Hold On Tight, You Know She's A Little Bit Dangerous, She's Got What It Takes To Make Ends Meet, The Eyes Of A Lover That Hit Like Heat
Tommy had been taken out minutes after arriving at the end-of-year picnic for our sixth grade class. He had been clipped as soon as he had exited his mom's Aerostar. It hadn't been pretty. One minute he was riding next to me; the next minute he was dead barely two steps from the sliding door. Paul, John, and Phillip were soon to follow. All of them had been clipped while we were moving the food around on the various tables. It was their fault really. They should have been paying more attention. I was the only one of our tiny group still alive. I was getting nervous because there it was barely two hours into the six hours we were supposed to be at Memorial Park and I didn't have anyone to watch my back. I was alone and I was being hunted.
I sat down to eat with the rest of the class. It was hard knowing that out of the twenty-two classmates still left alive, one of them was gunning for me. The worst part wasn't the fact I was being hunted. That I could handle because that's how the game I had gotten involved in was play. Nope, the worst part was it had been already two hours and I still had no better idea who my assassin was when we had all first started. I scanned their faces while I chowed down on the rather strange mix of KFC, McDonald's, and barbecue we were being served. None of their delirious smiles betrayed one hint at their intentions. The wolf had hidden himself or herself among the remaining populace.
Of course, I was no better. I too had a name in mind who I needed to go after. Someone I too needed to kill. The shame of it all was that it was someone I had a deep crush on. It would be difficult to keep my intentions hid from her, especially in those last few minutes where I'd be forced to gain her confidence before silencing her forever. I tried to imagine her reaction, those sweet blue-green eyes becoming accusatory when she pieced together that I was, in fact, the instrument of her demise. At best, she'd forgive me in the afterlife. At worst, it would be an act so heinous she would go to her grave hating me with all the spite she could muster.
Such was the price one had to pay if one wanted to win at this game of life and death.
The rules were simple enough. Each student was given a name and a clothes pin before embarking for the park. The name was your mark. The clothes pin was your weapon. Your only two tasks were to somehow clip your victim with the pin without being seen by anyone, including your victim. Only then could you reveal to the poor dying body that you were in fact hired to kill them. Then you took their name as your next mark. This went on, killing and being killed, until there was only one student left. On the outside it seemed a simple game, but from the inside it was filled with treachery and deceit. Friends were turning on friends, cousins were killing their own family, and everywhere the bodies were piling up. I needed to be rid of my victim before I became the victim.
Nicole would never knew what hit her.
she's armed, she's extremely dangerous
I began to seek her out. Normally, we didn't talk much in or out of class. I figured, though, that with it being the last time we would see each other till next year that it would give me a good excuse to strike up a conversation. But what would be the best tactic? What would get me close enough to her to strike? That's when I deduced the best idea would be to just approach her plainly with rumors of who had her. It wasn't against the rules to help each other out with helpful hints. I would use the slight air of paranoia to endear myself to her. That was the plan, at least. It wasn't the most brilliant of ruses, but I don't think elaborate backstories were the way to go. I wanted to be believed and to do that, I needed to make sure I had a good reason why I would even be talking to her in the first place.
I spied her off alone with one of her best friends, Erin, the other girl I had a crush on in grade school. They were both lingering by the metal rocket ship in the far corner of the playground. Slowly I made my approach, nervous smile masking my deadly intent.
"Hey, Nicole. How are you?"
"Hey, I think I overheard who may be gunning for you."
At this point in the conversation Erin was called over by someone else in class, who I was to later find out was her killer. I never saw the hit go down, naturally, but I heard it had been particularly clever. Her would-be assassin, Jimmy, distracted her by playing the old practical joke of slipping ice down her back. Then, when she was at her most irate, he made as if to get the cup of ice on the table. She immediately turned around to scoop the cup up. With her back to him, he was free to clip the telltale pin to the bottom of her t-shirt. That was it. She was dead.
Meanwhile, I finally had Nicole alone. I didn't even think was going to get that far. My whole trepidation had been in isolating her to the point where I could bump her off. I had never thought of what to do once this state had been achieved. Yet as we got to talking, with my planting false rumor after false rumor into her pretty little head, I came up with a foolproof plan.
I would clip her while we started walking back to the rest of the class. I'd wait until we were walking and then ever so slowly I would lag behind her. Once she had gained a few paces on me, I would tell her to wait up, then I'd jog up behind her and do it. One fell swoop. I'd run, bump into her, and place the clothes pin in the span of a few moments.
"Yeah, David's been eying you all day. I think it's him. I think he has you."
"Definitely. I'd stay away from him as much as possible if you want the trophy and the twenty bucks."
She gave me one of her twenty-thousand watt smiles, which made me all fuzzy inside. I felt bad lying to her, but it's what I needed to do to win. I only hoped in the end she wouldn't despise too much.
"Thanks, Patrick. Thanks for watching out for me," she said, patting me on the back.
I don't know which happened first--the sound of the clip snapping shut on the folds of my shirt, the increase in weight tugging at my collar, or seeing her smile shift into a somewhat mischievous grin. It didn't really matter.
I was dead.
With my last few glimpses of the world around me I saw, even in the grip of villainy, Nicole looked glorious. I died with a smile and the knowledge it wasn't pride or stupidity or even being out of shape that was my fatal flaw. Nope, I had been misled by the oldest of sirens, that of the smile of a pretty girl.