Syn was a character name that was floating in my head for a long while (I have a lot of names that play with the many usages of ‘Y’—it’s a magical letter), and so was written down for later use. I thought of many uses for a character with this name, but never had an official idea for him for quite a while. But then, while reading James Patterson’s ‘When the Wind Blows’ I got to a part that was so over the top cliché (I don’t remember if I’ve mocked Patterson and his over use of clichés in the blog yet, but it is a thing I do a lot… basically, the man writes with so much cliché that if you read one of his books, you could skip all the others—I still have a stack of them though, so it must be working), basically, I stopped reading all of a sudden, wrote down that overly cliché line (Max just flew up into the sky in front a giant full moon—a concept that is found in ever episode/issue of Batman, episode of Gargoyles, every episode/issue of Spawn,… does anybody actually realize that it’s called a “harvest moon” because of how often it happens?). Then from that one line of cliché, I started come up with all other over used clichés, and next thing I know, I just completed an extremely cliché story… and I loved the result so much, I later go to work on a novella for the character as well (I’ll give an exert of that as well—but I’m working on it to be published at some point).
I crouched on the peek of a roof top about six stories up, hidden in a dark shadow. I stared up into the clear night sky. The moon was so full and bright you could have almost thought you could throw a rock at it and hit it without effort. It seemed to almost fill the sky with nothing but a barely visible cloud passing subtly in front of it, centered in a sea of an infinite number of specks of light.
The whole scene just seemed so cliché, I almost considered scratching the whole mission—too much of the cliché can be annoying, and God knows my life is already stacked with a pile of it. But I know that I was just trying to find an excuse to turn on this mission.
I wasn’t really sure what it was about it. I’ve done missions that most people with something that resembled a “set of morals” might maybe considered a lot worse. But as I thought more about this, the more I wanted to just turn around and go home, forget all about it—let the client get mad for the few days he probably had left before the target got to him. It could have been that I’ve been doing this too long—maybe this was really the one that so many before me would call the “one too many”.
The moon just kept staring me down, like it was taking in everything I was thinking, and I was almost hoping it might respond, telling me if I should continue on or go home. Such clichés on top of all the clichés. My name is Syn, at least the only name that anybody alive knew me by anymore—but those who knew me, were usually people that never had any reason to care what it really meant, only what it sounded like it meant—the cliché of it seemed to amuse many of my more straight out of the comic books-type clients. Syn is all I ever was anymore—it’s all that really matters anymore—so you can know me only as Syn, also.
I looked down to the front of the building, dimly lit by street lights and a red neon light mounted above the door that I was waiting for my target to come out of. I knew very little about my target other than what was sent in the file delivered to me by the client—but that was how I preferred it to be, it’s easier if you can avoid humanizing the target. I remembered looking at the photos of the target—there was an odd number of them, telling me that the client might have had someone tailing her already—I hated that, adds to the things I had to look out for while I did my thing.
The many pictures lingered in my photographic memory. From the few details given about her, she seemed to be for the most part an innocent nobody, but from the details of the black and white photos, she was beautiful. And I don’t use that word for just anybody, as a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve never used that word for anybody else in my entire life, it was actually the first time I’ve ever even spoken such a word—so you know that when I say it about her, I don’t use it lightly.
This girl was completely breathtakingly beautiful—and I had some meaningless no-name telling me to kill her—to take this pixel out of his big picture. And I accepted the job—but then, was there ever a job I didn’t accept—luckily no one’s tried hiring me to kill a kid before, I’m almost afraid that I might accept that too. The thought truly tells me that maybe the clients’ version of my name is right because I sure live up to it.
Finally the door opened, and loud music with an almost tribal beat pored out of it filling the silence. And there she was. In full three dimensional Technicolor. My heightened senses could see every detail of her perfectly from where I was. Her hazel eyes that seemed to sparkle like precious gems, her long dark red hair, that dropped just about her shoulders and seemed to add to the fine outlines of her face. The dress she wore was a sparkly black, that went down to her ankles with a slit that went up the left leg just slightly above the knee. I’ve seen dresses like it on many others before, and splattered their blood on them, and never even thought a thing about it, but some how it just all looked so perfect on her. Each sparkle that would almost be considered tacky on anyone else seemed to highlight her every beautiful curve. The dress showed very little skin, but she seemed to somehow show everything simply with her beautiful presents.
She hugged the door man who was letting her out—I already knew she came to this club on a regular basis, it was mentioned in the file. She seemed to be on first name-hugging relationships with everyone there, so many, one could have almost gotten the impression that maybe she was starting to hug random strangers—maybe she was, maybe she was a light-weight and had a few too many umbrellas in her drink—that would at least make what I had to do easier, there’d be almost no resistance, not that there was ever much chance of it to begin with.
Then finally the constant good-byes ended and she was standing at the curb waiting for her ride. The file had told me that her ride would be running slightly late tonight—being given details like that sometimes disturbed me, but it was at least useful.
My palms sweating, I had my own little battle still running through my head. Ever seen one of those bits on TV where the guy has an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, and they’re debating with him over what he should do? I can tell you, I can truly relate. Both sides seemed to be screaming pretty loudly and getting nowhere so far. But I just clenched and unclenched my fists a couple times and forced myself to stand.
My body was almost asleep from the position I was crouched in for so long, but I recovered quickly and walked over to the edge of the roof. Each step seemed like forever despite it only being a little over a foot from where I was. I stood on the edge, just slightly teetering on the back halve of my boot heels with a solid stance. I glanced over at the target one more time who was beginning to pace impatiently, and I step my right foot forward directing my balance towards it, and felt myself leave the roof and reach the ground all in almost the same instance. I landed in the unlit alley between the club and the building that I was perched on.
I looked over at her, the contrast of light seemed to make her someone glow with almost an angelic halo. Every second I kept trying to force any feeling and emotion out of my mind, the sight of her seemed to just cause them to flood a hundred fold. It was enough to almost force me to my knees and beg whatever divine being put me in this life to just take me out of it now so that I wouldn’t have to be the cause of destroying its most perfect masterpiece.
I walked with my every step completely silent to the opening of the alley and stood in the shadow that lay before the street lights. I just stood there watching as she randomly paced with somewhat of a bobbing motion increasing with each turn, her silently moving lips suggesting that she had a song running through her head. And just as she was about to turn again to pace in the next direction, she suddenly stopped, and turned towards me with curious eyes. I was startled, she couldn’t possibly see me, what could she be looking at?
“Hello?” she yelled out with an unsure tone, “Is someone there? I have mace.” I doubted that was true, she wasn’t caring a purse, and I doubt she was the type to get creative with storing something like that.
I looked behind me and all around that I could think to look. Made she was just hearing the wind blowing or perhaps being alone in the night was making her paranoid, certainly understandable around here. But there was no possible way she could see me, no one could see me unless I wanted them to.
She walked slowly towards the alley, and I could feel my skin begin to crawl, unsure of what I should do. Something wasn’t right, and I wasn’t in the mood for the unexpected tonight. Should I leave now, or play it out.
“Who’s there? I know the bouncers at this club, it will only take me a second to get one of them out here…” What happened to having mace?
And then she looked directly at me, I could feel my stomach and every nerve in my body tie into knots, “Who are you?” I looked around again, “Yes, you. Who are you—what are you doing creeping around, standing in dark alleys? Are you trying to make people think you’re crazy or something?” I don’t know if people would be wrong.
Thoughts running rapidly through my head, why could she see me?
She puts a cigarette to her lips that seemed to be manifested out of nowhere, “You don’t happen to have a light do you?”
Still unsure if she was somehow talking to me, I slowly shook my head “no” in a semi-response.
She puffs out an air of frustration taking the cigarette from her mouth, “Figures. I managed to find a way to stash some squares in this stupid thing, and I somehow managed to not bring a lighter with me.”
“Smoking’s bad for you anyway…” I subtly blurted out.
She rolled her eyes, I had to almost force myself not to smile at how beautiful it made her look, “Yeah, well, a lot of things are bad for me.” I’ve never understood that type of argument. “Why don’t you come out here and keep me company until my ride eventually arrives.” The emphasis she put on “eventually” was almost cute—“cute,” another first for me.
I almost stepped out from my hiding spot, but then I hesitated, as if I was suddenly snapped back into the reality that I was supposed to be here to kill this girl, not make small talk and flirt. But she could see me, my place of hiding was already pointless, I would have to find a means to improvise anyway. But maybe this was a sign, the answer that I was looking for to tell me that I should blow this whole thing. Maybe this is my way out, to just keep her company, then go home and sleep it all off.
With already the idea in my mind that the mission is over, I slowly stepped out towards her. She gave me a smile that completely knocked the wind out of me, “Good. Now why is a cute guy like you lurking around in alleys?”
Cute? A first of any compliment of that nature. I never thought of myself as “cute” before… or really anything at all. But she seemed to at least say I was cute—maybe she was just being really nice.
“So, my name’s Lynn. What’s yours?” She asked with her hand out to be shook.
I hesitated at first, then spoke in a low voice, “People call me Syn.”
“Syn… Lynn… haha, we rhyme.” She smiled, and I could feel myself smiling back, I don’t even remember doing it, I was just… smiling. It wasn’t even that good of a joke, it was actually pretty lame. But just seeing the joy that she got out of her own cleverness, I just couldn’t help but return her smile, and forget how to stop smiling.
Then a black sedan suddenly came around a corner towards us. She glanced at it and huffed, “Finally, I thought I was gonna have to call a cab or something soon.” She turned back towards me, “Well, that’s my ride. It’s been nice talking with you though. Maybe we’ll see each other again sometime, I come here pretty much every weekend…”
She put her hand out again, and I lightly put my hand in hers. Her skin was so perfectly soft and smooth. And then, out of the corner of my eye, I see the gleam of gun metal catch in the light of the street lamp poking out of the driver window of the sedan. Five rounds went off like thunder, each one hitting its mark.
Her eyes looked at me, wide, stunned and in shock, and she falls limp into my arms as the black sedan screeched away.
I looked down at her lying in my arms as if she were a rag-doll. Her blood completely covering me, covering every sparkle of her once black dress. Her eyes still staring up at me, and I looked into them and see her light as it grows dimmer, and dimmer.
Her eyes filled with so much uncertainty and fear. She just can’t understand what has happened—the pain flooding her to numbness. I watched as a single tear streaks down her cheek and finds its way to free air, and splashes into the concrete sidewalk. And her light leaves her. I watched as another tear splashes into the sidewalk, and I gently lay her down as delicately as I could.
I gently brushed my hand over her face, pushing back her bangs. And I walked back towards the alley, and merged back into the dark shadows.
Killed by a drive-by from a black sedan—just too many clichés.
I sat in my worn and tearing easy-chair, staring blankly at the TV. I wasn’t really conscious to what was on, and the sound was down so low that the buzzing of its electricity flowing through it was canceling out anything close to decipherable. I just sat listening to the buzzing, following it to an infinite nowhere.
My mind stared into the darkness, and at the edge I could see her. Her eyes as they stared up into mine filled with the pain and fear. The tear running down her face. I could see her falling, and I wanted to reach out to her—to save her—but I couldn’t save her. I couldn’t do anything but watch her as she fell.
Then she looked up at me, her eyes wide, and she smiled—smiled the most beautiful smile—and she reached her hand out towards me, and she spoke. Her words spoken soft and clear like a whispering breeze, “…Syn… Syn… stop them… please… stop them…”
I didn’t know what was going on. Stop who—stop who from what? I tried to speak, but no words would form.
Her eyes became filled with fear and pain again. I could see the blood covering her from the holes that riddled her lifeless body, poring unending. She kept trying to reach out for me, and she spoke again, “…Syn… please… you must stop them… please…” and then with a shriek that could have shattered the world, “…Wake up!”
I jolted awake. My heart was racing and a cold sweat pored over my face. The TV was still silently flashing its images—some lizard selling insurance. Then I heard it, the slight clicking sound from outside my door—the sound distinctly owned by the cocking of a pistol. It was slow, in an attempt to muffle it—apparently they underestimated my hearing.
I extended my senses—I could feel the essence of the man leaning with his back to the wall. Listening for any sound on the other side with his heart pounding so loud I doubt he would have been able to hear anything if there was anything to hear. If this guy was working for my most recent client, it seems unlikely that he would be so inexperienced that he would feel so much fear for a random assignment—so I’d assume that he’s someone who might have heard some of the rumors about me that have been floating through the circles. Unfortunate for him, most of the rumors were true.
I moved to the rear of the door as I could feel the essence of his hand reach for the knob. The slight rattle being kept as minimum as he could as he slowly tested if it was locked. I had to force myself to keep from grinning as the smell of his fear rose from him like a dead skunk in a pile of compost as he continued to realize that the knob was still turning unhindered. It’s always a killer’s instinct to fear a situation that seems “too easy”—especially when you already have an idea going through your head of what to expect on the other side of the door. If this was a horror film, I’d be the guy in the mask, and he’d be the blonde air-head with big tits who was dumb enough to do a nude scene—we all know what comes next.
The door slowly creaked open, and I could almost hear the sweat dripping out of his every pore as he realized that there wasn’t even a chain-lock. I hear him swallow hard to force himself into the “stone-cold-killer mode” that I’m sure he normally wouldn’t have to fake. He throws the door open, jumping into the apartment with his silenced 9-millimeter pointing frantically in every direction.
He slightly relaxed his stance when he came to the conclusion that I wasn’t in the room—but I could still see the tension growing in his trigger-finger as his fear fumed at the thought of having to search for me. So I guess it was only polite of me to help him out… and let him find me.
I quickly moved from my shadow, slamming one hand under his gun and the other at the crook of his arm taking advantage of his tight finger. The hollow wisp of the silencer goes off in an explosion of blood, and he falls screaming and writhing in pain. Apparently he was so tense that the gun went off before it could be directed anywhere vital. But everyone can learn a life lesson from him: Don’t forget to stop to smell the roses, because you never know when you might shoot your nose off.
As he lay desperately trying to force the pain out of his mind and continued to stain my wood floor in puddles of red, he glared up at me. I couldn’t tell if he was terrified or if the tears filling his eyes were just a sinus reaction to having a hole where his nose was, or both, but I knew it was a good time to take advantage of the situation and ask him a few questions.
I grabbed a fist full of his shirt and pulled him up to me. He let out a gurgled yell, and puked on my boots. I glanced down at the chunk-filled bile, then slowly brought my glare back up to his unfocused eyes, “Who the hell are you? Who hired you?”
I could see him getting a bit loopy from the endorphins running through him. He responded pain-drunk and blood-choking, “fu’ yo’, ma’…”
“Have you really gotten the impression that I’m someone to screw with…? Talk!” I gave him a subtle jerk that caused him to silently wince, then he looked back at me—I thought he was going to puke again, so I slid to the side, as he dropped to dead-weight, slipping from my grip, and landing with a hard thud.
His light still gave off its essence—he passed out… figures. I rolled him to his front and began the waiting game for round two.
I treated my would-be assassin as best I could to at least keep him from bleeding to death before I got any answers out of him.
I thought back to the vision of Lynn… that warned me… but also begged me for help. Questions were rushing through my head, what did it mean? Did it mean anything? She warned me of the douche-bag moaning unconscious on my living room floor. Maybe that was just my unconscious mind sensing him—maybe it was just a dream—which would have made my life a lot easier to continue if I could have just convinced myself of that.
She wanted me to stop somebody from something, and my first guess would be that it’s the guys that hired me to put a stop to her. But of course, people who hire me usually go through a lot of effort to keep themselves anonymous—unless they happen to send one of their own guys over to try and kill me, and I happen to torture him into telling me where to find them. Things seemed to be coming together rather conveniently so far…
I propped him up in my chair, picked up the mug of coffee that’s been sitting on my end-table for almost a day-in-a-half, and splashed it in his face. He came-to with a drastic choke and gag, heaving forward with a spew of coffee and blood, and I shoved my boot into his chest pinning him back into the chair.
“Who hired you?”
He looked up at me in a daze, and his eyes suddenly opened wide as if he just remembered where he was, “I do’ ‘ow ‘uffin’—“
I gave a sudden thrust of my boot into his ribcage enough to feel it slightly bend in and out from the pressure and forced a gasp out of him. Dragging my foot down to the ground leaving a boot-sized soiled streak on his blood soaked shirt, I grinned and crouched to his eye level, “I know you can’t smell it, but you’ll just have to trust me, that it’s only mud.”
His fingers subtled their way towards his pant pocket desperately hoping I wouldn’t notice. As he felt the cold smoothness of the handle, he quickly grabbed his switchblade with his thumb on its trigger, and threw his fist into the side of my neck. I just remained crouched with a shadowy grin as he looked between me and his fist with startled confusion as he began to process that somehow his fist was empty.
“Lose something…?” I brought up the six-inch blade with its stainless steel gleam and lightly touched the metal tip to the edges of the hole in his face. He winced and choked in his attempt to resist screaming, “Now tell me who sent you, and where to find them…” I lazily bobbed the blade to the opposite side of the gap, and he let out a squeak—I could see his muscles tense as he forced himself not to move for fear of causing the knife to do worse damage.
“I—I sw’ar ta Go’ I do’ kno’!” as he saw the knife bob again, he winced with anticipation for it to touch, “O’Go’, do’, I sw’ar—I sw’ar, I do’ ‘ow ‘ho hir’ me—bu’—bu’ I ‘ow wher’ yo’ ca’ fi’ ou’…”
I stopped the knife at a perfect mid-point of his nasal-void, “Go on…”
“The’ ‘ever ‘how the’ ‘elves, I ‘us’ ‘e’ my ordars—“
“Where…? Where do you get your orders?”
“Tha’s wha’ I’ sa’in’, the’s thi’ sto’ o’er by Te’ an’ Gra’iot, i’s a fron’ fo’ al’ o’ us—“
“And someone at this store will know where to find who hired you…?”
“’eah, I ‘ow fo’ a fa’t, ‘here i’…” His expression and voice tone slightly changed, and I became suspicious and somewhat confused.
“You think you’re setting me up for a trap—the pain must be making you dopy, or you’re really slow. I can’t be seen, I can’t be hurt, I am nothing more than a shadow of existence—how can you trap me—how can you stop a shadow…?”
He gave a weak grin, “Wi’ a bi’ a’ flo’d ligh’…”
I shoved the knife forward piercing deep into his frontal-lobe, and his light instantly faded with a stiff look on his face. I hate inside jokes…
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