In a sleepy community of a quaint upper-crust suburb there is a dark secret world of crime just below the surface that would shock you to the core. At the crux of efforts to bring it down is a group of stealthily trained teenage assassins who have been trained from birth to be the perfect killers. Their role is to be unassuming, undetectable killers who can get infiltrate the families of the crime bosses and take them down from the inside.
"Her house sinks down to death, And her course leads to the shades. All who go to her cannot return And find again the path of life." - Proverbs 2:18 - 19
Chapter 1 - Such a Perfect Day
"It was horrible," I said with a shaking, quivering voice. "There's just no words to describe it." I was crying now, my tears were searing my cheeks.
"Well," The Police Inspector said soothingly, patiently, "Can you just tell me about what you saw? And take your time, if you need to stop for a bit, by all means stop. This isn't a race. I really need you to think about anything you remember because it could be really valuable information for me Octavia."
The Inspector was a middle aged man, handsome for his years with big sympathetic blue eyes that punctuated the caring tone of his words. I imagined that he probably had children of his own close to my age, maybe a daughter or son that went to my own high school even. That's where he'd learned his patient knack for dealing with the teenage demeanor, because Lord knows in our tiny suburban town he probably didn't get much practice at questioning 16 year old girls about murders.
I can honestly say I was calmed by him, I simply didn't know where to begin my story.
"Inspector, may I get a cup of water?" I asked, the weight of my voice quivering unto itself.
"Absolutely," He said, his tone increasing in it's soothing, dulcet tone. "Want a coffee?"
"No thank you. I'm not allowed to drink coffee."
"Right, maybe a tea? Something warm might make you feel better."
"A tea would be really nice."
The Inspector stepped to the side of the interrogation room and spoke into an intercom low enough so that I would not hear him speaking to the phantom on the other line. In a minute he was back sitting across from me at the broad, lunch-room style table.
"Tea is on the way Octavia." He said, as he sat down.
"Thank you," I grumbled, wiping fresh tears from my eyes with the sleeve of my school uniform cardigan.
"So, you go to Lester B Pearson, is that right?" He asked making delicate small talk as he sorted through some papers in a file-folder in front of him.
"Yes. I graduate in June."
"That's nice." He laboured a smile. "I have a daughter and a son that go there, but they're both in 10th grade. They're twins."
Our school was small and I quickly went through my mental rolodex of people that I knew went there, which was virtually everyone. Only two sets of twins stuck out in my mind. The Farber Twins, but they were both girls, and then there was the Tods Twins.
"Do you mean Annie and Clive Tods?" I asked.
"Yeah," He smiled. "Do you know them?"
"Not very well, no. But Annie came out for cheerleading this year and I was upset that she didn't quite make the squad, but she's been coming to practices and I think if she tries next year she could make it. You should tell her to do that."
"I will. Nice to hear you're a cheerleader, you guys do quite well as a squad." He smiled again, sincerely happy that I'd said a kind word about his daughter, in the way a proud Dad would always light up about his child.
"Yeah, we do really well in competitions. Especially this year. I am a tumbler. That's why I made the team. "
As I spoke, a pretty young woman came into the room with a Dixie cup that had a Liptons tea bag hanging from it. "It's not pretty," she said sweetly, placing the cup in front of me. "But if you'd like another cup, you just say the word, there is more where that came from."
"Thanks so much!" I managed a smile as I took a sip from it. It tasted putrid, oversteeped with no sugar or milk, but I appreciated the kindness of her gesture, it came from the heart. She quickly dissapeared. I knew with her departure, so signaled the end of small talk.
"I know this is difficult Octavia, I can imagine how seeing what you saw has shaken you, but I really need you to tell me what happened today, so we can catch these guys. They are bad news, and you can help a lot of people by telling me what happened this afternoon." He said.
"I know, really I know," I began. "It just all happened so fast. I don't know if I know what I saw. If that makes any sense."
Inspector Tods reached out his hand towards mine, "That's okay. That's totally okay," he said reassuringly. "Just talk to me about what comes into your head. Tell me what you think you see. Like for instance, tell me how you got there to the alley, and who was there when you got there?"
"I was walking home, and I decided to cut through the back alley of Luanne's Grocery, which I do like, every single day, and I saw a couple of vans parked in the back of the loading area. They looked like they were dropping something off there. So I didn't even really notice them at first. There was one big van and an SUV, but I don't know the brand. I don't really know car brands all that much. And there were guys, I think four of them standing out between the vans and it looked like they were yelling at each other. So that's what made my kind of nervous. I just though to myself, keep my head down and walk fast and everything will be great, they were just arguing, you know?..." my voice quivered beyond composure.
Sensing the imminent breakdown in my voice, Inspector Tods chimed in, "It's okay, Octavia, please believe I am here to help. I am with you 100 percent on this."
"Can you call me Tavi?" I asked clearing more tears from my eyes. "Everyone does. Calling me Octavia makes me feel like I am about to get grounded."
"I am so sorry, I didn't know that people called you Tavi. I didn't know. That's a cool nickname. My apologies."
"No, it's okay. You wouldn't have known."
"Tavi," called Inspector Tods. "Can you tell me more?"
"Well," I cautiously continued. "I didn't look down right away. And I saw one of the taller men pull a gun on the other shorter one who was right in front of him. And he pulled the trigger and the other guy fell to the ground. And I was just frozen there. I couldn't run, even when he saw me and yelled at me." My bottom lip was shaking as I recounted seeing the man fall to the ground in front of me. "I was so scared because I knew the man was dead." I whimpered.
"I can imagine what that would have been like Tavi, What did they do after?" He asked lighting a cigarette from his pack of Camels.
"One of the guys had a gun under his jacket, I could see the shape of it and he ran over and grabbed me. He took me over to where the other three men were, and made me get on the ground. On my hands and knees."
"Was anyone pointing a gun at you?" Inspector Tods asked, furiously writing in the file folder while his cigarette burned.
"The two men he who were standing by the vans were. He pushed me down on the ground right in front of them. Both of them had the guns that looked like the one you have, not really like big ones. And I just started crying so much." I was crying now as I continued recounting my story.
"The two men said they should shoot me, but the one who had grabbed me didn't have his gun out said that they should put me in the van, I think he said something ike ‘Just throw her in the van with the other ones. Let them deal with her.' And the biggest guy who had a gun pointed at me opened the door of one of the vans and threw me in." I sniffled and tried to breathe in to continue my story. Just a little more, I told myself, and this would all be over.
I heaved air into my lungs and continued, "Before he could close the door this car came screeching in, all I heard were tires screeching, I didn't see anything and then I heard guns firing. I couldn't see from inside there, I just covered my head because the shots were so loud, and there were so many people in there it was so squished. But after a few minutes when there wasn't any more noise, I stepped out and was going to run away, but they were all dead on the ground. No one was moving, and it was so scary. I had never seen anything like it before." I stopped. My story was done.
"Good Tavi, that's very good." Said the Inspector as he took the last haul off his cigarette. "You have given me so much information! What you did was brave..."
Inspector Tods kept talking, saying things like he was proud of my courage and how brave I was to have called the police after what I saw, and for me to be thankful because those men had been identified as being human traffickers, and had things turned out even a little differently, they would have sold me with the other 14 women and girls who were in the back of what he identified to me as a Ford E Class van.
I barely heard him when he called me a hero, and said that I helped save a lot of women from very sadand hopeless futures and that they would find the other men who shot the kidnappers and bring them to justice. But for now, he also said, I was safe and I could go home and that I didn't have to worry. My story, he said, was a story he would never forget.
Too bad none of it was true.
Okay, so maybe some of it was true. But not much.
Fast-forward to me freezing like a deer in the headlights when I saw first shooting.
That guy never got shot. In fact there were only three men out of the vans, the fourth was in the driver seat.
I am such a bad fucking actor, I have no idea how they bought that shit. It was the tears, I think. The tears always work.
So next, fast-forward through everything until you get to one of the guys noticing me pretending to call 911 on them close by while they were making the deal for the girls. He was a bald and chubby fucker who didn't have enough sense in his head to pull his gun on me while he began pushing me toward the other two men he was with. Because that's basically how it really happened. I made my presence obvious enough, and he took the bait.
Next, cue the waterworks as I start begging them not to shoot me, and that's where the reality of what happened REALLY begins to differ.
"Please, please let me go," I sobbed, mascara stained tears starting to fall down my cheeks. "I promise I won't tell anyone, anything. I will keep this a secret to my grave. I just don't want to die, I CAN'T DIE." I screamed.
"SHUT THE FUCK UP!" Said the bald chubby one who STILL had not pulled his gun out...Fucking Idiot.
"We should just shoot her right here Gavin, get this shit done with." Said the taller of the two gun-weilding men in front of me. While he was smarter for having his gun drawn on me, the illogical plan he had hatched all on his own definitely gave away that fact that he too was a Fucking Idiot.
"And then what? How do we explain a dead girl in the parking lot to Billy?" Mocked the gunless man who was now holding me by the scruff of my neck. "Besides, she's in a school uniform, she's a kid. There ain't no way anyone would buy that she's a hooker that got shot by a John, which would be the only way to explain it."
The third man outside the van finally spoke, and when he did I wanted to vomit at the sound of his creepy drawl, "You're right, brother. She ain't no hooker. Too pretty to be a hooker. I'll bet she's never even sucked on a dick before, never-mind had one in her." He was repulsing, with a hick-ish tone that made my skin crawl. I couldn't bring myself to look up at him because his words were ominous as to the evil I knew I'd see in his eyes. It was evil I'd seen a hundred times before, so vile, unforgivable.
"Well what are we going to do then?" The tall stupid one asked exasperatedly.
The balding gunless one walked to the van door and opened it, he motioned to the two of them to grab me and throw me in. "Put her in the van," he said. "Let them decide what to do with her." See, I wasn't totally lying, some of my story was true. He really said that, which made the men grab me each under one arm. I ragdolled and turned up the waterworks to insane levels of hysterics.
"NO!" I screamed. "NO! PLEASE LET ME GO!" I was now yelling at the top of my lungs, my voice cracking with my fake hysterical tears. But they were buying it.
"Girl, this is going to go a lot easier if you cooperate. We'll put in a good word and you'll go someplace nice, someplace real classy." Said the taller one, trying to pick me up off the ground and throwing me into the van head first. I resisted and managed to squirm myself around around to be sitting at the edge of the van door, fighting going through the threshold and kicking as they tried to grab my legs and put them in the van.
"Lord, this one has a lot of fight in her," said the dirty pervert. "Think the bosses will mind if I fuck her first before we send her away?"
"Asshole, if she's a virgin they'll get more dough for her. It's a virgin's market." Said the balding one lighting a cigarette, turning his back to us. "Now hurry up, I wanna be home for dinner."
Now. It was time.
"Sorry, but that's not going to happen." I said in a calm and menacing tone.
Suddenly and deliberately I stopped kicking, my brow lowered and the waterworks stopped on a dime. The men weren't sure what was happening, whether or not I was going to run or try to fight them off.
Before the two men loading me in the van could turn their guns back on me, I'd released the first of my Smith & Wesson PC1911s from it's automatic holster in my left wrist, and fired one shot straight into the skull of the tall man, blowing half his head clean off.
He tumbled to the ground. The pervert stumbled back with his gun raised, shaking as his accomplice's body rag-dolled to the earth.
It was too easy, and I really could have done him off with the same gun, but I knew needed to used my second one if the cops were going to try and look into the forensic details of the two shooter story I would later give them.
So I released the second 1911 from my right wrist in the blink of an eye and shot the pervert in the eye. He was probably alive long enough to feel his brain start to ooze out the back of his head, I didn't really care because A, he'd be dead from the single shot before the cops arrived, and B, he deserved to suffer for what he said about me.
The driver was now trying to pry at the door to get out and run away. With the back doors of the van open, I fired 2 shots through the headrest and he was done clean in less than a minute.
I know this sounds like it was happening over an extended period of time, but all three were gone within a minute and a half. Which seems like precision, but meant that I had had my eyes off the chubby fucker long enough for him to draw his gun and shoot me in the head.
But everyone has good days, where God is on their side, shining down on them and giving them a push in the right direction. It was one of those days for me because when I looked to the last target, the chubby bald guy, after almost two minutes, he was still fumbling with his gun in his coat holster, trying to free it.
I took a step towards him, raising my guns to take the two shots that would take him out. And then with a loud crack, his own gun shot himself in the foot. He let out a ear curdling scream, like a 10 year old girl, as he fell to the ground, half of his left foot now missing, or at least splattered on the sidewalk.
I couldn't stifle my laughter. I mean, seriously, who pulls off their safety when the gun is still lodged in the holster? Some people should not be allowed to own guns for their own safety, truly.
This struck me as an ironic thought, while I shot him twice in the chest and once in the head, I thought that I should not be allowed to own guns for other people's safety.
I locked my guns back into their holsters, and pulled my real cell phone out of my knapsack. First to make the call that my targets has exterminated as required. Then I called my Mom to see if she could pick me up from the police station in about three hours, and keep a plate of dinner warm for me. Then I walked back to the van, filled with women bound, gagged, blindfolded, with earplugs in. Deprived of all senses and trembling as they huddled into the back of the van, shivering and frightened about their fate, and I dialed the police.
"Please come now, there was shots, they tried to take me. HELP ME! Get here NOW..." I yelled into my phone at the dispatcher in a panicked and frenetic tone.
And there you have it.
Hello there. My name is Octavia. You can call me Tavi.
I am 16.
I am a high school senior. I'm a cheerleader.
And I'm an assassin.