The Friendly Assassinations Dream

It was Christmas Eve and me, my mum and dad were in a giant ASDA, getting everything last minute for Christmas. My parents were down the cheese and cracker aisle, so I wandered off to the home section in search of some nice candles for Jack. However, on the way there I saw him, pushing a trolley around with some people I didn’t know. He didn’t notice me.
I reached the candle section but they were all generically named and watered down scents, like ‘Apricot Passion’ and ‘Garden Rose.’ Some of the holders were interesting, with sparkly green holly leaves and other Christmas-related decorations, but they were shaped specifically to the candles on display (I think I’d have struggled to find an octagonal candle when that one was used up).
We finished the shopping and went home, but then mum said she’d be back soon and went out again. I settled into bed but left my light on, listening, waiting for her to come back. I grew nervous.
After tossing and turning I got up and walked around the house looking for her. My parents’ door was slightly ajar. Dad had also left his light on to guide mum’s way home, but he was already gently snoring.
I reached the back door, but it was already open. Someone was stood outside. I expected my mum, but instead I found Joe lurking in the shadows. In his worn leather jacket and dark hair he was good at hiding when he needed to. But I saw him.
He looked at me and winked, and then he was gone. I knew what it meant. I grabbed my coat and followed him out the door.
He was nowhere to be seen but I knew where I was going.  I called Josie and we met at the train station. We went into the little shop and bought sandwiches, eating them on the train. It was probably the last meal we’d eat for a while.
When we arrived at our destination, somehow our motorbikes were in the car park and ready to go. We rode them along the pavement at ridiculous speeds, barely avoiding plant pots and people, the world around us merely blurred white lines.
As we were riding, Josie yelled, “look, there’s Sam!” and sure enough, directly ahead of us, staring thoughtfully in our direction and smoking a cigarette, was True Blood’s Sam Merlotte. We slowed to talk to him, but stopped when we saw his expression. It was a mix of contemplation, anger and horror. We looked behind us. In the distance, a dark grey cloud of smoke billowed over the train station. And as we watched, it grew and burst out onto the street, heading straight for us as if it were alive.
Sam wasted no time. He jumped on his own bike and the three of us raced to keep ahead of the smoke. People were screaming and crying around us, but there was nothing we could do except save ourselves.
Eventually we reached the shop, to find Joe grinning in the doorway. He beckoned us in, curly hair bouncing on top of his head. Inside we found several of the resistance, some of which I knew very well. Jack was already there. I was glad to see Stephen had joined us too after The Incident. What he knew could prove valuable. And of course, the girl they were currently trying to take from us.
She was sat by herself, far away from everyone else. Her dark fringe covered her eyes, making her impossible to read. She sat with her arms folded, legs crossed, quietly listening to those around her.
I wanted to go talk to her but was instantly suckered into the goings on in the music shop. The shop itself was really cool. There were vinyls lining the walls, and various different guitars on display. The Killers blared through an old stereo, and someone had to yell at Joe to turn it down. The walls were dark oak, almost as if we were in a hut. A hut with double glazing.
There were stairs leading up to a balcony in the centre of the room. This was where Joe stood, happily throwing an oversized shuriken around the room (but mostly getting it stuck in the ceiling tiles and pulling most of them down with it). I watched for a while, fearing for everyone’s lives a little.
Everyone was bustling between jobs and people. We were trying to figure out this latest attack; why bomb the station? Did they know I was arriving? Why Christmas Eve? Who was it this time? They had a habit of choosing people we knew, so who wasn’t accounted for? Stephen came over and nudged my arm. He showed me an envelope with a name and address written neatly on it in several coloured felt tip pens. My name.
“This was what I was given when I was told to… you know,” he said awkwardly. It was fine. I was over it. He’d changed his mind just in time and I was still alive… so I could forgive him.
Stephen went off to discuss it with other people, asking them questions about their envelopes.
Everyone was told to stay away from Robin, to give her some space. She looked miserable. I sat on the leather sofa by the window, looking out throught the blinds.
She sat beside me and rested her head on my shoulder. “What am I going to do?” She whispered. I rested my head on top of hers and sighed.
Someone came over to us and said, “you’re meant to be leaving Robin alone,” and before I could reply, Robin coldly said to him, “she is my step-mum. I will talk to her if I want.”
Well that’s news to me. But in my head I knew she was right. At some point not long ago I had taken her on as my child, despite her being potentially older than me. I swore I’d protect her. From anything.
I’d made her a promise. So I actively chose to fulfil it. I began preparations for her protection. I spoke with the group, to try and come up with a plan.
Then someone screamed, “Robin no!”
I turned instantly and heard the bell of the shop ring. Robin looked back one last time and smiled sadly, before she disappeared out of the shop. We all watched, frozen, as she walked out onto the street and stood still, waiting. The church bell chimed midnight, and an assassin jumped from the sky. She closed her eyes and held her arms out wide, accepting death, while we watched in helpless horror.
…Merry Christmas.


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