap the CEO of one of the richest companies in the world from a location that was not apparent yet.  The Master was going to give me the complete and final address the day the kidnapping was supposed to occur, so there was no chance of anyone else knowing.  Why exactly the person needs to be kidnapped I do not know, but I do have my assumptions.  Probably they will be held for ransom once caught.  I’m assuming that the company is in charge of the Master’s pay.  The ‘Top Don’ usually has some limitations, which at some length, our Master had.  One thing I still do not understand though is  why he makes us call him Master.  I know his identity needs to be kept a secret for security reasons, but there are many other names than Master.  I guess ‘The Master’ sends chills up your spine, since you think of the man in charge of everything.  The man in charge of my life.                Soon, we arrived at the unknown secret lair surrounded by a thick forest of dense, dark-green trees.  The lair was beautiful itself if you thought about it, with its glass walls, swaying trees, peaceful pond, and white marble floors.  No one really thought about it though.  All the people who ever saw this lair were either meeting their doom, or knew the history of this building which, either way gave the building an unsetting touch.  I walked into the building with my black shoes making a tap-tap noise in a rhythmic pattern.  Quickly, I found my way through the complicated halls and chambers to the classified elevator.  Now, this elevator lead up to offices of important officials like myself.  We get massive workspaces, that are each one whole floor.  I punched my code into the newly polished keypad, and the elevator started rising with a click.  When I reached my floor, I started work quickly in my office, but soon I found myself going through the consequences for not completing the task properly, in my head.  One small misstep, and my life will flash before my eyes.  That is exactly why this needs to be done with much caution, I told myself.  My mind was spinning with thoughts of doubt and feelings of anxiety.  My eyes flitted back and forth between the objects in the room, as I started to sweat.  “This will all be worth it when you receive your paycheck.  Calm down Damon.”  I whispered to myself, willing it to work.  I took a slow, deep breath and headed to the computer to start making  the plans.              While leafing through the files and information of the victim I spotted a picture.  I decided to take a good look at it so that I knew my victim when I saw them.  It was a girl, that somehow seemed familiar.  I scratched the thought out of my head as quickly as it had come.  No need to get too close or attached to the victim, I told myself, still unsure where the thought had come from.  The girl was tall, and had kind hazel eyes with a small mix of green.  She had brown wavy hair, just like Grandma Nelly had.  Suddenly, I jumped out of my seat in such excitement, and full of recognition.  The girl was Alyssa!  “Alyssa!  Wow, Alyssa.”  I said with a small disbelieving laugh.  “My long lost cousin.”  I couldn’t believe I had finally found her, which meant that the rest of my family was nearby too!  What a surprise this is!  The girl is my cousin.  The victim is my cousin.  A sinking feeling came into my stomach, as I realized the full scope of things.  “The only person I need to kidnap is one of my only cousins.  What a lucky person I am!”  I said with mock happiness, and much sarcasm.  At that moment, I started to feel an unbelievable amount of animosity bubble up inside me towards the Master.  He’s ruining my life.  Right then and there, I decided that I would finally start to resist.  I would finally go my own way.  I would finally become law abiding.  I would finally say no to him!  Then I realized something.  I would finally die.

*            *            *

              Two days later, I let out a long breath of relief as I laid back in my chair stretching out my arms behind me.  I had just finished making the plans and arrangements for the kidnapping, and felt eager to get it over with.  I wanted to die quickly, and painlessly, though I knew that the Master wouldn’t grant my wishes.  I glanced at the contemporary stainless steel clock and saw that I had less than an hour to get to my destination and go in for the kill, literally.  I grabbed my bulging, black backpack and headed for the elevator.  As I made my way to the car awaiting my arrival, I thought about the dream I had during the night.  It was encouraging, but very strange.

              It took place in a dingy, dark office with a sinister feeling in my mind.  The wallpaper was a shade of green that made you sick, and it was cracked and tearing off in random places.  I was in a seat placed in front of a desk; where the patron usually sits in an office.  I noticed the desk was a deep brown color, and had a worn look about it.  It showed no signs of good care, and seemed like it had not been used for a while.  Sitting behind the desk, turned around, was a large chair with stuffing escaping through the holes in the repulsing, dark-red fabric.  I was eager to see who was waiting in the chair when a booming, intimidating voice shook the walls of the room.  “Boy!  You have arrived.  I have been waiting to speak with your useless self about your deeds.  Your actions.”  Fear swelled up inside of me as I realized that this was it.  I was to die here by the hands of the Master.  Of course, then I had not know that this was merely a dream, nightmare at that.  “You have disregarded your insignificant, wasted life by letting the woman go.  You absolutely knew the consequences I am sure, no Damon?”  Not waiting for my reply, he continued.  “So now, face my wrath, as you die!” He roared and spun around in his chair.

              One look at the brains behind the ingenious plans, and I cracked up laughing on the floor, rolling around and unable to control myself.  I laughed and laughed and laughed until I could laugh no more.  Slowly, I got up and sat back down into the chair, still chuckling sporadically, facing the Master.  “WHY DO YOU MOCK ME!” he screamed as furious as could be.  Teary-eyed and smiling, I replied, “Have you seen yourself?  Your an eight year old boy, speaking into a microphone for crying out loud!  You ask why I mock you?”  Indeed he was.  The oversized chair had swiveled around revealing a small boy, red in the face who could nothing to hurt me.

              I chuckled to myself as I thought about the silly dream that just popped itself into my head at random.  Usually I never had dreams and for a first, this was strange indeed.  After I got into the car, I soon reached the location of the conference, that Master had given me that morning.  The organizers were already setting things up, and didn’t look twice as I made my way into the grandeur conference room, slipping past the workers.  I set up cameras in a few select places, and placed all of my other equipment that would be needed, which was not much.  Soon, all I had to do was sit and wait outside near the reception desk, for the signal to come in.  I was supposed to hear three rings of a desk bell, and that was my signal from our man, that the victim had arrived.  Soon, people in expensive tuxedos, grand suits, and silk dresses of all kinds slowly started to come to the conference in a steady stream. 

              About 10 minutes later, I heard the signal as clear as daylight (although it was nighttime at that moment).  I headed into the room unseen by the guards behind the victim.  It was as easy as pie, so far.  I followed Alyssa, and I knew that I had to make it seem like I was following the Master’s assignment, even though I was not.  My plan at the moment was to go next to Alyssa and whisper what she needed to do, and so I did as quick as could be.  “Ok.” Was all she said once I told her.

              I looked around the room suspiciously and saw snipers stationed nearby who were undercover, but you get to know the people you’ve worked with for years.  I recognized some of the people from past assignments.  Suddenly, a piercing scream traveled throughout the large area like a wildfire.  It was deafening.  I swiftly turned my head to see that right next to me, there Alyssa was, clutching her stomach with blood streaked on her fingers.  She removed her hand and it looked like a bullet had pierced her.  She looked up at me, since I was the nearest person, beet red in the face.  I hesitated and decided to pick her up over my shoulder and carry her out the back door.  Everyone stared at us for a moment and quickly got out of their shock, as if these kinds of things happened everyday.  They disregarded me as I took her outside.  My people thought I was going to kidnap her there, away from prying eyes, since she was in such a state.  It would be much easier than the original plan.  Of course, they thought wrong. 

              When we got outside, I felt the rush of the cold night air greet me.  Alyssa abruptly pushed herself off my shoulder, and smoothed her sparkling red dress out.  She looked at me, eyes dancing with excitement, and the desire for adventure.  In the soft glow of the white light, she looked pale.  She was fine though, and I knew this for a fact.  “How did I do?” she asked eagerly smiling the bright, familiar, childish smile I remembered so well.  “Perfect.  I think everybody bought it.” I said nodding my head, happy with our success.

              “Not, everybody.” The sudden voice startled me very much.  I turned quickly to find myself face-to-face with none other than the Master himself, with two snipers flanking him so they formed a ‘V’ formation.  I didn’t have to guess to know for sure it was the Master standing before me, though I had never seen him before.  There in front of me was a tall, large figure in a grey trench coat, glaring down at my face.  I felt immensely small compared to this guy.  He was at least two heads taller than me, and let me tell you this, I was above average height.  Around his neck was a large gold chain, that seemed like it was 10 pounds itself (you don’t find jewelry like that here in Paris).  He wore a serious face, giving away nothing.  The large brown eyes that seemed black, held mine like a python held its prey.  I couldn’t escape.  I was done for.

                                                                 We stood there facing each other silently.  It seemed that not even a cricket chirped during those few moments.  Staring unblinkingly at each other while everybody held their breath.  The only movement was made by Alyssa, who slowly backed away from the both of us, as I saw out of the corner of my well-trained eye.  I found my voice and was the first to speak.  “So, how are you?”  I said in a weak and cracking voice.  He didn’t even pay mind to my question, and started advancing towards me.  At the same time, I moved backwards, for this was one of the only people I knew that I was afraid of.  Step by step, we were in perfect sync with each other.  Suddenly, he stopped, and I stole a glance around me.  Now there were not two, but about twenty snipers surrounding us in a large circle, all pointing their guns at me, ready to fire on command.  I looked around for Alyssa, and she was no where to be found.  I felt disappointed by her lack of bravery at the moment.  “You have disobeyed me Damon, and there are grave consequences.” The Master said.  “Paying no mind to yourself, you went ahead and helped your cousin.  You do not belong with us.”  I blinked up at him and furrowed my eyebrows, confused.  “Wait, how do you know she was my cousin?”  I said, feeling bolder somehow, now that my family was mentioned.  “The Master knows all.” Was all he said to me, dismissing the subject quickly.  Apparently, he was going to cut to the chase.  “I knew there was something suspicious going on when she was shot out of nowhere.  I replayed the tape a few times before I came straight over here for business.”  He was probably watching the tapes in one of the rooms that are on the other floors of this building, I thought looking up at the windows of the building. There was only one window that was slightly ajar, and it had low, French music drifting out of it.   Otherwise, there was no way of telling where Master had been during the mission.

              Master started to walk around me slowly, looking me up and down as he went.  “You are a fine young man.”  He said, his loud voice startling in the silence.  “Fit for anything, and having the brains too.  Just a little ignorant and selfish.  Maybe arrogant, and somewhat demanding, but those were hurdles we could have overcome together.”  He said.  “That’s why I kept you when you made your last misstep.  Have I kept anyone who messed up before you?  No, I never did, because only the most hard working, professional, and trustworthy men work with us.”  He stopped circling me, and looked at me straight in the eye.  “You were one of those men.”  Then, he unexpectedly laughed a booming, monstrous laugh that echoed of nearby walls.  “What a ninny I was to even think to keep you.  This is the first time I have been betrayed by one of my own hand-picked men!”  He roared, suddenly infuriated.  As if sensing that the Master was about to call them for action, the snipers clutched their guns and aimed for me again.  The Master started to say something, but was cut of by the unexpected sound of a helicopter heading our way.  The sound got louder and louder until you wouldn’t be able to hear a person speaking, who was standing right next to you.  The helicopter stopped right above me, and the circle of snipers.  The Master was looking up cluelessly at the helicopter, temporarily forgetting to kill me.  From the helicopter, a bright light shone down on me, and only me.  With that, a rope was dropped down from above.  I quickly got the message and jumped up onto the rope, and started climbing as fast as I could.  I could barely hear, but the yell of the Master was loud enough.  I looked down but for only a second, since the snipers were now aiming at me and I saw the Master yelling something at them.  I climbed and climbed, but felt nothing until I got to the top of the rope, and into the helicopter.  As soon as the top half of my body was inside the helicopter, the pilot took off at top speed, with my long legs dangling out.  I didn’t even know that helicopters could go that fast.  Through the night we sped, over the dark treetops and under the guidance of the moon, and we didn’t rest until the helicopter was safely at its landing point.

              When the helicopter landed, we got off, and I finally got to meet the pilot who happened to save my life.  I turned and was greeted by the face of a strong looking man in his mid twenties, about as old as me.  I was the first to speak, “Thank you, they were about to kill me as strange as that may sound.”  “No, your wrong.  There’s no way they could have killed you, even if I didn’t come.” The man replied in a stubborn voice, staring straight ahead unaffected by my thanks.  “Can you explain?”  I asked, confused by his remarks.  “First things first, I’m Alyssa’s friend.  She called me shortly after she could get away from the area.  She also called the police, so your boss and his gun men are now probably being arrested.”  He said indifferently.  He continued to speak and tell me what had happened.  “So, long story short, and this is what Alyssa told me.  She snuck away from the area of the crime, since she said she felt as if things would go wrong.  Anyways, then she called the police and I, and all she told me was to come to the Plaza’s main back door, and drop a rope down in the small gathering from one of my helicopters.  The rope happened to land right next to you so we got lucky.  Then she told me to speed out of there as fast as I could manage to go, since your ‘life was in danger’” And with that, he cracked a small smile.  I was shocked that Alyssa was that quick and that ready for whatever was thrown her way out of the blue.  It was surprising, and lucky for me.

              Suddenly, my cell phone started ringing.  Alyssa’s friend nodded at me, and with that, walked away from the platform leaving me to find myself a ride.  I answered the phone.  “Hello?”  “Hi, it’s Alyssa.  Are you okay?”  “Yeah, I’m fine.  Thanks by the way, I couldn’t have done it without you.”  I said to her, truly grateful to my cousin.  “No problem, that’s what family is for.”  She replied.  “By the way, what did you exactly do Alyssa?”  She was quick to reply.  “Oh, I’m guessing Daniel told you the calling part, but after that, I went to the area I had seen the snipers’ guns earlier on my way on and took all of the bullets out of most of them.  I didn’t get to all of them, but luckily the ones that did have a bullet in them missed you, so that’s good.”  “Wow, your good.  I know a reason why your CEO now, and why you always used to win when we played tag.”  I said amazed out of my mind.  “Tactics my cousin, tactics.”  She said, then laughed.  I laughed with her.  The great burden had been lifted off my shoulders, all with making the right decision.

*     *     *

              A few months later, I was settled in an apartment in New York City.  This past month, I had been reunited with my family by Alyssa.  There were tears and laughs and smiles throughout the reunion.  I had no idea I had meant that much to my family.  I was overcome with joy and happiness.  There were presents and family came to see me all the way from California!  At a point, I felt very guilty for leaving my family like that, and the ones I loved, but with my complete family there, I couldn’t stay sad for long.  I met some new relatives, some recently married, and others just born.  I was blinded in bliss.

 

              I never heard from Alyssa’s friend again, Daniel, but Alyssa told me he worked back in Paris.  I asked her to thank him for me for everything, since I didn’t get the chance to say it again.  As for my old job, I learned from the news that they had indeed went to jail, and were sentenced for life for everything they had done.  I had gotten out since the police didn’t mind me, as longs as I was good for the rest of my life (I’m an angel compared to my boss).  The police and some government officials come to check on me every two months or so to see how I’m doing, and what I’m doing and whether or not I’m planning to kill anyone as of now (it makes me laugh). 

 

 
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